Wednesday, July 1, 2015

USA College of Medicine to Host Welcome Reception for New Department Chairs

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine will host a reception welcoming Dr. Angus McBryde Jr., professor and interim chair of orthopaedic surgery, and Dr. Edward Panacek, professor and chair of emergency medicine, on July 16, 2015. The event will be held from 3-5 p.m. in the second floor cafeteria conference room at USA Medical Center.

This is Dr. McBryde’s second appointment at USA. He served as professor and chair of orthopaedic surgery from 1991-1996. Dr. McBryde received his undergraduate degree at Davidson College and earned his medical degree from Duke Medical School. From there he completed a general surgery internship and junior residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McBryde then served two years in the U.S. Navy, including a year in Vietnam as well as a year at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. He completed his orthopaedic residency at Duke Medical Center in 1971. Prior to returning to USA from the University of South Carolina (USC) where he was professor from 2011-2014, Dr. McBryde served as director of the American Sports Medicine Institute Ankle and Foot Fellowship at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala. He practiced at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center with subspecialty care delivered to competitive athletes. In addition, Dr. McBryde served as team physician at the National Sports Festival in Baton Rouge, La., in 1983; the World Games in Yugoslavia in 1987; the Summer Olympic Games in Korea in 1988; and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Dr. Panacek also has prior experiences at USA having graduated from the USA College of Medicine in 1981. He began his academic career in 1986 as an assistant professor of medicine in the division of critical care and emergency medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He joined the faculty at the University of California Davis School of Medicine as associate professor of emergency medicine and was promoted to professor of emergency medicine in 1997, with a joint appointment in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine. Prior to his recent appointment, Dr. Panacek served as professor of emergency medicine at the University of California Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) and served in other administrative roles. Dr. Panacek’s past experiences also include serving as medical director and the associate and research director of the department of emergency medicine at the University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC) in Cleveland.  While at UHC, he also served as the acting medical director for the university aircare helicopter program and was the director of the emergency medicine fellowship training program at UHC.

For more information, call (251) 470-1682.

Second Issue of CURRents Available


The latest issue of CURRents newsletter is now available. The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Division of Medical Education created the newsletter, which will be published three times each year.

Dr. Anthony Gard, assistant dean for medical education and professor of neuroscience at the USA College of Medicine, said the newsletter was created to inform USA College of Medicine faculty, residents and students about ongoing developments in the medical education program. It also provides results of student performance on board examinations toward licensure.

Click here to view the second issue of the newsletter and to subscribe.

USA Medical Student’s Research Abstract Accepted for Publication

Colby Parker, a third-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently participated in research being published in the Journal of Radiation Oncology and attended a national conference in Hawaii to present the findings.

Parker’s research examines different methods of radiation dosage for lung cancer patients using the CyberKnife system at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. The lung presents a unique challenge in terms of radiation doses due to the amount of air involved. The Monte Carlo method for calculating lung doses has been thought to result in more accurate dose estimates. However, it takes much longer to perform and had not been shown to improve clinical outcomes over the older methods.

To further understand the results, under the direction of Dr. Roger Ove and Dr. Suzanne Russo, Parker compared the two methods on 47 cases treated over a two-year period and found that the difference was significant enough to recommend switching to the new method for all patients moving forward.

According to Parker, attending the national conference in Hawaii “couldn’t have gone better.” Having never been to a conference, he admits he was unsure at first. However, his poster won an award for being in the top 10 percent of the poster presentations.

The inspiration for the project came from Parker’s passion for physics. He explained that radiation oncology is “arguably the most physics-based field in medicine.” During medical school, exposure to radiation oncology is limited. By working on a research project in the field, Parker found a way to learn more about radiation oncology.

Parker said he enjoys medical research because he is able to accomplish work that can directly affect patients in a positive way. He feels that “research is the foundation of modern evidence-based medicine.” Without it, he believes the advancement and improvement of patient outcome would not be possible.

As for future research, Parker is currently looking at each of the 47 cases examined previously to get a better understanding of how lung cancers respond to radiation therapy in order to explore potential improved treatment strategies.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Class of 2017 Medical Students Begin Clinical Rotations

University of South Alabama medical students (from left) Shane Outlaw, Rebekah Frazier, Will Ricks, Jelaina Scott, Michael Gunter, Lauren Mann and James White pose for a photo during a tour of USA Children's & Women's Hospital June 24, 2015.
University of South Alabama College of Medicine fourth-year medical student Gabrielle Hood (second from right) talks to a group of third-year medical students as she gives them a tour of USA  Medical Center during orientation June 23, 2015.
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently held clerkship orientation for third-year medical students. Orientation week gave the students an introduction to their clinical years and included briefings on topics ranging from hospital policies to mini board exams.

This is the second class of students to enter the USA College of Medicine that receive the re-designed curriculum. Students receive instruction in all competencies from the beginning of their educational experience. Milestones of achievement toward competency will be evaluated and documented throughout the course of the four years leading to graduation.

“I’m excited for the chance to actually work hands-on,” said third-year medical student Nicholas Tinker of Ralph, Ala. Tinker feels that he has been given a strong basic knowledge of sciences on which he is excited to build upon in a clinical setting.

Corwin McGee, another third-year medical student from Mobile, Ala., is greatly looking forward to utilizing the tools learned in his first two years of medical school at USA. “For the past two years we have been learning mostly about the basics of medicine. We are finally able to learn about the art of medicine.”

“Our faculty is wonderful and one hundred percent dedicated to making sure that we have everything we need to be prepared. I have full faith in them,” said Sara Shields Tarwater of Athens, Ga. Tarwater is most excited to learn about the various medical specialties. At times it seemed like “clerkship would never come fast enough,” Tarwater said.

Despite the nerves associated with starting clinical patient care, the third-year medical students agree that they are excited for the transition from classroom to hospital.

Before beginning orientation, the students received their white coats at the annual White Coat Ceremony at the USA Mitchell Center. Tinker stated that the ceremony was “incredible… a big stepping stone in our medical career.”

Click here to view more photos from orientation.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Med School Café - Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. Kenneth Rettig, professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric endocrinologist with USA Physicians Group, presented the May Med School Cafe lecture, "Civil War Medicine."

During the talk, Dr. Rettig explored how the Civil War helped to move American medicine from a poorly organized "cottage operation" to a more modern model. His lecture coincided with the opening of the Mobile Medical Museum’s new exhibit, War and Medicine, which will be on display through Oct. 2, 2015, in the Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery on the third floor of the USA Marx Library.

The next lecture will feature Dr. Anathasekar Ponnambalam, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric gastroenterologist at the USA Children’s Specialty Clinic. His lecture, titled Celiac Disease: Myths and Facts,” will take place June 30, 2015, at the USA Faculty Club. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon. The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail kepartridge@health.southalabama.edu.  

Dr. Alexeyev Appointed Associate Editor of Journal

Dr.  Mikhail Alexeyev, associate professor of physiology and cell biology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently was appointed associate editor for medically oriented papers for the journal Mitochondrial DNA.

Dr. Alexeyev’s responsibilities include reviewing submitted papers, assigning formal reviewers and making final decisions regarding the acceptance or rejection of papers for publication.

The journal is published by Informa Healthcare. The scope of the journal includes descriptive papers on DNA sequences from mitochondrial genomes and analytical papers in the areas of population genetics, medical genetics, phylogenetics and human evolution that use mitochondrial DNA as a source of evidence for studies.

Mitochondrial DNA also publishes manuscripts that examine population genetic and systematic theory that specifically address the use of mitochondrial DNA sequences, as well as papers that discuss the utility of mitochondrial DNA information in medical studies and in human evolutionary biology.

To view the journal, visit http://informahealthcare.com/loi/mdn.