College of American Pathologists Selects Ƶ Student for Prestigious Award

Darby Naheedy earns the Distinguished Medical Student Award

  • IL - Downers Grove
The Pathology department honors Darby Needy at a ceremony.

The Department of Pathology held an award ceremony for Darby Naheedy, who received the Distinguished Medical Student Award from the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
From left to right: Magdalena Locklin, Senior Administrative Assistant, Pathology; Hilal Arnouk, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pathology, (CGS-Downers Grove); Darby Naheedy, (CCOM ’25); John Kasimos, D.O., M.S., MSHCE, FCAP, FASCP, FAOCP, Chair, Department of Pathology. 

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine student Darby Naheedy (CCOM ’25) received the Distinguished Medical Student Award from the College of American Pathologists (CAP), a leading national organization comprised of board-certified pathologists and laboratory professionals whose contributions include continuing education, laboratory accreditation, establishing standard of care for pathologists, and promoting excellence in the global practice of pathology and laboratory medicine. Darby was unanimously recommended for this award by the faculty in the Department of Pathology from the Downers Grove Campus of Ƶ. An award ceremony and a reception to honor Darby’s accomplishment was held in June on the Downers Grove Campus. 

Darby Needy White Coat picture
Darby Naheedy has been recognized twice by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) with the Distinguished Medical Student Award and the Sparking Interest in Pathology Award.

“The realization that the department nominated me, and the College of American Pathologists awarded me the Distinguished Medical Student Award, left me pleasantly surprised. It’s an honor to be recognized by such a respected organization, reinforcing my dedication to excellence in my future practice,” Darby said. She added that the University emphasizes the importance of pathology (the study of diseases) through its focus and commitment to educating students to gain a deeper understanding of the field. “Pathology forms the foundation of medical knowledge, and delving into its complexities is crucial for understanding diseases and advancing medicine. This prepares all CCOM students to excel academically and understand disease mechanisms, laying a firm foundation for our futures as physicians,” she said.  

John Kasimos, D.O., M.S., MSHCE, FCAP, FASCP, FAOCP, Chair, Department of Pathology said, “Darby is always a stand-up medical student. She goes out of her way to come in and ask intelligent questions, and she demonstrates a very strong interest in pathology.” He added, “The fact that she was chosen for this award further vitalizes her interest in pathology. This award on her resume will distinguish her as a standout applicant to residency training programs.” 

Dr. Kasimos discussed the larger significance of Darby’s recognition by the College of American Pathologists for the Department of Pathology. “It confirms we are making an impact and playing enough of a role in the education of our students to be recognized by the college. I believe student engagement and interaction with the pathology faculty helps foster student interest in pathology as a specialty. This will positively impact the profession.”  

 

Darby with faculty and students at a reception in her honor.
A reception was also held to honor Darby’s recent accomplishment. 

 

Dr. Kasimos further elaborated that the award signifies positive collaboration between students and faculty, not only within the Department of Pathology, but throughout all the departments at Ƶ. “This is a value that's cultivated at the University. The strong relationships forged between students and the faculty ultimately impacts student education and development.”

Darby was also previously awarded the Sparking Interest in Pathology Award by the College of American Pathologists Foundation. The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science awarded her the Omicron Sigma Award for outstanding service. She also received the Ƶ Department of Pathology Academic Award in 2023. 

Darby has developed a special interest group for pathology at Ƶ that currently includes nine other CCOM students. She is a peer tutor at the University and serves as the Secretary for the University chapter of the American Medical Association. While pursuing her degree in osteopathic medicine, Darby also is a Medical Laboratory Scientist at Rush Copley Medical Center. Additionally, she serves as the Illinois Chair of Communications for the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). 

 

Darby Needy with her family.
Darby’s family attended the reception held by the Department of Pathology. 

 

Both Darby and Dr. Kasimos shared information about the importance of the field of pathology to patient healthcare. Dr. Kasimos said pathologists are responsible for all testing in clinical laboratories and serve as consultants for every medical specialty. “Pathology is a very broad specialty that impacts every field of medicine. Even though few patients have encounters with pathologists during their medical care, pathologists play a crucial role in all patient care through the work that they do,” he said. Darby added, “Pathologists and laboratory professionals play a vital role in patient care, often behind the scenes, ensuring timely, precise, and accurate results that are crucial for diagnosis and treatment. Their expertise is invaluable, and learning from them can enhance patient care and outcomes.”

Ƶ supports students through a variety of advancement opportunities for their future careers, such as the recommendation of students for prestigious national awards like the Distinguished Medical Student Award. The University offers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree program on both the Downers Grove and Glendale campuses.

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