Chairman ResizedBy Seth Landefeld, M.D.

Welcome back to Letters to Tinsley.

With this issue we celebrate our graduating class and our current Chief Residents – DJ Daly, Mallika Mundkur, Brita Roy, and Win Williams – and we welcome our next class of interns and the Chiefs of 2013-14 –Trey Clark, Sam McElwee, Chris Roth, and Amanda Vick.

I had two exceptional experiences since last writing you that I wish to share with you, my first weeks attending on our Tinsley Harrison Service and the 25th Anniversary of the Alabama Chief Residents Society.  But before telling you those stories, I want to thank DJ, Mallika, Brita, and Win for an extraordinary year.  My first 8 months have flown by as they introduced me to our housestaff and wards and showed me the ways of morning report without letting me stumble too often.  And they brought the most delightful joy and intelligence to teaching, to caring, and to leading our training program.  And we all owe special thanks to Mallika, the Founding Force to whom we owe these Letters to Tinsley.

And what a training program it is!  In January, I attended on the Tinsley Harrison Service at University Hospital for the first time.  I loved it, and I am sure that all of you who trained there remember why.  I finished my weeks proud that we provide exemplary care to very sick people in great need, and I was delighted to see how much our housestaff are learning in an excellent environment.  

By Lisa Willett, M.D.

LetterstoTinsley2 MessagefromPD LisaWilletAs another 
academic year comes to a close, I am excited about the upcoming changes in our residency program.  Starting in July, we will be under a new accreditation structure by the ACGME, called the Next Accreditation System (NAS).  This has allowed us to innovate and make changes to keep our program among the best in the country. 

With an emphasis on patient safety and quality, our residents are helping to lead departmental initiatives with their active involvement in many hospital committees and programs that make healthcare better and safer for our patients.  In addition, next year we have wonderful opportunities for our residents to shape their professional interests in unique ways:

Global Health Track:  This three-year curriculum will provide experiences in public health and indigent care, and our senior residents will experience a clinical rotation in an international setting of their choice.  
Selectives:  These one-month electives will allow residents to gain experience in one of the following important areas: Medical Education, Patient Safety, Women's Health and Disparities in Health Care.


In addition, we continue to adapt to the growing needs of society by teaching and practicing cost-conscious health care, increased patient safety and quality, and culturally responsive health care.  We are implementing an innovative clinic structure that separates resident continuity clinic from inpatient responsibilities.  

There’s no end to our ideas and energy to make our program the best in the country.  Please feel free to email me with any questions or ideas for our residents at

By the Alumni Communication Committee

Cheese Toast Birthday
Photograph:  Cheese Toast Birthday, Cooper Green, 8th Floor Conference Room

At the end of December, 2012, the inpatient services at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital were closed. Many of the outpatient services were preserved, and the patients have been able to obtain inpatient care at other local hospitals including UAB.  

Providing excellent training for our residents remains the highest priority to our program leadership, and we have maintained rigorous standards despite this major change.  In addition, we have been able to expand the diversity of opportunities for our residents, and overall we have become even stronger as a Program.

Many of those who experienced Cooper Green as part of their residency training have fond memories of the patients, the staff, and undoubtedly the cheese toast.  Through those memories, the best of Cooper Green will live on.
By Josh Stripling, M.D.

LetterstoTinsley2 InterviewwithAlumni Photo Ashita Tolwani Dr. Ashita Tolwani is a name well known amongst residents, students, and faculty at UAB; she’s the attending you want around when a patient is in need of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). 

Dr. Tolwani was recently featured in the December 27, 2012 edition of the NEJM as the author of the Clinical Therapeutics Review article, “Continuous Renal- Replacement for Acute Kidney Injury”. She is a life-long UAB supporter having completed medical school, residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowship in combined Nephrology and
 Critical Care training all at UAB.  

She has been on faculty here since 1999. She completed an 8 year stint as the Nephrology Fellowship director and is currently the Associate Director for ICU Nephrology.

By Jordan Vaughn, M.D.

JordanChineseOrphanageTwo hours into a fifteen-hour flight between Chicago and Beijing, while sitting alone in my seat debating between watching a low-budget Hollywood flop or attempting to find a comfortably uncomfortable position to sleep in my 17-by-32 inch temporary home, I noticed a commotion brewing down the aisle. Given my knowledge of free spirits on international flights, and especially the amount of those spirits business class flyers consume, combined with the fact I had my headphones on trying to ignore the overly friendly young couple next to me, I assumed the fuss to be an unruly patron with a penchant for wine. But as a crowd gathered it began to become apparent that the cause was something more serious.

By Robby Bosshardt, M.D.

LetterstoTinsley2 MeettheResidents Photo JiBang Edited-2Ji Bang was born in Seoul, South Korea and at the age of eight, she and her family moved to London, England. She was admitted to the prestigious Westminster School where she excelled in the sciences. She attended University College London and graduated with a degree in pharmacology. With the ambition to become the first physician in her family, she enrolled at University College London Medical School and after her graduation in 2009, she attended Imperial College London to earn a Master’s of Public Health degree focusing on cervical cancer screening. In 2010, Ji chose to make the transition to the United States and joined the Internal Medicine program at UAB.

CMRs JustUs
After sharing a very special year as chief residents at UAB, now about to disperse on our separate paths, we reflect on the happenings of the past year.  We think about the privilege of attending the first Legacy Dinner, a magical evening with wine, honey bees, and good old-fashioned conversation, where living legends of UAB shared stories about Tinsley Harrison.  We think about the challenges posed by the highly controversial discontinuation of inpatient services at Cooper Green Hospital, an event that made us even more appreciative of the strong program leadership at UAB. 

Mallika Mundkur, M.D. (2009-2012), Editor-in-Chief
MallikaMallika Mundkur is presently completing her year as Chief Medical Resident.  She grew up in Massachusetts, where she completed undergraduate studies at Harvard College with a major in Biochemistry, and attended medical school at the University of Massachusetts. In 2009 she came to Birmingham, Alabama for her training in Internal Medicine and has greatly enjoyed her time at UAB.  With the help of her editorial team and advisors, Mallika started the residency Alumni Communication Committee and residency newsletter as a pilot in 2012 as a mechanism to improve communication between the Program and its former residents.

Sam McElwee, M.D. (2010-2013), Executive Editor
McElwee SamSamuel McElwee hails from Gadsden, Alabama and is the first physician in his family. He attended the University of Alabama and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in chemistry.