New family medicine physicians, fellows recognized at graduation

Twelve physicians graduated from The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency on June 22 and will soon start practices in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

The residency, which is operated by the College, provides physicians with three years of specialty training in family medicine. Founded in 1974, the residency is one of the oldest and largest in the United States. With the current class, the residency has graduated a total of 435 physicians who are practicing in 29 states.

Fellows were also recognized at the graduation ceremony, which was held at the South Zone in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The College offers one-year fellowships in sports medicine, hospitalist medicine, obstetrics, behavioral health and rural public psychiatry. The fellowships provides additional training for family medicine physicians in other specialty areas.

“This will be an exciting time for you, and there will be some anxiety as you enter the new world of practice,” Richard Streiffer, MD, dean of the College and a family physician, told the graduates. “In five or 10 years our discipline is going to be very different than it’s been during your residency, and I think it will be better. We’re seeing how we are being asked to be players in the healthcare system. At last the country is waking up to the fact that what we do as family medicine physicians is essential.”

Robert Ireland, MD, who recently retired from the College’s Department of Family Medicine after 22 years, was the graduation keynote speaker. He said connecting and building trust with patients is key.

“Over the last three years, we’ve given these young doctors an opportunity to develop their medical skills, but after the science, it’s all about how we treat people,” Ireland said. “Even with all the advances in medicine, it’s still pretty much observational in primary care and connecting with patients as only we in primary care can do.”

He told the graduates: “You are unequivocally ready for practice. Be confident that you are prepared for that responsibility.”

2014 residency graduates and where they will practice

Megan Bullard, MD – Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Mark Christensen, MD – Marshall County, Ala.

William Clifford, MDNATO peace-keeping mission in Kosovo

Jeffrey Colburn, MD – Dalton, Ga.

Alisha Congress, DO – Hueytown, Ala.

Tamer Elsayed, MD – Tuscaloosa, Ala.

J.D. Engelbrecht, MD – Buchanan, Ga.

Danielle Henson, DO – Columbia, Tenn.

Maury Minton, MDGadsen, Ala.

Cynthia Mouton, MD – Demopolis, Ala.

Jonathan Parker, DO – Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Saman Razzak, MD – N/A

Fellowship graduates recognized

Scott Boyken, MD – Sports Medicine

Friederike Fischer, MD – Hospitalist Medicine

Bruce Lovins, MD – Hospitalist Medicine

Bhavik Patel, MD – Hospitalist Medicine

Shelley Waits, MD Obstetrics