Seth LandefeldDr. Seth Landefeld, MD, Professor and Chair, UAB Department of Medicine

Welcome back to Letters to Tinsley.  Here in Birmingham, recruitment season is in full swing. We are thrilled with the caliber of candidates who are interviewing to follow in your footsteps. As you well know, our residency program is the heart and soul of the Department, and I am delighted to report that it is thriving.

We are extremely fortunate to have several former Chief Medical Residents joining our faculty this year.  Rebekah Weil has returned from OHSU, Joshua Stripling has come home from the MGH, Adam Edwards joined our GI Division, Sam McElwee joined Cardiology and Critical Care, and Karla Williams, Rob Smola, and Mack Brown have joined GIM. All chose to call UAB home for their first steps as academic medical professionals, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them here with us. I know you’ll want to reach out and wish them well.

Letter from the Chiefs

We are excited and honored to serve the residents, faculty, and staff as the 2018-2019 Chief Medical Residents for the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program. We have enjoyed meeting the fantastic PGY-1s during intern orientation, supporting the PGY-2s during PGY-2 retreat, and celebrating with the PGY-3s during legacy dinner. We hit the ground running with implementing new ideas to build upon the program's legacy of excellence. Since beginning our chief year, we have made several changes to the didactic curriculum.

by Madeline Eckenrode, MD

Johnathan Kalehoff, MD L to R: Dr. Daniel Turner, Sunoti, Bebe, and Jonathan Kalehoff

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey prior to residency.

A: Well, I’m from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, born and raised. Growing up, I always figured I would do something with music, like being a choir director. The first time I began contemplating the idea of medicine as a profession was when a medical missionary came to my church. He had a clinic in Africa, and I was just really inspired by his work. While in college, I was moving towards [a career in] medicine but was unsure. I was trying to avoid med school and took a year off. During that year, I decided to take the MCAT which prompted me to apply to medical school. 

by Star Ye, MD

WIMDr. Jori May with Dr. Lisa Willett

The demographic landscape of physicians has changed drastically over the past 50 years, but perhaps certain perceptions haven’t evolved in the same way. Women now account for over one-third of practicing physicians and almost half of students enrolled in medical school. This is significant progress compared to 1966 when only 7% of graduating students were women. With the increasing presence of women in medicine, certain challenges unique to women become more evident.

by Alex Martirossian, MD

Ashita Tolwani, MD

If you’ve walked through any of the intensive care units at UAB lately, odds are you have seen one or more patients on a special kind of dialysis called continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). The fluid flow rates used in CRRT are slower than the rates used in classic intermittent hemodialysis (iHD). Thus, CRRT is better tolerated in patients who are critically ill, particularly those with low blood pressures. UAB is fortunate to have an excellent team of physicians and medical staff to coordinate the use of CRRT. However, the person who truly paved the way to having UAB known for its pioneering implementation and management of CRRT is our seasoned nephrologist, Dr. Ashita Tolwani.

by Ross Hansen, MD

Point of Care Ultrasound

Point-of-care ultrasound or (POCUS) has emerged over the years as a valuable tool for clinicians to quickly triage patients at the bedside and reduce the time to medical intervention. The use of ultrasonography has long been used by colleagues in radiology and emergency medicine, particularly in the use of standard-of-care focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) examinations. However, only recently has ultrasound become more commonplace in other clinical contexts such as the medical wards including medical and cardiac critical care medicine.

by Richard Godby, MD

John I. Kennedy Jr., MD

Q: What sparked your interest in using social media as a platform for wellness in Medicine?

A: As we planned for developing wellness programs within the Department of Medicine (DOM), it was immediately obvious that communication would be a key element for assuring success. We thought that social media had great potential for getting our messages out to DOM faculty, staff and trainees.

by Diego Fernandez, MD

Robert Centor, MD, MACP

Medical learning is no longer confined to morning rounds and conferences. With a simple click of a button, medical professionals can access a plethora of resources, including those curated by UAB’s renowned faculty. While we continue to pride ourselves on the Oslerian tradition of medical education with engaging and knowledgeable attendings teaching at the bedside, several Department of Medicine faculty have embraced alternative means of communication to reach students, residents, and their peers.