Doctors from Newark Hospital Bring Home Top Prize

A team of residents from Saint Michael's Medical Center put Newark on the map over the weekend when they won a Jeopardy-style medical competition known as Doctor's Dilemma against teams from across the nation and globe.

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The Saint Michael's team, (L-R) Dr. Nedal Matani, Dr. Ahmad Abuarqoub, Dr. Amer Hawatmeh, Dr. Parijat Sen and Dr. Sahitya Posimreddy. 

During the competition, held at the American College of Physicians' Internal Medicine meeting in Washington, D.C., Saint Michael’s prevailed over 50 teams from states across the country, each representing an ACP chapter, as well as teams from the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force and from Central America, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Saint Michael's is the first team from New Jersey to win the competition since it began 22 years ago. The Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia won the last four years in a row.

“We were honored to represent Saint Michael’s and the state of New Jersey in the national ACP competition,” said Dr. Amer Hawatmeh, one of five doctors on the team.

“We entered the competition with a competitive spirit and enormous expectations," he said. "Although intense, the competition was an enjoyable experience. I’m proud to be a member of such a great team. We believed that with enthusiasm and hard work, anything is possible. I would like to thank my team members for their tremendous efforts and our faculty mentors for their great support. It has been an incredible journey and once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will never forget.”

The Saint Michael’s team consisted of Dr. Hawatmeh of Woodland Park, Dr. Ahmad AbuArqoub of Hackensack, Dr. Amer Hawatmeh of Woodland Park, Dr. Sahitya Posimreddy of Harrison and Dr. Parijat Sen and Dr. Nedal Matani, both of Newark.

“We commend the team on their extraordinary achievement,” said Dr. Joseph R. DePasquale, chief academic officer and program director of internal medicine at Saint Michael’s.

“Each member of the team demonstrated this weekend the same dedication and commitment they have made to their professional development and patients throughout their residency training,” Dr. DePasquale said. “They are an outstanding group of men and women of whom we are very proud and we thank them for their contribution to Saint Michael’s continuing legacy of graduate medical education excellence.”

An affiliate of New York Medical College, Saint Michael’s is one of New Jersey’s leading teaching hospitals offering residencies in anesthesia, internal medicine and podiatry, as well as fellowships in cardiology, interventional cardiology, gastroenterology, oncology, infectious disease, pulmonary and critical care.

Saint Michael’s was recently acquired by Prime Healthcare Services, an award-winning national hospital system with 43 acute-care hospitals in 14 states. Saint Michael’s is one of 11 teaching hospitals in the Prime Healthcare family.

“As someone who values medical education as much as I do, I am so proud of the residents of Saint Michael's who were on this team,” said Prem Reddy, MD, FACC, FCCP, chairman, president and CEO of Prime Healthcare Services, who donated $40 million recently to help launch a medical school in California. “By winning the ACP's Doctor's Dilemma, they have shown the outstanding quality of medical education provided to young doctors at Saint Michael’s.”

The Saint Michael's team won the privilege of representing New Jersey's chapter after it defeated teams from Newark Beth Israel, Atlanticare Health, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in the final round of state level competition in March.

In the competition in Washington, the Saint Michael's team won an initial round on Thursday, a semifinal round on Friday against ACP chapters from Tennessee, North Carolina, Central America and south Texas.

In the final round, Saint Michael's faced teams from the University of Indiana, the University of Pennsylvania and MedStar Health, representing Maryland.

“The success of our team reaffirms of the quality of the Internal Medicine Program, its faculty and the institution's commitment to our mission,” Dr. DePasquale said. “It is also a reflection of the caliber of resident that Saint Michael's continues to attract and has had the privilege to educate.”

The team took home a replica of the coveted “Osler Cup.” Their names will be engraved in the original cup, which is housed at the American College of Physicians’ boardroom in Philadelphia.

“ACP extends a hearty congratulations to Saint Michael’s Medical Center in for winning the coveted Osler Cup in our Doctor's Dilemma competition,” said Dr. Patrick Alguire, ACP's senior vice president for medical education. “The high-stress and grueling competition is designed to highlight the winning team's ability to quickly and correctly answer questions in multiple specialty areas, including common and esoteric medical topics.”

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