Thursday, August 15, 2013

USA Welcomes Dr. Omar Sanchez

Dr. Omar Sanchez was recently appointed assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as a pediatric critical care specialist seeing patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

Prior to his appointment to USA, Dr. Sanchez served as a pediatric intensivist at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Dr. Sanchez earned his medical degree at Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He completed a pediatrics residency at Hospital Roosevelt at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and earned his management of health services certification at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

In addition, Dr. Sanchez completed a pediatrics internship and residency at USA.  He also completed a pediatric critical care fellowship at Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami, Fla.

Dr. Sanchez is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the College of Surgeons and Physicians of Guatemala.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

COM Class of 2017 Introduced to Medical School During Orientation

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine held freshman orientation Aug. 5-9, 2013. The first-year students were given an overview of what they should expect during medical school.

First-year medical student Jacob Sexton, from Luverne, Ala., will be the first in his family to earn a medical degree. 
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine welcomed 74 of the nation’s brightest students last week for the Class of 2017’s freshman orientation.

Tung Vu, who received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from USA, explained that orientation was going well, but that he is ready to get started with the application aspect of practicing medicine. “I’m excited because this is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

During freshman orientation, the students’ schedules were packed with information sessions, icebreakers, policy briefings, study strategies, campus tours, and fittings for their white coat -- the traditional dress of physicians for more than 100 years.

Throughout the week, the new medical students were provided with an overview of what they should expect during the upcoming years as they study medicine. On Wednesday, a team of specialists was brought in to discuss adapting to and handling the stress of medical school. The students were also given valuable insight of effective study strategies by Dr. Jeffrey Sosnowski, assistant professor of pathology at the USA College of Medicine.

This year’s class is composed of scholars from around the nation, with diverse backgrounds. “I’m just ready to get started,” said first-year medical student Jay White. “My story is probably a little different than most of the others,” he continued. White, a native of Baton Rouge, La., practiced as an attorney for five years before experiencing a change of heart.  Not long after, he began the pursuit of a career in the medical field.

Many students enter medical school with a clear and direct idea of which branch of medicine they want to pursue. Others come in with an open mind, willing to change. For Joy Underwood, a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a degree in biology, she finds interest in neurology and emergency medicine, but is keeping her options open. Underwood said that she is excited to see where her career will take her.

Underwood explained that she is the most eager to begin clinical work; however, she foresees that component of the program to be the most challenging element of her studies.

When asked if there were any doctors in her family, she relaxed, nodded her head, and with a smile said, “Oh yes.” Her father’s family is full of physicians and her mother’s family is rich with nurses. “You could say we’re a medical family,” she explained.

For some first-year students, it has been a lifelong dream to become a practicing physician. “During my undergraduate career at USA I had the chance to shadow physicians at the USA Medical Center. I also spent a year doing cancer research at the Mitchell Cancer Institute,” Vu said. “Those experiences were great learning opportunities and played huge roles in helping me to decide that medicine is the field that I can see myself enjoying and succeeding in.”

Vu is proud to be the first doctor in his family and can hardly wait to begin learning complex medical concepts. Vu said that he is most enthusiastic to begin applying what he has studied to real life situations.

When searching for the right professional school, there are many factors to consider. The comfort and quality of the local area is a key element. “When I came for my interview, I fell in love with the atmosphere,” said Jacob Sexton, a first-generation medical student. “It’s in a great location, too, near the beach. There are lots of interesting things nearby that we can do during the few holidays we will have.”

“The most exciting part of medical school, for me, is the experience to continue to learn new and innovative things every day,” Sexton explained. “Medicine is always changing, and I am looking forward to learning and working in a profession in which no two days will ever be the same.”

Sexton is from Luverne, Ala., and attended Troy University, where he received his bachelor of science degree in athletic training. He said he would like to work along the Florida panhandle, practicing as an orthopedic surgeon or working in emergency medicine.

All of the first-year students agree that they are excited to get started. “I think the biggest challenge will be establishing a schedule and getting used to the pace of a medical student’s life,” Sexton said.

“The process of adapting and making the change from undergraduate school to a professional school will be difficult,” said Vu, “but I guess you could say this has always been my dream.”

Mark Your Calendar: Inaugural Kickoff Run for Sight

The University of South Alabama Lions Club will host the inaugural Kickoff Run for Sight (5K and 1 mile fun run/walk) on Aug. 24, 2013, at 7:30 a.m. on USA’s main campus - SGA Pavilion/intramural fields. On-site registration will begin at 6 a.m.

Proceeds from the event benefit the University Lions Club's sight preservation and eye research programs.

The Lions Club International is the largest service club organization in the world, founded almost 100 years ago. “Helping those that are in need throughout our community and the world is our main goal as we try desperately to decrease the number of those suffering with visual impairment,” said Tommie Carlisle, president of the University Lions Club.

After the race, the Lions Club will host a celebration providing food, beverages, music, and an awards presentation.

Carlisle said the club is excited to interact with the community. “I hope everyone can take an hour of their day to help support this worthwhile endeavor,” he said.

On-site registration is permitted on race day, but only those registered by Aug. 17 are guaranteed a T-shirt. To register online, click here.

For more information about the Kickoff Run for Sight, contact Tommie Carlisle at (251) 422-2430 or

Monday, August 12, 2013

USA Welcomes Dr. Leander Grimm

Dr. Leander (Lee) Grimm Jr. was recently appointed assistant professor of surgery in the division of colon and rectal surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Dr. Grimm earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He completed a general surgery residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012, where he served as administrative chief resident. In 2013, Dr. Grimm completed a colon and rectal surgery residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. Grimm is a candidate member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

Dr. Grimm is now accepting new patients and referrals. To make an appointment, call (251) 445-8282.