Wednesday, November 28, 2018

USA Medical Students Take First Place in APPA Poster Contest

Second-year medical student Shyla Hossain
attended the conference and presented their poster.
Lauren Chastain and Shyla Hossain, students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently won first place in the poster contest at the Alabama Psychiatric Physicians Association (APPA) fall conference in Mobile.

Chastain, a fourth-year medical student, and Hossain, a second-year medical student, won for their project, "Overdose without the Dose: A Case Study of Patient Handoff in Psychiatry."

Dr. W. Bogan Brooks, associate professor of psychiatry at the USA College of Medicine and a psychiatrist with USA Health, served as principal investigator of the study. They also worked with Dr. Shanthi Gatla, a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at USA Health.

"Our project highlighted the importance of efficient communication between health care providers as patients transition between facilities throughout treatment stages," explained Hossain, who attended the conference and presented their poster. "We illustrated this through a patient case; the patient's chart revealed five different diagnoses and medications over the span of 11 months! With her in mind, we conducted a literature search on patient handoff procedures and were able to introduce several mnemonics to the APPA attendees."

Hossain said many of the conference attendees were acutely aware of the problem and had experience with similar cases. "Using a structured method of communication significantly improves patient outcomes and reduces hospital stays, and we sincerely hope some attendees were able take back our suggestions to their own practice," she said.

Hossain said she is proud to have taken part in such relevant research that could be applied to any field of medicine. "As an M2, research is not something that we have a lot of time for, and it is something you have to seek out for yourself. I enjoy doing research and sought out Dr. Brooks early in my M1 year," she said. "It is very rewarding to have achieved first-place with a wonderful team of mentors who strongly believe in providing opportunities to help students achieve beyond their goals."

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