Thursday, February 21, 2019

Mark Your Calendar: Student Career Exploration Mixer April 8

The University of South Alabama Medical Alumni Association will host the Student Career Exploration Mixer from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 8, at the USA Faculty Club.

USA College of Medicine alumni and area physicians are invited to join current USA medical students as they begin to explore their professional options and work toward selecting a specialty of interest.

The USA Faculty Club is located at 6348 Fincher Road on USA's campus. RSVP to or (251) 460-6805.

March Med School Café to Address Technology Advancements in Diabetes Treatment

The March Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Wilburn Bolton III, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and an endocrinologist with USA Physicians Group.

The lecture will be held Friday, March 22, at the Strada Patient Care Center conference room on the first floor. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Bolton will discuss technology advancements in the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including glucose sensors, insulin pumps, and glucose sensor-augmented insulin pump therapy.

Dr. Bolton received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency training at USA. He completed an endocrinology and metabolism fellowship at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C. He is a member of the American Diabetes Association and American College of Physicians.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, contact Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or email

Med School Café 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.

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dr. Franklin Trimm to Present Pediatric Grand Rounds

Dr. Franklin Trimm, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and assistant vice president for medical affairs for USA Health, will present March's pediatric grand rounds.

His lecture, "Diversity in Healthcare: Why It Matters," is set for 8 a.m. Friday, March 15, in the Strada Patient Care Center first-floor conference room.

Dr. Trimm will discuss how diverse populations have diverse health care needs and identify implicit biases that might prevent delivery of optimal health care to diverse populations.

Pediatric grand rounds is every third Friday of the month. The event is open to USA faculty, staff and students. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided.

For more information, contact LaTasha Williams at or (251) 415-8688.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Solidarity Week a Reminder to Practice Compassionate Care

Members of USA's chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society present a 'Tell Me More' poster to Jon Mason, a patient at USA Children's & Women's Hospital.  
Last week, members of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society (GHHS) participated in Solidarity Week, a national initiative designed to remind students and health care employees of the importance of compassion in medicine.

"These activities allow us to reflect on why we choose to pursue medicine, which is to take care and help others," said Tina Artz, a fourth-year student at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS social coordinator. "Humanistic and compassionate care is what I call 'infectious,' and Solidarity Week gives us the opportunity share these principles central to GHHS with others in the College of Medicine and University Hospital."

For the past four years, the “Tell Me More” program has served as the centerpiece of Solidarity Week. Led by GHHS members, the goal of “Tell Me More” is to engage patients in conversations that focus on what matters most to them rather than why they are in the hospital. After obtaining consent, medical students asked patients to share unique information about themselves, which the students used to craft posters and display above their beds.

"A lot of times we only ask medicine-related questions, and 'Tell Me More' is a way to get to know our patients on a personal level," said Natalie Carlisle, a fourth-year student at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS secretary/treasurer. "We learn about things that are important to them - their families, things they enjoy."

Matthew Robson, a fourth-year student at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS president, said the activities during Solidarity Week serve as a reminder that patients are more than their illnesses. "When you work in a hospital every week, it can be easy to forget how foreign and traumatic being a patient can be, and it is important to remember the bigger picture," he said.

Another staple of Solidarity Week is delivering thank-you letters and baskets - filled with fruit, popcorn and other goodies - to nurses' stations in University Hospital and USA Children's & Women's Hospital.

Artz said her favorite part of the week is seeing the faces of nurses and staff light up when the students present them with the baskets. "We make it like a Mardi Gras parade, handing out beads, stickers, treats and hugs," she said. "It lightens everyone's day, and allows us take the extra time to show them how much we appreciate their hard work and compassionate care."

Robson said he enjoys seeing everyone's reactions when they receive their thank-you letters. "There are a lot of kind, positive people involved in the delivery of high-quality health care, and showing them our appreciation is always a treat," he said. "When months go by and you still see the letters hanging up, you remember how big of an impact gratitude can make."

GHHS members made an encouraging poster for second-year 
medical students.
Carlisle and other GHHS members surprised second-year students with a poster of encouragement, as they prepare to take Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination. “During Solidarity Week we recognize the health care workers, students and residents who all practice compassionate care at the hospitals and clinics,” Carlisle told the class. “But we also wanted to recognize you all for your hard work. We know this semester, especially, is a really difficult time … so we wanted to give you a little bit of encouragement.”

Humanistic Hearts was a new project incorporated into Solidarity Week this year. GHHS members set up stations outside the cafeterias at the two hospitals and asked medical students and employees how they plan to practice humanistic medicine. Participants wrote their responses on heart-shaped notes and posted them to the poster board.

Also new this year was the Humanistic Bingo Challenge, created by fourth-year student and GHHS member Trevor Stevens. Carlisle said the challenge was designed to improve wellness among medical students. "Some of the challenges included paying a compliment to yourself or someone else, exercising, and focusing on positive aspects of your day," Carlisle explained.

The completed Bingo cards were entered into a raffle for prizes. Fourth-year student Emily Smith and first-year student Lexie Hensley won $25 Amazon gift cards; first-year student Raj Kondapally won a copy of the book “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi.

“What started out nationally as a one-day event that grew in to one week is the highlight for many of our GHHS members,” said Karen Braswell, supervisor of clinical education at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS chapter advisor. “It is a time to slow down and reflect more on the compassionate care and kindness we should all extend to one another – every day.”

The national Gold Humanism Honor Society office established National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Care in 2011 to highlight the nation-wide movement promoting provider-patient relationships based on caring, personalization and mutual respect. Learn more about GHHS Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care.

View more photos from USA’s Solidarity Week on Flickr. Share your own posts and photos using the hashtag #SolidarityWeek.