Thursday, November 9, 2017

Physicians Group, College of Medicine Employees Named to USA-Team

The University of South Alabama employee service recognition program recently nominated exceptional employees for the 2017 Christie Miree USA National Alumni Association Outstanding Employee award.

USA Physicians Group and USA College of Medicine employees were among those honored.

Employees who were nominated are a part of the USA-Team and meet the following criteria: “performs beyond the call of duty to improve service, quality and the image of the university, division or department; exemplifies professionalism and dedication to the excellent service and works as a team player; makes outstanding contributes to the university, division or department by developing a better way to execute the job by saving time, space or money.”

Each member was recognized by USA President Dr. Tony Waldrop and presented a USA-Team certificate.

Charlene Jordan, associate director of health systems grant administration and development at the USA College of Medicine, is one of the Christie Miree award winners and has been working at USA for 27 years. “I am truly humbled and honored that my colleagues went the extra mile to write recommendations on my behalf,” she said.

As research administrator, Jordan helps investigators at USA in all aspects of pre- and post-award grant submissions. “It is exciting to see them succeed in obtaining external funding and very rewarding to know that their research benefits not only our local area, but also has an impact nationwide,” she said.

Rodger Smith, a pedorthist for USA Health, is also one of the Christie Miree Award winners. He has been at USA for 14 years and was pleasantly surprised by his nomination. “I see many people who work very hard and go out of their way for others,” he said. “I am very honored to have been nominated and even more honored to have been selected.”

Smith said working in the orthotics lab is his favorite place to be. “I enjoy using my skills to help people walk better and with less pain,” he said. “I told both of my kids that one of the most important things in life is to pick a career that you love and it will never seem like work. I am fortunate enough to have done just that.”

The Christie Miree Award represents dedicated employees who go above and beyond in the work force. Christie Miree is an alumna of USA and a former member of the board of trustees.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

USA Medical Students Perform in Top Quartile of Medical Students Across the United States

Results recently released from the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Graduation Questionnaire (GQ)  provide insight on student performance, quality of medical education and student satisfaction at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

The data revealed that medical students at the USA College of Medicine performed at the highest level when compared to other medical students from across the United States. USA medical students scored in the top quartile of medical schools on several measures that demonstrate student academic performance and achievement.

According to Dr. John Marymont, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine, this new data speaks to the caliber of our faculty members, students, educational process and learning environment.

“The USA College of Medicine has always enjoyed a reputation of providing outstanding education for medical students,” he said. “The mentorship and encouragement demonstrated by faculty members coupled with the dedication and hard work displayed by students creates a nurturing environment that breeds academic success.”

According to Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean for medical education and student affairs at USA, students at the USA College of Medicine performed exceptionally well on both the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2.

The USMLE Step 1 is the first of three licensure exams that students take to assess their ability to apply knowledge, concepts and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills.

“In 2017 the average score for USA medical students taking Step 1 was 235, compared to a national average of 230,” Dr. LeDoux said.

The USMLE Step 2 exam measures clinical knowledge and is taken during the beginning of the fourth year of medical school.  According to Dr. Tony Gard, assistant dean for medical education at the USA College of Medicine, out of 102 medical schools reporting their scores, only 13 outperformed USA during the 2015-2016 academic year, when the upward trending of scores for our students first became clear. This placed USA’s graduating Class of 2016 in the top quartile of performance compared to other medical schools.

“For the graduating Class of 2017, the average score for USA medical students increased further to 248, while the national average on this exam did not change from the preceding year,” Dr. Gard said. “The results for the current senior class are just as promising. These results predict that successive classes of senior USA graduates are sustaining a high level of competence in medical knowledge ranking among the very best medical schools in the country.”

The GQ, administered by the AAMC, is designed to identify issues critical to the future of medical education and the well-being of medical students, and is used by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) for benchmarking and improving medical education.

Dr. LeDoux said one of the key questions graduates are asked concerns satisfaction with their educational experience. “The results from the 2017 AAMC graduation questionnaire showed that 98 percent of students from the USA College of Medicine were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their education,” she said. “When compared to other schools across the United States, the results put us above the ninetieth percentile in student satisfaction.”

Dr. Keith Peevy, professor of pediatrics and a member of the curriculum committee at the USA College of Medicine, said the USA College of Medicine has experienced a positive trend in student performance since the implementation of the organ-system, competency-based curriculum in 2012. “The USMLE scores continue to reflect the excellence of the revised curriculum,” he said. “The way our curriculum is designed results in students who are better prepared to address clinical problems and excel in the clinical environment.”

The USA College of Medicine is a vibrant and expanding academic medical center providing all facets of medical education, research and patient care. Founded in 1973, the USA College of Medicine is the region’s only medical school and one of only two allopathic medical schools in the state of Alabama. More than 2,500 medical students have graduated from the USA College of Medicine and approximately one-third of local practicing physicians trained at the USA College of Medicine and/or USA Health. The College is a member of the AAMC and accredited by the LMCE and by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

USA Welcomes New Orthopaedic Surgery Chair

Dr. Richard Marks recently was appointed professor and chair of orthopaedic surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and will serve as a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon with USA Physicians Group.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Marks served as professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, as well as director of the division of foot and ankle surgery. During this time, Dr. Marks also served as adjunct professor of the biomedical engineering department and clinical professor of the physician assistant studies department at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Dr. Marks earned his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He completed an internship in general surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and an orthopaedic surgery research fellowship at Pennsylvania Hospital-Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. He then completed residency training in orthopaedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and an orthopaedic surgery foot and ankle fellowship at The Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore.

Dr. Marks serves as a reviewer of Techniques in Foot and Ankle Surgery journal and Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, as well as an associate editor of Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research.

His clinical interests include treatment of sports injuries of the foot and ankle, ankle replacement surgery, Achilles’ tendon disorders, reconstructive surgery for flatfoot deformity, neuropathic disorders as well as forefoot surgery including bunion and hammertoe correction. His research interests include outcomes analysis of total ankle replacement and ankle fusion, and gait lab analysis of ankle arthritis, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction and rheumatoid arthritis disorders.

Dr. Marks is a diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, American College of Surgeons and American Orthopaedic Association.

Dr. Marks is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery and will be seeing patients at the Strada Patient Care Center. To make an appointment, call (251) 665-8200.

Dr. Bassam Presents at AANEM Annual Meeting

Dr. Bassam Bassam, professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a neurologist with USA Physicians Group, recently presented at the 2017 American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

Dr. Bassam, who also serves as director of the USA Neuromuscular Clinic and EMG Laboratory, was among 141 speakers at the conference.

At the meeting, he presented two workshops on “Nerve Conduction Pitfalls” and a lecture on “Functional Anatomy and Physiology of Autonomic Nervous System.” Dr. Bassam also served as chair of the Autonomic Neuropathy Course and a member of both the Neuromusclar Update Committee and the American Board of Neuromuscular and Electro-diagnostic Board Examination Committee.

Over 950 physicians, fellows and residents from around the world attended the meeting.

Founded in 1953, the AANEM is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to the advancement of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and electrodiagnostic medicine. The AANEM is the only membership organization designed to address the needs of all neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic health care providers by bringing together physicians, researchers, technologists and collaborators who specialize in these areas of medicine.

To learn more about AANEM, click here.