Wednesday, February 18, 2015

USA Gold Humanism Honor Society Members Participate in 'Tell Me More' Solidarity Day

Members of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Gold Humanism Honor Society (front left to right) Angela King, Jane Marie Freeman, Brian Buning and (back left to right) Alonso Heudebert, Dale Shamburger and Griffin Collins, pose for a picture on their way to USA Medical Center to hand out candy as part of Solidarity Day Feb. 13, 2015.
The Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society's (GHHS) Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was held on Feb. 13, 2015. The University of South Alabama College of Medicine chapter of GHHS participated in several activities to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine.

“Compassion is a huge part of caring for patients because it opens doors of communication between patients and providers,” said Angela King, a fourth-year medical student and GHHS member at the USA College of Medicine.

This year’s Solidarity Day/Week was entitled “Tell Me More.” After obtaining consent, GHHS members spent time learning about hospital patients’ personal lives in order to craft signs for display over their beds.

GHHS members agree that when providers are compassionate towards their patients, it allows the patients to feel comfortable and to express their concerns without any fear. “Knowing a patient on a personal level is essential to addressing their illness,” said Dale Shamburger, another fourth-year medical student and GHHS member at the USA College of Medicine.

Solidarity Day gives students and staff the chance to stop and remember that every patient has a story and that compassionate care is important.  “It is so easy to get caught up in the medical treatment of patients. It was refreshing to have an event to remind us that the care of our patients extends far beyond their illness or injury,” said JaneMarie Freeman, a fourth-year medical student and GHHS member at the USA College of Medicine.

“The most memorable part of the day was seeing the reactions of the patients and their families when they realized we wanted to learn more about their lives outside of the hospital,” said King. “One of the biggest lessons I have learned from my patients is to count my blessings and never take a single day for granted.”

GHHS members hope that Solidarity Day will inspire healthcare providers to spend a few extra minutes getting to know their patients every day, rather than just once a year. Solidarity Day serves as a reminder of compassionate care that carries on throughout the year between patients and the hospital staff.

The GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was initiated after the 2011 shootings in Tucson, Ariz., to honor the humanistic actions of Dr. Randall Friese, the trauma surgeon who first treated Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The “Tell Me More” project was developed in 2014 by GHHS chapter members at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.

Click here to view more photos from USA's Solidarity Day.

To learn more about Solidarity Day, visit

Summer Research Proposal Deadline Approaching

The deadline to submit proposals for the 2015 Medical Student Summer Research Program is March 4, 2015.

The USA College of Medicine's Summer Research Program is a 9-week program (June 1 through July 31, 2015) that pairs medical students with faculty mentors.

Through this program, students develop an appreciation of how research contributes to the knowledge and the practice of medicine. Accepted entering students or rising second year students in the USA College of Medicine are eligible. The summer experience includes hands-on research related to basic science and/or clinical medicine; a seminar program that focuses on various scientific and clinical topics; and student presentations at Research Day.

The Medical Student Research Proposal form and the Research Compliance Checklist for the Summer Research Program can be found online here  Forms should be submitted to Marcina Lang, the program coordinator, at

For more information, call (251) 461-1548.

USA College of Medicine Facebook Page Hits Milestone

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine's Facebook page ( hit a milestone in January when it gained its 10,000th follower.

"We're thrilled to have reached this point," said Bernell Dorrough, web marketing coordinator for the USA College of Medicine. "Two and a half years ago, we had 350 followers, so achieving this goal reflects a 28-fold increase."

Facebook launched in 2004, and by September 2014, it reported having 864 million daily active users worldwide. The USA College of Medicine launched its official page in May 2011 and uses it to share information, photos and videos about students and faculty, as well as the USA Physicians Group.

The college also has a presence on other social networks, with hundreds of followers on both Twitter and Instagram, but Dorrough says Facebook has proven to be the best way to reach the largest number of people.

"We share one or two posts most days,” he said. “An average one will be seen by more than 1,000 people, and popular ones often are seen by more than 10,000 people.”

The Facebook page is an important part of the college's overall digital marketing strategy, which includes the website for the University of South Alabama Health System ( and the Med School Watercooler blog (

"Because Facebook pushes content to users through their newsfeeds, we can share information with people even if they haven't navigated to our website or blog on their own," Dorrough said. "That makes Facebook an incredibly valuable way to draw users to those sites."

Other official Facebook pages within the USA Health System include USA Children's & Women's Hospital (, which is approaching its 20,000th follower; USA Medical Center (; and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute (

USA Medical Student Elected Southern Regional Legislative Affairs Delegate

Patrick O’Brien, a third-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently was elected as the Southern Regional Legislative Affairs Delegate for the Southern region of the Organization of Student Representatives (OSR).

O’Brien is charged with staying informed about medical policy and serving as an effective liaison between members of the Southern Region, the Administrative Board of the OSR, as well as the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Office of Government Relations.

I Along with the delegates from the other regions, O’Brien will work with the National Legislative Affairs Delegate on projects that aim to improve medical students' knowledge and voice within the governmental policies that will shape the way in which they practice medicine.

“I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to engage students at a regional and national level and encourage them to stay knowledgeable and active in the political environment that will shape their careers,” O’Brien said. “The AAMC and the OSR have a number of incredible individuals working to tackle the evolving state of the healthcare policy.”

Current projects of the Legislative Affairs Committee include the creation and distribution of an information graphic about the Affordable Care Act aimed at medical students, surveying the current status of medical policy education at medical schools across the country, and serving as contact points for an OSR Special Interest Group focused on business in medicine.

“My hope is that with this position, I can stay more abreast of the current state of healthcare policy,” he said. “I also hope to motivate other medical students to take part in the effort to lobby for more effective, efficient healthcare for all of our current and future patients.”