Friday, June 18, 2010

Students, Residents and Faculty Named to USA Chapter of Gold Humanism Honor Society

Every year, eight senior medical students, three residents and one faculty member are selected by their classmates to be named to the University of South Alabama Chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society.

The rising senior class at USA selects those who have demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.

Recently, the following USA students, residents and faculty were selected:

Tom Montgomery, MD - professor of internal medicine
Thomas Elliott Foster, MD - neurology resident
Phillip Kurt Henderson, DO - internal medicine resident
Melanie K. Rose, MD - surgery resident
Daniel M. Bonnici - student
Kimberly R. Bryan - student
John N. Meriwether - student
Jasmine T. Phillips - student
Melissa J. Reimer - student
Carson H. Rowell - student
Helena Maurine Speake - student
Joseph Grant Zarzour - student

The honorees will be recognized at this year's White Coat Ceremony on June 26. During the ceremony, rising third-year medical students will be cloaked with their first white coats, the traditional dress of physicians for more than 100 years.

For more information on the White Coat Ceremony, follow this link:

USA Biomedical Library Successfully Completes First Community Day Event with Mobile Public Library

Local 15’s weather personality Deitra Tate reads from Hurricane Wolf during the summer reading kick-off at the MPL Community Day Event.

The USA Biomedical Library partnered with the Mobile Public Library to host its first Hurricane Preparedness: Community Day Event at the West Regional Branch on June 5, 2010.

The event featured day-long lectures, demonstrations and exhibits by community first-responders and by USA biomedical librarians, and they reached over 1,400 people from the Mobile community. Weather personalities from local TV stations participated in the event by reading during children’s story hour and conducting an informative lecture titled “How Many Hurricanes?”

Packets with emergency preparedness information, including a family emergency plan, evacuation maps, and safe pet evacuation were handed out during the event. A second Community Day Event is planned for the Fairhope Public Library in Baldwin County on June 26, 2010.

Med School Café - The Challenges of Parkinson's Disease

This week's Med School Café lecture, "The Challenges of Parkinson's Disease," featured Dr. Dean Naritoku, professor and chair of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Naritoku outlined the causes of the disease, as well as treatment options and promising new research. The lecture had a total of 67 attendees.

The next Med School Café is scheduled for July 22, 2010. The lecture will feature Dr. Ronald Franks, vice president for health sciences and professor of psychiatry at the USA College of Medicine. Dr. Franks will lecture on post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and loss in regards to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that has made a damaging impact on the Gulf Coast. If you are interested in attending, email for details.

DREAM Program Provides Comprehensive Learning Experience for Premedical Students

Melayna Autery from Stillman College and Justin Freeney from Auburn University are both enrolled in the USA College of Medicine's DREAM program.

The eight-week Diversity, Recruitment, and Enrichment for Admission into Medicine (DREAM) program provides a specially designed, comprehensive learning experience for economically and educationally disadvantaged premedical students during the two summers prior to their junior and senior undergraduate college years.

The program is designed to assess and improve the ability of these students to begin medical school on a level playing field and perform successfully in medical school through an early introduction to its rigors and necessary discipline.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Success In Social Mission of Medical Education - USA College of Medicine Among The Best

Both USA medical students Tyler Black (left) from Dothan, Ala., and Christin Davis  from Lee County, Ala., plan to practice medicine in Alabama following their training.

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine was cited as one of the leading medical schools in the United States based on its social mission of medical education. This ranking was published in an article appearing in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine, a premier internal medicine journal with a readership that includes more than 129,000 members of the American College of Physicians.

The 141 U.S. medical schools were evaluated and ranked on a new scale based on the percentage of medical school graduates who practice primary care, work in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs), and are underrepresented minorities.

The rankings were compiled in an article by Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan titled “The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools.”

"Throughout our history, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine has placed strong emphasis on serving the healthcare needs of our state by training doctors that ultimately practice in Alabama," said Dr. Samuel J. Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine. "Our high marks reflected in this peer-reviewed journal article validate this point, and underscores our effort and commitment to train doctors who establish their practices along the Gulf Coast and in underserved regions of our state."

Overall, USA ranked No. 8 out of the 141 medical schools and received a social mission score of 3.15. The school ranked No. 25 in primary care physician output with 42 percent of graduates practicing as a primary care physician.

USA ranked No. 2 in HPSA physician output with 52 percent of graduates practicing in HPSAs.

Educating physicians in medically underserved regions of the state is a significant part of the USA College of Medicine’s mission. At USA, an effort is made to admit at least 25 percent of the class from rural counties provided that they meet criteria of acceptance.

USA ranked No. 112 in the underrepresented minorities category with a total of 8.2 percent of underrepresented minorities in the school.

In addition to admissions criteria, several factors at USA point to high marks in these areas, including an emphasis on the importance of teaching, good role models, opportunities to conduct training in rural settings, and having smaller class sizes with more student-faculty interactions.

The ranking is based on Dr. Mullan’s research that included a review of 60,043 physicians in active practice who graduated from medical school between 1999 and 2001.

For the full article, visit

The USA College of Medicine was established in 1973. With approximately 2,100 graduates, the medical school and affiliated hospitals have trained more than one-third of all practicing physicians in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The school's smaller class size (74 students/class) provides students with a high degree of faculty interaction in a supportive learning environment.


Follow this link to read the article in Mobile's Press-Register: