Thursday, July 19, 2012

COM Associate Dean Takes Her Own Advice

For the past nine years, Dr. Maggi O’Brien has counseled medical students to map out a career path and follow their dreams.

Starting this fall, Dr. O’Brien will take her own advice and follow her own pathway to a career she has pondered for decades – improving healthcare for people around the world.

In September, Dr. O’Brien, who is leaving her post as associate dean for student affairs at the USA College of Medicine, will begin her studies in global health sciences at the University of California San Francisco.

“It’s a move that I have been thinking about for a long time,” said Dr. O’Brien. “Right now, the timing is just right for me to take a step in a direction that is important to me both personally and professionally.”

Following completion of her master’s degree in global health, Dr. O’Brien is hopeful to secure a position in Africa or South America. “My ultimate goal is to work for the World Health Organization.”

Dr. O’Brien is an alum of the USA College of Medicine. She also conducted her pathology residency at USA. Prior to medical school, she earned her law degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Med School Café - Expert Advice for the Community

This week, Dr. Juan G. Ochoa, associate professor of neurology at the USA College of Medicine and medical director of the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) at USA, presented the July Med School Café lecture.

The lecture, “Finding a Cure for Epilepsy,” had a total of 60 attendees.

During the talk, Dr. Ochoa discussed epilepsy, a disorder that results from the generation of electrical signals inside the brain, causing recurring seizures. He provided the latest information on the causes of epilepsy, as well as available treatment options.

The EMU, located at the USA Medical Center, is a collaborative environment that provides unique and highly specialized care with state-of-the-art technology for patients with epilepsy and other neurological conditions.

The next Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Daniel Dees, assistant professor of neurology at USA. The event will take place August 15, 2012, at the Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center in Mobile.

If you are interested in attending, email for more details. To learn more about the lectures, click here.

Welcome Reception Held for Dr. David Gremse

The University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital hosted a welcome reception for Dr. David Gremse, who joined the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in May as professor and chair of pediatrics. Dr. Gremse is the first USA College of Medicine alum to be appointed chair of an academic department at the medical school.

Photos from the event are shown below. Click here to learn more about Dr. Gremse.

Gulf Coast Liver Support Group Meeting to be Held July 19

The Gulf Coast Liver Support Group, affiliated with the University of South Alabama’s Digestive Health Center, will hold its next meeting on July 19, 2012, at 6 p.m. at the Infirmary West Hospital Conference Center at 5600 Girby Road in Mobile.

This month's topic, "Learn How to Safely Use Medications," will be presented by Kay Guess of MedFusion Specialty Pharmacy.

Guess will address the group on the kind of information you should obtain from a pharmacist, how to safely take medications, and how a specialty pharmacy can help you during your treatment, particularly when using medications with significant side effects such as those used to treat hepatitis C.

The support group, which meets once every other month, provides a forum for adult patients with liver disease to learn more about their condition. The educational programs cover medical, social and nutritional topics.

Dr. Jorge Herrera, professor of internal medicine at USA, formed the support group in 1998. The Gulf Coast Liver Support Group is the only physician-led liver support group in the region and state.

Participation in the support group is free of charge. For more information, call (251) 660-5555 or click here.