Thursday, June 30, 2011

Class of 2013 Medical Students Receive White Coats at Annual White Coat Ceremony

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine held its annual White Coat Ceremony at the Saenger Theatre on June 25. During the ceremony, rising third-year medical students were cloaked with their first white coats, the traditional dress of physicians for more than 100 years.

To view more photos from the event, click here.

Dr. Penaskovic Receives Devneil Vaidya Junior Faculty Teaching Award

Dr. Kenan Penaskovic (right) with his mentor Dr. Ronald Franks

Dr. Kenan Penaskovic, attending psychiatrist and director of medical student clerkship at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently received the Devneil Vaidya Junior Faculty Teaching Award.

The Devneil Vaidya award, which recognizes a junior faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching, mentoring and curricular innovations related to medical student education, is given by the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry. Dr. Penaskovic was nominated for the award by Dr. Sandra Parker, vice-chair of psychiatry at USA.

As the psychiatry clerkship director for third year medical students, Dr. Penaskovic works in both inpatient and outpatient settings, supervising students and residents as they care for the community.

"This award is less about what I have accomplished personally and more about what the students and faculty at USA have achieved," Dr. Penaskovic said. "The experience at USA has afforded me a great degree of autonomy and innovation in teaching that has helped us rejuvenate the clerkship."

According to Dr. Ronald Franks, professor of psychiatry and vice president for health sciences at USA, the medical student education program has advanced sharply over the past several years under the direction of Dr. Penaskovic. The integrated educational program between the USA College of Medicine and AltaPointe Health Systems has allowed students and residents to benefit from the high quality treatment programs at AltaPointe.

“With the support of AltaPointe, Dr. Penaskovic completely revised the educational experience for junior medical students such that they were involved in the assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders throughout the lifespan,” he said. “Specifically, they were able to witness the impact of psychiatric problems in children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients.”

Dr. Franks said this comprehensive experience was not possible prior to the integration of the psychiatry department with AltaPointe. “In exchange, AltaPointe has used its relationship with the College of Medicine to help in the recruitment of an excellent faculty of psychiatrists and psychologists who are involved with the teaching of students and residents in the treatment of patients through AltaPointe.”

Dr. Penaskovic said he was both humbled and honored to receive the award. “My experience with the unique collaboration between USA and AltaPointe has afforded my tremendous professional and personal growth,” he said. “I would have never been in the position at such a young age without Drs. Parker and Franks' encouragement and trust. Their support has been instrumental in helping me grow as an educator.”

Dental Implant Seminar Held At College of Medicine

The Academy of Implants and Transplants from Jamaica, N.Y., held a surgical seminar for dental implants and transplants at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

The 30th Scientific Session and Live Surgical Seminar titled “Implant Dentistry for the New Millennium: Understanding and Mitigating Implant Complications” was held June 23 through June 25 at the USA Medical Sciences Building. The event drew doctors from all across the United States.

“We performed live surgical implants on patients in the surgical skills lab,” said program chair Dr. Louis Naman, DMD, MAGD. “We converted the surgical suite into a dental surgical suite.”

“The group used the second floor lecture hall and our state-of-the-art surgical skills lab,” said Dr. Glenn Wilson, chair of cell biology and neuroscience at the USA College of Medicine. “They were able to shoot live video of surgeries being performed on patients in the surgical skills lab to an audience of doctors in the lecture hall in real time.”

The academy used the USA College of Medicine facilities when they conducted a previous seminar in 1989, Dr. Naman said.

“Even though our medical school does not offer a dentistry program, we were glad to be of public outreach and promote public health by offering our local dentists and even allied health students the opportunity to take part in the medical training,” said Dr. Wilson.

Surgery Chair to Give Free Community Lecture

Dr. William O. Richards, professor and chair of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, will present a free community lecture, titled “Bariatric Surgery for Morbid Obesity,” on July 8, 2011, at 12 p.m.

The lecture, open to anyone interested in learning more about bariatric surgery for weight loss, will take place in the Mastin Professional Building Room 203 at 2451 Fillingim St. in Mobile.

Dr. Richards’s clinical interests focus on surgical treatment for Type 2 diabetes and treating motility disorders of the gastrointestinal tract using minimally invasive surgical procedures. He has performed thousands of laparoscopic procedures since 1990, including numerous laparoscopic bariatric procedures.

For more information on the lecture, call (251) 471-7413 or e-mail