Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Third-Year Medical Students Host Second Annual Case Report Symposium

University of South Alabama College of Medicine medical student Richard Huettemann explains his research to Dr. Philip Almalouf, assistant professor of internal medicine, during the M3 Case Report Symposium on June 9, 2017, at the Strada Patient Care Center.
The second annual Case Report Symposium hosted by the University of South Alabama College of Medicine was held June 9, 2017, in the first floor conference room of the USA Strada Patient Care Center.

During the event, 35 rising fourth-year medical students at the USA College of Medicine gained scholarly experience by presenting poster presentations of interesting, rare or novel case studies observed during their third-year rotations.

Rising fourth-year students Alex Wiles and David Rizk worked together to organize the symposium and offered medical students the opportunity to discuss their case reports.  The symposium also served as a platform for faculty members to provide constructive criticism and feedback on poster presentations.

The first place poster presentation award was presented to Jordan Nickols, a rising fourth-year student at the USA College of Medicine. His case report, titled “NMO: Revised Diagnostic Criteria and Importance of Serology,” focused on the diagnostic differences between neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis.

“I chose this case because it has very applicable clinical knowledge,” Nickols said. “This symposium taught me a lot about the work involved in properly presenting a case report and the importance of sharing your clinical experiences with your colleagues so that we can continue to learn from one another.”

The second place award was presented to Richard Huettemann for his report on “Cutaneous Leukocytociastic Vascuitis.” Imran Mohiuddin and Daniel Johnson received the third place award for their case report titled “Breakneck Speed: Understanding the Timing of Fracture Management in the Polytraumatized Orthopaedic Patient.”

USA medical student Winston Crute, also presented at the symposium. He said his interest in urology inspired him to present “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Complicated Presentation.”

According to Crute, the patient had an enlarged prostate and presented as if he had bladder cancer. “The presentation was different than the typical presentation for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and it would have been easy for any doctor to proceed down a different path in diagnosing the patient,” he said.  “I wanted to illustrate the complications of BPH, such as blood in the urine and kidney failure, so my classmates would remember to consider BPH when a patient presents with these troubling symptoms.”

Crute said the case report symposium provided him with an opportunity to read about the disease process in depth and become familiar with many different treatment options. “I will be doing rotations in urology this fall and this experience prepared me for one of the more common diseases that I will see, which will help me deliver better patient care,” he said.

Wiles — who also presented at the symposium — said the purpose of the symposium is to showcase interesting cases, and also to encourage students to become more active in research experiences. “The event was beneficial because students were able to learn from each other’s presentations, preparing them for future research opportunities,” he said.

Both Wiles and Rizk considered the symposium a “great success.” “The first floor conference room at the Strada Patient Care Center was fantastic,” Rizk added. “The space was the perfect size and allowed for guests to walk about and enjoy the different posters.”

The case reports were judged based on originality, strength of conclusions, quality of references, overall appearance, organization and topic.

Click here to view more photos from the symposium.

USA Health Welcomes New Resident Physicians

This month, the University of South Alabama welcomed a new class of resident physicians to the graduate medical education programs based at USA Health.

The first-year residents will focus on advancing basic skills in communication, assessment and management in various health care environments. The skills learned during the first year of training vary by their chosen specialty and build on the foundation given to students during their years in medical school.

“Medical school training is rather generic and the majority of the coursework is common to all students,” said Dr. Samuel McQuiston, assistant dean of graduate medical education and associate professor of radiology at the USA College of Medicine. “Graduate medical education training is a process of learning by doing. Residency programs provide dedicated training in a medical specialty, while fellowship programs provide advanced training in medical subspecialties.”

Dr. Elijah Fox, a first-year pediatric resident from Grand Bay, Ala., recently began his residency training at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “I am excited to begin working in the ER,” he said. “I love doing procedures, and I enjoy hands-on learning.”

Dr. Fox, who earned his medical degree from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan, Ala., said he chose to specialize in pediatrics because he never wanted to lose empathy for his patients. “Children do not choose what families they are born into or what conditions they are born with,” he said. “I want to do my best to help give them their best foot forward as they grow up.”

Currently, there are 247 residents and fellows training within USA Health. Of these, 74 began their first year of training this month. “The mission of our programs is to develop the clinical competency, medical knowledge, and professional attributes of physicians, to promote the safe and effective care for patients and to advance the art of healing through quality improvement and medical research,” Dr. McQuiston said.

With a long history of training physicians, USA Health provides training in 18 fully ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs. Residents and fellows in USA’s training programs are integrated into USA Health with the majority of their training centered at USA Medical Center, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and the USA Physicians Group practice.

With 247 housestaff, the USA GME training programs are mid-size programs when compared to other institutions. This year, USA recruited its new residents and fellows from 36 different medical schools – with the largest representation coming from USA. “While USA is always our largest source for new residents, new residents historically tend to hale from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Louisiana State University, William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss., and Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla.,” Dr. McQuiston said. “Other top contributing schools include the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan, Ala., the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Little Rock, Ark., and the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.”

Dr. McQuiston said USA Health also plays a critical role in supplying competent physicians for Mobile and the adjoining region. “Many physicians in Mobile and along the Gulf Coast have trained at USA,” he said. “More than 40 percent of our graduates practice in the state of Alabama and 20 percent practice in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and along the Interstate-10 corridor.

Learn more about GME training programs at USA here.

Class of 2018 Medical Students Named to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Top row, left to right: Alex Wiles, Stephen Ambrose and Olivia Means. Bottom row, left to right: Sarah Cassity, Austin Brown and Leith Bayazid.
Six third-year medical students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine were named to the USA chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society.

The following students were selected: Stephen Ambrose, Leith Bayazid, Austin Brown, Sarah Cassity, Olivia Means and Alex Wiles.

AOA, a professional medical organization, recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine. Members have a compelling drive to do well and to advance the medical profession and exemplify the highest standards of professionalism.

In addition, two faculty members, Dr. Lee Grimm, assistant professor of surgery, and Dr. Michael Sternberg, director of emergency department student rotations and professor of emergency medicine; and one surgery resident, Dr. Daniel Freno, were selected for this honor.

According to Dr. Kelly Roveda, assistant dean of medical education and student affairs at the USA College of Medicine and USA AOA chapter councilor, election and membership in AOA signifies commitment to not only scholarship but also leadership, professionalism and service.

The top 25 percent of a medical school class is eligible for nomination to the society, and up to 16 percent may be elected based on leadership, character, community service and professionalism.

Members may also be elected by chapters after demonstrating scholarly achievement and professional contributions and values after medical school and during their careers in medicine.

The AOA motto is “Be Worthy to Serve the Suffering.” To learn more, visit