Thursday, June 30, 2016
Rising fourth-year USA medical students Grant Willis and Parker Mullen worked together to organize the symposium and offer medical students the opportunity to conduct and present a case study. For many medical students, the symposium marked the first time presenting research.
Together, rising fourth-year USA medical students Rajesh Paladugu and Nicholas Tinker presented an unusual obstetrics and gynecology case. Their case featured a patient who suffered from an ectopic pregnancy embedded in a cesarean section scar, which is a condition that accounts for less than one percent of all ectopic pregnancies, according to Tinker.
Paladugu and Tinker both expressed enthusiasm for the symposium and the opportunities it created for them. “In order to present a case you usually have to travel to a conference,” Paladugu said. “This symposium was in our backyard, and showing our research will help make us more competitive.”
Tinker appreciated the feedback on their presentation and noted the importance of effective visual communication. “We made a few mistakes, and people came and pointed it out. We were in a stress-free environment where people helped us,” Tinker said.
The symposium was also an opportunity for students to showcase independent projects.
Under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin Estrada, professor of pediatrics and assistant dean for medical education at the USA College of Medicine, two USA medical students developed a history of present illness (HPI) template to help overcome language barriers between physicians and Hispanic patients with limited English proficiency.
Umair Savani, a rising fourth-year USA medical student, was working in a newborn nursery during his pediatrics rotation when he encountered a non-English speaking mother whom had recently given birth. The staff suspected the new mother might have an infection.
“I minored in Spanish and studied abroad, but I consider myself to have a medium-level Spanish proficiency,” Savani said. “As it turns out, the mother did have an infection, and she was treated.” However, he said he did not feel confident that his translation was completely accurate.
“Our research found that minor errors occur through mistranslation 50 percent of the time, and major errors occur 14 percent of the time,” Savani continued.
Savani realized the need to improve communication between physicians and Alabama’s growing Hispanic community. He collaborated with rising second-year USA medical student Trevor Stevens and created a HPI template. The template had Spanish questions written on the left and the identical English translation on the right side of the template. With Dr. Estrada’s help, Savani and Stevens plan to distribute the pilot template to pediatric clinics accompanied with satisfaction surveys to gauge the effectiveness of the template. Eventually, they hope to distribute to other outpatient clinics including surgery and orthopaedics.
Savani and Stevens also hope the template will allow physicians to immediately understand symptoms and reduce the opportunity for mistranslation. “We want to reduce the time physicians spend discovering a diagnosis in clinic, and give physicians more time to talk with the patient and hopefully increase patient compliance,” Savani said. Savani also said that he and Stevens are developing specific templates for other common diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, fever and urinary tract infection.
Willis and Mullen consider the symposium a “great success” and hope the symposium will generate more interest in research among medical students at the USA College of Medicine.
“Mullen and I worked on the symposium all semester and managed to put it together in just a few months,” Willis said. “Forty-five percent of the class voluntarily participated in this symposium, and we hope some of these cases may lead to additional studies and research.”
Click here to view more photos from the symposium.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
This is the third class of students in the USA College of Medicine to use the re-designed curriculum. Students receive instruction in all competencies from the beginning of their educational experience. Milestones of achievement toward competency will be evaluated and documented throughout the course of the four years leading to graduation.
“I am nervous, but ready,” said third-year medical student Leith Bayazid of Birmingham, Ala. “It is almost as if I am starting medical school all over again.”
Daniel Johnson, another third-year medical student from Ellenwood, Ga., said he is most excited to apply the information he has learned the past two years. “Now, things will be more kinesthetic and feel more true to life.”
Alex Wiles of Mobile, Ala., is greatly looking forward to the increased patient interaction. “I chose the field of medicine because of the opportunity that physicians have to get to know their patients and become an integral part of so many people’s lives,” Wiles said. “I am excited to start making these relationships with the patients at USA, and to learn the skills that I will use for the rest of my life.”
Third-year medical student Ashton Todd said third year will carry more responsibility. “We will be responsible for not only keeping up with studying, but also for certain aspects of patient care,” Todd said. “I know finding a balance within these two areas will be a challenge, as well as a reward, as we continue to hone our skills as future physicians.”
Before beginning orientation, the students received their white coats at the annual White Coat Ceremony at the USA Mitchell Center.
Click here to view more photos from orientation.
Monday, June 27, 2016
Dr. Trimmier earned her medical degree from the USA College of Medicine in 1999. She also completed her residency in family medicine at USA, where she served as co-chief resident.
After completing her residency training, Dr. Trimmier moved to Georgia for three years where she served as a physician at Toccoa Clinic and a physician consultant with Amedysis Home Health. She later moved back to the Gulf Coast to open her own practice, Gulf Shores Family Medicine, in 2007.
Dr. Trimmier is board-certified in family medicine. To make an appointment, call (251) 434-3475.