Residents, fellows honored at graduation

Twenty-one physicians were honored at the 41st annual graduation ceremony of The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency and Fellowships.

The 14 resident physicians and seven fellows who were honored at the ceremony, held Saturday, June 25, at the Zone-South at Bryant Denny Stadium on the UA campus, will soon begin their own practices in Alabama and other states. Some resident physicians will go on to complete fellowship programs.

The UA College of Community Health Sciences provides graduate medical education through both the three-year Family Medicine Residency and year-long fellowships for family medicine physicians seeking additional training in behavioral health, hospitalist medicine, obstetrics, rural public psychiatry, sports medicine or geriatric medicine.

“We’re very proud of the work this group has done in continuing the mission of the College,” said Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of CCHS, as he welcomed graduates and attendees.

Dr. A Robert Sheppard, associate professor of Internal Medicine and the director of the College’s Hospitalist Fellowship, was the guest speaker of the ceremony.

He shared with the graduates that he grew up poor on a farm in south Alabama, and that he initially struggled when he came to UA as a pre-med student. His academic advisers discouraged him from pursuing medicine because of his low grades, he said, and he had trouble with reading comprehension and vocabulary.

But he worked diligently, improved and was eventually accepted to the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

“Don’t ever give up,” he said to the graduates. “And don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something.”

Awards were given to many of the graduating residents, including the inaugural William W. Winternitz Award in Geriatrics, which was given to Dr. Michael Gabriel in recognition of his interest in geriatrics and exceptional care of the geriatric population.

Dr. Anne Halli-Tierney, a geriatrician and assistant professor in Family Medicine at the College, presented the award, which is named in honor of Dr. William W. Winternitz, a founding faculty member of the College who passed away in October 2015.

“[Dr. Winternitz] had a passion for the field of medicine and especially for academic medicine and the betterment of medical students and residents.” Halli-Tierney said.

Winternitz joined the College in 1977, serving as professor and chair of Internal Medicine and Director of Medical Student Affairs. He remained active at the College after his retirement.

He and his wife, Madeleine Hill, established the William W. Winternitz Geriatric Gift Fund to support the College’s Geriatric Initiative to provide enhanced educational opportunities for medical students and residents, new service-based learning opportunities and increased patient interaction.

“This award is supported by and named for a man truly dedicated to teaching both patients and medical learners,” said Halli-Tierney. “And it is given to the resident who has shown a solid interest in geriatric medicine and has provided exceptional, compassionate care of the geriatric population during his time at CCHS.”

 

2016 Graduating Fellows:

Dr. Nicole Denise Arthur, Obstetrics Fellow
Dr. Alexis Tanishia Mason, Behavioral Health Fellow
Dr. Byron Oswaldo Mata Gonzalez, Hospitalist Fellow
Dr. Bogdan Strambu, Hospitalist Fellow
Dr. Antoanela Zaharia, Hospitalist Fellow
Dr. Matthew David Andres, Sports Medicine Fellow
Dr. Carl Hunter Russell, Sports Medicine Fellow

 

2016 Graduating Residents:

Dr. Chandra Rekha Americhetty
Dr. Sirisha Chada
Dr. Mary Margaret Clapp
Dr. Jason Lee Clemons
Dr. Eric James Curley
Dr. Timothy Scott Eckford (chief resident)
Dr. Michael Daniel Gabriel
Dr. Katie Marie Gates (chief resident)
Dr. Maysoon Hamed
Dr. Ambreen Mardhani
Dr. Bhavika Rajanikant Patel (chief resident)
Dr. Jerry Yue Shen
Dr. Ross Alexander Summerford

 

Residency Award Winners

William R. Willard Award – Dr. Jacquelynn Luker (first-year resident)
Internal Medicine-Intern Award – Dr. Jacquelynn Luker
Internal Medicine-Best Resident – Dr. Katie Gates and Dr. Ross Summerford
Pediatrics Award – Dr. Eric Curley
Psychiatry Award – Dr. Bhavika Patel
Psychiatry/R3 Award – Dr. Jason Clemons
Obstetrics and Gynecology Award – Dr. Michael Gabriel
Research/Scholarship Award – Dr. Mary Margaret Clapp, Dr. Katie Gates, and Dr. Ambreen Mardhani
William W. Winternitz Award in Geriatrics – Dr. Michael Gabriel
Society of Teachers in Family Medicine Teaching Award – Dr. Jason Clemons
Clinical Competency Committee Awards –  Dr. Jason Clemons (third year), Dr. Keri Merschman (second year), Dr. Cheree Melton (first year), and Dr. Ashley Wambolt (first year)
William F. deShazo III Award – Dr. Ross Summerford
360 Award – Dr. Katie Gates

 

Rural Medical Scholar Graduates Recognized
Dr. Jason Clemons
Dr. Katie Gates
Dr. Ross Summerford
The College’s Rural Medical Scholars Program is designed to recruit students from rural Alabama who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities in the state.

For more coverage of the event, including photo galleries, click here.

New Chief Residents Announced

ChiefResidents

From top left, clockwise: Drs. Shawanda Agnew, Carrie Coxwell, Eric Frempong and Blake DeWitt

The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency announced its chief residents for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Drs. Shawanda Agnew, Carrie Coxwell and Blake DeWitt are chief residents. Dr. Eric Frempong has been elected as IT chief resident.

The Family Medicine Residency, which is operated by the College of Community Health Sciences, is a three-year post-graduate medical education program that leads to board certification in Family Medicine.

Agnew attended medical school at the University of Mississippi, and is a Mississippi Rural Medical Scholar. She plans to return to Mississippi after graduation to practice in an underserved community. She is interested in women’s health.

Coxwell received her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, located in Birmingham. She has a special interest in obstetrics and is interested in the College’s Obstetrics Fellowship.

DeWitt attended medical school at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. His special interests include sports medicine and primary care endoscopy. He plans to return to his home state of Texas to practice after graduation.

Frempong received his medical degree from American University of the Caribbean. He has a special interest in obstetrics and, after residency, plans to practice inpatient and outpatient family medicine.

Residency fills class of 2019 through match process

Sixteen new residents were welcomed into the College of Community Health Sciences’ Family Medicine Residency class of 2019 on March 18 through the National Resident Matching Program.

Two members of the incoming class—Elizabeth Junkin and Russell Guin—are currently fourth-year medical students at the College, which also functions as the Tuscaloosa Campus for the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

More than 2,000 candidates applied for the available slots (an increase from the 1,700 applicants in 2015) and 130 were interviewed. The residency, a three-year program and one of the largest of its kind in the country, was able to fill all the positions through the match process.

The College’s mission is to improve and promote the health of individuals and communities in Alabama and the region, and one of the ways it fulfills that mission is by addressing the physician workforce in Alabama and the region with a focus on comprehensive family medicine residency training.

To address the growing need for primary care physicians in Alabama and nationwide, the Family Medicine Residency has been undergoing an expansion in recent years. It recently applied for and received additional residency slots, which brought its total approved and funded slots from 36 to 48.

One in seven family physicians practicing in Alabama has graduated from the Family Medicine Residency, and the 230 graduates practicing in Alabama are in 46 of the state’s 67 counties. Of the 436 graduates practicing outside of Alabama, the majority practice in the South or the Southeast.


The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency Class of 2019:

Blair Lindsey Chance
Indiana University

Joshua Franklin Coy
St. George’s University, Grenada

Ashley Sujane Froese
Lincoln Memorial University

Richard Anthony Giovane
St. George’s University, Grenada

Jonathan Russell Guin
University of Alabama School of Medicine • Tuscaloosa Regional Campus

Elizabeth Ann Junkin
University of Alabama School of Medicine • Tuscaloosa Regional Campus

Jonathan Edward Kroeker
St. George’s University, Grenada

Soojung Samantha Lee
Louisiana State University – New Orleans

Cory Allen Luckie
University of Alabama School of Medicine

John Calvin Lundeen
American University of the Caribbean, Saint Maarten

Jodie Erin McDonald-Beach
William Carey University

Katie Taheerah Muhammad
Meharry Medical College

Taki Mohammad Rida
Medical University of the Americas, Nevis, West Indies

Clifton Shane Scott
St. Matthew’s University, Grand Cayman

Tiffani Yvonne Thomas
Medical University of South Carolina

Hailey Elizabeth Thompson
William Carey University

 

Family medicine faculty receives Degree of Fellow from AAFP

Dr. Catherine Scarbrough, associate director of the College of Community Health Sciences’ Family Medicine Residency, received the Degree of Fellow from the American Academy of Family Physicians, a credential that honors one’s commitment to family medicine through community work, research, teaching, professional development and organized medicine.

The degree requires experiences in lifelong learning, practice quality and improvement, volunteer public teaching, public service, publishing and research and service to family medicine, as well as six years of AAFP membership.

Scarbrough, who is also assistant professor and clinic director of Family Medicine for the College, recently completed the University of North Carolina Faculty Development Fellowship in Chapel Hill.

In the past year, she presented at three national conferences. She has conducted and collaborated in a number of research projects, mentored several family medicine residents in their research, and has been published numerous times.

In June 2015, she joined Alabama Academy of Family Physicians’ Board of Directors and advocates for family medicine physicians and for the practice itself in Alabama.

“I am thankful for a supportive faculty and chair who helps encourage young faculty members in scholarly and curricular pursuits,” she says.

Members who receive the degree are able to use the initials “FAAFP” after their name. Scarbrough will be honored at a convocation ceremony at an annual meeting of the Family Medicine Experience.

Prior to joining the College in 2012, Scarbrough had a family medicine practice at St. Vincent’s Family Care in Pell City, Alabama. Before that, she served as a faculty member at St. Vincent’s East Family Medicine Residency Program before going overseas to serve on the faculty of a family medicine training program in Central Asia.

Medical students match into residencies

Fourth-year medical students from the University of Alabama School of Medicine Tuscaloosa Regional Campus learned March 18 through the National Resident Matching Program where they will train for the next three to seven years for their graduate medical education.

The 30 students were among the thousands across the country who entered into the Main Residency Match and received residency placements.

These fourth-year medical students have received their clinical education at the College of Community Health Sciences, which also functions as a regional campus for the School of Medicine, headquartered in Birmingham.

Two Tuscaloosa campus students—Russell Guin and Elizabeth Junkin—matched into the College’s Family Medicine Residency.

Five other students placed in family medicine. Altogether, students were placed at residencies across 10 states.

Watch the video of the University of Alabama School of Medicine’s Match Day celebration here:

Tuscaloosa Regional Campus Students and Where They Matched:

Emily Ager
Family Medicine — University of Tennessee College of Medicine (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

Amber Beg
Pediatrics – Primary Care — University of North Carolina Hospitals (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Daniel Booth
Transitional — Baptist Health System (Birmingham, Alabama)
Radiology – Diagnostic — UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, Alabama)

Pia Cumagun
Internal Medicine — Baptist Health System (Birmingham, Alabama)

Nicholas Darby*
Family Medicine — Cahaba Medical Care (Centreville, Alabama)

Justin Deavers*
Family Medicine — Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center (Fort Gordon, Georgia)

Russell Fung
Internal Medicine — University of Tennessee College of Medicine (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

Joshua Gautney
Internal Medicine — University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (Dallas, Texas)

Lauren Gibson
Pediatrics — Palmetto Health Richland (Columbia, South Carolina)

Wyman Gilmore, III*
Family Medicine — John Peter Smith Hospital (Fort Worth, Texas)

Russell Guin
Family Medicine — The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

Andrew Jones*
Pediatrics — University of Louisville School of Medicine (Louisville, Kentucky)

Melissa Jordan
Internal Medicine — University of Kentucky Medical Center (Lexington, Kentucky)

Elizabeth Junkin
Family Medicine — The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

John Killian, Jr.
General Surgery — UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, Alabama)

Missy Ma
General Surgery — UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, Alabama)

Margaret Marks
Pediatrics — UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, Alabama)

Brittany Massengill
Obstetrics and Gynecology — University Hospitals (Jackson, Mississippi)

Cyrus Massouleh
Emergency Medicine — Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (Richmond, Virginia)

Eleanor Mathews*
General Surgery — Baptist Health System (Birmingham, Alabama)

Matthew May
Otolaryngology — Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education (Rochester, Minnesota)

Katherine Rainey
General Surgery — Greenville Health System University of South Carolina (Greenville, South Carolina)

Jackson Reynolds
Internal Medicine — University of Tennessee College of Medicine (Memphis, Tennessee)

Robert Rhyne
General Surgery — Greenville Health System University of South Carolina (Greenville, South Carolina)

Nicholas Rockwell*
Pediatrics — UAB Medical Center (Birmingham, Alabama)

Paul Sauer, Jr.
Plastic Surgery (Integrated) — University of Kentucky Medical Center (Lexington, Kentucky)

Daniel Seale*
Family Medicine — Forrest General Hospital (Hattiesburg, Mississippi)

Cory Smith
Orthopaedic Surgery — Greenville Health System University of South Carolina (Greenville, South Carolina)

Elijah Stiefel*
Pathology — Louisiana State University School of Medicine (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Loy Vaughan, III
Orthopaedic Surgery — Ochsner Clinic Foundation (New Orleans, Louisiana)

*Rural Medical Scholar
(The College’s Rural Medical Scholars Program is a five-year track of medical studies that focuses on rural primary care and community medicine and leads to a medical degree. The program is exclusively for Alabama students from rural communities.)

New faculty join CCHS

New faculty and providers have joined the College of Community Health Sciences in different departments.

Dr. Ed Geno is assistant professor in the College’s Department of Family Medicine. He will also work with Family Medicine Residents in minor surgery, hospital medicine and at University Medical Center, which the College operates.

 Geno attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. He then completed three years of general surgery residency at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he then completed a residency in family medicine. He taught in the Ochsner’s Family Medicine Residency before moving to Baton Rouge.

He has practiced obstetrics throughout his time in graduate medical education, in addition to minor procedures and clinic and hospital medicine. He also serves as an advisory faculty for the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics, or ALSO, on a national level.

Dr. Catherine Ikard is assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and Internal Medicine as well as the Neurology Clerkship Director.

Ikard is a board-certified neurologist who received her medical degree from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, Alabama. She then completed her residency in neurology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ikard says she enjoys the practice of general neurology and sees patients with a variety of neurological disorders, including stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, dementia, movement and neuromuscular disorders and headache syndromes. She has a procedures interest in occipital nerve blocks, trigger point injections and the administration of botulinum toxin for migraine and neuromuscular disorders.

Medical students and residents take new UA Culinary Medicine course

Medical students and residents at the College who are taking UA’s new Culinary Medicine elective had their first class on January 26. The course is a partnership of the Colleges of Community Health Sciences and Human Environmental Sciences.

“This is the kickoff of the first Culinary Medicine elective,” Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of CCHS, said to begin the class.

Through lectures, hands-on cooking classes and follow-up discussion, the class will teach CCHS medical students and family medicine residents, as well as CHES nutrition students, how to better educate patients about their diets. Students will learn the basics of cooking so that they can provide patients with helpful information when addressing chronic disease management and obesity. Classes are held in the CHES teaching kitchen.

Twenty-four students are taking the course – 10 medical students, eight nutrition students and six residents. It is taught by Dr. Jennifer Clem, assistant professor in family medicine for CCHS, and Dr. Linda Knol, associate professor of human nutrition for CHES.

The course pulls from modules of the curriculum of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans and includes principles of diabetes, weight and portion control, hypertension, sodium, carbohydrates and the Mediterranean diet.

“I have patients who are overweight, who have diabetes, and that’s why I’m here,” Clem told the students.

During the first class, students divided into three teams of eight and participated in a cooking exercise. Teams prepared a dinners of whole-wheat spaghetti, some with meat sauce and some with lentils and vegetables, as well as salads with lettuce, kale, carrots and other vegetables. After the cooking exercise, they discussed the nutritional content of the dishes, learning, for example, that using whole-wheat pasta increases the amount of fiber in one’s diet.

Streiffer touted the benefits of the interprofessional aspect of the course.

“Doctors don’t learn enough about nutrition in medical school, and a great majority of chronic disease is nutrition related. Other disciplines have greater practice with this. We can learn from each other.”

Maury Minton has lots of life experience to share with his patients

Maury Minton has always liked to repair things and diagnose and solve problems. But becoming a physician never crossed his mind when he was choosing his career path as a young man almost 30 years ago.

College to offer Culinary Medicine elective

Physicians often advise patients to avoid foods high in fat, sugar and sodium. But it can be more effective to help patients come up with a meal plan suitable for everyday life. That is why The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences is partnering with the College of Human and Environmental Sciences to create a Culinary Medicine elective.

Starting in January 2016, the class will teach, through lectures, hands-on cooking classes and a follow-up discussion, medical students, Family Medicine residents and nutrition students how to better educate patients about their diets.

“Patients don’t like to hear ‘don’t eat,’” says Dr. Jennifer Clem, assistant professor in Family Medicine and one of the faculty spearheading the project. “We need to be telling our patients what they can eat. Students aren’t coming out of their medical education with the right thoughts about this issue, and we need to work on that.”

Clem will be teaching with Dr. Linda Knol, associate professor of human nutrition at the College of Human and Environmental Sciences. About 30 will take the class, which will encourage a team-based approach to working with patients. The idea is for the students to learn the basics of cooking so that they can provide patients with helpful information when addressing chronic disease management and obesity. Classes will be held in the College of Human and Environmental Sciences’s teaching kitchen.

The curriculum for the course will pull from five of 20 modules of the curriculum at Tulane University’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine: Intro to Culinary Medicine, which will include the principles of the Mediterranean diet; weight control and portion control; fats and textures; renal disease, hypertension and sodium; and diabetes and carbohydrates. The students will also learn recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

A group leading the College’s efforts to implement the elective presented information about the course to the College’s Board of Visitors at its fall meeting on Nov. 13. The group was comprised of: Clem; Knol; Dr. John C. Higginbotham, associate dean for Research and director of the College’s Institute for Rural and Health Research; and Dr. Keirsten Smith, a second-year Family Medicine resident. Smith pointed out to the Board that by 2030, obesity will surpass tobacco as the leading cause of cancer.

“Obesity is slowly becoming a norm which will continue to burden our healthcare system if the problem isn’t addressed,” she said.

In June 2015, Higginbotham, Clem, Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College, and Dr. Bhavika Patel, chief resident for the College’s Family Medicine Residency, attended a two-day retreat at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine to learn about the curriculum.

“Addressing lifestyle issues in order to improve health is fundamental to what we do in primary care in the nation,” said Dr. Streiffer in a NOLA.com article. “We need ultimately to equip our students with a better set of skills, not just with disease but about wellness. This is a piece of a long-term strategy to change our curriculum and our product.”

Residency celebrates 40 years

The College of Community Health Sciences hosted a reunion weekend Nov. 13-15, 2015, to celebrate 40 years of its Family Medicine Residency, and graduates from the last four decades gathered to reconnect, remember the history of the Residency and learn about its current impact on the state of Alabama and the Southeast.

The Residency, one of the oldest and largest family medicine residencies in the United States, was founded in 1974 and to date has graduated 450 family medicine physicians, the first one in 1975. More than half of those graduates are practicing in 46 of Alabama’s 67 counties, and 48 percent are practicing in a rural area of the state.

One in seven family physicians in Alabama graduated from the Residency, and 77 percent of Residency alumni practice in a primary care physician shortage area.

The College’s mission is to improve and promote the health of individuals and communities in Alabama and the region, and part of how it accomplishes that mission is by addressing the physician workforce needs of Alabama and the region with a focus on comprehensive Family Medicine Residency training.

The weekend kicked off with a cocktail party on Nov. 13 at the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art, and a lecture series was held the following morning with continuing medical education credits offered. Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College and a 1980 graduate of the Residency, and Dr. Richard Friend, director of the Residency and chair of the Department of Family Medicine, presented a history of the College and the Residency and talked about recent growth and expansion. The Residency has undergone an expansion in recent years, growing from 36 to 48 approved slots.

Friend said the drive behind the Residency’s growth and expansion is its responsibility to care for the health of the state.

“I think we have an obligation to the region to produce more family medicine doctors,” he said.

Dr. Scott Arnold, associate professor and chair of Internal Medicine, presented an update on internal medicine research. Dr. Kristine Graettinger, assistant professor and chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dr. Catherine Skinner, assistant professor of Family Medicine, presented on current topics in women’s health.

The series also included a two-part presentation by Dr. John Sullivan, a 1978 Residency graduate well-known for his work in toxicology, including the development of rattlesnake bite anti-venom serum, as well as development of medication container features to prevent tampering following seven Tylenol-related deaths in Chicago in 1982 that were the result of product tampering.

Sullivan talked about the development of his anti-venom serum.

As a practicing physician in Arizona, he would often see several hundred patients between March and October of each year who had been bitten by rattlesnakes. He had a laboratory in his practice, so worked to develop an anti-venom serum, shepherded it through clinical trials during the 1990s, and by 2000 received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Today, his serum is the standard treatment for rattlesnake bites.

“My goal when I came to residency here was to practice in rural Alabama and really change the world,” Sullivan said. “But I am still one of you. I just changed the world in a different way.”

Later that evening, a Gala was held at the North Zone at Bryant-Denny Stadium. After a welcome by Streiffer, brief remarks were provided by Dr. Mike McBrearty, the first graduate of the Residency, and Dr. Drake Lavender, a more recent graduate of the program.

Dr. Glen Stream, president of Family Medicine for America’s Health and former president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, delivered the keynote address. He outlined the goals of the Health is Primary Campaign, an initiative of Family Medicine for America’s Health. The campaign, launched a year ago, seeks to improve the health of people across the country and to rein in health care costs. Campaign strategies include increasing the number of family medicine physicians in the United States, ensuring that everyone has a medical home and changing the payment system for primary care.

“Family Medicine for America’s Health works to educate the public about the importance of family medicine,” Stream said. “People who have a family medicine physician, who have a source of primary care, are healthier.”

“It’s good to be celebrating the importance of your residency program,” he added.

Streiffer says the weekend was a success because graduates were able to visit with each other and reconnect with the College.
“That was what we really wanted to do—reconnect with our alumni base, and in doing so, help them see how the Residency, to which they all contributed by virtue of having been part of it, has grown and evolved from its early days while still remaining true to its original mission,” he says. “I hope our alumni are proud of the Residency, feel good about our direction, and will keep in touch in touch and help advise us about and inform our future.”