College welcomes new fellows

June 24, 2014

In July, the College of Community Health Sciences welcomes five new fellows to three of the College’s fellowship programs: Lauren Linken, MD, will join the Obstetrics Fellowship; Shazia Malik, MD, and David Aymond, MD, will join the Hospitalist Fellowship; and Blake Perry, MD, and Jeremy Coleman, MD, will join the Sports Medicine Fellowship. These fellowships, along with a Behavioral Health Fellowship in Family Medicine and a Rural Public Psychiatry Fellowship, make up the College’s post-residency training programs and provide family medicine residency graduates with training and expertise in a selected sub-specialty. “While a fellowship is not for everyone, a significant number of family physicians today are seeking additional training in order to gain specialized expertise in a subset of the broad field of family medicine,” says Richard Streiffer, MD, dean of the College. The Obstetric Fellowship, a 12-month training program, is aimed at addressing the overwhelming need for obstetric care in rural and remote areas. As the attrition of OB/GYNs in the United States exceeds the number of physicians completing OB/GYN residency programs and entering general OB/GYN practice, programs training family physicians to provide quality obstetrical care will continue to grow in importance. “Family medicine physicians trained in obstetrical and newborn care is the answer to reducing perinatal morbidity and mortality, not only in Alabama, but throughout the United States,” says Daniel Avery, MD, professor and chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the College. Linken is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and recently completed a residency in Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A program of both the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine at the College, the Hospitalist Fellowship is designed to assist family physicians in obtaining the skills necessary to provide inpatient care appropriate to the existing and future needs of urban, rural and underserved areas. This 12-month training program will be joined by Malik, a graduate of the Medical School of the Americas in Nevis, West Indies, who completed a family medicine residency at Western Michigan School of Medicine in Kalamazoo, and Aymond who received his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine and completed a family medicine residency at Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, La., where he was appointed chief resident in 2013. Perry, a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine who gained his clinical training at the College, recently completed the Wake Forest Baptist Family Medicine Residency. Coleman completed his medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., and his residency in family medicine at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. Both Perry and Coleman come to the Sports Medicine Fellowship with significant experience in sports medicine that will benefit them as they work through the 12-month training program under the supervision of James Robinson, MD, professor and endowed chair of Sports Medicine at the College. Robinson also serves as the team physician for The University of Alabama football team. “Fellowships are an important component of our graduate medical education offerings, and something we hope to expand in future years, for example in geriatrics, and perhaps women’s health,” says Streiffer. “These fellowships will prepare family physicians to better serve a need in their community or practice, to provide leadership in that area or to prepare them for a future academic role.”