MCG students, residents and faculty inducted into Gold Humanism Honor Society

Students, residents and faculty from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in a ceremony and program, An Evening of Medicine and the Arts, Saturday, March 25, at the Morris Museum of Art.

The society is a national organization under the umbrella of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which is dedicated to keeping healthcare human and promotes humanism in medicine through the annual White Coat Ceremony and GHHS. The society was established to recognize medical students, residents and faculty who practice patient-centered care by modeling qualities of excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy. Members are nominated by their peers as physicians they’d want taking care of their own family.

This year saw the induction of 27 third-year medical students, one resident and four faculty. They are leaders in the classroom, hospital and community. They have done medical mission work all over the world, including in Peru, Cambodia, Romania, China, Vietnam and Mexico. They are leaders of MCG Free Clinics and volunteers for causes like the Ronald McDonald House, Teddy Bear Clinic, CSRA Gynecologic Support Group, Kids with a Future and the Rape Crisis Center, and camp counselors for multiple Children’s Hospital of Georgia summer camps. They serve as MCG tour guides, interest group leaders and founders of the student-parent support group, global health initiative, and several other MCG organizations. “It was incredibly difficult to select members for induction into this honor society as all of our students at MCG are so involved and willing to go above and beyond to provide the best care possible for their patients,” says Chapter President and fourth-year medical student Rachel Calhoun. “Those selected for induction truly lead by example and model integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy in their patient care and interactions with families, staff and colleagues.”

“Induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society is a recognition of the true compassion among current and future leaders in medicine,” says Dr. Paul Wallach, MCG Vice Dean of Academic Affairs. “That recognition would not be possible without the example and expert leadership of Dr. Bunja Rungruang, an MCG gynecologic oncologist who advises our Augusta Chapter, and Dr. John Francis, campus associate dean for student and multicultural affairs at the AU/UGA Medical Partnership, who leads that campus’s chapter.”

After the ceremony, and in collaboration with the AU Department of Art, guests were invited to tour the museum and examine five pre-selected paintings to discuss their meaning and look at them from a medical perspective. “It is so very important to be able to see things from a different perspective in medicine so that we are able to better understand our patients, their problems and determine the best plan of action to care not only for their physical ailments, but also to care for the entire person,” Calhoun says. “Our attendees were able to examine the artwork, discuss with their colleagues and experts in the art field, and hopefully gain a new perspective on seeing each piece through our interactions with our colleagues.”

This year’s GHHS inductees are:


  • Bruce LeClair, Ollie O. McGahee, Jr., M.D. Chair and associate professor of family medicine
  • Robyn Hatley, Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair and professor of surgery
  • Vanessa Spearman, assistant professor of psychiatry and health behavior and medicine
  • Paul Wallach, MCG Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair in Medicine


  • Jessica Kanter, third-year resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Third-year Medical Students:

  • Suzanne Abbasi
  • Mohit Shiv Agarwal
  • Shub Agrawal
  • Rebekah Anders
  • Valynn Antione
  • Amber Berry
  • Meghan Bowser
  • Carmen Collins
  • Lucia Cotton
  • Hila Eichenbaum
  • Anna Gaidis
  • Caroline Geiger
  • Chidimma Ihenacho
  • Kate Lintel
  • Caroline Lu
  • Robert MacDonnell
  • Sadie Mason
  • Evan Manning
  • Shawna McCafferty
  • Yiran Emily Peng
  • Cole Phillips
  • Yazdan Raji
  • Matthew Rivera-Bloodworth
  • Kyle Rives
  • Annie Robinson
  • Emily Seal
  • Taylor Smith
  • Brittany Truitt
  • Kishore Vedala
  • Raeonda Williams
  • Christopher Allen Witt
  • Jennifer Xiong
  • Mark Zapata
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Written by
Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jennifer Hilliard Scott is Senior Communications Coordinator at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-8604 or

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Woman smiling Written by Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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