Tuesday, February 28, 2017

USA Medical Students Present Research at ALACC Conference

Maelynn La, above, won third place for her research presentation at the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology winter conference.
Maelynn La and Mazen Omar, two second-year medical students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, presented at the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ALACC) winter conference in Birmingham, Ala., last month.

La won third place in the Ami Iskandrian Young Investigator Abstract Poster Competition for her research on “Clinical Significance of Nonspecific T-Wave Abnormalities.”

Her research focused on the clinical significance of nonspecific t-wave abnormalities on an electrocardiogram. “These findings are often considered incidental, but we wanted to determine if these subtle findings correlated to ischemic heart disease as evidenced on studies such as echocardiogram, cardiac catherization and stress tests,” La said. “Much of coronary disease is preventable so we were interested in studying methods to improve patient outcomes."

La credits the USA College of Medicine’s Summer Research Program for preparing her for the conference. “Out of 14 projects, only one other medical student participated and the rest were cardiology fellows,” she said. “I was selected for an oral presentation on my project for the summer research program, so I was much more comfortable and confident presenting my poster and answering questions at these meetings.”

La received a travel award to present at the 2017 ALAAC annual meeting in June. “The program has already made a huge impact on my career because I was able to work on clinical research directly with cardiologists and present my project on both a national and regional level,” La said. “I do not think I would have been able to work as closely with attendings if I were at a larger institution, and that makes South special to me.”

Omar presented “Correlation of Nuclear Stress Test Findings with the Extent of Coronary Artery Disease in Diabetic Versus Non-Diabetic Patients” at the conference. “The goal of my research was to compare the results of stress tests between diabetic and non-diabetic patients,” he said. “What I found was that when a diabetic patient has an abnormal stress test, they are more likely to have coronary artery disease than a non-diabetic patient.”

Omar said participating in the USA College of Medicine’s Summer Research Program gave him the opportunity to present research at multiple conferences. “The summer research program is a good way for medical students to be introduced to the research opportunities at USA and allows students to network with faculty members,” he said.

Both La and Omar presented at the 2016 American Medical Association Research Symposium last year. To learn more about their research, click here.

For more information on the Summer Research Program, click here.

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