Wednesday, September 11, 2019

USA College of Medicine alumnus returns as trauma and burn surgeon

Caleb Butts, M.D., assistant professor in the department of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, is drawn to trauma surgery because he feels it’s an area of medicine that changes lives – lives that have the potential to impact others.

“Traumatic injuries result in the largest number of productive life years lost,” said Butts, who is surgeon in the USA division of trauma and acute care surgery.  Butts said. “Being able to take care of these patients provides a lot of satisfaction because I know I am changing lives that may affect so many other lives--not just those that are injured, but those family members and friends that count on them.”

Butts, who recently joined the USA College of Medicine faculty, is a native of Decatur, Alabama. He attended college and graduate school at Mississippi State before returning to Alabama for medical school and residency training at the USA College of Medicine. He then went on to complete fellowships in acute care surgery and surgical critical care at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center before returning to USA Health University Hospital as a trauma and burn surgeon.

Growing up in Decatur, Butts said the hometown family physician there embodied the ideal of what a physician should be like – “smart, knowledgeable, kind and caring.” Butts wanted to be like him when he grew up. He said the environment at USA Health – people who are committed to seeing all patients get better – is one of the main reasons he came back.

“Having trained in other places, I can see how people here really care about their patients,” he said. “My goal is to provide first-rate care to each and every patient.”

He’s also returning to USA to continue the cycle of world-class medical education that he received in his time here as both a student and a resident physician.

“With smaller class sizes, we were able to get focused attention and meaningful interactions with the faculty and physicians here,” Butts said. “The general surgery residency has an excellent track record of producing caring, competent surgeons that are highly capable of moving into a fellowship or going straight into practice. During my fellowship, I found that we are incredibly well-trained and on par with some of the top programs in the country.”

During his training at USA, Butts was active with the Christian Medical Ministry of South Alabama, taking trips to Honduras and Rwanda. He said that he is excited to work this group again.

Butts said that he, his wife Tricia, and four kids love Mobile and are thrilled to be back.

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