Medical Student Honored as Future Leader

Adding to a burgeoning list of accomplishments, fourth-year medical student Kartik Telukuntla has received the prestigious Chairman’s Recognition Award from the Florida Board of Medicine.

Presented August 2 by Chairman Zachariah P. Zachariah, M.D., the award recognizes Telukuntla for embodying the characteristics essential to becoming a leader in the medical profession.

“Kartik is a great student who truly exemplifies the values that the award honors – compassion, professionalism, moral character and intellect,” said Ana E. Campo, M.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

A 2009 Rhodes Scholar finalist, Telukuntla has participated in the Miller School’s esteemed stem cell and conjunctival lymphoma research and countless public service initiatives. He also served as Student Trustee of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, and is the immediate past President of the Medical School Student Government, and a member of the Jay Weiss Pathway for Health Equity and the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest honor attained at the University of Miami.

As a UM undergraduate, Telukuntla became interested in public health policy, co-chairing the inaugural Miami Poverty Conference, which brought together more than 135 students and various nonprofit agencies to raise awareness about the growing issue of poverty, and inspire students to volunteer in Miami-Dade County.

Now with his sights set on an internal medicine residency, Telukuntla is still considering the various options a career in the ever-changing field of medicine has to offer.

“The past three years have afforded me a chance to see many different aspects of medicine beyond just clinical care,” Telukuntla said. “I’m looking forward to exploring more interests in residency.”

The Chairman’s Recognition Award was established in 2010 by Onelia G. Lage, M.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics and Director of Adolescent Community Health, who was the first Hispanic woman, pediatrician and University of Miami faculty member elected chair of the Florida Board of Medicine. As chair, Lage recognized the need to involve Florida medical students in the Board’s activities, so she invited them to participate in a hearing and reflect on their understanding of the disciplinary process and medical ethics. She also created this award to recognize not only academic excellence, but professionalism, character and service in future physicians.

“Kartik is an excellent role model of what our future leaders in medicine should be,” Lage said. “We are very proud of him!”

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