Dr. Krishanthan Vigneswaran: Class of 2012 Leadership Award

By Lisa Ashley Warshaw

At an early age, Dr. Krishanthan Vigneswaran acquired a passion for academic medicine from his father, a professor of pathology. He frequently joined his father in the research laboratory, where conversations about the art and intricacies of pathology were a lively topic.

Dr. Vigneswaran, who for the past four years served as President of his UT Southwestern Medical School class, is the recipient of the Class of 2012 Leadership Award, which honors class presidents for their leadership and commitment to service.
Dr. Krishanthan Vigneswaran

Such childhood moments heavily influenced the young Dr. Vigneswaran’s decision to attend medical school after graduating from Vanderbilt University with a double major in neuroscience and English.

Dr. Vigneswaran, who for the past four years served as President of his UT Southwestern Medical School class, is the recipient of the Class of 2012 Leadership Award, which honors class presidents for their leadership and commitment to service.

“Krish’s leadership is truly exemplary, and his outstanding performance as class president has earned him the highest regard by his classmates and colleagues here at UT Southwestern Medical Center,” said Wes Norred, Vice President for Student and Alumni Affairs. “For the past four years, he has not only represented his class with great poise and confidence, but has left a legacy that will serve as a platform upon which further changes to improve the student experience at UT Southwestern can be built.”

Dr. Vigneswaran said he was inspired to become the leader of his class by his strong desire to improve the medical school curriculum.

“I wanted to help make much needed changes to the grading scheme and to improve the resources available to my classmates,” he said.

His commitment to improving the learning experience of his fellow students also led Dr. Vigneswaran to service on the Student Leadership Council and the Student and Trainee Sub-Committee of the Six-Year Planning Committee.

The Student Leadership Council brings together students from each of the three schols to address issues of interest or affecting all UT Southwestern students. Such issues include tuition, fees, food service, student support services, parking, and health insurance.

Members of the Student Leadership Council also serve on the Student and Trainee Sub-Committee of the Six-Year Planning Committee. The Six-Year Planning Committee meets every other year to set long-term goals and set new priorities related to the students’ experience at UT Southwestern.

“I am happy I was able to help underwrite the first grading changes, including making the first semester of first year pass/fail and standardizing grades across the third-year clerkships,” Dr. Vigneswaran said. “I also helped initiate changes to provide for both academic and monetary aid for Step 1 preparation.”

He will carry his passion for medicine and future advancements in neuroscience to Emory University, where he will pursue a residency in neurological surgery.

His parting message to UT Southwestern students is that they can make a difference.

“We are all student leaders who can continue to enact positive change throughout our medical training, residency, and professional lives,” Dr. Vigneswaran said. “Our advocacy efforts will ultimately help to generate policies that affect the national issues surrounding the future of health care today.”

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