This past week, the University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery held our annual Layton F. Rikkers Education Retreat, with this year commemorating the 24th retreat and our first in-person since 2019.
The theme for this year’s retreat was “Advancing Surgical Education: From Bench to Bedside.” Taking place in the Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC), the retreat featured numerous University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery researchers, educators, and providers, alongside Dr. Brigitte Smith, Vice Chair of Education at the University of Utah’s Department of Surgery, who spoke as this year’s keynote speaker.
Dr. Smith, who received her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2009, was the department’s first resident in the Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency Program. While a resident, she pursued an interest in surgical education, which has carried into her current role in Utah as Vice Chair and also as Program Director for the Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program.
“Dr. Smith gave an amazing presentation on surgical education outcomes research, which is essential to understanding whether we are achieving the desired effects and impacts with our training programs,” said Dr. Sarah Jung, one of several coordinators in this year’s event.
Our own Vice Chair of Education, Dr. John Rectenwald, also spoke at the retreat, presenting updates on surgical education initiatives. Outside of the presentation auditorium, researchers in the atrium at the department presented __ posters and visual abstracts over the course of the event.
Each year, the retreat acknowledges several doctors for their surgical education efforts across different specialties. This year, we awarded seven Outstanding Resident Educator Awards and the Layton F. Rikkers Faculty Award for Medical Student Education. Congratulations to all eight awardees!
• Outstanding Resident Educator Award: General Surgery – Taylor Aiken, MD
• Outstanding Resident Educator Award: General Surgery – Elle Kalbfell, MD
• Outstanding Resident Educator Award: Otolaryngology – Sarah Rosen, MBChB
• Outstanding Resident Educator Award: Orthopedic Surgery – Eamon Bernardoni, MD & Eric Lee, MD
• Outstanding Resident Educator Award: Plastic Surgery – Kylie Edinger, MD
• Outstanding Resident Educator Award: Urology – Rachael Sherrer, MD
• Outstanding Resident Educator Award: Vascular Surgery – Laura Wolf, MD
• Layton F. Rikkers Faculty Award for Medical Student Education – David Melnick, MD, MPH
Dr. Layton F. Rikkers founded the education retreat in 1998 to offer a venue to recognize and support the educational efforts of the Department of Surgery. In 2008, it was named the Layton F. Rikkers Education Retreat to honor him and continue his tradition of holding the education of medical students and residents as a high priority.