Friday, December 4, 2009

USA Medical Student Participate in Dr. Pepper Challenge at SEC Championship

Sarah Beth Hill, a second year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, will participate in the Dr. Pepper “Throw for Scholarship Dough” on Saturday, December 5, 2009, at the SEC Championship game between the University of Alabama and the University of Florida.

She received the opportunity after submitting a Dr. Pepper bottle cap code to the Dr. Pepper website. About 30,000 people were entered in the drawing, and six were chosen. Sarah Beth and a student from Florida Atlantic University will compete at the SEC Championship game for scholarship, and the four others will be split into pairs to compete at the ACC and Big 12 Championship games.

The competition is a challenge of who can get the most footballs, out of 10, through a 2-foot wide hole in an oversized replica of a Dr. Pepper can in 45 seconds from the 5-yard line. The winner receives $123,000 in scholarship, and the runner-up receives $23,000. The competition will take place at the beginning of half-time. Sarah Beth has been practicing with South Alabama football coaches for the past two weeks.

Follow this link to watch a video of  the two competitors preparing for the contest .  Sarah's vignette starts at :52 sec. 

December 10th DSS - "Intersection Between Coagulation and Inflammation: The Secret Life of Coagulation Factors"

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar will be presented by Dr. Edward Abraham in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on Thursday, December 10, 2009, at 4 p.m.

Dr. Abraham received a B.A. in biochemistry and an M.D. from Stanford University. He completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in critical care at UCLA in addition to postdoctoral studies as a Fullbright Fellow in immunology at the Pasteur Institute, Laboratory of Immunbiology.

Currently, Dr. Abraham is Professor and Chair of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Abraham's research studies include acute lung injury, inflammation and neutrophil biology.

His seminar is titled "Intersection Between Coagulation and Inflammation: The Secret Life of Coagulation Factors."

For more information on Dr. Abraham*s research, please visit:

For additional information, please contact Natalie Kent at 461-1548.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Med School Cafe' - RSVP Now!

Dr. Errol Crook, professor and Abraham Mitchell Chair of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, will lecture at the Mobile Museum of Art on "The Past and Future of African American Physicians in Mobile" on Dec. 16, 2009, as part of the Med School Café, the USA Physicians Group’s monthly lecture series.

Dr. Crook’s lecture will highlight the impact made by African American physicians throughout Mobile’s history.

During his talk, Dr. Crook, who serves as director for the USA Center for Healthy Communities, will also outline several programs at the center that are designed to encourage minority students to consider healthcare career paths.

A lunch will be provided for lecture attendees. The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. To make reservations, please call (251) 460-7770 or e-mail

USA Faculty Make "House Calls" to Local College

This past Saturday, the Mobile Press Register ran an article about a pre-med class at Springhill College that has been enriched by a number  USA College of Medicine faculty who have served as guest lecturers.  Click here to read the article: .

Contruction Tour - New Dialysis Center at USAMC

Earlier this month, we toured the new Dialysis Center construction site with USA Nephrologist Dr. Michael Culpepper.  Follow this link to take a "behind the scenes" look at the final construction taking place - .

At 4:44, Dr. Culpepper talks about unique features of the building and the services that will be provided here.

Contruction is in its final stages.  The Center is expected to begin seeing patients in January.

For Starters - Get Your Vaccinations NOW!

Dr. Allen Perkins, professor and chair of family medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently interviewed by WALA FOX 10 about the flu and what people can do to stay healthy.

Here’s a summary of his advice:
  • Most important – get BOTH your H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccination now (you can get both at the same time).
  • Wash your hands to avoid contracting the flu and sharing germs with others.
  • If you are sick, stay at home and rest. Going to work or school while sick exposes others to the flu.
  • Most people do not need to seek medical care. Rest, drink lots of fluids and treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medications for fever, coughs and runny noses.
If your symptoms go beyond aches and fever and you are having trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Dr. Perkins stresses that parents should never give aspirin to their children - rather use acetaminophen (trade name Tylenol) or ibuprofen (trade name Motrin). Aspirin is associated with Reye’s Syndrome, a fatal disease.

To watch Dr. Perkins interview, click this link - .

Mammograms: When To Test?

One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Dr. Lynn Dyess, professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, said “that early detection is the most effective way to treat breast cancer, and the mammogram is the tool of choice for this important screening.”

Dr. Dyess, a breast surgeon at USA Health System, said that recent news coverage of recommendations from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force on mammograms has caused a great deal of confusion and anxiety among patients.

Her response to women is clear. “Talk with your doctor about your family medical history and known genetic cancer risks, and work together to develop the best screening strategy based on these candid discussions,” she said.

Dr. Dyess hasn’t changed her patient screening protocols. She maintains that the best practice guidelines follow recommendations developed from data gleaned from years of research that has been corroborated by multiple studies. She points to screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society as the golden standard.

“Sharing your family medical history is an important part of any prevention plan. In the case of breast cancer, if you have a first-degree relative with a breast cancer diagnosis, this will impact the age your doctor will order your first mammogram,” she said. “If your mother or sister had breast cancer, you should start your screenings 10 years prior to their age of diagnosis.”

What does Dr. Dyess want all women to do? “Talk with your primary care provider about when you should start mammogram screenings, and be sure to share family medical history information that may alter the general recommended screening schedule,” she said.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Born to be a Doctor

Dr. Ebele Madichie is a pediatric resident in her second year at the University of South Alabama. She was born and raised in Nigeria, a country in West Africa.  Dr. Madichie has - even as a child - known that she wanted to become a medical doctor, but only recently realized that she wants to be a neonatologist.

The Press Register pubished an article about Dr. Madichie on Thanksgiving.  Click here to read her story - .

December Distinguished Scientist Seminar

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar will be presented by Dr. Hanjoong Jo on Dec. 3, 2009, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium. His seminar is titled “Identification of Novel Flow-Sensitive mRNAs Regulating Atherosclerosis.”

Currently, Dr. Jo is The Ada Lee and Peter Correll Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Emory University/Georgia Tech School of Medicine. He has been an editorial board member for numerous journals and has received several awards of recognition for his research studies.

Dr. Jo’s research studies involve mechanobiology and cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis and aortic valve disease -- the role of shear stress in vascular inflammation and neovascularization.

Dr. Jo received his bachelor’s degree from Korea University and his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

He completed a Juvenile Diabetes Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

For more information on Dr. Jo’s research, visit: .

For additional information, contact Natalie Kent at 461-1548.

Benny Booker Remembered

Benny Booker, with the USA department of educational technologies and services, died Nov. 28, 2009, at his residence following a courageous battle against cancer. Funeral services were held on Dec. 1 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Booker had worked in the medical school since 1992.

“Benny epitomized a service mindset,” said Mike Carmichael, director of the department of education technologies and services at the USA College of Medicine. “He always provided service with a smile.”

“Benny had a good heart,” Carmichael said, “and we will always remember him fondly.”

Memorial donations can be made to the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Cottage Hill Road.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009