Landefeld Seth ScreenSeth Landefeld, MD, Department of Medicine Chairman

I am delighted to send you my best wishes for the holidays and new year. I’d love to have you visit us in 2017 to see for yourself how the department and the residency program are thriving.

In the past month, three faculty have published in the New England Journal of Medicine on acute pancreatitisantibody treatment for HIV infection, and homelessness. We salute Mel Wilcox, MD (1983-1986, CMR 1986-1987), Turner Overton, MD (1999-2002), and Stefan Kertesz, MD, for their brilliant articles.

Our faculty continue to be tremendously engaging and effective teachers. Stan Massie, MD (1994-1997, CMR 1997-1998) recently won the Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher

A new academic year has started, and with it we have welcomed a wonderful class of PGY-1s, enjoyed a great PGY-2 retreat, and heard from great leaders during the PGY-3 legacy dinner. As chief residents, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve the incredible residents, faculty, and staff of the UAB Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program. As we look to kick off our interview season, we have added a driving tour to highlight a few new places around Birmingham. With our wonderful residents, we plan to continue to attract the best candidates from across the country to train at UAB.

by Allison Rogers, PGY2, and Madeline Eckenrode, PGY2

In an era where many female physicians choose to postpone starting a family, we have many residents who are balancing the demands of both motherhood and medicine. We sat down with three of them to find out how they do what they do. Sarah Bagwell is a Med/Peds resident from Dallas, Texas, who's currently in her third year. She has a four-month-old son, Charles Michael. Stacey Watkins is a second-year resident from St. Louis, Missouri, who just had a daughter, Nora Katherine Bahraini, in December. Ellen Wills is a third-year resident from Nashville, Tennessee, who has a one-year-old son, Jackson Weldon.

by Sarah Marucci, PGY2

After the excitement of finishing intern year settled down, the reality of being a second-year resident and the responsibility, leadership, and sleepless 28-hour calls that come with it hit hard and fast. To combat the anxiety of walking into second year feeling overwhelmed and underprepared, the Internal Medicine program leadership has been holding a PGY2 Retreat for the last several years to help residents embrace their new upper level status and reflect on their growth over the last year. The Program Directors found coverage for PGY2 residents on two separate weekdays in August in order to get residents out of the hospital and into a relaxing environment at the beautiful home of Dr. Willett for a fun day of team activities, discussion, and debriefing.

by Lisa Willett, MD, Program Director

Thank you for supporting the Excellence Fund! This past year, the Excellence Fund provided support for:

  • Three senior residents to participate in a Board Review Course (all 3 passed their boards!)
  • The Residency Wellness Committee made and delivered care baskets to the inpatient teams
  • The Diversity Enrichment Committee of residents made a wonderful recruiting video
  • Three faculty to attend the national Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) meeting in April 2016—a national meeting that provides faculty development for three Assistant Program Director faculty to lead efforts to improve the residency

If you are interested in helping support these efforts and others that make our program truly excellent, please click here.

By Shannon Booker, PGY3

This article will discuss the national trends in few of the areas that we here at UAB have been hearing about in our emails and HealthStream learning modules recently.

We are all familiar with the Code Sepsis initiative at UAB. This is an area of national concern, with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and Centers for Disease Control helping to lead the way. The CDC’s August 2016 issue of "Vital Signs" outlines their areas of focus in combating sepsis.

By Joanna Zurko, PGY2

Even as our residents train to become excellent clinicians, they also find time to develop their skills as researchers and academicians. Our program has a research curriculum designed to encourage resident involvement in the process of investigation in a variety of arenas including basic science, clinical research, and quality improvement. Residents can spend between 1-3 months devoted to research during their residency, during which time they work with faculty members on a specific project or collection of projects that they often continue throughout their training. 

By Daniel Ontenient, PGY3

At times, the label "Foodie City" appears to be used rather loosely. However, in recent years, Birmingham has etched its place among America’s up-and-coming destinations for gastronomic exploration. In 2015, Birmingham landed at #1 on Zagat’s list of “America’s Next Hot Food Cities.” Local world-renowned culinary experts, such as Frank Stitt, Chris Hastings, and Chris Dupont, have paved the way for young talented chefs and restaurateurs. Drawing inspiration traditional Southern cooking and international cuisine, these promising chefs are changing the landscape of the local restaurant industry, and amateur food enthusiasts have taken note.

by Sam McElwee, MD, Chief Cardiology Fellow and CMR 2014-2015

SamMcElwee, MDMy introduction and interest in cardiology came during my first year of medical school at UAB however, it was during the second year, when I was introduced to Dr. Robert “Bob” Robichaux, that my love for cardiology began. Dr. Robichaux served as my Introduction to Clinical Medicine preceptor and was responsible for teaching the basics of history-taking and the physical exam. We met on a bi-weekly basis and after our first few sessions, I began to notice a pattern. The beginning of our meetings were spent discussing LSU and Alabama football, his love being the Bengal Tigers and mine the Crimson Tide. The middle was focused on what we were actually assigned to talk about. The end, and usually where we spent the most time, was devoted to any and all aspects of cardiology. I was amazed and inspired to see Dr. Robichaux’s excitement as we inundated him with questions about auscultatory findings or quizzed him on the nuances of a cardiac-focused history. In seeing how much he loved his chosen field, even after 25 plus years of practice, how could I not love it as well? Our interactions over the course of that year solidified my passion for cardiology and also served as the foundation for my desire to become a clinician educator.