Landefeld Seth ScreenI am delighted to write you about some of the wonderful things happening in our Department. The past several months have seen terrific work and great progress on the part of our residents, fellows, and faculty.

Four Chief Residents have just graduated after a year of being the hearts and souls of the Department as well as our most engaged teachers. Adam Edwards and George Nelson are now GI fellows at UAB, following in the footsteps of 2011-2012 Chiefs Jim Calloway, MD and David Fettig, MD. Starr Steinhilber has joined our faculty in General Internal Medicine to teach and contribute to our experiential curriculum in quality and safety. Ashley Haddad has taken a competitive position at the University of Chicago as a research

by Andrea Cherrington, MD, MPH

There are a number of exciting new initiatives aimed at creating or augmenting research experiences for Internal Medicine residents at UAB. In general, residents have three options for pursing research during residency. These include a one-month research elective, the TIME-R research block elective, and the Medicine Scholar's program (the ABIM Research Pathway).

Any resident may choose to sign up for a one-month research elective during their second and third years for a total of 2 months over the three-year residency. Over the last 12 months, 38 residents completed one-month research electives. Resident production during these months included publication of 2 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 3 review articles, 3 case reports, 3 book chapters, 6 posters at national meetings, 5 posters at regional meetings, and 11 posters at local meetings. Additionally, numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts were submitted and are currently under review.

by Jim Boogaerts, MD, PhD (1984-1987)

Temperature plays a pivotal role in the behavior of membranes ... and membranes form the crucial boundary separating the content of each living cell from the world outside. This has been true for 3.8 billion years, since cells first began the long, unbroken chain of life on this planet.

Concentrations of ions - think Na+, K+, Cl-, Ca++ - are vastly different inside and outside the cell. Critical ion gradients also exist across inner mitochondrial membranes (and while the cell membrane has been with us since the dawn of life, the mitochondria and their distinctive membranes joined in when eukaryotes first appeared 2 billion years later). Constant energy (ATP is the currency) is expended to maintain transmembrane gradients, preserving order and guarding the fragile, emergent state of the living cell against the constant threat of entropy, which rules the vast non-living world.

by Monee Amin, MD

As each academic year progresses, residents can sometimes fall victim to "burnout" that results from stressful work environments and difficulty finding adequate work-life balance. This phenomenon of burnout is one that PGY-2 and future CMR Nicholas Hoppmann decided to tackle head-on. During his intern year, Nicholas discussed the rigors of residency training with his peers and then researched how other residency programs were handling the problem. The result was creation of a UAB Resident Wellness Committee, which aims to assist with "the emotional exhaustion" of residency, Hoppmann says.

Instead of merely discussing the preventative strategies against work fatigue, the committee has two separate components intended to thwart burnout amongst our residents. The first is a noon conference series that highlights positive experiences inside the hospital. Speakers at this series have included Chairman of the Department Dr. Seth Landefeld and Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program Director Dr. Lisa Willett. Both speakers conveyed messages of optimism and reminded residents of the impact physicians have on the lives of their patients.

by Carlie Stein, MD

As the flowers start to bloom and the temperatures rise, we are in awe that another year is coming to a close. Every year we look forward to the Spring Banquet- an occasion where we not only celebrate our hard work and commitment to patient care, but also award residents who have excelled in research, global health, resident teaching, overall attitude, and clinical excellence. This year's banquet was held May 30th at the McWane Science Center and a great time was had by all. 

Residents at McWane

Awards this year went to the following residents and faculty:

by William Moore, MD

2015 Chili CookoffL to R: Olivia Brown, Jori May, Louis Mendez, Caroline Alena, Will Benton, Chris Capps, Lindsey Capps, Cary Fitzmorris, and Paul Fitzmorris

Every year since 2003, our program has held a Chili Cook-off where food, drink, and good company are enjoyed by all. This year's Cook-off was held on Saturday, March 21st at Avondale Brewing Company, a popular local watering hole.

by Jori May, MD

For every issue of Letters to Tinsley, we select a third year resident to highlight based on nominations from within the program. In this issue, we are highlighting a resident who was described by her peers as a "wonderful leader" and someone who "demonstrates all the core values of this program." One of her interns went on to say that "she always advocates for our patients and always supported me in my learning."

by Josh Stripling, MD

Dr. Tinsley Harrison left an important mark on our residency program and established what the legacy of what UAB medicine has come to be. His biography, written by the late Dr. James Pittman, Tinsley R. Harrison M.D.: Teacher of Medicine, was recently published by NewSouth Books. The book is a well-edited, finer version of Dr. Pittman's "collections" that he was unable to complete before his death in January 2014.