The Medical Alumni Association (MAA) of Wake Forest University School of Medicine presented several awards during its annual M.D. Alumni Weekend on Friday, May 5, at the Benton Convention Center.
Patricia L. Turner, M.D., Amy J. McMichael M.D., Christopher A. Ohl, M.D., and Collette A. O’Connor, M.D., were recognized for their achievements and contributions to Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, the community and/or the practice of medicine.
Recipients of these awards are selected each year from nominations submitted to the MAA Nominations and Awards Committee and approved by the MAA Board of Directors.
In addition to the MAA Awards, the Friday night dinner celebrated the M.D. Class of 1973, inducting class members into the Bowman Gray Society to commemorate their 50th anniversary milestone. Each inductee was presented a hand-crafted medallion bearing the Wake Forest University seal and the likeness of Bowman Gray.
"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to these distinguished honorees for their unwavering commitment and dedication to their work and congratulate them on receiving these prestigious awards,” said Lisa Marshall, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s chief philanthropy officer and vice president of philanthropy and alumni relations. “The impactful and enduring contributions of these remarkable individuals have significantly strengthened and elevated our institution, ensuring its continued success. We are confident that the Wake Forest University School of Medicine is well poised for a bright and promising future."
The Distinguished Achievement Award, presented to alumni who have distinguished themselves in the medical profession through patient care, research and leadership, was presented to Patricia L. Turner, M.D. Turner is executive director and chief executive officer of the American College of Surgeons. She is also a clinical associate professor at University of Chicago Medicine.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Turner continued her training as an intern and resident in surgery at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She completed fellowship training in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Weill-Cornell University School of Medicine and Columbia University School of Medicine in New York City. Her MBA was completed at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Turner previously served as director of the Division of Member Services at the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and before joining the ACS, she spent eight years in full-time academic practice on the University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty, where she directed the surgery residency program.
Her roles in national professional organizations or institutions include serving as member of the boards of directors of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and OceanFirst Bank, corporate member CEO of The Joint Commission and member of the Specialty Societies CEO Coalition. She also has served as chair of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons Foundation Fund; past chair of the ACS’s Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, AMA Council on Medical Education, and Surgical Section of the National Medical Association (NMA); past president of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons; and past member of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Board of Directors.
Turner is board-certified in surgery, is a fellow of the ACS and member of the American Surgical Association, AMA, NMA, Southern Surgical Association, Southeastern Surgical Congress, Society of University Surgeons, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Association of Women Surgeons and Latino Surgical Society, and is an honorary member of EAST, the Excelsior Surgical Society, and Asociación Colombiana de Cirugia.
The Distinguished Faculty Award, presented to individuals for outstanding contributions to the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist through teaching and research and by demonstrating the highest principles of academic medicine, was presented to Amy J. McMichael, M.D. She is a professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
McMichael is a Philadelphia native who received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed an internship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and her dermatology residency training at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
She has held leadership positions in Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology for more than 20 years, first as residency program director for 12 years and chair of the department for 11 years. She stepped down as chair in September 2022 to pursue her other interests, including clinical medicine, research and mentorship. She has been a leader in her field, including her roles as past president of both the Skin of Color Society and the National Medical Association Dermatology Section. She has also served as vice president of the Women’s Dermatologic Society and secretary/treasurer of the North American Alopecia Research Society. She currently serves as a board member of the American Academy of Dermatology. She has mentored countless students, residents and junior faculty over the years.
McMichael’s clinical and research interests include hair and scalp disorders, psoriasis and skin of color. She is co-editor of several texts including “Hair Diseases: Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Treatments” and “Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology, 9th Edition.” She serves on the editorial boards of JAMA Dermatology, Cosmetic Dermatology, Skin Appendages and The Dermatologist, and is the author of numerous journal articles and chapters.
The Distinguished Service Award, presented each year to individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, the community or the practice of medicine, was presented to Christopher A. Ohl, M.D. He is a professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Ohl received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. He completed his internship, residency and fellowship training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the National Naval Medical Center. He is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases and earned the Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In addition to his faculty role, Ohl is an infectious disease physician with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.
He has served as medical director for the Center for Antimicrobial Utilization, Stewardship and Epidemiology since 2000 and has served as a consultant on antimicrobial stewardship for the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Institute of Healthcare Improvement and Joint Commission Resources.
He has been active with IDSA on the Education Committee and served as the immediate past chair. He also served for two years as the IDSA liaison to the American Board of Internal Medicine Infectious Disease Specialty Board.
In addition to these activities, Ohl has considerable experience in planning for and responding to emerging infections and was an integral member of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s COVID-19 Task Force. Throughout the pandemic, he advised Winston-Salem and Forsyth County governments, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and several community businesses in their responses to COVID-19.
Ohl also frequently shared his expertise with local, regional and national news media during the pandemic. His insights helped keep the public informed during the health crisis, and media outlets continue to seek his comments on issues related to public health.
The Student Excellence Award, recognizing a fourth-year medical student whose peers believe best demonstrates the qualities needed to become a complete physician - knowledge, compassion and dedication - was presented to Collette A. O’Connor, M.D., Class of 2023.
A native of Massachusetts, O’Connor graduated with honors from Boston University and worked as an emergency medical technician and yoga teacher prior to medical school.
As a medical student at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, she was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society, serving as vice president, and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. O’Connor participated in award-winning research in medical student wellness and urology. She held leadership positions with the DEAC (Delivering Equal Access to Care) Clinic and numerous near-peer teaching and mentoring roles. At the height of the pandemic, she volunteered with fellow students to assist hotel shelter residents deemed to be high risk for COVID-19 complications in navigating the evolving health care system. Her interest in legislative and patient advocacy brought her to Washington, D.C., twice during medical school.
O’Connor graduated from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in May 2023, and will continue medical training in Kansas City, with residency in urologic surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center.