Friday, August 18, 2017

USA Lions Club Hosting Kickoff Run for Sight

In collaboration with the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, the University of South Alabama Lions Club will host the 5th annual Kickoff Run for Sight on Aug. 26, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the USA Intramural Fields.

The 5k race will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. Everyone is invited to participate. Food, beverages and music will follow the event.

The University Lions Club, a part of Lions Clubs International, is a civic organization that supports projects focusing on diabetes and vision. The University Lions Club supports the USA Lions Eye Research Institute at the USA College of Medicine as well as other charitable activities, including sponsoring children to attend Camp Sugar Falls, which educates children who have diabetes.

Participants are encouraged to pre-register for the event. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

USA Welcomes Dr. Amelia Hewes

Dr. Amelia Hewes was appointed assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as an obstetrician and gynecologist with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Hewes earned her medical degree from the USA College of Medicine. She also completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at USA, were she was named best high risk obstetrics resident. She is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Mobile Medical Society.

Her professional interests include adolescent gynecology, high-risk obstetrics and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.

To make an appointment with Dr. Hewes, call (251) 415-1496.

Strada Patient Care Center Flagpole Ceremony Honors Late Paul Parker

USA Physicians Group recently held a ceremony dedicating the flagpole at the Strada Patient Care Center in honor of the late Paul Parker, project manager for the construction of the building.

Parker began initial planning for the Strada Patient Care Center early in 2014. By January of 2015, the project began construction.

During the course of construction, Parker passed away from cancer, and Patrick Duke took over as project manager.

Duke said that since Parker had always commented on the need for a flagpole at the Strada Patient Care Center, it was appropriate to dedicate the flagpole in his memory.

“I am honored to have worked with Paul Parker on the construction of the Strada Patient Care Center," Duke said. "Paul was a man of character who will be missed by the entire community, and the flagpole is a wonderful way to honor him.”

Duke and his wife Amy donated the flagpole at the Strada Patient Care Center to recognize the contribution made by Parker and the lasting, positive impact he made on those he met.

Click here to view more photos from the ceremony. For more information about the Strada Patient Care Center, click here.

Free Football Tickets, Tailgate for USA Health Employees, Volunteers

USA Health is providing complimentary tickets for every USA Health employee, volunteer and a guest to attend the USA Jaguars vs. Oklahoma State football game on Friday, Sept. 8, at 7:00 p.m.

Each employee and volunteer will be eligible to receive two free game tickets and two free dinners catered by Sonny's BBQ before the game. Food will be served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

http://www.usahealthsystem.com/workfiles/usa-health/t-shirt%20graphic%20FINAL.pdfPlease register for tickets by clicking here anytime between now and Aug. 30. You must pre-register for tickets by Aug. 30.

We've designed a special USA Health Game Day T-shirt for the event, and we hope you will join us in wearing one at the game. The short-sleeve shirts cost $7 and will be sold at USA Children's & Women's Hospital on Aug. 21, USA Medical Center on Aug. 23, the Medical Sciences Building on Aug. 25, and Springhill Avenue Campus on Aug. 29.

Get details about tickets, tailgating, T-shirts and parking here.

Monday, August 14, 2017

USA Neurology to Host Epilepsy Support Group

The University of South Alabama Department of Neurology will host the charter meeting of the Mobile Epilepsy Support Group on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at the USA Strada Patient Care Center Conference Room.

Dr. Dean Naritoku, professor and chair of neurology at USA, will present a brief presentation about current epilepsy therapies, followed by a general question and answer session.

Refreshments will be provided. The event is free to the public and is sponsored by the USA Neurosciences Program and the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama. Seating is limited; call (251) 341-0170 to RSVP.

The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. For more information about the Strada Patient Care Center, click here.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Pediatrics Hosting Grand Rounds Aug. 18

Dr. Anne-Marie Kaulfers, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric endocrinologist with USA Physicians Group, will present “Update on Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes/Obesity” for August’s pediatric grand rounds.

The event will take place Friday, Aug. 18, at 8 a.m. in the conference room on the first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center.

Dr. Kaulfers will explain the difference in labs regarding Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. She will also discuss new technologies that will soon be available for patients with diabetes and the new guidelines for obesity and pre-diabetes.

The event is open to faculty, staff and students at USA. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided. For additional information, contact Katie Catlin at kncatlin@health.southalabama.edu.

The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

USA COM Announces New Office for Research Education and Training

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently created the Office for Research Education and Training (ORET), offering new opportunities to undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students.

“The purpose of the Office for Research Education and Training is to provide visibility, an integrated structure and resources for research training across the spectrum from undergraduate students, to pre-doctoral graduate students to postdoctoral fellows in the USA College of Medicine,” said Dr. Mary Townsley, senior associate dean of the USA College of Medicine.

Starting this fall, ORET will develop an integrated undergraduate summer research program for the USA College of Medicine, offer new Dean’s fellowships for first- and second-year pre-doctoral students and provide career development courses and workshops.

Dr. Mark Taylor, director of the graduate program and associate professor of physiology and cell biology at the USA College of Medicine, serves as co-director of ORET for the Basic Medical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program. His primary focus includes coordinating curriculum development, monitoring student performance, and advising students as they progress through their doctoral training.

The new one-year Dean’s Predoctoral Fellowship offers up to three $30,000 awards each year to BMS students in their second or third year of training with USA College of Medicine faculty as primary mentors.

“Medical research has become a highly collaborative endeavor,” Dr. Taylor said. “Our research training programs are designed to help trainees develop skill sets required to thrive in this multidisciplinary environment. This requires encouraging and maintaining a highly diverse environment in which students, fellows, faculty and staff from a wide variety of scientific and cultural backgrounds work in an integrated interdisciplinary professional setting.”

Dr. Tom Rich, professor of pharmacology at the USA College of Medicine, also serves as co-director of ORET for the undergraduate and graduate research training programs. He will be responsible for procuring extramural funding to support undergraduate and graduate training experiences.

According to Dr. Rich, ORET will develop undergraduate research experiences in which undergraduate students from USA and other universities work with faculty in the College of Medicine to learn cutting-edge approaches that improve understanding of biological systems.

“A critical part of these experiences will include career development activities that help students understand the array of career options and develop skill sets required to embark on research-based careers,” he said. “Critical first steps in this process include choosing and then successfully applying to competitive graduate programs. We anticipate that we will recruit a subset of students participating in our undergraduate research experience into the BMS graduate program, as well as other graduate programs at USA.”

According to Dr. Taylor, a major objective of faculty in the USA College of Medicine is developing and maintaining national and internationally recognized research programs. “ORET seeks to both support and utilize these programs to guide undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees through their professional development and into productive careers,” he said.

According to Dr. Townsley, the Basic Medical Sciences Postdoctoral Graduate Program has substantial history, as it was the first Ph.D. program at USA. “The program has been effective in developing research skills of postdoctoral trainees and has seen placement of alumni in careers ranging from academia to industry, the government and elsewhere,” she said. “However, the College of Medicine has not developed a pipeline for research training leading to the Ph.D. program and predoctoral training, nor have we invested in career development. It is time to do both and ORET will provide the infrastructure for those efforts.”

USA Welcomes Dr. Charles Harmon

Dr. Charles Harmon recently was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and will serve as a neonatologist at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Harmon served as a clinical instructor of neonatology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Harmon earned his medical degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2010. He completed his residency training in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala., and a neonatal and perinatal fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Harmon is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mark Your Calendar: Autism Grand Rounds

As part of this year’s Autism Grand Rounds, Dr. Christina Talerico, child and adolescent fellow in the USA Department of Psychiatry, will present “The Role of Psychiatry in the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

The event will take place Aug. 18, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the first floor conference room at the Strada Patient Care Center.

The meeting is designed to provide a forum for discussion of research and service provision within the University community related to autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. This event is open to faculty, staff and students at USA. For additional information, contact Amy Mitchell at 410-4820 or abmitchell@health.southalabama.edu.

The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile.

COM Class of 2021 Introduced to Medical School During Orientation

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine welcomed 77 new faces last week for the Class of 2021’s freshman orientation.

“This was an amazing orientation with lots of smiles and conversation,” said Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean of medical education and student affairs at USA. “This year we introduced our wellness initiative, which provided additional opportunities for peer-to-peer mentoring with first- and second-year students. It appeared to be well-received by the incoming students.”

During orientation, the first-year medical students’ schedules were packed with information sessions, policy briefings and campus tours. The Freshman Orientation Committee – made of second-year medical students at the USA College of Medicine —plays a major role in the planning and implementation of the activities for the week, which includes both social events and small-group question and answer sessions.

For the first time, the freshman medical students were assigned to five different wellness “houses.” The houses – named after the five rivers that feed into Mobile Bay – are comprised of first-, second-, third- and fourth-year medical students.

On the first day of orientation, the students opened their wellness house assignment letter. The process mimicked Match Day, as students opened their letters with excitement to find out their placement. The students will remain in their wellness house group for the remainder of medical school.

Freshman students also were provided with an overview of what they should expect during the upcoming years as they study medicine. On Tuesday, Dr. Marjorie Scaffa, health and wellness counselor at the USA College of Medicine, discussed stress and adaptive behaviors in medical school. The students were also given valuable insight on effective study strategies.

Click here to view more photos from orientation week.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

USA’s Family Medicine Interest Group Recognized for Excellence

From left: Dr. Marirose Trimmier, Kirasten Brasfield, Alexandra Van Haneghan, Lauren Smith, Kaitlyn Littleton, Connor Kimbrell, Yasmine Strickland, James Burke, Elisabeth Potts, Dr. Ehab Molokhia, Jazmin Scott, C.C. Linder, William Crittenden, Amy Traylor.
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) recently received the 2017 Program of Excellence Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City.

This year, the AAFP presented 17 medical schools with FMIG Program of Excellence Awards in recognition of their outstanding activities in generating interest in family medicine. The USA College of Medicine FMIG received a categorical award for their excellence in collaboration.

“The interest group has done a great job staying active and increasing awareness about family medicine. This award is a reflection of their hard work and dedication,” said Dr. Carol Motley, associate professor of family medicine at the USA College of Medicine and a family medicine physician with USA Health.

According to Charlotte Linder, a third-year student at the USA College of Medicine and last year’s president of FMIG, the interest group has hosted workshops, participated in competitions and enforced outreach programs to educate medical students about the vast career options available in family medicine.

Linder, who also serves as president of the student chapter of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, said the interest group’s collaboration with the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine played a huge part in winning the program of excellence award.

Linder said the USA College of Medicine opened the FMIG to 60 osteopathic students in Mobile. “The outreach initiative to include local osteopathic students in our FMIG came about because I wanted to help encourage all students who had an interest in family medicine,” she said. “Osteopathic schools typically have a high number of students who go into family medicine and primary care. Unfortunately, FMIGs are not as popular at osteopathic schools, and students often miss out on a lot of opportunities.”

The group also collaborated with other interest groups to help sponsor the annual Gumbo Chili Showdown. The event is in honor of Regan Robinson Young, a student at the USA College of Medicine who passed away a few months before graduation.

“Regan hoped to become a family physician and was even accepted into the USA family medicine residency program, so we thought this was the perfect event to participate in,” Linder said. “Connor Kimbrell, a third-year medical student at the USA College of Medicine, was instrumental in helping FMIG participate in such a meaningful contest. This event goes toward a good cause while also providing a casual environment for FMIG members to interact with other students, interest groups, and the faculty advisor.”

Elisabeth Potts, a second-year student at the USA College of Medicine, recently was appointed president of FMIG. “I was honored to be a part of the group representing the USA College of Medicine’s FMIG at this year’s national conference,” she said. “Last year’s FMIG officers were passionate about family medicine, and their hard work has earned our group this distinction.”

Potts said she is excited to fulfill her role as president. “I am proud of the accomplishments our FMIG has achieved over the past year, and I am excited to work with this year’s FMIG officers to continue the precedent that has been set,” she said.

FMIGs are medical-school sponsored, student- and faculty-run organizations that give medical students a chance to learn more about family medicine through regular meetings, workshops, leadership development opportunities, and community and clinical experiences.

The mission of the USA College of Medicine FMIG is to provide students with a complete knowledge of family medicine and encourage it as career path while providing opportunities to enhance student’s technical skills and contact with patients.

To join FMIG, contact Charlotte C.C. Linder at ccl1321@jagmail.southalabama.edu or to learn more about the FMIG at the USA College of Medicine, click here.

44th Research Day Features Keynote Speaker, Medical Student Presentations

Malik McMullin explains his research to Dr. Steve Lim during the University of South Alabama College of Medicine 44th Summer Medical Student Research Day.
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s 44th annual Medical Student Research Day took place July 28, 2017, in the Medical Sciences Building.

The event featured Dr. Betty Diamond, investigator and head of the Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disease Center at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. Dr. Diamond presented the keynote lecture titled “Antibodies and The Brain: An Expanding Universe.”

The USA College of Medicine’s Summer Research Program is a nine-week program that pairs medical students with faculty mentors. At this year’s Research Day, there were eight oral presentations and 55 poster presentations.

Through the research program, medical students develop an appreciation of how research contributes to the knowledge and 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.

Winners of the Clyde G. ‘Sid’ Huggins Medical Student Research Awards, honoring the memory of Dr. Huggins, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Click here to view the students' research abstracts. More photos from the event can be found here.

USA Medicine Magazine Mailing Now

Check your mailbox for the Summer 2017 issue of USA MEDICINE magazine, which features articles relating to the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

This issue includes stories of the character and kindness of medical students, the success of alumni, and the commitment faculty members have made to medical excellence.

The magazine can be viewed online here. To request more copies of the magazine, email agivens@health.southalabama.edu.

Dr. Michael Francis Awarded NIH Research Grant

University of South Alabama College of Medicine alum Dr. Michael Francis recently was appointed assistant professor of physiology and cell biology at the USA College of Medicine and was awarded a five-year $797,740 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the function of blood vessels.

“Michael brings expertise in mathematics, biophysics and modeling of physiological processes to our faculty,” said Dr. Troy Stevens, director of the USA Center for Lung Biology and Lenoir Louise Locke Chair of Physiology and Cell Biology at the USA College of Medicine. “He is recently funded by the NIH to study how vascular remodeling in the lung circulation impacts blood flow pattering, and beyond his own work, Michael is a terrific collaborator for the College of Medicine faculty.”

The NIH Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award, or K25 grant, provides support to investigators with quantitative scientific or engineering backgrounds who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on behavioral and biomedical research.

“The recent K25 grant has enabled me to investigate the progression of the rare and deadly vascular disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), with the aim of understanding how critical determinants of the disease interact with blood flow,” Dr. Francis said.

Dr. Francis’s research aims to explain the link between TRPC4-dependent endothelial calcium signaling and survival in PAH, which is characterized by chronically elevated pulmonary arterial pressure.

According to Dr. Francis, there is currently no cure for PAH and the high morbidity and mortality rate provides an impetus to determine the mechanisms that underlie the disease’s progression. His work has aided in the discovery that rodent models genetically lacking TRPC-4, a calcium-permeable channel, exhibit a survival benefit in PAH.

“This work will lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic protocols for PAH, which will be integrated into our current clinical knowledge,” Dr. Francis said. “Additionally, this grant will fund the development of new computational tools for the analysis of biological data that are unique to the USA College of Medicine.”

Dr. Francis said the grant is important because it will fund a collaborative investigation into PAH for the next five years, which will answer key questions about the molecular drivers for the disease and could lead to new therapeutic breakthroughs. “It also enables my lab to develop new computational technologies for cell signal analysis, vascular imaging, mathematical modeling and genomics analysis,” he said.

According to Dr. Stevens, Dr. Francis completed his specialty postdoctoral training in the USA Center for Lung Biology before earning his independent funding from the NIH. “Michael has extensive mentoring experience with high school, undergraduate, medical and graduate students, and he loves to teach,” he said. “He will be a great addition to our expanding academic programs.”

Dr. Francis earned his Ph.D. and completed his postdoctoral training at the USA College of Medicine.

Monday, July 31, 2017

August Med School Café - Chest Wall Deformities

The August Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Charles Hartin, associate professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric surgeon with USA Physicians Group.

His lecture, titled “Pigeon Chest and Caved-in Chest," will be held on Aug. 11, 2017, at the USA Strada Patient Care Center Conference Room on the first floor. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Hartin will discuss the diagnosis, complications and treatment of pectus excavatum, a congenital chest wall deformity in which several ribs and the sternum grow abnormally, causing the appearance of a caved in-chest, and pectus carinatum, a deformity of the chest characterized by a protrusion of the sternum and ribs.

Dr. Hartin earned his medical degree from USA. He completed internship training in general surgery at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va., and completed residency training in general surgery at the Baylor School of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Hartin completed research fellowship training in pediatric surgery at Women & Children’s Hospital Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y., and fellowship training in pediatric surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Hartin is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail kepartridge@health.southalabama.edu.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

SouthMed Prep Scholars Present Research

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion recently hosted SouthMed Prep Scholars (SMPS) Research Day. Through partnerships established with Dillard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and Xavier University, a group of highly competitive students from these institutions are given the opportunity to engage in one or two summer research experiences at the USA College of Medicine.

During the summer, seven undergraduate students gained invaluable research experience and presented their summer research projects.

Dr. John Marymont, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine, said partnerships with historically black colleges and universities are designed to enrich the diversity of the physician workforce and enhance educational experiences. “Our SouthMed Prep Scholars Program provides students with exposure to the university and prepares them for the rigors of medical school, while supporting the growth of a community that is underrepresented,” he said.

Nkemdi Agwarambo, a 2017 graduate of Xavier University, recently completed the program. As the first graduate of the program, Agwarambo served as a mentor scholar to the students, assisting them with summer orientation, mock interviews, and preparing for their research presentations. He opened the event by offering helpful advice, as research day marked the first time presenting research for many students.

Agwarambo said the experiences offered by the program led him to see “the gem that USA is,” and influenced his decision to attend USA College of Medicine this fall.

Sydney Brown, a rising junior at Dillard University, summer project focused on the “Formation of Endothelial Cell Networks.” Together, Brown and her principal investigator Dr. Sarah Gebb, assistant professor of cell biology and neuroscience at the USA College of Medicine, studied angiogenesis.

“Programs like SouthMed Prep Scholars are especially important for minorities because it gives us opportunities that we may not have had before,” Brown said. “I chose to participate in this program to prepare myself for medical school and to help me become a more competitive applicant when applying to medical school.”

“The SouthMed Prep Scholars Program serves to facilitate the preparation of highly qualified students who aspire to become physicians and complement the USA College of Medicine recruitment of underrepresented groups,” said Dr. Johnson Haynes, assistant dean of the office of diversity and inclusion, professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine and director of the USA Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.

According to Chante’ Hendrix, diversity coordinator for the office of diversity and inclusion and the SMPS program director, the program is important as it helps students navigate a successful path into medical school. “Students are exposed to research, shadowing, mock interviews, simulation experiences, mentoring and networking with College of Medicine faculty, staff and students,” she said. “The program’s objective is to help strengthen more diversity in the physician workforce and build solid relationships with our partners at five historically black colleges and universities as they help support our presence and growth.”

“Looking at how much the program has grown and how much growth remains in the future, I am excited and proud to say that I was the first to complete the SouthMed Prep Scholars Program,” Agawarambo said. “I was once told that when you walk through a door you have two options: you can either close that door for others behind you or you can hold it open. I am confident that with the help of Dr. Haynes, Mrs. Hendrix and my SouthMed Prep Scholars family, the door will remain open.”

Like the majority of SMPS, this was Alesha Westbrook’s first research experience. A rising sophomore at Spelman College, Westbrook was quite nervous about transitioning to a new environment and the expectations surrounding research. However, she notes that her principal investigators Dr’s. Silas Leavesley and Tom Rich gave her such an ease into learning about her project on Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate. She said she was presented daily with an article to read related to research and or her topic, she practiced seeding cells, sterilization, conducting microscopic experiments, running and analyzing data, and making movies from the data that she analyzed. Westbrook adds, “I was also able to gain insight on preparing for medical school through this program."

The ODI staff is grateful for the enthusiasm and support offered by the USA College of Medicine principal investigators and staff. “A special thank you to Dr. Troy Stevens, Dr. Michael Francis, Dr. Silas Leavesley, Dr. Tom Rich, Dr. Sarah Gebb McMurtry, Dr. Jon Audia and Dr. Sarah Sayner,” Hendrix said. “Opening their labs to our scholars provided an enriching and rewarding experience.”

Both Dr. Haynes and Hendrix are also very thankful for the rewarding shadowing experiences that the scholars were provided by faculty at USA Medical Center. A special thanks goes to faculty in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Family Medicine Department, Emergency Medicine Department and Internal Medicine Department.

For many of the scholars this was their first time shadowing. Kiara Carmichael, a student at Tuskegee University, describes her overall SMPS summer as “one of the most eye-opening experiences” that she has had in college. Further, she says shadowing allowed her to network with doctors and residents and gave her the opportunity to see “what really goes into being a doctor.” For Carmichael, exposure to the SMPS program has “confirmed that medicine is the career path” that she definitely wants to take.

SouthMed Prep Scholars is a pre-medical school enrichment program comprised of a select number of academically competitive freshman and sophomore students. The program continues through the students’ senior year of college and is designed to enhance medical school access and success through two eight-week summer sessions that focus on research, MCAT preparation and the interview process.

View more photos from SouthMed Prep Research Day here.

To learn more about SouthMed Prep, click here.

Med School Café- Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. Brooks Cash, professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group, presented the June Med School Café lecture titled “Advanced Capabilities of the USA Gastroenterology Division.”

During the talk, Dr. Cash — who also serves as chief of the division of gastroenterology and director of the USA Digestive Health Center — discussed hepatology, irritable bowel disease, clinical trials, PillCam COLON and other unique treatment options offered by the division of gastroenterology at USA.

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by the USA Physicians Group. Each month, faculty from the USA College of Medicine share their expertise on a specific medical condition, providing insight on the latest treatment available. 

Watch the video below to view the lecture in its entirety.

June Med School Cafe - Advanced Capabilities of the USA Gastroenterology Division from USA Health on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Natalie Fox Appointed Director of Nursing for USA Physicians Group

Natalie Fox, pediatric nurse practitioner and manager of clinical operations for pediatrics at USA Physicians Group, recently was appointed director of nursing for USA Physicians Group.

“Natalie’s enthusiasm, openness and willingness to dig in and focus on patient care and patient outcomes, coupled with her experience in measuring clinic performance, makes her uniquely suited to help USA Physicians Group continue to make advances in patient care and customer service,” said Brian Norris, administrator of ambulatory services for USA Health.

Fox joined USA in 2011 and during the past six years has provided outstanding leadership and clinical oversight for the department of pediatrics.

In her new position, Fox will manage and mentor members of the clinical team and oversee the analytical functions necessary to support quality initiatives like patient centered medical home. She will also provide leadership in an effort to continuously improve patient-centeredness, patient equity and timeliness of health care delivery to physician practice patients.

“Being a provider at USA, Natalie understands the great job our staff does in serving our patients,” Norris added. “Conversely, she knows what challenges our staff —particularly our clinical staff— experience in meeting patient and faculty needs. With that knowledge, she will be a great asset for our clinical staff and our patients.”

According to Fox, her overarching goal as the director of nursing is to use a dynamic shared leadership approach to inspire clinical staff to continuously aim to improve the health of patients seen at USA Physicians Group through the delivery of high-quality services that are patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely.

As she begins her new role, Fox said she will continue to see patients. “I believe it is important to stay engaged on the front lines to understand the processes that affect our patients, staff and providers,” she said. “Plus, I really like connecting with my patients and challenging my clinical side.”

Fox earned both her bachelor of science in nursing and master of science in nursing from USA. She is also currently completing her doctorate of nursing practice degree at USA. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dr. Di Palma Marks 30 Years with USA College of Medicine

Dr. Jack Di Palma holds a red fish he caught offshore of Happy Jack, La.
“When I review fellowship applications, they always have a personal statement. Someone always says they’re here to save the world,” said USA gastroenterologist Dr. Jack Di Palma. “I have never said that, but I am passionate for medicine because it gives me the opportunity to perform a service that is a blessing.”

Dr. Di Palma, program director of the division of gastroenterology and professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently celebrated 30 years at USA as a medical educator and physician.

Dr. Di Palma joined the USA College of Medicine in 1987 after completing gastroenterology fellowship training at Wilford Hall USAG Medical Center in San Antonio, serving on faculty for four years as assistant chair of gastroenterology.

“When I started at USA, there was no formal gastroenterology program at the university. I was fortunate enough to recruit faculty and start a fellowship program to develop research in teaching and to develop our patient care programs,” Dr. Di Palma said.

Dr. Di Palma served as director of gastroenterology until October 2016, when Dr. Brooks Cash took over as director of gastroenterology. “Dr. Cash is an experienced clinician, administrator and educator who is well-poised to be the next generation’s leader in the gastroenterology division,” Dr. Di Palma said.

Dr. Di Palma is passionate about teaching students and fellows training in the gastroenterology program. “I always remind students to cherish the blessing of practicing medicine,” he said.

When he’s not busy mentoring and creating curricula for fellows in the gastroenterology department - during which time he recently welcomed the division’s 50th fellow - Dr. Di Palma looks forward to another kind of mentoring. He is the team faculty advisor for the USA Bass Fishing Club.

Dr. Di Palma said, “We could joke and say that I’m the designated grown-up for the team, but since my children are now 38 and 33, it’s been fun to be a mentor again to young adults.”

An avid outdoorsman for many years, Dr. Di Palma has enjoyed fishing in the many fresh and salt waters that are available to citizens in our region. When the advisor position for the USA Bass Fishing Club came up, he immediately jumped aboard.

“Programs like the USA Bass Fishing Club are important because we all need to be well-rounded individuals and move away from our jobs every now and then. It helps to expand ourselves, relax, reflect and be more productive,” he said.

Dr. Di Palma supports his team, who has qualified for and will be competing in a national tournament Oct. 10-11, 2017, on Lake Bemidji in Bemidji, Minn. “We are fortunate to have superb athletes on the USA Bass Fishing Team,” Dr. Di Palma said.

After 30 years of service at USA, Dr. Di Palma believes that the mentoring of medical students, fellows and members of the USA Bass Fishing Team are important parts of his career. “I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to mentor and teach medical students, athletes, and at least 50 young gastroenterologists who are scattered all over the country.”

As far as the future, Dr. Di Palma is excited to have recruited an excellent leader in Dr. Cash and looks forward to continuing what he calls a blessing - that of being an academic physician.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

USA Medical Student Lauren Nelson Attends American Academy of Pediatrics Meeting

Lauren Nelson, a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, attended the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) District III and District X meeting in Naples, Fla.

Nelson, who previously has served as an assistant district representative on the Medical Student Committee, recently was appointed district X student representative. “I feel like I have a bit more responsibility now as a district representative,” Nelson said.

Nelson stays busy on the committee by connecting with medical students in district X - which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico - and keeping them updated on things going on in the medical student committee. The goal of the medical student committee is to support and encourage medical students interested in pediatrics.

In addition, Nelson also serves as the mentorship work group chair for the committee. They are currently working on integrating PedsConnect, a forum where medical students can submit questions to pediatric faculty and resident experts with the AAP Mentorship Platform in order to encourage conversation between students and mentors. “It is a great opportunity to network and form relationships with mentors,” Nelson said.

During the conference, Nelson presented her experiences and work to district X leadership, including the district chair, state chapter presidents, vice presidents and executive directors and upcoming district leadership. She was excited to network within the conference. Nelson said a highlight of the conference was meeting AAP president-elect Colleen Kraft.

Nelson encourages other medical students interested in a career in pediatrics to get involved with the AAP. “The AAP is an organization full of mentors who are passionate about pediatrics and want to share their knowledge with you. Everyone I have met within the AAP wants to connect you to others and help you build a professional network,” she said.

Nelson also enjoys the relationships she has built with other medical students through the AAP. “I am so grateful that the AAP has connected me with other medical students across the country who are passionate about pediatrics and are at a similar stage in their training,” she said.

For more information about the AAP, click here.

Pediatrics Hosting Grand Rounds July 21

Dr. Lynn Batten, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama and director of the division of pediatric cardiology at USA, and Dr. Daniel Preud’Homme, professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and director of the USA Pediatric Healthy Life Center, will present “Hypertension: The (Blood) Pressure is On” for July’s pediatric grand rounds.

The event will take place Friday, July 21, at 8 a.m. in the conference room on the first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center.

Together, Dr. Batten and Dr. Preud’Homme will discuss the pathology of essential hypertension in pediatrics and review the risks and benefits associated with the routine use of drugs in hypertension. They will also discuss lifestyle modifications within the present guidelines and cover physician examination signs in pediatric hypertension.

The event is open to faculty, staff and students at USA. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided. For additional information, contact Katie Catlin at kncatlin@health.southalabama.edu.

The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile.

Monday, July 17, 2017

USA Welcomes Dr. Meir Mizrahi

Dr. Meir Mizrahi recently was appointed assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as a gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Mizrahi previously served as a professor of internal medicine and academic instructor at the Hadassah School of Medicine at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

Dr. Mizrahi earned his medical degree from the Bologna School of Medicine in Bologna, Italy. He completed his residency training and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. He then completed a research and clinical fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, in the Center of Advanced Endoscopy in Boston.

Dr. Mizrahi is an accomplished researcher who has been published in many peer-reviewed journals, case reports and medical reviews. He also has presented research at many scientific conferences and lectures throughout the world.

Dr. Mizrahi is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American Gastroenterology Association.

Dr. Mizrahi sees patients at the USA Digestive Center, located at 75 S. University Boulevard, Suite 6000-B. To make an appointment, call (251) 660-5555.

Friday, July 14, 2017

July Med School Café - ‘Managing Burn Injury: Past, Present and Future’

The July Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Steven Kahn, assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a burn, trauma and critical care surgeon with USA Health. Dr. Kahn also serves as director of the USA Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center at USA Medical Center. 

His lecture, titled “Managing Burn Injury: Past, Present and Future," will be held on July 28, 2017, at the USA Strada Patient Care Center Conference Room on the first floor. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Kahn will review the history of burn treatments and discuss the current treatments for managing burn injuries. He will also discuss advances in burn care and promising treatments underway for burn management.

Dr. Kahn earned his medical degree from East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of Medicine, located in Johnson City, Tenn. He completed a residency in general surgery, as well as a thermal injury research fellowship at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. He then completed a fellowship in surgical critical care, a fellowship in trauma/acute care surgery, and a burn fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center located in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Kahn is a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the International Society for Burn Injuries, the American Burn Association, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the Surgical Infection Society.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail kepartridge@health.southalabama.edu.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

USA Residents, Medical Students Connecting the World Through Medicine



Joseph Cortopassi
Joseph Cortopassi, a rising second-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, vividly remembers finding a heart murmur in a patient during a check-up in a small village about three hours south of Dakar, Senegal. After discussing the man’s condition with him through the local translator, the man began speaking about his Muslim faith. “For the next 20 minutes or so, the provider I was working with and the man had an incredible conversation about one another’s faiths. Afterward, the man walked away very appreciative of us and the conversation he had,” Cortopassi said.

Cortopassi, along with other medical students from USA and residents from USA Health, recently returned from a 10-day mission trip where they served in remote villages outside of Dakar, Senegal. The students and residents did not have access to a hospital to work from, but rather saw patients in a makeshift, outdoor clinic that was set up in the village.

“When I think of the patients we saw, I think of just how limited our resources were,” said Amber Bowie, a rising first-year medical student at USA.

“It’s so amazing to see how people who get by with so little can be content with their lives,” added Dr. Ben Cason, a surgery resident at USA.

Dr. Cason and the other students and residents on the mission trip noticed how well people of different religions and cultures throughout Senegal came together. “Everyone in the area lived at peace with their neighbor despite differences in religion that so divide the rest of the world,” Dr. Cason said.

Erin Bouska, a rising second-year medical student at USA, was touched by the hospitality and kindness that was shown in Senegal. “The sense of community was remarkable, especially between the Christians and Muslims. We not only prayed with Muslims in clinic, but we also learned that Muslims and Christians are friends who live, dine and work together with one another,” she said. “The rest of the world would do well to follow their example.” 

Travis Goodloe, a rising second-year medical student at USA, feels that the training he received at USA prepared him well for the trip as he was ready to provide a significant amount of care to patients that truly made a difference in their lives. “I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to receive my medical training at USA, but I have further realized that I have an obligation to pay this opportunity forward and use the skills I have learned to benefit others who are less fortunate,” he said.

Dr. Cason encourages any medical student and health care professional to get involved with mission projects. “From a humanitarian point of view, one is able to provide a needed service to a population that is unable to receive the service otherwise, and for me, it has been an opportunity to care for the sick and show them God’s love through my work,” he said.

Those who participated in the mission trip were happy to see USA’s reach across the world as students and residents worked to bring care to those who needed it most. “Our trip has the possibility of having a beneficial, yet short-term impact,” Bouska said. “However, to make the efforts of this trip long-lasting, we need the support of the USA Health community so that we can send medical teams back to these areas in the future."

“I think that as USA extends its outreach, it simultaneously serves to strengthen itself in all other facets, including right here in Mobile, because the mission of USA Health is being lived out as students like myself are able to foster our skills and bring them back to this community,” Goodloe said.

Cortopassi said that the mission trip helped remind him of his passion for helping people. “I know at times I personally find myself getting wrapped up in school and grades to the point where I lose focus on why I chose the field of medicine. I believe that mission trips remind us of why we chose this calling,” he said.

Bouska remembers going to sleep each night in Senegal after long days serving its communities while enjoying the view of starry African skies. “From the top of our sleeping quarters, we could clearly make out the Big Dipper, which of course led to multiple debates on the location of the constellations and different planets. It was the perfect way to unwind after a busy day, and I definitely miss it now that I’m home. It was a remarkable experience.” 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

USA Medical Students Present Research at ACEP Conference

Dr. Michael Sternberg and USA medical students (from left) Tyler Goldbach, Tory Saunders, Austin Brown, Kyle Duncan, Darren Ferree, Blair Gaines, Sam Wilson, Greg Van Wagner and Dillon Casey at the 2017 American College of Emergency Physicians Southeastern Chapter Educational Conference.
Nine rising fourth-year students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently participated in the research and case presentation poster competition at the 2017 American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Southeastern Chapter Educational Conference in Destin, Fla.

At the conference, Tory Saunders, Greg Van Wagner and Blair Gaines received second place for their poster presentation titled “I Can’t Feel My Arm.”

“USA’s group was the only student group to compete against emergency medicine residents from established emergency medicine programs in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Florida,” said Dr. Michael Sternberg,  professor of emergency medicine at the USA College of Medicine. “Although we have won several awards in the past, this year one of our student groups received a top award in the case presentation category."

Overall the group was praised for their efforts and knowledge by the national ACEP faculty,  emergency medicine chairs and residency program directors from across the country.”

The poster focused on moyamoya disease, a vascular disease that affects blood vessel development in the brain. “The research was an interesting case presentation that we wanted to present to other students and emergency medicine physicians to show that a common chief complaint can lead to an unlikely diagnosis,” Van Wagner said. “On imaging, the disease looks like a ‘puff of smoke,’ which is actually the English translation for moyamoya.”

Saunders said the symptoms presented by moyamoya disease are often similar to a stroke. “Knowing these subtle differences can help guide therapy and allow for better patient care,” he said. “I now have an in-depth understanding of the pathophysiology that I will not forget, and I also learned about numerous treatment options that I never knew existed.”

Van Wagner said it is beneficial for medical students to participate in research opportunities or share interesting case presentations to educate others and add more information to the ever-growing body of medical knowledge. “Another big advantage to doing a presentation is to meet other faculty members at other institutions, which allows you to network and learn some tips and tricks regarding your specialty of interest,” he said. “Try to find an interesting topic that you are passionate about. Not only does this make the experience much more enjoyable for yourself, but your audience also will greatly benefit from your enthusiasm.”

“It is also important for students to take advantage of research opportunities in medical school because we will be attending conferences throughout our careers, and the experience you gain can greatly benefit you down the road,” Gains added.

“This was our first time presenting at a conference and I think we all had a great time,” Saunders said. “Initially, we were nervous because we did not know what to expect. All in all, it was great getting to meet students and program directors from different universities who were eager to hear about our case and share our excitement for emergency medicine.”

According to Dr. Sternberg, emergency medicine has become an increasingly popular career choice for medical student graduates at the USA College of Medicine. “In 2017, eight medical students acquired emergency medicine residency positions throughout the country, in part due to their involvement with ACEP and similar activities,” he said.

To learn more about ACEP, click here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mark Your Calendar: 44th Annual Medical Student Research Day

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine will host the 44th annual Medical Student Research Day on Friday, July 28, 2017, in the Medical Sciences Building.

Oral presentations begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a keynote address at 11:00 a.m. The event will conclude with poster presentations from 12:45 p.m. until 2 p.m.

This year’s keynote address will be given by Dr. Betty Diamond, investigator and head of the Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disease Center at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y.

Dr. Diamond is a member of the American Association of Immunology, American College of Rheumatology, American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. She is also an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served as president of the American Association of Immunologists in 2009.

Dr. Diamond’s research has focused on the induction and pathogenicity of anti-DNA antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus. She earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed her residency training in internal medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. She also completed a fellowship in immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y.

The nine-week Medical Student Summer Research Program 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. Through this program, students develop an appreciation of how research contributes to the knowledge and the practice of medicine. Support for the program is provided by the USA College of Medicine Dean’s Office and the National Institutes of Health.

Click here for additional information.

USA Welcomes Dr. Percy Crocker

Dr. Percy Crocker recently was appointed assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as an otolaryngologist with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Crocker practices otolaryngology, a surgical subspecialty within medicine that deals with conditions of the ear, nose and throat, as well as related structures of the head and neck.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Crocker served as an otolaryngologist at Premier Medical Group in Mobile, Ala., and privately practiced from 1977 to 1997 in Mobile, Ala.

Dr. Crocker earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala. He completed his residency training in otolaryngology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, serving as chief resident.

Dr. Crocker is a member of the American Board of Otolaryngology, the Alabama Society of Otolaryngology and the American Society of Sleep Disorders.

Dr. Crocker sees patients at 1720 Center St. in Suite 103. To make an appointment with him, call (251) 415-1475.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Third-Year Medical Students Host Second Annual Case Report Symposium

University of South Alabama College of Medicine medical student Richard Huettemann explains his research to Dr. Philip Almalouf, assistant professor of internal medicine, during the M3 Case Report Symposium on June 9, 2017, at the Strada Patient Care Center.
The second annual Case Report Symposium hosted by the University of South Alabama College of Medicine was held June 9, 2017, in the first floor conference room of the USA Strada Patient Care Center.

During the event, 35 rising fourth-year medical students at the USA College of Medicine gained scholarly experience by presenting poster presentations of interesting, rare or novel case studies observed during their third-year rotations.

Rising fourth-year students Alex Wiles and David Rizk worked together to organize the symposium and offered medical students the opportunity to discuss their case reports.  The symposium also served as a platform for faculty members to provide constructive criticism and feedback on poster presentations.

The first place poster presentation award was presented to Jordan Nickols, a rising fourth-year student at the USA College of Medicine. His case report, titled “NMO: Revised Diagnostic Criteria and Importance of Serology,” focused on the diagnostic differences between neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis.

“I chose this case because it has very applicable clinical knowledge,” Nickols said. “This symposium taught me a lot about the work involved in properly presenting a case report and the importance of sharing your clinical experiences with your colleagues so that we can continue to learn from one another.”

The second place award was presented to Richard Huettemann for his report on “Cutaneous Leukocytociastic Vascuitis.” Imran Mohiuddin and Daniel Johnson received the third place award for their case report titled “Breakneck Speed: Understanding the Timing of Fracture Management in the Polytraumatized Orthopaedic Patient.”

USA medical student Winston Crute, also presented at the symposium. He said his interest in urology inspired him to present “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Complicated Presentation.”

According to Crute, the patient had an enlarged prostate and presented as if he had bladder cancer. “The presentation was different than the typical presentation for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and it would have been easy for any doctor to proceed down a different path in diagnosing the patient,” he said.  “I wanted to illustrate the complications of BPH, such as blood in the urine and kidney failure, so my classmates would remember to consider BPH when a patient presents with these troubling symptoms.”

Crute said the case report symposium provided him with an opportunity to read about the disease process in depth and become familiar with many different treatment options. “I will be doing rotations in urology this fall and this experience prepared me for one of the more common diseases that I will see, which will help me deliver better patient care,” he said.

Wiles — who also presented at the symposium — said the purpose of the symposium is to showcase interesting cases, and also to encourage students to become more active in research experiences. “The event was beneficial because students were able to learn from each other’s presentations, preparing them for future research opportunities,” he said.

Both Wiles and Rizk considered the symposium a “great success.” “The first floor conference room at the Strada Patient Care Center was fantastic,” Rizk added. “The space was the perfect size and allowed for guests to walk about and enjoy the different posters.”

The case reports were judged based on originality, strength of conclusions, quality of references, overall appearance, organization and topic.

Click here to view more photos from the symposium.

USA Health Welcomes New Resident Physicians

This month, the University of South Alabama welcomed a new class of resident physicians to the graduate medical education programs based at USA Health.

The first-year residents will focus on advancing basic skills in communication, assessment and management in various health care environments. The skills learned during the first year of training vary by their chosen specialty and build on the foundation given to students during their years in medical school.

“Medical school training is rather generic and the majority of the coursework is common to all students,” said Dr. Samuel McQuiston, assistant dean of graduate medical education and associate professor of radiology at the USA College of Medicine. “Graduate medical education training is a process of learning by doing. Residency programs provide dedicated training in a medical specialty, while fellowship programs provide advanced training in medical subspecialties.”

Dr. Elijah Fox, a first-year pediatric resident from Grand Bay, Ala., recently began his residency training at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “I am excited to begin working in the ER,” he said. “I love doing procedures, and I enjoy hands-on learning.”

Dr. Fox, who earned his medical degree from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan, Ala., said he chose to specialize in pediatrics because he never wanted to lose empathy for his patients. “Children do not choose what families they are born into or what conditions they are born with,” he said. “I want to do my best to help give them their best foot forward as they grow up.”

Currently, there are 247 residents and fellows training within USA Health. Of these, 74 began their first year of training this month. “The mission of our programs is to develop the clinical competency, medical knowledge, and professional attributes of physicians, to promote the safe and effective care for patients and to advance the art of healing through quality improvement and medical research,” Dr. McQuiston said.

With a long history of training physicians, USA Health provides training in 18 fully ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs. Residents and fellows in USA’s training programs are integrated into USA Health with the majority of their training centered at USA Medical Center, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and the USA Physicians Group practice.

With 247 housestaff, the USA GME training programs are mid-size programs when compared to other institutions. This year, USA recruited its new residents and fellows from 36 different medical schools – with the largest representation coming from USA. “While USA is always our largest source for new residents, new residents historically tend to hale from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Louisiana State University, William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss., and Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla.,” Dr. McQuiston said. “Other top contributing schools include the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan, Ala., the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Little Rock, Ark., and the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.”

Dr. McQuiston said USA Health also plays a critical role in supplying competent physicians for Mobile and the adjoining region. “Many physicians in Mobile and along the Gulf Coast have trained at USA,” he said. “More than 40 percent of our graduates practice in the state of Alabama and 20 percent practice in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and along the Interstate-10 corridor.

Learn more about GME training programs at USA here.