Thursday, February 7, 2019

USA College of Medicine Establishes New Residency Program in Emergency Medicine

From left, Dr. Edward Panacek, Dr. Paul Henning and Dr. Larry Mellick have led the establishment of the new residency training program in emergency medicine.
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to establish a new residency training program in emergency medicine.  

The program received accreditation in January and will welcome the first class of residents in July. Emergency medicine is a three-year residency training program, and USA will have six residents per year for a total of 18 residents. The department is actively interviewing candidates and will participate in the National Residency Matching Program on March 15. The program may also accept residents with advanced training and transfers from other residency programs. 

“Alabama has an extreme shortage of board-certified emergency medicine physicians, ranking 49th out of 50 states for the number of qualified emergency physicians per capita,” said Dr. Edward Panacek, professor and chair of emergency medicine at the USA College of Medicine. He attributes this shortage to the lack of residency training programs in the state.

“Establishing the USA emergency medicine residency program will help us better meet the needs of the health care of the citizens of Alabama in two ways,” said Dr. John Marymont, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine. “In addition to the patient care we provide, as an academic health center we also play a vital role in regional workforce development, as most of our resident physician graduates choose to set up their practice close to where they complete their training.”

According to Dr. Panacek, who graduated from the USA College of Medicine in 1981, the majority of physicians, particularly emergency medicine physicians, end up practicing within 50 to 100 miles of where they finish their training, whether it’s the end of residency or the end of fellowship. “Alabama currently experiences a brain drain,” he said, “because we produce medical school graduates but then have had to send them to other states for emergency medicine residency training. The majority of them are not coming back. Our goal is to change this.”

Dr. Paul Henning, associate professor of emergency medicine, said the new emergency medicine residency program at USA – the second in the state of Alabama – will help fill the need for quality emergency-trained and trauma-experienced medical physicians not just in large cities but also rural parts of the state. 

Dr. Henning joined USA last fall to take on a leadership role with the residency program, initially as associate director and later as program director. He is one of several new hires in the emergency medicine department, as the ACGME requires a minimum number of qualified core faculty members in order to establish a new residency program. 

“Essentially, the academic department faculty have largely been built from the ground up over three years,” Dr. Panacek said. “We needed to attract and hire enough emergency medicine academic faculty to get a new residency approved. But without the EM residency yet established, they had to come on a bit of a hope and a prayer – a leap of faith. But, each time one was hired, it made it easier to hire the next.”

In addition to hiring enough new faculty, Dr. Panacek said the process to apply for a new residency program was lengthy and tedious. Once the program proposal was approved internally, the university applied for accreditation to the ACGME. This required detailed documentation of how the program would both operate and provide sufficient educational experiences for residents. 

Having joined USA last spring, Dr. Larry Mellick, professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine and vice chair of academic affairs for emergency medicine at the USA College of Medicine, assisted in the application process and will serve as assistant director of the residency program. “An emergency medicine residency is very competitive and, like other popular residencies, attracts the cream of the crop of students,” he said. “Because of that, I have found over the years that other services love to have emergency medicine residents rotating with them.”

The new residency program in emergency medicine coincides with the groundbreaking for the new Fanny Meisler Trauma Center at University Hospital, scheduled to open in summer 2020. The new construction will more than double the size and modernize the space, enhancing the hospital’s ability to care for patients with traumatic injuries and respond to mass casualties.

USA Health Hosting Winter Apparel Sale

USA Health is offering winter apparel for all staff members to purchase at wholesale pricing through Feb. 23.

The department of outreach will be offering “pop-up shops” throughout the health system to allow staff to try on sample items and place orders in person. If you cannot make it to one of the following “pop-up shops,” you can still place an order by scanning the order form below to

View apparel here:

Print order form here:

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Register Now: Gulf Coast Acute Care Surgery Symposium

The 10th annual Gulf Coast Acute Care Surgery Symposium and the William A.L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship will be held April 3-5, at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa, located at 26 N. Royal St.

Dr. Hasan B. Alam, one of the most respected surgeon-scientists in trauma and president-elect of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, will present the keynote lecture. Dr. Alam is the Norman Thompson Professor of Surgery and section head for the section of general surgery at the University of Michigan Hospital.

Topics include EMS, emergency medicine, critical care, trauma, orthopedics and WMD first responder training presented by the FBI.

New to the symposium this year is the John Campbell Tribute lecture. Dr. John Campbell was founder and president of International Trauma Life Support and is well known for his groundbreaking work in developing pre-hospital trauma assessment and trauma care worldwide. Dr. Neil Christen, East Alabama EMS medical director, will be the inaugural John Campbell Tribute speaker.

Also, the symposium will be working in conjunction with Alabama Gulf Coast EMS Systems, ADPH and Office of EMS. The FBI and Homeland Security will bring several speakers that will provide a risk-assessment specific for Mobile County and the Alabama Gulf Coast.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Register for the event here. For more information visit

Mark Your Calendar: MAA Doctors' Day Celebration March 28

The University of South Alabama Medical Alumni Association will host Doctors' Day Celebration at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Fairhope Brewery.

The event provides an opportunity for USA medical alumni to network with fellow area alumni and celebrates their commitment to our community's health and the impact they make on the practice of medicine.

Hors d'oeurves and drinks will be provided. Fairhope Brewery is located at 914 Nichols Ave. in Fairhope, Ala.

RSVP by March 20 to or (251) 460-6805.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Dr. Rebecca Sugg Joins Neurology at USA

Dr. Rebecca Sugg recently was appointed associate professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as a neurointerventional vascular neurologist with USA Physicians Group.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Sugg served as associate professor of neurology, neurosurgery, radiology and surgery at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson. She also served as a neurointerventional vascular neurologist, medical director of the stroke program, chief of the vascular and endovascular division, and vice chair of the department of neurology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Sugg earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in neurology at UAB, followed by a fellowship in vascular neurology at the University of Texas at Houston and fellowships in neuroradiology and endovascular surgical neuroradiology at UAB.

She is board-certified in neurology and vascular neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is also certified in neuroimaging by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. Her areas of interest include endovascular treatment of cerebrovascular diseases such as carotid and vertebral stenosis, intracranial stenosis, acute stroke, aneurysms, and vascular malformations.

To make an appointment with Dr. Sugg, call (251) 660-5108.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Second February Med School Café to Feature Dr. Christopher Malozzi

The second February Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Christopher Malozzi, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a cardiologist with USA Physicians Group.

His lecture, titled “Breast Cancer and Heart Disease,” will be held on Feb. 15, at the USA Health 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.

During the lecture, Dr. Malozzi will review the cardiac side effects of breast cancer treatment, focusing on anthracyclines, herceptin and radiation. He will also discuss the bidirectional long-term relationship between breast cancer treatment and cardiac disease and introduce the concept of cardio oncology.

Dr. Malozzi earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his residency training in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at USA. Dr. Malozzi is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

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) 470-1690.

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by 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.

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