Published September 14, 2016
Nicholas J. Silvestri, MD, program director of the University at Buffalo’s adult neurology residency, and Emily Caldarelli, training program administrator for the hematology and oncology fellowship, have received UB Graduate Medical Education (GME) Awards of Excellence.
The selection committee, which included one resident, chose the awardees based on nominations from trainees, superiors and colleagues.
Silvestri, associate professor of clinical neurology, received the program director award of excellence for his passionate commitment to resident education and his breadth of service on eight UB committees.
The award also recognizes Silvestri for being the catalyst in establishing a path for resident participation in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
Gil I. Wolfe, MD, professor and Irvin and Rosemary Smith Chair of neurology, says Silvestri has “simply excelled in his role as program director.” Silvestri has refined clinical activities and educational programs, which has helped all recent graduates of the residency program pass their board exams for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, notes Wolfe.
Robert N. Sawyer Jr., MD, clinical professor of neurology, says: “I respect Dr. Silvestri’s innate leadership skills, his uncompromising principles and his ability to work with me on pragmatic solutions that increase quality for patients while enhancing resident training.”
“He is a great credit to the university,” says Sawyer, who — in his roles as co-director of the Gates Vascular Institute stroke program and vice-chair for clinical affairs in neurology — works closely with Silvestri.
“Many, if not most neurology residents pick stroke as their area of interest for their research projects. Dr. Silvestri has strongly supported their research efforts and constantly advocates for them in a busy research program.”
Sawyer adds that Silvestri “maintains an honest and fair reputation among neurology residents and his peers. He engenders loyalty. He remains accessible at all times.”
Silvestri, who has served as program director for the adult neurology residency since July 2011, says it’s fulfilling to provide residents with one-on-one guidance. “It’s very rewarding to work with my residents early on during their intern year and watch them develop from recent medical school graduates into full-fledged neurologists at the time they complete their residency,” he says.
“I enjoy the opportunity to mentor my trainees at various points during their time at UB and work with them to hone their skills and determine which path is best for them as they prepare for their future career.”
Silvestri notes that he’s especially proud of the collegiality his residents have with faculty and with one another. “Residency can be a very demanding and stressful time, and I am always impressed with how our residents and faculty support one another in times of need,” he says.
Caldarelli received the training program administrator award of excellence for her program management skills and commitment to her colleagues and the program’s trainees.
The award also recognizes her contributions as a member of the GME Program Quality Review Subcommittee and her involvement in the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Ellis G. Levine, MD, professor of medicine and co-director of the hematology and oncology fellowship program, says that Caldarelli handles the various competencies associated with her position — training program management, interpersonal and communication skills, professionals, quality improvement and systems management — with excellence.
Pankit Vachhani, a second-year hematology and oncology fellow, has relied on Caldarelli for a variety of important tasks throughout his training. “Many of my colleagues and I are tremendously impressed with her efficient management skills,” he says.
“Ms. Caldarelli takes a highly organized approach in her work. Her absolute awareness of the program policies, requirements, people and departmental happenings is also noteworthy,” says Vachhani.
“Her work typifies excellent coordination and multitasking capabilities,” he adds.
Nischala Ammannagari, a third-year hematology and oncology fellow, notes that “oncology fellows feel spoiled as we have the luxury of being able to count on Emily for any administrative work.”
She says Caldarelli has an “effervescent personality and people-centered attitude,” and emphasizes that “her spirit and work ethic are indomitable.”