Thursday, March 23, 2017

USA College of Medicine to Host Retirement Reception for Dr. Hattie Myles

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine will host a retirement reception honoring Dr. Hattie Myles, assistant dean for student affairs and educational enrichment at the USA College of Medicine, on March 31, 2017. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Terrace on the second floor of the Student Center on USA’s main campus.

Dr. Myles joined the USA College of Medicine in 1992 and has made significant contributions to higher education and the community, particularly in the area of diversity and inclusion.  She has been involved with the USA College of Medicine in numerous capacities, serving as minority outreach officer and co-director of the community engagement core of the USA College of Medicine Center of Excellence.

In addition to her leadership roles at the College of Medicine, Dr. Myles has served as adjunct graduate professor in the College of Education, an integral investigator for the Pipeline Program at the Center for Healthy Communities, as well as principal investigator for the Summer Research Apprenticeship Program grant and the Health Careers Opportunity Program grant.

Dr. Myles earned her associate’s degree from Southwest Mississippi Junior College in Summit, Miss., and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. Her educational career continued in 1978, as she earned her master’s degree in education from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., and her doctorate in higher education administration and student personnel in 1988 from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.

Dr. Myles has been recognized on numerous occasions for her achievements in higher education and the community.  She was recognized in 2013 as an outstanding community leader with the Health and Humanitarian Award given by the Gulf Region Organization of Nigerians and Americans.  She is also a graduate of both Leadership Mobile and Leadership Alabama. In 2014, Alabama Governor Dr. Robert Bentley appointed Dr. Myles to the Board of Trustees for Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical University in Normal, Ala.

She has also played an active role in the community, serving on the Allocations Board for the United Way of Southwest Alabama; chairperson of the Greater Mobile Big Brother Big Sister Board; Quality Assurance Board of Mobile DHHR; and board member of the Mobile YMCA.

Dr. Lee Grimm Talks Compassionate Care

The University of South Alabama chapter of the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society (GHHS) recently hosted a lecture and lunch featuring Dr. Lee Grimm, assistant professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine.

At the event, Dr. Grimm presented “Compassionate Care in the Medical Field” to first-and-second-year medical students.  He discussed the importance of humanism, compassion and medical care in developing nations.

Dr. Grimm said compassionate care is realizing that patients are not strange vehicles carrying a disease that physicians are tasked to eradicate, but they are dignified human beings fully worthy of respect.“Compassionate care is recognizing the whole person— their sorrows, joys, fears and beliefs,” he said. “Most importantly, it is a desire and action to help, heal and enter into a moral friendship based on wisdom, candor and respect.”

According to Dr. Grimm, practicing compassion in health care is beneficial because it can prevent lawsuits, improve business and help prevent burnout. “Numerous studies in medical literature over the years all point out that the best way to avoid a lawsuit is not to be a perfect physician that never makes a mistake or has a bad outcome,” he said. “Instead, being perceived by your patient as an honest, compassionate and engaged communicator that clearly has their best interest at heart is the best protection against lawsuits.”

Dr. Grimm recently returned from a medical mission trip to Rwanda, which he said forced him to step outside of his comfort zone and emphasized the importance of demonstrating compassion in health care. “Rwanda is an amazing experience, and I would strongly encourage everyone to consider participating in mission trips,” he said. “If you really want a crash course in compassionate care, you will learn it in a Third World country.”

The lecture was an extension of Solidarity Week, an annual movement that encourages medical schools and patient care facilities around the country to show the importance of kindness to patients.

Last month, GHHS members participated in several activities to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine during Solidarity Week.

Watch Dr. Grimm's presentation here.

Learn more about GHHS here and Solidarity Week at USA here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mobile Medical Museum Opening New Exhibit

The Mobile Medical Museum will open the Josiah Clark Nott Pathological Specimens, an exhibit of historical artifacts from the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on March 24, 2017. Dr. Charles Rodning, professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and Mobile Medical Museum board of trustees president, is hosting the exhibit.

The Josiah Clark Nott Pathological Specimens will be on display through Sept. 29, 2017, in the Mobile Medical Museum’s newly named Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery. The exhibit will provide visitors of all ages with a rare encounter of extraordinary anatomical art and a deep insight into one of the most important eras in our region’s medical history.

The Josiah Clark Nott Pathological Specimens includes 12 wax anatomical models that were purchased by Dr. Nott in 1859 for the Medical College of Alabama in Mobile. These lifelike models - still sealed in their original glass containers - represent common diseases of the 18th and 19th century such as smallpox, gout, impetigo and vaccinia. They were created by the English artist Joseph Towne, whose anatomical works in wax and marble are now collected and exhibited throughout the world.

The Mobile Medical Museum will offer educational and public programming during the exhibit to help visitors engage on many levels with its content. Programming will include tours, hands-on activities and public talks by distinguished guest speakers. The exhibit will be particularly useful in teaching visitors about nine medical conditions, many of which are still common threats throughout the world.

The exhibit and related programming are generously supported by Dr. Charles Bernard and Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Rodning, Dr. Samuel J. Strada, dean emeritus of the USA College of Medicine; and Dr. Elizabeth Manci, professor of pathology at the USA College of Medicine.

Click here for more information. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

USA Senior Medical Students Celebrate Residencies at Match Day 2017

University of South Alabama College of Medicine fourth-year medical student Umair Savani (far left) celebrates as his sister Sonia hugs him and his best friend Mike Grant, also a fourth-year medical student at USA during the USA College of Medicine Match Day ceremony at the Mobile Convention Center on March 17, 2017. Savani and Grant both matched in internal medicine in Chicago -  Savani at The University of Illinois College of Medicine and Grant at Rush University Medical Center.
On March 17, 2017, after much anticipation, senior medical students at the University of South Alabama gathered at the Convention Center in Mobile to find out this year’s Match Day results and the next step in their medical training.

The National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), or Match Day, is the annual event in which future doctors across the United States and Canada learn where they will be doing their residency training. The graduating medical students across North America simultaneously opened their envelopes with their assigned matches at 11 a.m. CST.

After interviewing with several different residency programs across the country, students rank their top-choice programs in order of preference. Training programs also rank the students who interviewed. The NRMP then uses a mathematical algorithm to designate each applicant into a residency program.

The 70 USA College of Medicine seniors matched in 22 different states, with 48 students matching out-of-state and 22 students matching in the state of Alabama. Twelve of those students matching in Alabama matched at USA Hospitals.

“Match Day is the most important day in a medical student’s career,” said Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean of medical education and student affairs at USA. “They work so hard to get into the specialty they like, and then once they are in that specialty they continue to work hard throughout their training.”

University of South Alabama College of Medicine fourth-year medical student Candice Holliday announces her match from the stage during Match Day 2017 at the Mobile Convention Center on March 17, 2017. Holliday matched in obstetrics-gynecology at USA.
Candice Holliday, a fourth-year medical student and former attorney, was given the chance to change paths in life when she was accepted to medical school at USA. “I became interested in the medical profession because I was not very fulfilled as an attorney in business litigation after three years,” she said.

Holliday’s family has roots in medicine. Her parents are both psychiatrists, and her twin sister is Dr. Nicolette Holliday, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at USA. “I was inspired by my twin sister, who was a very happy obstetrics and gynecology resident and is now an attending physician at USA.”

Holliday matched in obstetrics and gynecology at USA. “I read the envelope on stage and realized immediately that my relationship with my sister will change. It will be an honor to work with her.”

University of South Alabama College of Medicine fourth-year medical student Jelaina Scott places her pin on the map during the Match Day 2017 at the Mobile Convention Center on March 17, 2017. Scott matched in emergency medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga.
Jelaina Scott, a fourth-year medical student from Birmingham, Ala., said that Match Day was a reminder of how far she has come since her first day of medical school. After attending the University of Alabama and earning her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, she was interested in the medical profession because of her background in science and passion for helping people.

As the first physician in her family, Scott is ready to begin her residency. She matched in emergency medicine at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Tenn. “I want to help people in some of the scariest and worst moments in their life,” she said.

“Today brings my dream of pursuing emergency medicine full-circle,” Scott added. She is ready for the challenges that residency will bring her, and she gave advice to USA medical students in classes below her about pursuing passions in the medical field. “Don’t pick a field just because you think it might pay well or looks a certain way, but use the tools we are given at USA to engage with instructors and patients to find the field where you will best serve and fit.”

Brenden Ingraham, University of South Alabama College of Medicine Class of 2017 looks at his envelope before the ringing of the bell during Match Day 2017 at the Mobile Convention Center on March 17, 2017. Ingraham matched in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Brenden Ingraham, another fourth-year medical student, was compelled to pursue a career in medicine after working as a medical assistant, transcriptionist and scrub tech during his undergraduate studies at Spring Hill College in Mobile. “I worked with some fantastic physicians here in Mobile – many of them USA College of Medicine alumni – who were mentors to me before my formal medical education even began,” he said.

Ingraham matched in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, Minn. He hopes to complete three years of internal medicine and then go on to a fellowship in interventional cardiology.

The Mayo Clinic was his first choice, and he was able to share the joy with his family when he opened the envelope. “My brother took video of me opening the letter, and the look of excitement on my mom’s face in the video is even better than mine.”

University of South Alabama College of Medicine fourth-year medical student James Lee West IV places his pin on the map during Match Day 2017 at the Mobile Convention Center on March 17, 2017. West matched in general surgery at Brookwood Baptist Health in Birmingham.
Mobile native James Lee West IV knew from an early age that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, Dr. James West, adjunct professor of orthopaedics at USA. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Mississippi, he thought about where his interest was in medicine. “I thought about pursuing orthopaedic surgery like my father, but found that my interest truly lies in general surgery,” he said. “You get to practice many kinds of medicine in general surgery, and you are like the ‘Swiss Army knife of health care’ with all of the tools you learn from it.”

West matched in general surgery at Brookwood Baptist Health in Birmingham, Ala. “The physicians I learned from at USA have taught me to go the extra mile and care for patients in a way that impacts both the patient and the physician,” he said.

University of South Alabama fourth-year medical student Hannah Schrubbe places her pin on the map during Match Day 2017 at the Mobile Convention Center on March 17, 2017. Schrubbe matched in family medicine at Florida State University College of Medicine Lee Memorial in Fort Myers.
Fourth-year medical student Hannah Schrubbe was drawn to the field of medicine because of the opportunity to meet and serve people from all walks of life. “What has kept me interested in the field is the fact that I get to use my brain to solve problems while I learn something new through each patient encounter,” she said.

She was raised in Fairhope, Ala., and earned her degree in marine biology from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla. “My father is a family practitioner in Daphne, Ala., and he was a large part of my decision to pursue a career in family medicine,” she said.

Schrubbe matched in family medicine at Florida State University in Fort Myers, Fla. “I am most looking forward to taking care of my own patients and growing into a competent physician during my residency,” she said. “While I enjoyed being part of a team in medical school, I am looking forward to calling the final shot in situations and learning what kind of doctor I will be.” Schrubbe feels that USA prepared her for what is to come by placing an emphasis on clinical skills and the importance of good communication with patients.

University of South Alabama College of Medicine fourth-year medical student Nicholas Tinker poses with his match letter during Match Day 2017 at the Mobile Convention Center on March 17, 2017. Tinker matched in obstetrics‐gynecology at USA.
Hailing from the small town of Ralph, Ala., Nicholas Tinker always dreamed of becoming a physician. He first found his place on the football field at the University of Alabama. “Football gave me discipline and the knowledge that is necessary to put my best foot forward,” he said.

His family learned much about the medical field when his mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure while Tinker was still in high school. “We were health illiterate,” Tinker said. “People in my hometown always said that you go to the hospital to die, but from my mother’s experience, I knew that there was positivity in the health profession.”

Tinker matched in obstetrics and gynecology at USA. He credits his education in helping him to prepare in the best way for his residency interviews. “From the hands-on training I received at USA, I could tell that I was much more prepared for any residency than students from other medical schools,” he said.

“After long hours studying and being in the hospital, it feels wonderful for all of us to have jobs that will truly make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Tinker said. “Match Day is the light at the end of a long tunnel we have been chasing for four years.”

Click here to view more photos from the event. Click here to watch the Match Day video.

Complete Match Day results can be found here.

Dr. Mary Townsley Named Senior Associate Dean

Dr. Mary Townsley has been named senior associate dean of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Townsley served in many key leadership roles in the USA College of Medicine – most recently as interim senior associate dean for the past six months.

"I am pleased to announce Dr. Townsley’s new role at the USA College of Medicine,” said Dr. John V. Marymont, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine.  “In addition to her vast experiences in the field of academic medicine, Mary’s commitment to our mission and deep understanding of our medical school places her in a unique position to continue strengthening our institution."

Since joining the faculty in 1988, Dr. Townsely has served as associate dean for faculty affairs, interim chair of the department of physiology and cell biology, director of training programs for the USA Center for Lung Biology, director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at USA and a lead organizer for LCME accreditation processes at the USA College of Medicine.

Dr. Townsley earned her Ph.D. in physiology from the University of California at Davis and completed postdoctoral studies at USA. Her research interests focus on mechanisms that regulate the integrity of the alveolar septal barrier in the lung and the pathobiology that leads to the development of acute lung injury.

In 2013, Dr. Townsley received the Leadership Award from the Pulmonary Circulation Assembly of the American Thoracic Society (ATS). Also in 2013, she was named the USA Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year.  Dr. Townsley was honored in 2011 by the American Heart Association's Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation with the Distinguished Achievement Award.  She was also a member of the 2000 Class of Fellows in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women (ELAM).

Dr. Townsley, who also serves as professor of physiology and cell biology at USA, currently serves on editorial boards of the journals Microvascular Research, Pulmonary Circulation and Frontiers in Physiology. She has chaired peer-review study sections for lung biology, the United Peer Review Steering Committee, and the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation, all for the American Heart Association (AHA). She served on numerous peer review study sections for the National Institutes of Health and the Veteran's Administration, as well as other national committees for the American Physiological Society, the ATS and the Microcirculatory Society.

Dr. Townsley is a member of the American Heart Association, American Thoracic Society, the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine and the American Physiological Society.