Academic Societies for the School of Medicine
The Office of Student Affairs for the School of Medicine is pleased to announce the implementation of the LSU Health Shreveport Academic Societies. These six societies will be instituted during the 2021-2022 academic year and are named in honor of former Deans or Chancellors of LSU Health Shreveport. The goal of the Academic Societies is to provide mentoring and coaching to all medical students during their four years of medical school.
DEBBIE CHANDLER, MD, MBA
Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology
Associate Dean of Diversity
and Student Affairs
Author & Project Director of
LSUHS Academic Societies
Established in 2021, the Academic Societies exemplify our innovative approach to medical education. They serve as the organizational framework for students’ general medical education, professional growth, and social support. The Societies form an integral part of the LSU Health Shreveport (LSUHS) experience.
The Academic Societies at LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine are designed to provide a support system for students as they acquire the knowledge and develop the skills necessary to succeed as a physician. This goal is accomplished by enhancing the interaction between faculty and students through small group and individual academic and career advising opportunities, as well as providing a mechanism for collecting additional assessments for the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE).
Using the framework of a community style medical education, the Academic Societies at LSU Health Shreveport will include faculty members, students, society advisory deans, and coordinators to provide support for career planning and choosing residencies, as well as offer enrichment opportunities and promote individual growth.
Laura Grayson is the project coordinator for the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine Academic Societies as well as the Associate Coordinator for the Office of Student Affairs – School of Medicine. Laura moved back to Shreveport in 2020 after spending four years in St. Louis, MO where she worked for a marketing firm. In her free time, Laura loves to travel, bike, and spend time with her husband, Coleman, and her dog, Kima.
Contact Information: (318) 675-5339 / firstname.lastname@example.org
All LSU Health Shreveport medical students are members of one of Six Academic Societies. At freshman orientation, medical students are randomly assigned to one of the Six Academic Societies. Medical students remain a member of their society throughout their medical education. Each Society is composed of up to 100 students, 25 students from each class.
Each Society will have a Student Officer – These officers will be elected by the students within the society from the M3 members. The officers will be supported by an M4 student member who will act as an advisor who previously served as an Officer and a Program Coordinator who will oversee the Academic Societies.
The Societies will organize academic, enrichment, and social events for students in order to support their growth from medical students to medical professionals.
A mandatory quarterly meeting with Academic Society Chair and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to go over students’ academic progression.
Each Society may provide the following services:
- Management of life events while pursuing educational endeavors
- Referrals to individual support programs such as Learning Specialist or Student Counseling Services, Student Health Services.
- Referrals to education support services
- Collaboration with the office of Academic Affairs in remediation issues.
- Assistance with examination accommodations.
- Advice on academic scheduling and timing of National Boards Exams
- Workshops and panel discussions in preparation for residency application
- Early career counseling for first year and second year students
- One-on-one meetings to help students find mentors for their career of choice
- Assist with CV, personal statement.
- Letters of recommendation for research grants, fellowships, and year-long programs
- Coordination with the Office of Academic Affairs for publications.
Social events planning
- Meet & Greet with students (Freshman orientation)
- Faculty dinner invitations
- Other social opportunities ad hoc (luncheons, invitations to homes, etc.)
Shruti Vaidyanathan is a fourth-year medical student pursuing a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She grew up in Baton Rouge, LA where she attended LSU for her first two and a half years and graduated from LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans where she received a BS in Medical Technology. While on campus, Shruti has served as the AMWA President, current OB/GYN interest group vice president, and 3 terms as one of the honor council reps for the class of 2022. In her free time, Shruti enjoys spending time with her friends, trying new restaurants and breweries, anything musical, and watching LSU football!
Ryan Schexnaildre is a fourth-year medical student pursuing a career in Internal Medicine. Ryan grew up in Baton Rouge, LA where he attended Louisiana State University and received his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. On campus, Ryan has served twice as a class officer, participated in Geaux Bald Shave Day and Camp Tiger, and has held positions in various interest groups including the Nephrology Interest Group and the Wine Interest Group. In his free time, he enjoys visiting local restaurants and breweries with friends, gardening, watching anything LSU sports, and spending time with his niece and nephew.
Edgar L. Hull, Jr., MD
A native of Pascagoula, Mississippi born in 1904, Dr. Hull graduated from high school at the early age of 15. He attended undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University before attending Tulane Medical School graduating in 1927. He was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha as a student. Further, postgraduate training was completed at the Highland Clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1929, he became a private practice rural physician in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. In 1931, Dr. Hull became a founding faculty member of the newly established LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. He attained the rank of Professor of Medicine in 1939 and subsequently became a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. His long leadership service in academic medicine began as the Acting Head of Medicine, Department Chair, and Department head in Internal Medicine at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He served for 15 years as the Associate Dean of Medicine. In 1966, Dr. Hull became the founding Dean of the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. In 1973, Dr. Hull retired from academic medicine at age 69 retiring to Pascagoula, Mississippi. House calls were still made in retirement for this physician’s physician. Dr. Hull passed away in 1984 at the age of 80. Dr. Hull published multiple papers and published a textbook on EKGs. He was a member of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Gastroenterology. His legacy is recorded by the numerous physicians he trained in his 46-year career in medicine in a compendium of remembrances. In 1972, Pope Paul VI honored him with the highest recognition awarded by the papacy to a layman who is not a head of state as a Knight of St. Gregory the Great for work in medical and religious fields. A professorship was established in his name at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. The Internal Medicine Interest Group at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans was named for him in his honor in 1999. A graduating medical student award provided by Lewis Gottlieb was created at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport for excellent patient-physician interactions.
Landon Lingenfelter was born and raised in Pineville, LA where he also graduated from Louisiana College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He began medical school at LSU Health Shreveport in 2018 and is set to graduate in 2022. He hopes to match in family medicine and one day practice in a rural area and do international medicine. He is involved at Norris Ferry Community Church; and enjoys cycling, running, playing tennis, and reading. He is married to his beautiful wife, Anna.
Stephen Patin is a current fourth-year medical student at LSU Health Shreveport pursuing a career in Internal Medicine. He was born and raised in Mandeville, LA and has traveled the state of Louisiana for his education. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from LSU in Baton Rouge, LA, received his Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Epidemiology from LSUHSC in New Orleans, LA, and then worked for the Louisiana Department of Health before beginning medical school. Throughout the years, he has been involved in campus life as the Executive Council President, founder and President of the Healthcare Policy Interest Group, President of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and various other projects and interest groups. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar (poorly), hiking, frequenting Rhino Coffee, and watching The Bachelor with his friends. Stephen is looking forward to the experiences and great successes that students in the Muslow Society will have in the coming years while striving to uphold the incredible legacy of Dr. Ike Muslow.
Isaac "Ike" Muslow, MD
Dr. Isaac "Ike" Muslow was born on April 4, 1926 in Oil City, LA. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Centenary College of Louisiana, and Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, where he did an internship at Charity Hospital. In 1950, he served as Medical Officer in the United States Air Force, and in 1952, he did a medical residency at Georgetown University Hospital, and then at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, LA. From 1954 - 1958, he was Instructor in Medicine at LSU School of Medicine and Director of the Kidney Station at New Orleans Charity Hospital, which was only one of two dialysis units in the South. He developed the first fellowship dialysis program in the state and was attending physician at the VA Hospital in Gulfport, MS.
From 1958-1964, he was in private practice in Shreveport, LA and also attending physician at the VA Hospital. From 1964-1970, he was the Administrative Director in the Department of Internal Medicine at Confederate Memorial Medical Center, where he achieved a full complement of residents in internal medicine for the first time. He also was a consultant at the VA Hospital in Shreveport.
In 1970, he established and directed the first Dialysis Unit in the area at Willis-Knighton Hospital. Always interested in teaching and learning, he directed the continuing medical education program there.
In 1970, he began his long career at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, LA accepting the position as acting head of the Department of Family Medicine and Comprehensive Care, where he successfully won approval for a residency program in all the area hospitals. Three years later, he began the first of three terms as Dean of the Medical School and as Vice Chancellor. During his three tenures as Dean, Confederate Memorial merged so successfully with LSU Medical School Hospital that in 1991 it was named the nation's most profitable public hospital. Under his leadership, the Burn Center and the organ transplant program were developed, the Emergency Unit became a level one trauma center, three Centers of Excellence were created in Arthritis and Rheumatology, Cancer Research, and Clinical and Forensic Toxicology. He continued to lead the institution with his great vision and not only helped to create the Ambulatory Care Center but also built the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, the Women's and Children's Center, the Radiation Therapy Center and the Children's Hospital within the hospital. Later he played an instrumental role in establishing the LSU Medical School Foundation, and an affiliation agreement with Conway Hospital, in Monroe, to assume a medical education program.
He was a member of the Federation of State Board of Nursing Examiners, State Board of Medical Examiners and its chairman; and its representative to the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the American Board in Internal Medicine. He received the Shreveport Medical Society's Distinguished Service award, the LA State Medical Society award, and was a member and President of the Public Solicitation Review Council. He was honored by the American Heart Association and Junior Achievement. An endowed chair bearing his name in Internal Medicine was established at LSUHSC-S. In June of 2000, he retired from the Dean's office and on July 1, he continued teaching residents while treating patients at the VA until his retirement in 2015. In 2017, he was recognized by LSU Health Shreveport as a Community Hero. He passed away on January 18, 2020.
Dr. Muslow truly saw every moment in life as an opportunity to teach and learn. He instilled the love of learning and critical thinking in hundreds of his trainees. His legacy also includes being one of the greatest diagnostic physicians of all time. Without the benefit of a sophisticated test or imaging, he was widely known for accurately diagnosing even the most complex diseases simply by thoroughly listening to his patients. Dr. Muslow was a remarkable man, an amazing mentor, and a teacher of numerous physicians. He was described as a “Renaissance Man.” The vision of Dr. Muslow resulted in our ability to continue quality education and life-saving research for the community of North Louisiana.
Dr. Muslow will eternally be revered by his colleagues, students, and patients. He was a true Louisiana Icon and will forever hold a special place in the hearts of his trainees. Muslow Society will strive to keep his legacy alive in the years and decades to come.
Matthew Busby is a 4th year medical student at LSUHS. He was raised in Bossier City and completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Louisiana Tech in 2018. Following graduation, he matriculated into the Class of 2022 at LSUHS Medical School. He plans on pursuing emergency medicine, with an interest in completing a sports medicine fellowship following residency. Matthew is involved in a variety of organizations and activities on campus, serving as Alumni Affairs representative for the Class of 2022, participating in the EM interest group, and spending time working on research projects and volunteering in the community. He enjoys hanging out with friends and family, training at local gyms, and traveling with his girlfriend and her dog.
Renas Zibari was born and raised here in Shreveport and went to LSU for undergrad where he graduated with a degree in biology. Afterwards, he came back home for med school and plans on going into Internal Medicine after he graduates. He enjoy watching sports (especially anything related to LSU and soccer), playing soccer, working out, and playing video games. He is honored to have been named one of the student officers for the academic societies and is looking forward to being able to interact with students from all of our classes on a regular basis (and also looking forward to winning that trophy). He is also proud to be able to represent the name of Dr. John McDonald, who was his dad’s mentor when his dad trained and worked at this institution. Because of him, Renas says his family is able to call Shreveport home.
John C. McDonald, MD
John Clifton McDonald was born in Baldwyn, Mississippi, on July 25, 1930. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Mississippi College in 1951 and his Medical Degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1955. After earning his medical degree, he interned at Confederate Memorial Medical Center, now LSU Hospital in Shreveport. Before starting his general surgery residency at State University of New York at Buffalo, Dr. McDonald served two years as Flight Surgeon in the U.S. Air Force at McGuire Air Force Base in Trenton, NJ.
In 1968, he came back to Louisiana for a faculty appointment at Tulane University School of Medicine, where he remained until 1977, when he moved to Shreveport to become Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at LSU School of Medicine. As head of surgery at the academic health center, Dr. McDonald expanded the educational, research and patient care dimensions of the institution. Not only did Dr. McDonald bring organ transplantation to northwest Louisiana, he also established the Regional Burn Center and Level One Trauma Center while serving as head of the Department of Surgery. He integrated Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center and E.A. Conway Hospital into the surgical residency program at LSU in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1989, Willis-Knighton Medical Center became an affiliated institution and the primary hospital for the transplantation program.
Dr. McDonald considered teaching to be his true calling. For more than fifty years, he taught more than 100 medical residents in general surgery and mentored hundreds of medical students. Even after he became Chancellor, he continued to meet with the surgery residents to review cases on a weekly basis. In 2004, his accomplishments were recognized with the establishment of the John C. McDonald, M.D., Endowed Chair in Surgery.
Appointed in November 2000 as the first Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport, Dr. McDonald not only was chief executive officer of the campus but also simultaneously served as the Dean of the School of Medicine in Shreveport. Under his leadership, LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport embarked upon an unprecedented decade of growth across north and central Louisiana. During his tenure, state leaders coined the term "the Shreveport model" in praise of the excellence of LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport.
It was under Dr. McDonald's leadership as Chancellor that LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport expanded to include three professional schools and LSU Hospital on the Shreveport campus as well as E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe and Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville.
Dr. McDonald's accomplishments include serving as President of the following organizations; United Network for Organ Sharing, South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Southern Surgical Association, Surgical Association of Louisiana, Halsted Society, and the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency.
His honors included the Roswell Park Medal presented in recognition of his achievements in the art and science of surgery; recognition as one of the Top 10 Leaders of the Century by The Shreveport Times; and the Shreveport Medical Society Distinguished Service Award. The South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation bestowed its lifetime achievement award upon Dr. McDonald in recognition of his major contributions to the field of organ transplantation. The Southern Surgical Association awarded him its highest honor, Honorary Fellow at one of its annual meetings. He was a member of numerous medical organizations. He authored more than 200 contributions to the scientific literature during his career.
He died on December 31, 2011, at his home with his wife, Martha, by his side.
Cassidy Caballero is a 4th year medical student at LSU Health Shreveport, and is excited to be one of the student officers for the Williams Society. She is from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and graduated high school from Saint Louis Catholic High School. She graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge with a masters in Biological Sciences and a minor in Psychology. Her sister recently graduated from LSU Health Shreveport in the class of 2020, so this school has a special piece of her family’s heart. During her first year of medical school, she had the amazing opportunity to be her class Camp Tiger Director and has remained passionate and involved in fundraising for Camp Tiger and with the Alumni Association. She is happy to continue getting to know, mentor, and guide her fellow students. When she is not studying, she enjoys listening to a multitude of podcasts, spending lots of time with friends and family, and playing with her dog, Bash, whom she adopted from the Humane Society of Northwest Louisiana her first year of medical school.
Madeleine “Skeeter” Richard is 4th year Medical Student at LSU Health Shreveport and is delighted to be one of the student officers for the Williams Society. Hailing from St. Francisville, Louisiana, Skeeter graduated high school at University Laboratory School and went on to obtain her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University in Biological Sciences. As an LSUHS medical student, Skeeter is involved in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Interest Group as co-President, the Executive Council, and the Student Affairs Committee. She is passionate about the supportive, close-knit community at LSUHS. Skeeter initiated the Executive Council’s “Student Takeover” series on their social media platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic to give prospective students a glimpse of that community. Whether it is hosting a trivia night fundraiser for the DeSha Foundation or helping the school’s annual Family Day run smoothly, Skeeter is always looking for ways to bridge the connection between students. She is looking forward to continuing those efforts in the Williams Academic Society.
Darryl Williams, MD
Dr. Darryl Williams was the Dean of the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport from 1986-1990. He completed medical school and an Internal Medicine Residency at Baylor College of Medicine. He received a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Sciences at Houston School of Public Health. Dr. Williams’ practice specialties include Internal Medicine and Hematology. Following his time in Shreveport, he served as the Dean of the Texas Tech School of Medicine and Dean of the Texas Tech Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Olivia Feltner is a fourth-year medical student at LSU Health Shreveport, pursuing a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Olivia grew up in Baton Rouge, LA, and received her bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology from the University of Georgia in 2018. On the LSUHS campus, Olivia has been heavily involved with Geaux Bald, Tiger Ambassadors, and the Executive Council. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, checking out local breweries and restaurants, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs.
Cameron Vauclin is a current fourth-year year medical student at LSUHS. A native of Shreveport, he attended Louisiana Tech for his undergraduate biology degree and Mississippi College for a Master’s degree in biology prior to starting medical school. He plans on pursuing a career in Orthopedic surgery. On campus, Cameron is the 4th year class president, has served on many academic and student councils, and is involved in research. He enjoys hanging out with friends, cooking, trying different craft beers, snow skiing, and spending time and traveling with his wife, Lindsay.
Perry Rigby, MD
Dr. Perry Rigby was a previous Dean of the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine from 1978-1985. In addition to this, he served as the Chancellor for the LSU Medical Center from 1985-1994 at which time the Chancellor was over both the Shreveport and New Orleans Medical Centers. He was a Professor of Medicine in Hematology/Oncology. He received his undergraduate degree in 1953 at Mount Union then his MD at Case Western Reserve University in 1957. He completed residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia, then a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Boston University. Prior to moving to Louisiana, he was a Professor at the University of Nebraska where he also served as Dean of the medical school. He also was the former Director of Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at LSUHSC- New Orleans. He received many awards throughout his career including being chosen as diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was a member of the American Federation of Clinical Research, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, the American Medical Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Southern Society of Clinical Investigation. He finished his career as Director of Health Care System for LSUHSC – New Orleans. He passed away at the age of 85 on May 10, 2018.
Jasmine Rogers is a current fourth-year medical student at LSU Health Shreveport, pursuing a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Jasmine grew up in Southern Louisiana, but moved to Pineville, LA after Hurricane Katrina. She then attended Louisiana Tech University for her undergraduate degree in Biology. On campus, Jasmine is involved in various interest groups and organizations such as the Student National Medical Association, that works to promote diversity and inclusion in healthcare. She is passionate about mentorship, as she has served as a liaison with Louisiana Tech’s MAPS program and a local Girls on the Run coach. When she is not studying, Jasmine enjoys spending time with friends and family, trying Tik Tok recipes and dances, and working out.
Samantha St. Pierre
Samantha St.Pierre is a 4th year Medical Student at LSU Health Shreveport. She was born and raised in Marrero, La and graduated from St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, La. After high school Samantha graduated Summa Cum Laude from Louisiana State University in Biological Sciences, earning a University Medal along the way. In her years at LSUHSC-Shreveport School of Medicine, Samantha has found a passion in assisting her fellow classmates as Class of 2022 Vice President for her MS3 and MS4 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Samantha discovered and cultivated some non-academic hobbies including winemaking, fermenting foods, candle-making, and refurbishing vintage furniture pieces. In addition to these interests, Samantha enjoys renovation projects in her home and relaxing with her cat, Willa. After graduating from LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine, Samantha hopes to pursue a career in Anesthesiology. She is honored to be a class officer for the Chesson Society and hopes to foster communication, friendships, and fun between classmates and classes this year.
Andrew Chesson, MD
Dr. Chesson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and received a bachelor’s degree in Science from University of Texas at Austin. He then attended University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas where he received a Doctor of Medicine degree and completed his Residency in Neurology. He then joined the Department of Neurology at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport where he became full Professor of Neurology.
Dr. Chesson was a pioneer in the field of Sleep Medicine, serving on numerous national and state committees and publishing widely. He developed the Sleep Disorder Center at LSUHS, which was the first sleep disorder center in Louisiana. He served as its Director and was also the director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship. He was a founding member of the Louisiana Sleep Society and a prominent member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He was instrumental in developing evidence base guidelines and national standards of practice for the practice of Sleep Medicine and for fellowship training in Sleep Medicine. He served as President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and received their distinguished service award in 2007.
Dr. Chesson served on many institutional committees throughout his 35 years of service. He was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for 15 years and Acting Chancellor and Dean for one year. He then served as Dean of the School of Medicine at LSU Health Shreveport until his retirement. Under Dr. Chesson’s leadership, the School of Medicine restructured its medical curriculum and established a nationally credentialed simulation center. He received the AAMC and Pfizer Humanities Initiative: Humanism in Medicine Award in 2001.