Thursday, June 8, 2017

Med School Café- Expert Advice for the Community

Rachel Fenske Presents "Locating Consumer Health Information" - May Med School Cafe from USA Health on Vimeo.

Rachel Fenske, assistant librarian and information services/outreach librarian at the University of South Alabama Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library, presented the May Med School Café lecture titled “Locating Consumer Health Information from the National Library of Medicine.”

Fenske discussed how to locate web-based resources that provide helpful and accurate medical information from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Med School Cafe 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.

USA Medical Students Receive Scholarships to Attend 2017 AAP Spring Meeting

Five rising fourth-year medical students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine — Lauren Nelson, Ashton Todd, Alexandria Broadnax, Samantha Lin and Adam Powell — recently received participation scholarships from the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to attend the 2017 AAP Alabama Chapter Spring Meeting and Pediatric Update in Mirarmar Beach, Fla.

“The AAP’s Alabama Chapter has a program in which students across the state are invited to submit applications for educational scholarships to attend the meeting,” said Dr. Benjamin Estrada, professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and a pediatric infectious disease specialist with USA Physicians Group. “This year, five of our students applied and were granted a scholarship.

Participating in this meeting is not only a great learning opportunity, but also an opportunity to become familiar with different aspects of pediatrics across Alabama, to become engaged in child advocacy and to network with others in the field.”

Nelson said attending conferences is beneficial for medical students because they offer an abundance of useful information and networking opportunities. “Many of the talks are typically presented by experts in the field and are very relevant to medical students, residents and early career physicians,” she said.

According to Dr. Estrada, Nelson not only plays an active role in the Alabama Chapter of the AAP, but she is also the medical student committee district representative for the southeast region. She serves as the medical student district representative for district ten, which includes Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Puerto Rico.“This is the first time that I have attended an Alabama Chapter AAP meeting, and I really enjoyed meeting local pediatricians,” Nelson said.

Nelson said she especially enjoyed a lecture given by Dr. Haidee Custodio, assistant professor of pediatrics and a pediatric infectious disease specialist with USA Physicians Group, titled “Differentiating Mucocutaneous Symptom Complexes.”

During the lecture, the audience participated in an interactive activity led by Dr. Custodio to solve cases on different disease processes. “She covered five disease processes that all have similar presentations, but she was able to highlight what differentiates them so that pediatricians will know what to look for in the clinic,” Nelson said. “It was very effective and seemed to garner a great deal of enthusiasm from the audience as they tried to solve the cases.”

Dr. Estrada and Dr. David Gremse, professor and chair of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and a pediatric gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group, also attended the meeting. “Dr. Estrada and Dr. Gremse are so supportive of medical students, especially those of us interested in pursuing a career in pediatrics,” Nelson said. “I feel very lucky to have such outstanding faculty who are so enthusiastic about involving medical students in an organization they love.”

The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is the only statewide member organization of pediatricians, with 780 members across the state, representing both academic and community pediatrics in both urban and rural areas.  To learn more, visit .

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

University Physicians Group Clinic Recognized for Excellent Customer Service

The University of South Alabama Physicians Group hosted a celebration for the clinic scoring the highest for courtesy and respect on patient satisfaction surveys.

University Physicians Group, located at USA Commons, was recognized for having the highest score of 97.5 percent on the in-house survey.

“We realize that it can be very uncomfortable and scary to see the doctor, therefore, excellent customer service can help minimize the patient’s fear by having someone treat them with a smile, empathy and respect,” said Sandra Curtis, manager of quality improvement for USA Physicians Group. “The survey is a way to help us identify ways of improving our practice, which translates into better care and happier patients.”

The patient satisfaction survey includes questions concerning ease of appointment, courtesy of staff, wait time to see the physician, respect shown and privacy needs met. Responses for courtesy, respect and meeting patients’ privacy needs are mathematically averaged to determine scores.

The purpose of these quarterly awards is to keep customer service in the forefront of USA Physicians Group clinics. “Our goal is to receive a 90 percent rating in our clinics,” Curtis said. “The University Physicians Group clinic recently was rewarded with an ice cream party to show our appreciation of their commitment to excellence.”

To qualify for the customer service award, the clinic must receive at least 50 patient satisfaction surveys for the quarter. For USA Physician Group clinics interested in improving their customer service skills, training sessions are available. To learn more, contact the Office of Compliance at 471-7836.

Pediatrics Hosting Grand Rounds June 16

Dr. Mitchell Cohen, professor and chair of pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala., will present “The Many Feces of Clostridium Difficile” for June’s pediatric grand rounds.

The event will take place Friday, June 16, at 8 a.m. in the conference room on the first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center.

Dr. Cohen will discuss how to recognize and treat clostridium difficile infections, as well as how to differentiate approaches for recurrent infections.

The event is open to faculty, staff and students at USA. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided. For additional information, contact Katie Catlin at

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

USA Welcomes Dr. Judy Blair-Elortegui

Dr. Judy Blair-Elortegui recently rejoined the University of South Alabama as the internal medicine residency program director, associate professor of internal medicine and adjunct professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine.

Prior to rejoining USA, Dr. Blair-Elortegui served as a physician with Greater Mobile Urgent Care in Mobile, Ala. She served previously at USA from 2000 to 2011 as an assistant and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine. She also served as program director for the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program during that time.

Dr. Blair-Elortegui earned her bachelor of science degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. She earned her medical degree and completed residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at USA.

Dr. Blair-Elortegui is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics. Her previous research was centered on cardiovascular health promotion in children and adolescents. She has participated in many community service projects, including working in children’s rehabilitation services at the Teen Transition Clinic in Mobile, Ala. and serving as a board member of our local Ronald McDonald House.

Dr. Blair-Elortegui’s clinical work will be in conjunction with residents and medical students on the hospital teaching services at USA Medical Center and resident continuity clinic at USA Stanton Road Clinic.