Landefeld Seth ScreenWelcome back to Letters to Tinsley. The residency program you have helped to build is thriving, and I am constantly reminded of the impact it has on each of our lives and careers. We welcome you to visit at any time. 

Dr. Carl Dukes (Resident and Chief Resident, 1976-1980), a leading nephrologist in San Antonio, has recently made his first trip to Birmingham in more than thirty years. Why? To celebrate one of his mentors, Dr. Glenn Cobbs, in whose honor we have established an endowed professorship with the support of many of alumni and friends. It was a terrific time for reminiscing and for recognizing the enduring inspiration of Dr. Tinsley Harrison, Dr. Cobbs, and you.

Today, in addition to fabulous training, our residents are taking advantage of an increasing number of opportunities. Two unique new fields of study have been added to the Primary Care and Women’s Health Tracks. Last issue, I introduced the Global Health Track headed by Dr. Martin Rodriguez. I am thrilled that we have recently received an anonymous donation that will enable nine residents to make an international contribution to medicine this year. That’s triple the number who were able to participate in 2013! For a closer look at the Global Health training, read this issue's update.

by Erin Snyder, MD

It is an exciting time for ambulatory education in the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program. We have two excellent primary care clinic sites at The Kirklin Clinic and the Birmingham VA Medical Center.

OutpatientClinicsThe Kirklin Clinic and the VA Medical CenterOur program has moved to block scheduling, with alternating inpatient and outpatient months of clinical responsibility. This reduction of competing interests affords upper level residents freedom from outpatient duties while on wards, and it allows them to be more fully “present” in clinic, without being pulled back to the wards to care for a critically ill patient.

On their non-ward months, residents have two clinics per week, which improves efficiency and allows them to see patients back in short term follow-up. All residents are paired with a practice partner of the opposite schedule, so patients have a touchstone within the clinic, even if their resident is out for the month.

by W.D. Smith

Dear Incoming Resident,

Your potential was never in question. That's why you were chosen for such a strong residency program. Your confidence may be clouded by the enormity of your task; however you've just completed four years of education which has prepared you for this. It doesn't matter if you had access to CT scans, MRI's, PET scans, or laparoscopic procedures. Medicine is always evolving as treatments advance. Your UAB foundation will see you through.

You will recall in the future when you see your colleagues that you trained with, "he was a student of mine", or "we were residents together." Regardless of the years that have passed, you will refer to those people in the possessive tense because you were a team.

by Rebekah Weil

Last year, the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program developed an exciting new initiative to cultivate and support resident interest in international health. The Global Health Track is a multi-faceted program of clinical experience and didactics with investigation of topics including nutrition, disease, and ethics in the developing world. All residents are invited to attend meetings and participate in specialty clinics such as the Travel Clinic, Tuberculosis Clinic, and 1917 Clinic for patients with HIV/AIDS.

One of the most exciting features of the Global Health Track is the ability to partake in an international rotation during the final year of residency. Additionally, one resident is selected to attend the Gorgas Course in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, which is a nine week diploma course in Lima, Peru. Last year, Dr. Tyler Fuqua (Med-Peds, PGY4) completed the Gorgas course and Dr. Robby Bosshardt (Categorical, PGY3) traveled to Lusaka, Zambia, for a one-month inpatient international rotation. Woman ChildSlingA patient from the Mwandi Maternal Child Health Clinic in Zambia

Currently, the Global Health Track plans to fund travel for three residents per year to locations of their choosing. However, in its second year, a generous anonymous donation was given that has allowed a total of nine residents to participate, including Dr. Joshua Stripling who will attend the Gorgas Course this year.

by Carlie Stein & William Moore

On July 15, 2014, the UAB Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program held its tenth annual PGY-2 Retreat at the home of Dr. Lisa Willett (Program Director 2012 - present). During the retreat, our second-year residents spoke of the successes and challenges in intern year, while reflecting upon ways to effectively approach their new academic roles.

Retreat CollageL to R: Glenn Zhao; Jason Morris & Lisa Willett; Stephen Clarkson & Kevin Cowley

Retreat sessions were led by several Internal Medicine faculty members, including Dr. Willett, Associate Program Director Dr. Jason Morris, Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program Director Dr. Jason Hartig, Assistant Program Director Dr. Ryan Kraemer, and Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Stan Massie. Breakfast and lunch were graciously served by Dr. Willett and our Program Administrator Mrs. Tammy Pickens.

Dr. Willett's home provided a casual environment for residents to develop their leadership and communication skills through workshops, personal reflection and open dialogue. With interactive discussion, residents discovered their "leadership personalities" and learned how to incorporate these personalities into their new PGY-2 role. Other sessions emphasized the importance of teamwork and communication in making patient care decisions.

As the current chief medical residents, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve the incredible residents, faculty and staff of the UAB Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program. We are also proud to share their accomplishments with our alumni. Our program has seen rapid growth in the first six months of this academic year, with the initiation of many exciting projects including development of curricula in health disparities, quality improvement and patient safety, resident research, physical diagnosis, and peri-operative medicine. CMRsChief Medical Residents George Nelson, Starr Steinhilber, Adam Edwards, and Ashley Haddad

An additional ongoing aim, with the vision of many talented residents, is seeing the new Resident Wellness and Improvement Committee come to fruition, with events such as UAB run club, yoga, and Habitat-for-Humanity community service.

by Jori May

Dr. Jeffrey Robertson was born in River Ridge, Louisiana. He completed medical school at LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans, and ultimately found his was to Alabama for residency. When asked how he decided on UAB, he recounts a story of his interview day: “Everyone at UAB seemed to enjoy working. The third year resident who was giving us a tour actually took over a code in Cooper Green. He took care of it in stride...I was so impressed I knew I had to come to UAB.”

Robertson JeffJeffrey RobertsonDuring residency, Jeff discovered his passion for gastroenterology. He credits Dr. Brendan McGuire and the rest of the UAB GI faculty for spurring this interest. Aside from clinical duties, Jeff has been working with Dr. Shajan Sugandha on a research project investigating the correlation between incomplete colonoscopies and eventual diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

NelsonGeorge Nelson, M.D. (2011-2015), Co Editor-in-Chief. 
George was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in biological chemistry before venturing south to earn his medical doctorate at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He returned home to join the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2011 and now serves as Chief Medical Resident. As part of the UAB Alumni Communications Committee, he hopes to strengthen ties between the program and former UAB residents in his home city and nationwide.

HaddadAshley Haddad, M.D. (2011-2015), Co Editor-in-Chief. 
Ashley is one of the four Chief Medical Residents at UAB. Originally from Mandeville, Louisiana, she received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame in Psychology and Pre-Professional Studies. She returned home for medical school, and is one of many UAB residents to proudly claim Louisiana State University as her medical alma mater. Next year, she looks forward to beginning a career in Academic General Internal Medicine, and she is delighted to be participating in the Letters to Tinsley alumni newsletter once again!

The Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program is so proud of its 2015 graduates. Each of the 23 residents who were pursuing fellowship training were successfully matched this year. Congratulations to all!

  • Kaely Bade: GI, Tulane
  • Luis Bowen: Cardiology, Univ. Cincinnati
  • Alex Brueder: Pulmonary, Northwestern
  • Will Crosland: Cardiology, Emory
  • Nemer El Mouallem: Heme/Onc, VCU
  • Adam Edwards: GI, UAB
  • Randy Englert: Cardiology, Oschner
  • Jason Fain: Pulmonary, UAB
  • Pooja Ghatalia: Heme/Onc, Temple
  • Khushleen Jaggi: Renal, Johns Hopkins
  • Donny Kakati: GI, Emory
  • Anant Kharod: Cardiology, Univ. South Florida
  • David LaFon: Pulmonary, UAB
  • Houston Mooney: Cardiology, Univ. Florida
  • John Neill: Cardiology, Houston Methodist
  • George Nelson: GI, UAB
  • Jeffrey Robertson: GI, Univ. Arkansas
  • Shabnam Sarker: GI, Vanderbilt
  • Matthew Skinner: GI, Brigham & Women's
  • Ioana Smith: GI, UT Southwestern
  • Andrew Strand: ID, Duke
  • John Tyler: Cardiology, Baylor
  • Thomas Whitfield: Cardiology, UAB