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Classnotes - 1990s

Beth Netter, MD ’90

My work in anesthesiology, including high-risk obstetric anesthesiology, inspired me to study holistic mind/body medicine to see what could be done to help people optimize their health and decrease pain. I also wanted to find out what could help physicians deal with the stress and burnout they were experiencing—often unspoken, but the obvious side effects of training, medical practice and life.

I practiced mind/body holistic medicine for a number of years and I am now on the teaching faculty and serve as chair of the Department of Medical Education at the American Meditation Institute (AMI) in Averill Park, New York. I studied a number of holistic modalities, and what I learned and trained in at AMI was clearly the best “advanced life support” I had come across. It has benefited me, my patients and the people I have taught.

I help to coordinate and teach at AMI’s annual CME-accredited Physicians Conference, which is focused on providing physicians and people in health care with a comprehensive understanding of yoga science as holistic mind/body medicine. Practical, user-friendly tools are taught for relieving burnout, tools that can be used throughout the day and even at 3 a.m. if you wake up with a rolodex of worries. It is helping physicians rediscover a love for medicine, their lives and for themselves. Another UB Medical School alum, Anthony Santilli, MD ’99, is also on the teaching faculty at the conference.

Year after year of study, training, patient care, dealing with technology and simply living life can be depleting enough. Then add the burden of guilt over even one poor outcome or the fear of making a mistake and not being perfect. It certainly and understandably can lead to troubles with sleep, quality of life, mental and emotional distress and physical disease.

Every person I know who went into medicine was very sensitive and chose this field because she or he truly cared and wanted to help people feel better. It is my goal to offer my colleagues ways of relieving those burdens that are preventing them from being the physicians and the happy, healthy, loving beings they've always wanted to be.

People can find out more about this conference for themselves and their partners at: www.americanmeditation.org/CME, or by calling 518-674-8714.

Class of 1991

 

The Class of 1991 celebrated a mini-reunion in September 2014 in Orlando, FL, on Terry Peppy’s birthday. Pictured are Drs. Kinga Tibold Huzella, Terry Peppy, Ingrid (Cruse) Helmer, Michelle (Skretny) Susco, Colleen (Mason) Zittel, Elissa (Jaffe) Bookner, Jenny Henkind Ferraro and Greg Zittel. 

Sandra Block, MD ’97
Sandra Block, MD ’97

Sandra Block, MD ’97, a neurologist who practices in Buffalo, has published a novel that explores the mysteries of memory and mental illness. Titled “Little Black Lies,” it is the story of a psychiatrist with ADHD who is determined to discover the truth about her past no matter the consequences. Photo by Brian Block.

Joseph Chow, MD ’97, EMBS ’14, writes: “I was recently promoted to president of TeamHealth Urgent Care. TeamHealth is a publically traded company headquartered in Knoxville, TN.”

Favorite memories: Commraderie with fellow classmates. I still have maintained a strong friendship with many of them.

Gary Nielan, MD ’95
Gary Nielan, MD ’95

I’ve been married 20 years to my classmate Dr. Patricia Krebs. Our two wonderful boys have left the nest and are doing well. I’m still playing hockey and trying to get outdoors everyday when work isn’t calling. I’m working as general pediatrician in Western Mass and, despite all of the challenges and changes in medicine, I still love my job.

Favorite memories: So many....meeting and marrying my wife Patty; Free Radicals hockey and all of the humorous insanity that went with our overzealous team; $1 Indian Breakfasts; The Towne; the friendship, kindness and support of my classmates; the endless humor; anatomy lab; The Pulse; Chevy’s, Seb’s clown drawing; Gorilla Suits; "for urine formation," which we all thought was "for your information" by Dr. Hong (I think); Sabres hockey events like Tux and Pucks New Year's Eve; skating at DN's; sailing with KZ; the parties; study lounge; the weddings of so many classmates...just too many to list.

I am so lucky to have experienced all of this...thanks to all who shared it with me. If I could do it all over I would...great times. I am looking forward to our 20 year reunion.

Ngozi Osuagwu, MD ’90, clinical director of OhioHealth-Doctors Hospital Women’s Health Center and clinical professor at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, writes: “In the last couple of months, two of my books were released. Clinical Examination Handbook in an Obstetrics and Gynecology Ambulatory Setting, is a book for intern physicians and medical students doing their ob/gyn rotations. Letters to Our Sisters, co-written with Dr. Nathan Thagana, an ob/gyn in Kenya, was written to educate women about different medical issues that affect them. The third book, Cartas a Mis Hermanas is a translation of the award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters, originally released in 2006.

Life is interesting with two of my three children in college, and the youngest a very active junior in high school.

Favorite memories: The fun times with my study group after grueling examinations and watching the boxing matches of Mike Tyson.

James Pilc, MD '93
James Pilc, MD '93

James Pilc, MD ’93, founded and ran a private obstetrics and gynecology practice for 10 years in Williamsville, NY. He recently published his first book, titled Unstuck: The Enlightenment of Medicine.

In the book, Pilc shares his transformational journey as he describes firsthand his experiences with meditative self-healing. “My hope is to help those in need of physical, emotional, energetic or spiritual healing and to further investigate the connection between western medicine, eastern medicine and meditative self-healing,” he says. Unstuck: The Enlightenment of Medicine is available on Amazon.com.

In Memoriam

Erik Stumpf

Erik Stumpf, MD ’94, of Lake Mary, FL, passed away April 17, 2017 with his family at his side. He was 48. Born in Buffalo and son of Donna and John Stumpf, MD ’63, Erik completed his residency in family medicine at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona, FL. He became Medical Director with Blue Cross/Blue Shield and served on the board of the AAFP and was a delegate to the FMA. He was also a board member of the YMCA. His passion was to serve the underserved in medicine and he worked tirelessly to promote coordination of health-care benefits for all. He is survived by his wife, Amy, and three children residing in Lake Mary Florida.

Katia T. Laremont, MD ’91, died unexpectedly on June 22, 2014, at her home in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. She was 50. Laremont was born in Panama City, Panama, and graduated from high school in Silver Creek, NY. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1987 and her medical degree from UB in 1991. She completed a residency in OB/GYN at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins. Laremont was a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 2001 she opened Village Women’s Health Care. She was a member of the Palm Beach County Medical Association, the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society and the American Urogynecology Association. Laremont is survived by her husband, Herman Walker, her adoptive father, James E. Smith of West Palm Beach, FL; her sisters Liza (Jon A.) Smith of Silver Creek, NY, Dr. Raquel Schmidt (Jari Wallach) of Buffalo, NY; and her niece, Claire Smith of Buffalo, NY.