Teaching Faculty Highlights

Daniel M. Cushman, MD

Daniel M. Cushman, MD

Why did you choose PM&R?

I was debating between internal medicine and PM&R for awhile.  I ultimately chose PM&R because it just had everything I liked, and had the best philosophy.  I don’t regret it!

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

I get to learn something new every day while still caring for patients.  Teaching, research, and clinical care all fit together; it keeps me from getting bored! 

What is the best advice you received during medical or graduate school?

Find the worst part about a specialty.  If you can live with that, you’ve found your calling.  Don’t choose a specialty in which you’ll “get through” the residency to get to the fun stuff.  The residency should be what you enjoy.

What advice do you have for PM&R applicants?

Find a program that will challenge you and has faculty that will support you.

What advice do you have for PM&R residents?

You’ll hit a low early on.  That’s normal.  It only gets better as you go on.  It’s much better to be challenged during residency when there are others to fall back on, than when you’re out on your own. 

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

Cycling & trail running. 

What is your favorite hike in Utah?

I just can’t get over that I live a mile from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  I can go for an endless trail run from my house.  Or, I can walk a mile to downtown.

Shane Dangerfield, MD

Shane Dangerfield, MD

Advice for applicants and residents?

Your medical training has done a great job in teaching you to live your life in segments. Don't wish away the present (I wish I was in residency, I wish I was an attending, I wish I was retired.... I wish, I wish, I wish). Be present and enjoy the stage you are in. Take every moment to learn and grow, be humble, teachable, and most of all KIND

Favorite Mt Bike loop?

Wasatch Crest, down Milcreek, up Big Cottonwood.  Favorite Road bike loop: Emigration to Big Mountain, down East Canyon, through Morgan, up Trappers loop, down Ogden canyon (Super sketch... Be careful), and back around. Also, Farmington to Antelope island (In the Big Salty Lake)and back, especially if you can catch a sunset on the west side of the Island... Beautiful!

Favorite Weekend Road Trip?

Tetons/Yellowstone... Love it love it love it!!!

Best place to ski?

Alta   Best place to board: Snowbird

Best Restaurant in SLC?

Rodizio grill (if you like meat) or Royal India (Bountiful). Skewered Thai is great as well.

Best hike near SLC?

Lake Blanche/Sundial peak. (Better when the snow falls.. Beware of angry moose), Don't tell anyone, but Bair Canyon is Awesome as well. I like to keep her hidden and all to myself. Again, spectacular when the snow falls. 

Favorite summer activity in Utah?

Sharing a cool summer evening on the back porch with my wife and children.. Also, I love hammering up a canyon on my Road Bike. Love those long summer days!

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Ali Flis, MD

Ali Flis, MD

Why did you choose PM&R?

I love encouraging people to push their limits - PM&R lets me help patient's set goals and achieve them. It is the perfect blend of internal medicine and musculoskeletal medicine to keep me intellectually curious throughout my career. 

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

I love learning. Academic medicine allows you to collaborate across specialties and be in a constant growth mindset.

What advice do you have for PM&R applicants?

Look for a program that will help you grow as a physician and develop the skills you need to achieve your personal goals

What advice do you have for PM&R residents?

Stay curious. Use residency to explore and learn as much as possible.

What is your life motto? 

Never settle...you should always strive to be better

What is your favorite activity in Utah?  

I initially came to Utah for the winters and skiing but the summers filled with biking, hiking, and camping are what keeps me here. 

What is for favorite mountain bike loop in Utah?

I love the trails in Park City. With over 450 miles of single track in the area, it is hard to choose just one…

What is your favorite weekend road trip from Salt Lake City?

Steamboat, CO is the perfect place to escape to for a quick weekend. It is a great resort town and ski area in the winter and endless gravel roads for cycling in the summer.

Where is your favorite place to ski?

Anytime you can ski with the TRAILS program, it is a great reminder of all the good that is done in PM&R.

What is your favorite summer activity in Utah?

Camping in the Uintas

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Candace Floyd, PhD

Candace Floyd, PhD

What is your life Motto? 

Do what you say you will do.

What advice for applicants? 

An important aspect of the interview process is to find a program that is a good fit for you.  During the process, be yourself.  Prepare by reading up on the program and faculty as well as the location.  During the interview, be honest and sincere. 

Best advice received during graduate school? 

Work hard, but play hard too. 

Bradeigh Godfrey, DO

Bradeigh Godfrey, DO

Why did you choose PM&R?

I was initially drawn to the combination of the musculoskeletal and neurologic systems that is found in PM&R, then fell in love with the focus on function and supporting our patients in achieving their goals. I love that the field allows me to have longstanding relationships with my patients and work in teams with therapists (PT, OT, SLP) and other healthcare professionals. I also love that PM&R allows me to do a variety of things during my work week, from clinical care to procedures to electrodiagnostics (EMG).  

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

I love teaching residents and medical students, and supporting them in achieving their goals. Working with trainees forces me to stay on top of my field and continuously improve my own practice. I love the relationships and friendships I have made with residents and students, and watching them grow and succeed is one of the best parts of my job.

What advice do you have for PM&R applicants?

Look for a program that has the kind of people you want to hang out with: the kind of residents you want to associate with, and the kind of attendings you want to someday become.

What advice do you have for PM&R residents?

Residency feels really long when you’re in it, but it’s such a short time period in your life. Take the opportunity to ask questions, learn as much as possible, and absorb as much knowledge as you can. Soon enough you’ll be in practice and on your own, so don’t rush the learning process.

What is your life motto? 

This quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who…at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”

Especially this line: There is no effort without error or shortcoming. If you want to achieve anything great, you have to be willing to fail, and fail again, over and over, and still continue working until you reach your goal.

What is your favorite weekend road trip from Salt Lake City?

In the summer: Bear Lake. In the spring/fall: Moab.

What is the best restaurant in Salt Lake City?

I have loved Red Iguana since I was a kid and it’s still my favorite food in the valley. Their mole poblano is heaven.

What is your favorite hike in Utah?

In all of Utah, Calf Creek Falls in Escalante. In the Salt Lake area, Grandeur Peak in Millcreek canyon.

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Michael Green, DO

Michael Green, DO

Why did you choose PMR?

I chose PMR because it was the best fit for me. I love all branches of medicine, but the cool thing about PMR is that you treat the entire person as a whole. Peds Rehab has a very diverse patient population which makes it such a fun branch of medicine. No two patients are the same, so no two days are ever the same. It doesn't ever get boring! I like solving problems and treating the entire patient while having fun with it. 

What advice do you have for PMR residents?

The best advice I have for PMR residents is to be open to everything. Be willing to ask questions and try new things. You might find passion in places you never thought of. You won't ever have to make a big life decision on day one, so get exposure to all aspects of what PMR is and what it has to offer. 

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

I love the yearlong outdoor adventure. Every season has something to offer from jump roping outside to sledding, and from hiking in the mountains to skiing down them. There is always something to do and new things to discover. 

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Pam Hansen, MD

Pam Hansen, MD

Why did you choose PM&R?

It was the one field I found where the focus was empowering the patient.

What is your favorite aspect of medicine?

All of the lives I get the privilege of being a little part of.

What is the best advice you received during medical school?

To continue to take care of myself during this busy time of life and to remain balanced and healthy.

What is the best advice you received during residency?

To try to learn from every patient what makes their life most meaningful.

What advice do you have for PM&R residents?

Don't spend your career chasing money or prestige of big titles. It is an easy trap to fall into and these goals will prevent you from ever being totally free. Follow your passions.

What is your life motto?

Impact someone's life in a positive way every day.

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

Running.

What is your favorite weekend road trip from Salt Lake City?

Bear Lake, we have a cabin there and it is my happy place.

Where is your favorite place to ski?

Solitude. I don't like waiting in lines.

What is the best restaurant in Salt Lake City?

Lai Cai Noodle house, Thai food. So good.

What is the best concert venue?

Red Butte Gardens! Outdoors, beautiful and great line-up of concerts every summer.

What is the best dog park?

My dog's favorite is Wasatch Hallow. So that is where she usually brings me.

What is your favorite summer activity in Utah?

I love paddle boarding on Bear Lake. The water is crystal clear and you can see the fish swimming deep below you. When you look up you see the mountains. It is a little slice of heaven.

What is your favorite hike in Utah?

Lake Blanche has always been a favorite. I love hikes that end with a lake and a beautiful view.

If you are not at work, where can we find you?

Running the trails or in my yard with my family, my dog and a glass of inexpensive wine.

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Benjamin Ingraham, DO

Benjamin Ingraham, DO

Why did you choose PM&R?

I enjoy taking care of the whole person and that is what the field of PM&R allows me to do.

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

Academic medicine fosters life long learning for the faculty, residents and student. It is both challenging and rewarding because of this.

What is the best advice you received during residency?

The more you see, the more you will learn.

What advice do you have for PM&R applicants?

Follow your gut when we are ranking programs.

What advice do you have for PM&R residents?

The goal of PM&R residency is to graduate and be an excellent general physiatrist, so focus on developing the broad knowledge base and skill set. If you want to specialize, then you can consider fellowship.

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

Checking off the countless hikes on my to-do list one at a time.

Where is your favorite place to ski?

Solitude

What is the best restaurant in Salt Lake City?

Cafe Niche

Andrew Joyce, MD

Andrew Joyce, MD

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

I love getting to teach and learning from the residents. Trying to explain the rationale behind my clinical decision making makes me a better doctor and also forces me to question what I think is right and use evidence based practices. I also genuinely love getting to meet and talk with all of the trainees on a personal level, as everyone is so collegial and fun to work with.

What is for favorite bike loop in Utah?

I love my morning bike ride up through the university to work. The sun rising over the mountains as I ride through the quiet campus is such a great way to experience the day. I know some purists might say this isn’t “mountain biking”, but the university is on a mountain.

What is your life motto? 

If you don’t have a really good reason to not do something, you should probably just do it.

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

I know most people probably have some outdoors activity, but really what I love to do is check out random events and festivals in the city. The Gateway Center itself has hundreds of events on its own every (non-COVID) year, and coupled with cultural festivals, rodeos, farmers markets, concerts, and sporting events, there is basically something to do every weekend. The best part is that most are close enough that I can get to them within a few minutes.

What advice do you have for PM&R applicants?

Be nice, have fun, and work hard (in that order!)

What is the best restaurant in Salt Lake City?

HallPass – it’s a food hall so there are a variety of different cusines rotating through. Perfect for those of us who want both a ahi tuna nachos and a Nashville hot chicken sandwich in the same meal.

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Venessa Lee, MD

Venessa Lee, MD

Favorite aspect of academic medicine?

I love working with trainees at all levels of their training from medical students to residents to fellows. I enjoy both teaching and learning from others in my field and spreading knowledge to improve care of our patients. 

Favorite weekend road trip?

Bear Lake

What is your favorite hike?

Angel's landing, Zion National Park

What is your favorite place to ski?

Alta 

What is your life motto?

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - the Lorax

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Zachary L. McCormick, MD

Zachary L. McCormick, MD

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

The energy of communal curiosity, collaboration, and constantly pushing the boundaries of our current knowledge. 

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

Anything to do with the mountains!

Where is your favorite place to ski?

We have so many incredible ski resorts, but it's hard to beat Alta and Snowbird...  can I choose two?...

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Melody Mickens, PhD

Melody Mickens, PhD

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

I enjoy the opportunity to continuously learn and collaborate with colleagues across disciplines. Most academic medical centers aspire to create cultures where faculty push themselves to grow through professional development, exposure to diverse and unique clinical presentations, and unlimited didactic learning opportunities. Here at the U, we also set an expectation for collaboration in research and clinical program development, which sets us apart and enhances our ability to collectively solve complex medical problems and introduce innovative research.

What is the best advice you received during graduate school?

Think of every interview as an opportunity to network with someone who may have your dream job or who can connect you to a community to help you realize your dream roles. 

What is your favorite summer activity in Utah?

I am a huge fan of long drives out to Antelope Island or Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon to catch the sunset and for some stargazing.

Toni Roberts, DO

Toni Roberts, DO

Why did you choose PM&R?

I loved neurology but wanted to do more to improve the quality of life of the patients, so PM&R was a perfect fit.

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

Watching residents on the steep learning curve of electrodiagnostic medicine. It’s fascinating how much they learn in 3 short years.

What is your life motto? 

Start each day with a grateful heart

What is the best concert venue?

USANA Amphitheater

What is your favorite summer activity in Utah?

Paddle boarding, swimming, boating or anything to do with water.

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John Speed, MBBS

John Speed, MBBS

Why did you choose PM&R?

In medical school in Sydney, I  always wondered about what happened afterwards, when we had lectures on “the acute management of……..;”   When I got exposed to rehab in my intern year in Australia, it just clicked, with the emphasis on the person and their function in their own environment.

What is your favorite aspect of academic medicine?

The opportunity to have a role in shaping future generations of clinicians

What is the best advice you received during medical or graduate school?

You can accomplish more as part of a team than as an individual

What is the best advice you received during residency?

Don’t stay in Minnesota longer than you need to

What advice do you have for PM&R applicants?

Be curious

What advice do you have for PM&R residents?

Try not to box yourself into one area or subspecialty too quickly- having varying interests allows you to approach problems from different perspectives

What is your life motto?

Something that I saw in Australians, and it further crystallized working in rehab- Live every day like it could be your last- deferred gratification doesn’t always pan out.

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

Hiking, rockhounding

What is your favorite weekend road trip from Salt Lake City?

Pretty much anywhere out of the city

What is the best restaurant in Salt Lake City?

Saffron Valley

What is the best concert venue?

It was great seeing Midnight Oil and Johnny Clegg at Saltair years ago!

What is your favorite hike in Utah?

Where to start???

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David Steinberg, MD

David Steinberg, MD

Why did you choose PM&R?

Loved the practical, collaborative, and holistic nature of PM&R.  My interests are particularly focused on neurorehabilitation but musculoskeletal, sports, and spine care.  I enjoy procedures but also cognitively based endeavors.  Enjoy working collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team to help patients overcome devastating neurologic injuries physically, psychologically, and socially.  PM&R provided a synergy between so many of my interests, and I love the people, systems, and processes that are utilized in an inpatient rehab program. 

What is your favorite aspect of medicine?

I enjoy the creative and integrated work of building teams and improving systems of care.  I appreciate most the trust and opportunity that is created when as a physician I’m welcomed into the sacred world of another human being with the intent and potential to make a positive impact. 

What is the best advice you received during medical school?

“Go where the sick patients are.”  This advice from a trusted professor in undergrad helped me understand that studying medicine was an immersive and transformational journey that would ask of me to intentionally seek knowledge and opportunity.  One had to make decisions that would allow you to both be of use and be exposed to growth opportunities.

What is the best advice you received during residency?

“Invest in Starbucks.”  First store was close to RIC in downtown Chicago.  Everyone loved it.  Oh yeah… also “Always put the patient’s needs first.” And “The team meeting is to the rehab doctor what the confessional is to the priest.”

What advice do you have for PM&R applicants?

Be genuine and look for a place where you can be the best version of yourself.

What advice do you have for PM&R residents?

Develop your lifelong learning habits, organizational skills, and communication skills.  Be sure you are not only delving deeply into specific areas of knowledge but also maintaining a broad awareness and interest in other subjects and the world. 

What is your life motto? 

“A ship is safest in harbor, but that’s not what a ship is made for.”

What is your favorite activity in Utah?

Planning our next outdoor adventure.  Hiking with my wife and new puppy, Little Bear.

What is for favorite mountain bike loop in Utah?

Crest Trail was amazing!  Always love the BST and Park City.  Just discovered Corner Canyon.

What is your favorite weekend road trip from Salt Lake City?

Heading to Loft Lake Trail in Uintas.  For a longer excursion have headed to Flaming Gorge and the Green River.

Where is your favorite place to ski?

Alta #1, Solitude #2

What is the best restaurant in Salt Lake City?

Curry Fried Chicken on State St.  Also love Eva on South Main.

What is the best concert venue?

Red Butte Gardens

What is your favorite hike in Utah?

Love hiking in Mill Creek on an off-leash day with our puppy.  Especially love hiking from Butler Fork to Gobblers Nob Trail when the wild flowers are in bloom.

If you are not at work, where can we find you?

In SLC either home or hiking/biking the BST