CCHS hosts orientation for incoming medical students

The College of Community Health Sciences hosted 33 University of Alabama School of Medicine students April 27 and 28 who will complete their third and fourth years of medical school in Tuscaloosa.

In its role as a regional campus for the School of Medicine, the College provides clinical education for a portion of medical students, who complete the first two years of medical school at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham, and their third and fourth years at either Birmingham or one of the school’s regional campuses in Tuscaloosa, Huntsville or Montgomery.

During the orientation in Tuscaloosa, medical students learned about the College’s clerkships, participated in electronic medical record training and toured DCH Regional Medical Center. Most of the students are Alabamians, while others are from Georgia, Oregon, Connecticut and other states.

Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College, told the students that while the College’s clinical education is oriented toward primary care, it provides exposure to and experience in other specialties. “Our focus is on primary care, but not exclusively,” he said. “We provide a very good, general professional education of physicians. We have students going into every discipline from this campus.”

Streiffer explained that an emphasis on primary care is important for a number of reasons. The US spends more on primary care than most industrialized nations yet has poorer health outcomes. Primary care, meanwhile, is associated with better access to care at lower costs. Alabama continues to have a shortage of primary care physicians. The US has an aging population suffering from chronic diseases and conditions that primary care is best suited to handle. And, finally, primary care takes into consideration social determinants of health – factors like socioeconomic status, education, physical environments, employment and social support networks, as well as access to care.

“Medical schools are largely funded by public money, so a social mission that medical schools have is to train physicians to meet the needs of society, Streiffer said, adding that the mission of the College is to improve health in communities by educating and training doctors for Alabama and the Southeast region.

He said the College’s education efforts are also interprofessional. “You will interact with students from nursing, social work and pharmacy, and you can take a culinary medicine course. You will work with our residents. We have an interprofessional faculty, and University Medical Center is a full-service practice.”

The College operates The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency, the second largest family medicine residency in the US and one of the oldest. University Medical Center, the largest community practice in West Alabama, is also operated by the College and is the base for its clinical teaching program. UMC provides direct health care services in the areas of: primary care, including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and geriatrics; psychiatry and behavioral medicine; women’s health, including obstetrics and gynecology; and sports medicine. UMC also has telemedicine services and evening hours. The practice saw nearly 155,000 patients last year.

Leeper, Paxon join College

Dr. Connie Leeper joined the College of Community Health Sciences as an assistant professor in the Department of Family, Internal, and Rural Medicine.

Leeper graduated cum laude from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She earned her medical degree and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

She completed a family medicine residency at the Ventura Family Medicine Residency in Ventura, California, where she served as a chief resident. Leeper also completed an obstetric fellowship at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California.

Dr. Raheem Paxton joined the College of Community Health Sciences as an associate professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Population Health and as an investigator for the College’s Institute for Rural Health Research.

Previously, Paxton was an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at The University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas, with a joint appointment at the university’s Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Research in the Institute of Aging.

Paxton graduated cum laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He earned a master’s degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and a PhD in Public Health/Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

His post-graduate training includes a research fellowship in Intervention Development/Dissemination Research at the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii, and a research fellowship in Health Disparities in Cancer Survivorship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

College’s fourth-year medical students match into residencies

Fourth-year medical students from the University of Alabama School of Medicine Tuscaloosa Regional Campus learned earlier this month where they will train for the next three to seven years for their graduate medical education.

Twenty-nine students from the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus, which is operated by UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, were among thousands nationwide who learned of their residency placements through the National Resident Matching Program, which coordinates the residency match process.

Three Tuscaloosa campus students – William Lee, Jessica Powell and Amanda Shaw – matched into the College’s Family Medicine Residency, the second oldest and one of the largest family medicine residencies in the country.

The largest number of students matched into pediatric residencies at six, followed by four in family medicine, four in emergency medicine and three in general surgery. Students also matched in other medical specialties, including two in surgery-preliminary, two in transitional-ophthalmology, and one each in internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, neurology, anesthesiology, orthopaedic surgery, radiology-diagnostic, medicine-pediatrics, transitional-dermatology and medicine-preliminary-dermatology.

Altogether, Tuscaloosa campus students placed into residencies across 18 different states.


2017 Match Results

Steven Allon, Internal Medicine, UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, AL)

Jonathan Antonetti, General Surgery, Brookwood Baptist Health (Birmingham, AL)

Roshmi Bhattacharya, Surgery-Preliminary, Einstein Healthcare Network (Philadelphia, PA)

Reaves Crabtree, Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospitals (Jackson, MS)

Ariana Diamond, Transitional-Ophthalmology, Brookwood Baptist Health-St. Louis University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO)

Carter Elliott, Anesthesiology, UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, AL)

Danielle Fincher, Family Medicine, University of California Davis Medical Center (Sacramento, CA)

Maria Gulas, Pediatrics, Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte, NC)

Samantha Haggerty, Pediatrics, Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, MA)

Andrew Headrick, Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX)

Chase Henderson, General Surgery, Brookwood Baptist Health (Birmingham, AL)

Katelynn Hillman, Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth (Richmond, VA)

Adam Jacobs, Surgery-Preliminary, Brookwood Baptist Health-UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, AL)

Caroline Kennemer, Medicine-Preliminary, University Hospitals (Jackson, MS)

Joshua Koplon, Emergency Medicine, Orlando Health (Orland, FL)

William Lee, Family Medicine, The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residence (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Kayln Mulhern, General Surgery, University of Tennessee College of Medicine (Memphis, TN)

Courtney Newsome, Emergency Medicine, University of Arkansas (Little Rock AR)

Jessica Powell, Family Medicine, The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Amanda Shaw, Family Medicine, The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Nathan Sherrer, Medicine-Pediatrics, Ohio State University Medical Center (Columbus, OH)

Daniel Stanley, Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

Julia Steigler, Transitional-Dermatology, Resurrection Medical Center-University of Rochester/Strong Memorial (Rochester, NY)

Scott Thomas, Neurology, UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, AL)

Caitlin Tidwell, Emergency Medicine, Palmetto Health Richland (Columbia SC)

Chelsea Turgeon, Obstetrics-Gynecology, University of Pittsburgh medical Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chaniece Wallace, Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis, IN)

James Watson, Pediatrics, UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, AL)

Caroline Watson, Transitional-Ophthalmology, Brookwood Baptist Health (Birmingham, AL)-Tulane University School of Medicine (New Orleans, LA)

Med students practice tai chi, learn health benefits

Medical students learned about the health benefits of tai chi along with a few basic movements on Jan. 13 at Dean’s Hour at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences.

Madeleine Hill, a longtime friend of the College and a member of its Board of Visitors, spoke about the benefits of tai chi, and introduced students to a few basic movements of sun, one of the five basic styles of the Chinese martial art.

The Dean’s Hour Lecture Series is a monthly forum for medical students created by the College to raise students’ awareness of community health issues.

Hill has taught tai chi for more than 10 years. Her late husband, Dr. William Winternitz, was a faculty member at CCHS for many years, and they both have supported the College’s Geriatrics Initiative.

Tai chi helps to reduce stress, promote relaxation and enhance peace of mind, Hill said. She has seen first hand through her teaching of tai chi how it has helped to reduce pain for some of her students. It also improves concentration and memory.

Another benefit of tai chi is that it helps to improve balance. According to the CDC, older Americans experienced 29 million falls in 2014, causing 7 million injuries and costing about $31 billion in annual Medicare costs. More than 27,000 older adults died from a fall in 2014.

“There’s a good reason to improve our balance,” Hill said.

One of the College’s functions is to serve as the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus for the University of Alabama School of Medicine, providing clinical education for a cohort of third- and fourth-year students.

“How could this come into play in your own practices?” Hill asked students. “It starts with you. You’re the best example to your patients of how you maintain your own lives and take care of yourselves.”

Alumnus, antivenin developer speaks to med students about snakebites

Scholarships awarded to medical students, Rural Medical Scholars

Scholarships were recently awarded to four medical students receiving their clinical education at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences. Rural Medical Scholars also received awards.

Faculty members, Pediatrics department honored at Argus Awards ceremony

Two faculty from The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences were honored at the annual Argus Awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 7. The awards are given by medical students to faculty and mentors for outstanding service to medical education.

Dr. Heather Taylor, an associate professor ­­­in the Department of Pediatrics, received an Argus Award in the Clinical Awards category for Best Clinical Educator, and Dr. Quinton Matthews, an associate professor in the Department of Surgery and a physician with University Surgical Associates, received an award in the Excellence in Education category for Best Community-Based Physician.

The Department of Pediatrics also received an Argus Award in the category of Best Clinical Department at the Tuscaloosa Campus. Other departments nominated were Obstetrics and Gynecology and Surgery.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized by the students,” says Taylor. “That’s why we have the jobs that we have so that we can work with students and do something valuable that gives back to them.”

Those who received nominations were: Dr. Bradley Bilton, associate professor in the Department of Surgery; Dr. Ashley Evans, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics; and Dr. Robert Slaughter, hospitalist in the Department of Neurology.

One of the College’s functions is to serve as the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus for the University of Alabama’s School of Medicine, which is headquartered in Birmingham. A cohort of third- and fourth-year medical students receive their clinical education at the College.

The Argus Awards were created in 1996 to recognize faculty members and allow medical students to honor faculty and mentors for their service and dedication to medical education. Faculty are­ nominated based on their course evaluations and students vote to select winners in each category.

—Kimberly Florence

Southeast Sun: New medical school program brings Birmingham native to Enterprise

Lissa Handley Tyson is a Birmingham native, but she says she has come to love the smaller city of Enterprise.

Tyson came to Enterprise to work with Dr. Beverly Jordan and others with Professional Medical Associates. She is a third-year medical student at the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Tuscaloosa campus and is one of nine medical students taking part in the Tuscaloosa Longitudinal Community Curriculum offered through the University of Alabama School of Medicine. This is the third “pilot” year of the program.

Four medical students selected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society

Four medical students at the UA College of Community Health Sciences were selected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

The students, all in their fourth year of medical school, are Reaves Crabtree, Maria Gulas, Julia (Massey) Steigler and Chelsea Turgeon. 

Alpha Omega Alpha is a professional medical organization that recognizes excellence in scholarship as well as an outstanding commitment and dedication to caring for others. The top 25 percent of a medical school class is eligible for nomination to the honor society, and up to 16 percent may be selected.

About 3,000 students, alumni and faculty are elected to Alpha Omega Alpha each year. The society has 120 chapters in medical schools throughout the United States and has elected more than 150,000 members since its founding in 1902.

In its role as a regional campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, the College provides clinical education to a subset of third- and fourth-year medical students. The students complete the first two years of basic science courses at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham, and then complete clinical rotations on the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus in the departments of Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Neurology, Psychiatry and Surgery.

“Congratulations Reaves, Maria, Julia and Chelsea on your accomplishments and for this recognition,” says Brook Hubner, director of Medical Student Affairs at the College.

Kamal awarded second Sara Crews Finley, M.D. Endowed Leadership Scholarship

Salmaan Zaki Kamal, a medical student at the College of Community Health Sciences, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Sara Crews Finley, M.D., Endowed Leadership Scholarship. The University of Alabama School of Medicine scholarship, which supports students who demonstrate exceptional academic and leadership abilities, includes full tuition for the third year of medical school and is renewable for the fourth year.