Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hope for Honduras: Students Embark on Medical Mission Trip

On a recent mission trip to Honduras, a group of medical students from the University of South Alabama provided more than medical care to their patients.

“The most important aspect of our mission was not to bring medicine, but to bring hope to the people we served,” said Bonnie Holley, a rising third-year medical student who took part in the 10-day trip with the Christian Medical Ministry of South Alabama (CMMSA).

Led by Duane Baxter, team director for CMMSA, the group was comprised of 12 first- and second-year medical students, three doctors and five support personnel. They partnered with an in-country ministry that sends medical teams to a variety of locations in and around Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras.

“The medicines we gave will only last a few weeks, and the people of Honduras live rough, dangerous lives in extreme poverty,” said Holley, who has participated in 10 international mission trips, including five to Honduras. “Our presence for a few days can’t change any of that, but by working with the Honduran ministry we were able to help connect our patients with people in the local churches. Helping to foster the creation of a supportive community that will endure after we have left is one of the key elements of successful short-term mission trips.”
From left, Kendal Dekle and Elisabeth Potts, both USA
medical students, and Abby Williams, a clinical exercise
physiologist, play with the children in Honduras.

Among the participants were Dr. Kent Lord, an orthopaedic surgeon and 2006 USA College of Medicine alumnus, and Dr. Dale Hardy, a cardiologist and 1991 USA College of Medicine alumnus. Their expertise in surgery and cardiology allowed the medical students – most of whom had just completed their first year of medical school – to experience specialty care and procedures, such as a pacemaker placement and a tendon repair surgery.

“What impacted me the most was getting to be around a team of medical students, nurses and doctors who loved God and wanted to use medicine to heal and serve others,” said Brooks Burns, a rising second-year medical student. “I was especially influenced by the older physicians, who would openly pray for their patients and trusted God to guide them throughout their lives. Seeing these things and working with an amazing team has definitely influenced my faith and how I want to practice medicine someday.”

Holley said the trip served as a form of leadership development and career exploration. Her previous international service experience helped her take on an encouraging mentor role with her peers, and her ambition is to do medical mission work full time.

Burns said, “I felt like going on this mission trip would be a great reminder on why I got into medicine, and it truly was. The trip was such an awarding experience, from seeing a totally different culture and meeting so many great people. It provided me with medical experience outside the classroom and has motivated me to learn as much as I can, moving forward.”

Learn more about the Christian Medical Ministry of South Alabama.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mark Your Calendar: 45th Annual Summer Medical Student Research Day

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine will host the 45th annual Medical Student Research Day on Friday, July 27, in the Medical Sciences Building.

Oral presentations will at begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a keynote address. The event will conclude with poster presentations from 12:45 until 2 p.m.

Dr. David Guidot
This year’s keynote address will be given by Dr. David Guidot, director of the division of pulmonary, allergy, critical care and sleep medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Dr. Guidot graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He completed his residency at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis and his fellowship at the University of Colorado Hospital.

The nine-week Medical Student Summer Research Program includes hands-on research related to basic science and/or clinical medicine; a seminar program that focuses on various scientific and clinical topics; and student presentations at Research Day. Through this program, students develop an appreciation of how research contributes to the knowledge and the practice of medicine.

Support for the program is provided by the USA College of Medicine Dean’s Office and the National Institutes of Health.

USA Department of Neurology Welcomes Dr. William Kilgo

Dr. William Kilgo recently was appointed assistant professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as a neurologist with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Kilgo received his medical degree and completed his residency training in neurology at the USA College of Medicine, and he completed a neurology fellowship with a focus on neuroimmunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“Rejoining the program where I completed my medical school and residency training is exciting, as I will have the opportunity to mentor medical students and neurology residents. I especially look forward to providing a service as a neuroimmunologist to the Gulf Coast which is in short supply - not just here, but around the country,” Dr. Kilgo said.

His specialty is multiple sclerosis, and he will be practicing with Dr. Elizabeth Minto, assistant professor of neurology, who also specializes in multiple sclerosis. Dr. Kilgo said he hopes to increase access to clinical trials for patients with multiple sclerosis and rare diseases like neuromyelitis optica (NMO).

Dr. Kilgo has received many awards and scholarships including the Best Neurology Resident, which was given to him by the USA College of Medicine class of 2017. He is a member of the Alabama Academy of Neurology and American Academy of Neurology, among others, and he has been published in three abstracts.

Dr. Kilgo will begin seeing patients Aug. 1. To make an appointment, call (251) 660-5108.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Dr. Vaughan Lee Appointed Professor of Medical Education

Dr. Vaughan Lee recently was appointed professor of medical education at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Lee served as professor of medical education and assistant dean for the basic science curriculum at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). He was also the Dr. Bernell Dalley Endowed Professor of Medical Education at the TTUHSC School of Medicine.

Dr. Lee earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Alabama. He earned his master’s degree in basic medical sciences and doctoral degree in anatomy from the USA College of Medicine. He completed post-doctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

He is a prolific author of articles, case reports, abstracts and other publications relating to his areas of expertise. His most recent scholarship focuses on developing and assessing resources designed to promote independent learning for medical students. 

Dr. Lee is a member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists and former chair of the association's Educational Affairs Committee; the Society for Ultrasound in Medical Education and served on its board of directors; and the American Association of Anatomists. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, research grants and contracts.