Tuesday, April 14, 2015

USA Medical Student to Graduate with Research Honors

Hayden Hundley, a senior medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, will be graduating this May with research honors.

The Research Honors Program is available in the USA College of Medicine for medical students who desire to conduct in-depth research in an area of the health sciences. The program consists of selecting a project, selecting a mentor, preparing a manuscript for submission to a peer review journal, and giving an oral presentation on research findings. 

“I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of supportive faculty at the USA College of Medicine,” Hundley said. “The Research Honors Program provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience that extends beyond the classroom and is applicable in future academic and clinical practice.”

Hundley initiated his interest in research through the Medical Student Research Program at USA, which supports medical student research prior to the first year and between the freshman and sophomore years of medical school.

Starting with the Medical Student Summer Research Program, Hundley said extra time and effort was required to balance regular duties of a medical student with an on-going research project. “However, the autonomy provided by the Research Honors Program allows students the flexibility to conduct research without necessarily taking away from studies or school-related activities,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project during the past three years.”

Hundley’s research project centered on toilet training children with autism.  “Many children with autism are often markedly delayed in achieving this skill, causing a significant amount of stress for both the child and caregivers,” Hundley said. “Specifically, our study focused on the perspectives of parents who had successfully toilet trained children with autism and how this group differs from typical children with regard to bladder and bowel control.”

Hundley chose Dr. Hanes Swingle, professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and director of the Autism Diagnostic Clinic, as his project mentor. “Working with Dr. Swingle was absolutely a wonderful experience,” Hayden said. “Reflecting on the outstanding faculty who have taught me through the years, Dr. Swingle stands out among those who have made the most meaningful impact me and my education.”

Hundley said it is rare to have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member over the course of multiple years. “When I learned Dr. Swingle and I shared backgrounds in public health and pediatric research, I felt that working with him would be a great fit for me,” Hundley added. “I learned something new from him daily, whether it was about pediatrics or pearls of wisdom about life.”

Part of Hundley’s research experience included sharing research findings through podium and poster presentations at professional meetings in Orange Beach, Ala., San Diego and Washington D.C. 

Hundley emphasized that students with the slightest interest in research should consider being involved in one of the multiple research opportunities at USA. “This experience provided me with a deeper understanding of research and problem solving,” he said, “which makes me more confident and driven to pursue additional research opportunities in the future.”

Senior medical students at the University of South Alabama gathered March 20, 2015, at the Mobile Convention Center to find out this year’s Match Day results and the next step in their medical training. At the event, Hundley matched in anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh. Hundley will graduate May 9, 2015, from the USA College of Medicine.

USA Physician Recognized for Customer Service

Dr. Rosina Connelly, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatrician with USA Physicians Group, was presented an Employee Recognition Award for outstanding customer service skills.

"I received a call today from a patient's mother who wanted to let me know what a wonderful physician Dr. Connelly is. She indicated that Dr. Connelly goes above and beyond her role as a physician. 'She is amazing and deserves all of the accolades she can receive.' She indicated her entire family loves Dr. Connelly, and that her 5-year-old son is still here today because of the care he has received from her."

     -Excerpt taken from a patient nomination form

USA Surgery Hosts Greater Gulf Coast Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Symposium

Dr. Thomas Scalea speaks during last week's William A.L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care, which was held in conjunction with the Greater Gulf Coast Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Symposium.
Attendees listen to a speaker during the 6th Annual Greater Gulf Coast Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Symposium on April 9, 2015, at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel.
The University of South Alabama Department of Surgery hosted the 6th annual Greater Gulf Coast Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Symposium on April 9-10, 2015, at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile, Ala. The event had approximately 150 attendees.

This year’s symposium included updates on trauma, emergency surgery and critical care issues.

The 8th annual William A. L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care was held in conjunction with the seminar. This year’s lecture featured internationally recognized trauma surgeon Dr. Thomas Scalea. Dr. Scalea is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the Baltimore area, including the University of Maryland Medical Center and Veterans affairs Maryland Health Care System-Baltimore Division.

View more photos from the event here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

USA Surgical Oncologist Earns New Board Certification

Dr. Marcus Tan, assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a surgical oncologist with the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, recently earned a board certification in surgical oncology.

“We congratulate Dr. Tan for this accomplishment. The board certification speaks directly to his education and clinical experiences reflected in the excellent care he provides his patients,” said Dr. William O. Richards, chair of the USA department of surgery.

Dr. Michael Finan, interim director of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, echoes Dr. Richards. “In the treatment of complex illness such as cancer, it is imperative that physicians demonstrate their keen understanding of the latest and most effective modalities of treatment,” he said.

Dr. Tan joined USA in 2013. His clinical interests include complex surgical oncology, including cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas, sarcoma and melanoma.

Dr. Tan earned his medical degree at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. After completing an internship at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia, he moved to the United States.

Dr. Tan completed a general surgery residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., where he served as chief resident in 2010-11. From 2011-2013, Dr. Tan served as a surgical oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Surgical oncology is a branch of surgery that mainly deals with the removal of tumors, usually cancerous. Established to assess qualifications for the treatment of complex cases – typically seen in cancer centers and specialized institutions – the American Board of Surgery approved this certification in 2011 in an effort to help improve the care of cancer patients with complex cases requiring intensive, multidisciplinary treatment.

Dr. Tan’s clinic is located at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile, Ala. For more information visit www.usamci.com. For appointments or to make a referral, call (251) 445- 8405.

USA Libraries Book Drive In Progress

In celebration of National Library Week, the University of South Alabama Libraries are once again collecting books for children and teens to donate to USA Children's Medical Center, a pediatric outpatient clinic located in midtown Mobile. Books collected during the drive will be used to support the pediatric clinic's Reach Out and Read program to put books into the hands of young patients at well-child and sick visits.

Reach Out and Read is a national non-profit organization that encourages early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading.

“As a Reach Out and Read site, our office provides books to patients beginning at six months of age,” USA pediatrician Dr. Cindy Sheets said. “We also give advice to parents about the importance of reading and set out a variety of children’s books in our waiting rooms.”

New and gently used books for children or teens can be donated at the Marx Library, Baugh Biomedical Library, or UMC Health Information Resource Center on the 3rd floor of USA Medical Center from April 6-20, 2015. A drop-off box is also located in the Mastin Building, Room 709.

If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a pick up, contact Andrea Wright at (251) 461-1424.