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Fourth Annual Great Debate

2nd Year Surgical Residents Square Off in Annual Competition

Heated words were exchanged, but it was all in the spirit of medical education as a capacity crowd filled the ECC on April 12 for the Fourth Annual Dr. Leon Morgenstern Great Debates in Clinical Medicine Resident Competition. More than 225 people attended, including residents and medical staff members from nearly every department.

Second year surgical residents Som Kohanzadeh, M.D., and Yosef Nasseri, M.D., led a spirited debate on "Medical Negligence Cases -- Juries or Tribunals?" Kohanzadeh argued in favor of medical tribunals as the best method to decide medical negligence cases, while Nasseri argued for the continuation of the lay jury system. After questions by the judges, followed by rebuttal and summation statements by the two participants, the Morgenstern trophy was awarded to Kohanzadeh.

Serving as judges were Leon Morgenstern, M.D., Shlomo Melmed, M.D., Bruce Gewertz, M.D., David Cossman, M.D., and Peter Braveman, Esq. The two alternate judges were Dudley Danoff, M.D., and Peter Julien, M.D.

"This debate is one of the best hours of the year because it unites people from all specialties," says Cossman. "I thought Leo Gordon did a great job organizing the event, and the debate was a tough one to decide. Both residents did a very good job of presenting their point of view."

Cedars-Sinai's Department of Surgery sponsored the debate, which was organized and moderated by Leo A. Gordon, M.D., associate director of surgical education.

Pictured (l-r) Yosef Nasseri, M.D., Leon Morgenstern, M.D., Som Kohanzadeh, M.D.