Thursday, August 14, 2014

August Med School Café - Cerebral Aneurysms: Prevention and Management

The August Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Steve Cordina, assistant professor of neurology and medical director of the University of South Alabama Stroke Center.

His lecture, titled “Cerebral Aneurysms: Prevention and Management,” will take place Aug. 28, 2014, in the John Counts Room in the USA Mitchell Center on USA’s main campus. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

During the talk, Dr. Cordina will discuss the risk factors of developing cerebral aneurysms and what can be done to repair them once they have been discovered.

Dr. Cordina earned his medical degree from the University of Malta in Msida, Malta. He completed his residency training in neurology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Department of Neurology and Neurosciences in Newark, N.J. This was followed by a vascular neurology fellowship at the University of Minnesota.

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) 460-7770 or e-mail

Parking will be available in the South lot (Old Shell Road entrance) of the USA Mitchell Center. For directions, click here.

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

Dr Cordina Med School Cafe Teaser from USA Health System on Vimeo.

USA Physicians Named 'Top Doctors'

This year, four physicians from the University of South Alabama Physicians Group and USA Mitchell Cancer Institute appear in the America’s Top Doctors directory issued by U.S. News and World Report. They are the only doctors in our region to receive this honor.

Drs. Michael Finan, Johnson Haynes, Arnold Luterman, and William Richards were each listed among the top physician specialists in the United States. To be included in the America’s Top Doctors directory, physicians rank in the top one percent of primary and specialty care for their expertise.

Dr. Michael Finan is associate director for clinical affairs and professor and chief of the gynecologic and oncology division at the Mitchell Cancer Institute and is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the USA College of Medicine. He specializes in the management of cancers of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and the lower genital tract. He is also the first gynecologist in Mobile to perform robotic surgery. Prior to joining USA, Dr. Finan served as the residency program director of gynecologic oncology and chair of the cancer committee at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans.

Dr. Johnson Haynes Jr. is professor of internal medicine and director of the USA Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. Dr. Haynes also serves as assistant dean for diversity and cultural competence at the USA College of Medicine. His interests are in the research and treatment of sickle cell disease. Dr. Haynes is a graduate of the USA College of Medicine and conducted his residency training at the USA Medical Center. Dr. Haynes completed his clinical fellowship in pulmonary medicine at USA, as well as fellowship in pulmonary vascular research at the University of Colorado in Denver.

Dr. Arnold Luterman recently retired as the Ripp-Meisler professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine and medical director of the USA Burn Center. He is a nationally known burn care expert and is noted for his leading-edge burn and wound treatment and research. He helped establish the USA Burn Center in 1981 and has played a vital role in the care of burn victims in our region for more than 30 years.

Dr. William Richards serves as professor and chair of surgery at the USA College of Medicine. He directs the laparoscopic and bariatric surgery programs at USA and is also a member surgeon with the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. Dr. Richard’s clinical interests focus on surgical treatment of achalasia, paraesophageal hernias, Barrett’s esophagus, adrenal tumors, gastroesophageal reflux disease, Type 2 diabetes and motility disorders of the gastrointestinal tract using minimally invasive surgical procedures. He has performed thousands of laparoscopic procedures since 1989 and is internationally recognized for his research and surgical expertise in these disorders.

In addition, 24 USA physicians were named regional Top Doctors this year. Regional Top Doctors rank in the top 10 percent of primary and specialty care physicians within a given area.

U.S. News Top Doctors was created in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. It draws from their database of America’s Top Doctors, all recommended for their clinical skills by other doctors and individually vetted by a physician-led research team. Consumers can search for a Top Doctor by location, hospital affiliation, and a full range of specialties and subspecialties.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

COM Class of 2018 Introduced to Medical School During Orientation

First-year medical student David Steadman practices CPR on a mannequin during the basic life support training class at the USA College of Medicine's freshman orientation Aug. 5 , 2014.
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine welcomed new faces last week during the Class of 2018’s freshman orientation.

During orientation, the students’ schedules were packed with information sessions, icebreakers, policy briefings and study strategies.

“Orientation was a wonderful way for us to get introduced to the faculty and medical students at USA,” said first-year medical student Francie O’Hea. “We were given a wonderful overview of the educational program, which allowed us to more fully understand what will be expected from us during our four years here.”

For O’Hea, becoming a physician has been a lifelong dream. “I have been waiting for the first day of medical school for several years,” she said. “My father is a general practitioner in a rural community and visiting nursing homes with him has made me more fully realize the need for medical assistance in underserved areas.”

O’Hea, who attended undergraduate school at Auburn University, said she is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Mobile – the community she knows and hopes to serve as a physician. “For the past two years I have been doing research at USA, interacting with both medical researchers and practicing physicians,” she said. “Working in this setting has given me an appreciation for the close-knit community that USA represents.”

First-year medical student Alan Akira said he is nervous, but excited, about starting medical school. “The diversity and positivity that embodies our class makes me look forward to overcoming the challenges of medical school together,” he said. “Our class is made up of great individuals.”

Akira, who received his undergraduate degree at UAB, chose to attend medical school at USA for several reasons. “USA’s interview process is one that can’t be compared,” he said. “I never felt rushed in my individual interviews, and I felt that my interviewers were truly listening to me as a person – not merely as a face to an application.”

Another first-year medical student, Jordan Nickols, agreed. “When I visited USA I felt like this was a place where everyone simply wanted you to succeed,” he said.

Akira was also impressed with USA’s commitment to working with communities outside of the typical clinical setting at the main hospital, such as with Trinity Gardens through the Center for Healthy Communities and with the student run clinic through 15 Place, a local homeless shelter. “USA supports both the social and clinical aspects of medicine, which I believe are essential in shaping us into compassionate, competent physicians,” he said.

All of the first-year students agree that they are ready to get started. “This is the next big step for all of us,” Nickols said, “and we are ready to move forward.”

Mark Your Calendar: Lions Club Run for Sight

The University of South Alabama Lions Club will host their 2nd annual Kickoff Run for Sight on Aug. 23, 2014, at 7:30 a.m. The event will begin at Swamp Loop Trail and end at the SGA Pavilion on USA’s main campus. On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m.

The Lions Club is an international organization, founded in 1917. It is the world’s largest service club, with 1.35 million members. “Helping those that are in need throughout our community and the world is our main goal as we try desperately to decrease the number of those suffering with hearing and visual impairments,” said Tommie Carlisle, vice president of the University Lions Club.

The proceeds from the event will help fund the USA Eye Research Institute, scholarships for children to attend Camp Sugar Falls and Camp Seale Harris, and a Christmas party for the Preschool Center for Deaf and Blind.

This event is one of the first events that will be held for the incoming freshmen students. This is a great opportunity for new and ongoing students to get involved within their campus.

The event will conclude with a post-race party at the Pavilion, and prizes will be awarded in multiple categories.

On-site registration is permitted on race day, but only those registered by Aug. 16, 2014, are guaranteed a T-shirt. Click here to register online.

For more information about the Kickoff Run for Sight, contact Tommie Carlisle at (251) 422-2430 or