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Old Woes, New Wail PTSD sufferers revisit the torments of war

A Doctor and a Soldier

Summer/Fall 2007 Number 4

Granting their most precious gift: themselves

Calling all doctors!

Lisa Jane Govila, M.D. (’96) Diagnostic Radiology Southfield Radiology Associates PC Privileges with Providence Hospital Southfield, MI Certified by the ABMS Board of Radiology-Diagnostic Radiology AUC Alumni Volunteer

The time to give back to your alma mater has arrived. Like Dr. Govila, you can help shape AUC’s future as a leading medical school by taking part in one or more of our Alumni Volunteer Programs: ❁ Recruitment Fairs and Open Houses ❁ Alumni Admissions Interview Program (AAIP) ❁ Personal Contact (Phone and E-mail) ❁ Reunion Committee and Class Leader With four unique programs, you can pick the one that is right for you. Volunteering is a great way to support AUC and help the Office of Alumni Relations continue to provide a variety of services for students and graduates.




Office of Alumni Relations 305.446.0600, ext. 1013

Find out more by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 305.446.0600, ext. 1013, or via e-mail at

From the Director of Alumni Relations Dear Alumni, Thank you for helping us make the past six months a success! Your increased involvement with the organization has not only kept us going, but also continues to point us in the right direction. Through your active support for our volunteer programs, we have been able to significantly improve the admissions process. Because of your continued contributions of story ideas, information and feedback, AUC Connections is becoming a better source to connect with fellow alumni, get up-to-date campus news and read about current medical issues. Our mission is to be the link between the University and its growing alumni body―which we are proud to announce now numbers 4,000! Communication is crucial to achieve this goal. With that in mind, we are thrilled to inform you that the main AUC Web site will be redesigned by next January. The redesign team has been working closely with faculty, MEAS staff, students and technology experts to create a user-friendly, audience-driven navigation system. The Alumni Association Web site also needs to be redesigned. We are striving to finish the project by this August. You can help us to complete this effort in a timely manner by purchasing Alumni merchandise or making a donation. For information, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations. Remember: you are our past, present, and a bridge to our future. Your accomplishments are a testament to the quality of your school. So drop us a line to let us know what you’re doing, consider volunteering for our programs, and make a financial contribution. AUC’s enduring success depends on you. Should your plans ever bring you to St. Maarten, please feel free to visit our campus. Just let me know a few weeks in advance so that appropriate arrangements can be made for you and your family. Sincerely,

Maria Gracia Mazzotti Director of Alumni Relations

Editor’s Note We take great pride in presenting the fourth installment of AUC Connections to our loyal readers. Although this edition has been the most challenging yet, the obstacles that we overcame and knowledge we learned proved to be well worth the task. Choosing to recognize AUC physicians serving in the Armed Forces was an easy decision. These guys really love what they do and have a tremendous impact on everyone around them. They are an inspiration to us all, and we were ecstatic about the opportunity to tell their story. Words cannot express our appreciation for everyone who contributed to this edition of the alumni magazine. As always, we thank you for your diligence, dedication and continued support. We could not have done it without you.

AUC Connections Editorial Board

Summer/Fall 2007, Number 4 Director of Alumni Relations


to the Editor

Maria Gracia Mazzotti

Editors Paula Distefano D.F. Jones

Copy Editor Rayme Samuels

It was very nice to read about all of my

Contributing Writers Nila Do J. Daniel Duran Nancy Fishburn

classmates’ accomplishments in the recent issue of

AUC Connections. In particular, I am glad to know that Dr. Lenny Cohen still remembers me. I was also delighted to read

Medical Adviser

about Dr. Rizwana Fareeduddin as well. I am very proud to be

Chirag Raval, M.D. (‘00)

an AUC graduate and want to thank AUC for everything the

Graphic Designer/ Art Director

school has done for me.

Alicia Viera

Contributing Photographers Robert Holmes Jason Jones Jordan Michael Zuniga

Advertising Coordinator Tammy Cedre

Kim-Doan Katrina Nguyen, M.D. (‘02)


I just received my first copy of AUC Connections and am impressed by its quality. It is an excellent means

Editorial Office AUC Connections Office of Alumni Relations Medical Education Administrative Services 901 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Ste. 700 Coral Gables, FL 33134 Phone 305.446.0600, ext. 1013 Fax 786.433.0974 E-mail Web

of informing the public about AUC.

Robert W. Harrington, M.D. (‘79)


I’m a former librarian for AUC (1996-2003). I just wanted to

AUC Board of Directors

let you know how much I enjoy reading the AUC Connections

John Byrnes, M.D. Robert Chertok, Ph.D. The Rev’d Jeffrey L. Hamblin, M.D. (‘92) Ronald Harden, O.B.E. Carol Holden, Ph.D. Richard Kitch, J.D. Frank Marsh, F.R.C.P. Robert Sokol, M.D.

magazine. Many of the students featured were at AUC during my time there. It’s great to see so many of them doing well in their respective practices.

Jerry Stuenkel

Alumni Association Executive Board Tarik Haddad, M.D. (’01) President Faith Dillard, M.D. (’99) Vice President Rizwana Fareeduddin, M.D. (’01) Secretary Ronald Schneider, M.D. (’02) Treasurer Please send all questions, comments and suggestions to the address or e-mail listed above. AUC Connections editors reserve the right to edit all print submissions for length and clarity, and assume no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. Reproduction for publication without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed are those of the editorial staff or contributing writers and do not necessarily represent the official positions of Medical Education Administrative Services, American University of the Caribbean or the AUC Alumni Association.

Send your Letters to the Editor to or mail them to:

AUC Connections Office of Alumni Relations Medical Education Administrative Services 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Ste. 700 Coral Gables, FL 33134

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Class of 2007


Campus From left, Hillary Brox with children Isaac and Annabelle; Nicole Jackson and son Tyson; Ashley Reimer and sons Gavin and Carter; Kara Boisvert and daughter Skylar.


AUC organization provides a home-away-from-home


units don’t allow children. The organization tries to set up social events at least twice a week. Activities include play dates for the kids, lunches, exercise groups, beach outings, dinners, and movie nights―whatever members may find interesting. Joining is free. Because they are not allowed to work on the island, the spouses hold occasional burrito sales at the school to raise funds for activities. More than anything, they provide a home-away-from-home for those who miss family, friends and momma’s cooking. “Nothing will cure homesickness, but we offer a way to get involved, to meet and find friends,” said Nicole Jackson, who served as president for two semesters before Reimer took over. “This is a different world, but if you can bond and make friends, life becomes a lot easier.” Jackson, whose father-in-law, Vaughn Jackson Sr., M.D. (’87) attended the school in Montserrat, said that finding the organization made the idea of moving to the island a lot more palatable. “I looked at the other [Caribbean] schools, and none had this practice,” she explained. “I wouldn’t have come [if not for the group].” Jackson, her husband Vaughn Jackson

Jr., and their young son will be leaving the island in December, but some of the friends she made in St. Maarten will be life-long, she said. Once members leave, they can continue to keep in touch through the Clinical Spouses Organization, also online. In an attempt to get more visibility, members now sit in on student government meetings. Though they don’t get to vote, they find out about what is going on with curriculum and residency issues, which also impact their lives. “We’re important, especially to our husbands,” Reimer said. “Studies show that those who come with a spouse do better than those who come alone.” What’s more, they’ve become informal ambassadors for AUC. “We’re out there answering questions and recruiting people for the school. Many choose us because we have this organization and other schools don’t.” Jackson added, “It definitely helps people make the decision to come to AUC. [The students] don’t have to worry about their spouses. If they need something, they can call. It gives them peace of mind.” To find out more about the Spouses Organization, go to Paula Distefano

AUC Connections

hen Ashley Reimer’s husband, David, was accepted to medical school, she was apprehensive about moving from Hastings, Minn., to a foreign country―with three children to boot. Then she found out about AUC’s Spouses Organization. “We were assigned a sponsor who helped us with everything,” said Reimer. The sponsorship is one of many support services offered by the group. Their main mission is to provide information to prospective students and assistance for the students’ significant others once on the island. Reimer is now president of the organization, currently comprised of 30 members (two of whom are male) and 17 children, most under the age of four. The group answers two to 10 e-mails a day through their own Web site from potential students, girlfriends, mothers, and even single parents trying to figure out if AUC is right for them. Questions range from what health insurance to get, to what life is really like on the island. Once the student is accepted, the spouse is assigned a sponsor who helps with all aspects of the transition. “Once they get here, we pick them up at the airport, take them on a tour of the island, show them where to grocery shop, how much to tip, etc.,” said Reimer, adding that they also aid with finding vehicles and housing―not always an easy task as some


Campus New associate dean champions student involvement



for success

ddly enough, Ron Testa, Ph.D., purchased a home in St. Maarten exactly one day before AUC listed the job advertisement for a new associate dean for student affairs back in 2005. He would not actually see the available position until a few weeks later, but the close proximity of the two dates remains a strange coincidence and, undoubtedly, a good omen for both Testa and the University. As a former associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Adult Continuing Education at Barry University located in Miami, Fla., Testa worked with non-traditional students studying in accelerated degree programs. At the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Testa was an associate professor of psychology and clinical director of an adolescent sex-offending unit where he performed research with psychiatric residents and clinical training with interns and residents. Each position prepared



Testa in its own unique way to make an immediate impact as the first-ever associate dean for student affairs at AUC. “For me, when you combine both of those two experiences I kind of hit the ground running here, having been in both kinds of milieus, and I saw AUC as a blend of both those milieus,” explained Testa. “I think that my experiences at Barry University and the University of Miami really provided in ways―that I didn’t understand―the ideal preparation for this.” Testa plans, designs, supervises and provides leadership and vision for all student services currently available for students enrolled at the Basic Medical Sciences campus in St. Maarten. These include, but are not limited to, orientation programming, wellness counseling, academic skills counseling, course tutoring as well as overseeing resident advisors in dormitories and a 24/7, on-call mental health program for students

who are having mental health crises while on the island. “And part of how I see myself functioning is as an advocate for students, as someone who they can turn to when they don’t understand what they may perceive as an arbitrary administrative decision or an arbitrary faculty decision and help them begin the meaningful, problem-solving that they’re going to have to do for the rest of their lives,” emphasized Testa. Since joining the faculty in February 2006, Testa has already had a hand in a number of accomplishments for the students and the University. For starters, students were given the opportunity to rewrite the honor code. The student evaluation and promotion committees were also changed giving students the power to select two faculty members out of the presiding six. Additionally, AUC now has a dean’s list in which to recognize outstanding academic accomplish-


Associate Dean for Student Affairs Ron Testa, Ph.D., plans, designs, supervises and provides leadership and vision for all students at the Basic Medical Sciences campus in St. Maarten.

ments. Testa also helped envision and facilitate changes in the inclusion criteria for the honor society, which de-emphasizes competition and supports student cooperation. But his biggest challenge was giving students an organized way to express themselves and provide meaningful feedback to the administration and faculty. “So that became not so much a challenge, but an opportunity of creating space at the dean’s level the notion of student empowerment, student involvement and student accountability to be part of how the institution defines itself,” Testa said. Another big contribution from Testa is upgrading and expanding AUC’s counseling services. He brought on a full-time wellness counselor who would not only work with students with one-on-one counseling, but could also help build a healthier environment. Instituting psycho-educational and preventative programs is a different kind of approach

that tries to help students avoid reaching a mental state where they need individual consultations. “I think that we are now providing a more appropriate level of an amount of services depending especially [that] our students are living outside the country attending medical school, so they are already dealing with that transition, and some of them are also struggling with some fears and anxieties about underperforming in the past.” Medical school is a big enough challenge without compounding the stress and detachment that comes from studying in a foreign country. AUC students need somewhere to turn to for representation, advice and counseling, and Testa has turned out to be a perfect fit. His dedication and passion for AUC will not only help students graduate medical school, but will also provide a foundation for which they can start the mental process of becoming and excelling as a physician.

“Part of what I envision student affairs doing here is helping people realize that the challenges they are facing now in medical school are not unique to medical school,” said Testa. “These are going to be part of this rigorous, professional training pathway that they have selected and this profession that they’re going to be a part of. They better learn now the kind of self-care skills that they need to balance a family, faith, work, school, etc., so that they have a reasonable shot at having a well-balanced and happy life and what better place to start working on it than at the beginning of their training.” D.F. Jones




A love for Medicine The DeTorres siblings leave legacy at AUC

ick eder , r F : t righ orres III ft to e eT l D rom “Billy” F . s 1990 lliam arly rres, Wi ) e e h t d DeTo n in eate take Charlie” orres (s y l i DeT les “ e fam of th res, Char aryann t i a rtr dM or A po die” DeT es Jr. an r d r e “Fr m DeTo a Willi




to. It goes he DeTorres family has a mot aim high to er bett “It’s , like something e it.” For and miss than aim low and mak and his two ) (’89 . M.D s, orre DeT rles Cha s III, M.D. (’86) and older brothers, William DeTorre motto not only that ) (’87 . M.D s, orre DeT k Frederic ol at AUC, scho ical med ing dur became their slogan s. live re but also throughout their enti DeTorres clan, Charles, 42, the youngest of the a way of life me beco to to has allowed the family mot pediatrician has and t den resi ia forn Cali The for him. , N.Y., where he grew come a long way from Yonkers ral teaching awards, seve of t pien reci the , rles Cha up. rd at the UniverAwa g chin Tea lty Facu including the ical professor at clin t stan sity of Kansas while an assi in his medical cahigh aim to s inue cont ol, the scho three medical doctors reer. As owner and one of the rles credits his of Sonoma Plaza Pediatrics, Cha nts, William and pare his h pus the to achievements dren. chil r thei Maryann, gave to each of ng they had for us,” ythi ever d ishe ngu exti ey “Th rts to provide for Charles said of his parents’ effo ent to us―fiperc 150 gave ey “Th . dren chil their ng.” ythi ever nances, love, e run parallel The three brothers’ lives hav t in each brother, buil c ethi k wor ng stro a paths. With ty of New York at ersi Univ e Stat all three attended the ees, and all degr ’s Binghamton for their bachelor now lives in each ugh Tho . AUC from d three graduate vowed to e hav they try, a different area of the coun le who provided peop the and s root r thei et never forg them with so much. ing up, their faWhile the brothers were grow three to four jobs ked wor Jr., s orre DeT ther, William jobs was as a the of One to keep the family afloat. in Manhattan, ent artm dep y X-ra an of manager his children along with where he frequently brought

in the medical world. him to catch a glimpse of life ical procedures and med ral seve There, the boys saw professionals. ical med key to ced odu intr e wer wouldn’t do for “There’s nothing my parents or Billy as his 46, III, their kids,” echoed William , most of us wouldn’t them t hou “Wit . him call brothers be where we are today.” critical care speToday Billy is an internist and Center in Ogdensical Med burn Hep cialist at Claxtonball player base l ona essi burg, N.Y. The former prof with the Chicago ball base ue leag or min ed (Billy play important for the boys Cubs organization) feels it is rt in raising them and effo nts’ pare r thei e gniz reco to . nne Cori r, their older siste and working, we “When we started growing up ” Billy said. nts, pare our to back ey mon gave our that [saying] s live our in h muc “They have done so our folks.” for ugh eno not is ’ you nk ‘tha 44, an allergy and For middle brother Frederick, Allergy PC in e relin Sho immunology specialist at parents was inhis to back ng givi h., Mic n, Muskego a brand-new mom his ght bou he nate. Two years ago, car she ever new first silver Toyota Corolla Sport, the owned. kept them away Though their busy schedule has ily plans to reunite fam it t-kn tigh the r, othe from each rick’s wedding. on July 7 in Michigan for Fred Nila Do


A for



Internist Alex Foxman has used technology to jumpstart his practice 10


tarting a business can be difficult in any industry, but for doctors opening a private practice it can be especially challenging. Instead of clients, there are patients; and the service the physician provides is more than say a trendy product like clothes and cars⎯it’s a responsibility to care for and treat people who trust you with their lives. Alex Foxman, M.D. (‘99), a board-certified internal medicine specialist, started his practice close to the Russian housing projects on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Foxman is of Russian Jewish descent, but that similarity wasn’t the only reason he chose this high-density area in Southern California. “In Los Angeles, patients do not grow on trees,” said Foxman. “I had to find a niche where I could find a unique market. Since I speak Russian and Spanish, I made rounds giving lectures at senior housing, adult day care centers and assisted living [facilities] to build my practice.” He chose to focus on the community and to market his medical practice from there. Through educational presentations and other community-based projects, Foxman developed a good reputation with residents in the area. “I learned early that broad advertising in medicine is low yield for the cost. In addition, the quality of patients from advertising is inferior to word-of-mouth from current patients and referrals from other physicians and other health care professionals.” Today, Foxman has over 2,000 patients and has relocated to Beverly Hills, Calif. He is medical director and founder of the Beverly Hills Institute, and has watched his company’s growth rate climb 10-20 percent per year. His practice is thriving, and he realizes that his love of the field fuels his own success. “I enjoy the broad medical knowledge required to be a competent internist. I rarely refer patients to sub-specialists and choose to manage most medical conditions myself,” noted Foxman. “In addition, internal medicine allows me to integrate many broad areas of practice into my facility. For example, currently my practice interest is preventive, internal and aesthetic medicine. All of these interests fit nicely into the internal medicine scope of practice.” When Foxman started his practice three-and-a-half years ago, he purchased a $70,000 GE Centricity electronic health record system (EHR). Investing in technology has helped him manage all of the areas of medicine he incorporates into his office as well as expediting day-to-day tasks. A laptop computer connected to the EHR can be found in each exam room, which enables Foxman to modify and update records and request labwork while talking with the patient. Additionally, office staff can scan forms and fax prescriptions allowing everyone to benefit from the system. “It shaves at least 60 minutes off of my day, reimbursements are returned earlier and my staff is happier,” reported Foxman in an article titled Solo doctors take aim at non-billable tasks appearing in the ACP Observer, a monthly online newsmagazine, in May 2007. “I just completed paying for the system, but I believe it already paid for itself in improved patient care, efficiency and staff satisfaction.” Foxman also uses the Internet to enhance his practice. Through email and text messages, he is able to respond to patient questions regarding lab results or medication inquiries when he is away from the office. “I started using [patient] e-mail as an experiment, but it’s been so efficient that I plan to expand it,” said Foxman in an article titled Physicians and e-mail slow to make connection appearing in the January-February edition of the ACP Observer. “It truly enables me to practice medicine outside my office.” D.F. Jones


Novin-Baheran has some good news


lham (Ellie) Novin-Baheran, M.D. (’04), a third-year internal medicine resident, spent the last month of the summer in 2006 doing a medical news resident internship at ABC News in Boston. She was part of a medical news team that analyzed, researched and prepared reports on potential medical stories for all of ABC’s news programs, including World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20 and Good Morning America, as well as ABC News Radio, and local ABC affiliates. “My month as an ABC News intern was an eye-opening experience,” said Novin-Baheran. “I learned about myself as a doctor and also what it means to be a patient. There are so many things in the world of science and medicine that we don’t know about, and often, as medical doctors, we forget that our patients may perceive the unknown as something to fear.” An example she gives is research she did with thyroid cancer patients and their physicians. “I interviewed patients treated for thyroid cancer with a specific type of radiation that required them to be separated from others as they were likely to expose others to radiation,” she said. “I also interviewed the doctors that took care of these patients; they were not aware that their patients were going through difficulties with isolation and being away from their families.” Novin-Baheran says this realization had a big impact on her. “I was able to see the disparity in what doctors thought their patients felt in regard to treatments, and what the patients really felt,” she said. Novin-Baheran also enjoyed working with ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson and his team, calling it an incredible experience. “They showed me that researchers and reporters work hard to get the facts straight and try to provide accurate information to the general public.” Summing it up, she added, “My time at ABC News taught me not only how to be a better doctor, but also how to be a better person. I learned to listen to people with more clarity, and I learned to ask questions more openly.” Nancy Fishburn

Dr. Ellie Novin-Baheran, left, poses with Dr. Tim Johnson, medical editor for ABC News, during her medical news resident internship in Boston last summer. Johnson provides on-air medical analysis for World News Tonight, Nightline and 20/20.



Ties Family

Summer/Fall 2007

by D.F. Jones



For over 20 years, Robbins has been a mainstay for Jefferson City residents


It wasn’t hard for Thomas D. Robbins, M.D., F.A.A.S.P. (’82) to figure out the medical profession was right for him. In high school, he followed his father—a surgeon— around the hospital, and was intrigued by the notion of helping others. “Ever since I can remember, I wanted to go into medicine,” Robbins recalled. “I just saw what a difference [my father] was able to make in the lives of the patients he treated.” Now Robbins, the chairman of the Department of Family Medicine for Jefferson City Medical Group in Jefferson City, Mo., has been able to make a difference in countless numbers of peoples’ lives too. Opting to focus on family medicine has allowed him to treat generations of patients within the same family—and that’s one of the major reasons that led him to this specialty.

cine,” Robbins explained. Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Robbins went to Missouri to study in a pre-medical program at Westminster College. It was around this time that he met his wife, Kim, and she accompanied him to Montserrat where he received his medical degree from AUC. After completing a residency at Lutheran Medical Center in St. Louis, they returned to Jefferson City—Kim’s hometown—and Robbins started a private practice in 1985. “I always planned on coming back here and when I did, it was still an era when it was unusual for new physicians to come to the area.” Three years later, Robbins partnered with George Carr, M.D., and their practice began to grow tremendously. In 1993, Robbins and Carr along with 10 internists formed JCMG. Now, the group

“Ever since I can remember, I wanted to go into medicine,” Robbins recalled. “I just saw what a difference [my father] was able to make in the lives of the patients he treated.” boasts approximately 70 physicians and is a major health care provider in Missouri. “We knew that managed care was coming down the road,” Robbins said. “We knew that the only way we would be able to negotiate contracts effectively was to have

AUC Connections

“I just thought the whole concept of taking care of the entire family from cradle to grave and having the opportunity to get to know people very intimately over time was something that was only really afforded for the most part in medicine by being in family medi-

some clout in numbers.” In addition to his role at JCMG, Robbins also teaches at the University of Missouri—a position he has held since the late 1980s. He usually takes on a third- or fourth-semester student once a year, and they preceptor with him for a month. Questioning the student on the basics of history taking, physical exams and diagnoses and differential diagnoses is helpful for Robbins and prevents him from relying on his instincts all the time. Nevertheless, balancing time between all of the professional responsibilities and his family can be stressful. A professed Catholic, Robbins not only uses his faith to keep his family strong, but he also talks about spirituality with his patients—something he’s found that people have enjoyed and accepted. He and his wife, Kim, who have been married 30 years, have two adult children and are raising their 8-year-old grandson. And after being a source of support and care for so many families in Jefferson City, it only seems natural for Robbins to turn to his own to keep it all together. “Without Kim, I could never have done all the things I have done in my career,” Robbins acknowledged. “I think she has been the most important motivator over the years. She has been a tremendous supporter of mine and allowed me to do a lot of things I otherwise could not have done—and I’m very grateful to her for that.”


Honors Ahmed finds fulfillment and recognition in family medicine

A medical

Vocation hough becoming a doctor was her parents’―not her own―lifelong dream, it was in medicine that Iram F. Ahmed, M.D. (‘01) found her calling. “I was coached from childhood. When I went to college I wanted to major in English,” she explained. “My mother said, ‘medicine or marriage.’ It turned out to be the best thing ever.” It has indeed. Promoted to medical director of St. Elizabeth Health Center’s Medical Outreach Department in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2005, just a year after finishing her residency at the same facility, Ahmed has racked up multiple awards over her relatively short medical career. As a third-year resident, she won two first-place awards for a study on postpartum depression; the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine’s Research Day, in May 2004, and the C. Watanakunakorn Award, the following month. On June 10 of that year she was honored with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Award for excellence in resident teaching. All the medical students and residents under her got a vote. She was hired to be a physician with St. Elizabeth’s right out of residency. Board certified in family medicine, Ahmed says she enjoys the variety she gets to practice within the specialty. “I didn’t want to be stuck. You are well trained to do everything in family medicine: deliveries, pediatrics, geriatrics; it’s a wide scope,” she said. The study on PPD was inspired during her OB/GYN rotation.

Summer/Fall 2007



“I was finding some women were coming back depressed after delivering and not being recognized,” she said. “I found a 10 percent rate of PPD in the area―which is consistent with the national average―of which only a quarter are being screened and even less diagnosed.” According to Ahmed, much of the low screening rate can be attributed to the strains associated with practicing medicine today, with doctors being pulled in many directions resulting in less time with patients. The risks, she warns, are very real. “Women experiencing PPD should get help. There is no shame, and it is very dangerous.” Ahmed believes more awareness needs to be brought to the forefront. She is married to fellow AUC graduate Ghazanfar Ahmed, M.D. (‘02), who is in a group practice and also in family medicine. They are the proud parents of 18-month-old son Zain. Prioritizing, she suggests, is what makes parenthood and a demanding medical career work together. “What is not a challenge? You juggle it with a lot of support. Your priority is always your child. When you come home after a long day, you don’t run to do dishes, you sit down and spend time with your baby.” Future plans include a possible expansion in her medical department and “definitely” more children. Paula Distefano


On top of

things Kowal receives award for fifth-straight year in rheumatology


with the constant influx of new drugs, Kowal strives to inform local physicians in the hopes of providing better treatment. “I educate [local doctors] on the new medications that are available, and how we as rheumatologists use them and what the primary care and other physicians need to look for when their patients are on these medications. It’s important for them to know all the side effects, the potential side effects and what a doctor as a primary care physician needs to know in order to treat these patients” Kowal also gives back to the community through lectures to the arthritis foundation explaining different types of the disease and treatments. Despite her busy schedule, Kowal still finds time to spend with her husband, Ray Montecalvo, and two teenage daughters, Christina and Gabrielle. The family enjoys traveling, and Kowal also plays tennis on a weekly basis. D.F. Jones

AUC Connections

atherine Kowal, M.D. (‘85) loves her job and it shows. For the past five years running, she has been voted “Top Doctor” in rheumatology for Southwest Florida by Castle Connolly Medical, a New York-based publisher of guides to the best physicians in the United States. After fellow physicians and hospital administrators used mail and telephone surveys to cast their votes for Kowal in her specialty, Castle Connolly’s team of researchers used an arduous screening process to make the final selection. The survey results came from 200 doctors and high-ranking administrators from 10 hospitals in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties located in Southwest Florida. “I think that over these years, I’ve developed a very good reputation in [Naples],” acknowledged Kowal. “There have been a lot of changes in rheumatology down here, and I’ve managed to keep my head up. … I think that being available for all of the doctors that need rheumatologic consultation is a big thing.” Kowal moved to Naples after completing her residency and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After eight years in a multispecialty group, she formed her own private practice called Catherine Kowal, M.D., P.A., specializing in arthritis and diseases affecting bones, joints, muscles and ligaments. With two full-time employees and a part-time administrator, she has learned some valuable lessons managing a small business. “In a solo practice, the hardest thing to do is keep your overhead down. But the autonomy that you get supercedes that,” said Kowal. “I think my biggest challenge now is to change over to electronic medical records. Hopefully, it will give me more time and cut down on the overhead as well.” She is also involved with clinical research for multiple pharmaceutical companies. Her patients are top priority and


Publications Handbook of

Bioterrorism and Disaster Medicine Springer Publishing ith the world becoming increasingly preoccupied with the threat of terrorism and devastating natural disasters, the Handbook of Bioterrorism and Disaster Medicine is an essential and timely publication. Amesh Adalja, M.D. (‘02) authored the chapter on viral hemorrhagic fevers. Published in late 2006 by Springer and edited by Antosia and Cahill, this practical manual offers a quick reference tool for researchers and professionals in the field of disaster management⎯both natural and man-made. Readers will learn how to recognize, evaluate and respond to diseases and injuries. Other subjects covered include infectious diseases, public health, psychological issues, bioterrorism, epidemiology, microbiology, and virology.


2006 Primary Care Companion to the

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry assan Dakroub, M.D. (‘99) co-authored a study that examines the relationship between borderline personality symptomatology and employment disability. The article appeared in the 2006 Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, volume 8. The authors examined the relationship among 94 internal medicine outpatients. Using a sample of convenience, they administered two self-report measures for borderline personality and inquired about the lifetime presence and length of either psychiatric or medical disability. Findings showed a significant and positive correlation

Summer/Fall 2007



between scores on both borderline personality measures and the length of psychiatric disability for women; however, no significant relationship was found between scores on either measure for borderline personality and the length of either psychiatric or medical disability for men. The authors suggest that, in contrast to men, there may be a relationship between borderline personality symptomatology and psychiatric disability only among women (indicating a gender difference) and discuss the possible implication of these results.

Louis matches into

neurosurgeryat UVA


inding a residency can be an extremely stressful time for all physicians, so we’d like to congratulate all those who placed in the match or found a program on their own. Robert Louis, M.D. (‘97) matched into a difficult neurosurgery residency program at the University of Virginia Health System. Several things contributed to his success: top board scores, exceptional performance in clinical rotations and publications⎯the most influential factor into matching at a Top Ten program. “Through my work with Dr. Loukas and the Clinical Research Society, I was able to publish more than 40 research papers during my time at AUC,” Louis said. “This is more than any student at any U.S. medical school and stood out on my application.” All neurosurgery residency programs require one year of general surgery internship prior to neurosurgery training. The majority of programs include this year so that if a physician matches into neurosurgery (which is an early match through the San Francisco Matching Program), he or she is guaranteed a spot in the general surgery program for the first year. Neurosurgery training begins as PGY-2. Louis welcomes the challenges that comes with this program and will be looking forward to working for a university that boasts one of the highest caseloads for neurosurgery in the country, allowing for outstanding exposure to all aspects in the field. He is also excited about gaining experience overseas. “As part of the seven-year training program, I look forward to the required year abroad as chief neurosurgical resident at Auckland Hospital in New Zealand. This experience is unique among training programs and is one I look forward to eagerly.”


Annual AUC

Faculty Symposium a success

he University’s eighth annual Faculty Symposium got underway on May 27 in St. Maarten with over 180 attendees, including 63 adjunct faculty―in addition to guests, MEAS staff, basic medical science professors and representatives from the Accreditation Commission for Colleges of Medicine. Participants met both at the AUC campus and at Maho Resort during the three-day event to discuss issues pertaining to campus developments, changes in the basic science and clinical curricula, the election of the new faculty senate, and the introduction of new staff. Students led visitors on small campus tours and presented information during the Student Organization Expo. Held annually during the symposium, the Hospital Fair brought in adjunct faculty representing 28 hospitals from the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland. Students were able to learn more about the sites directly from the doctors and via printed materials and videos offered at the event. AUC’s improvements to the physical plant, and developments in technology and the library system were also discussed.


AUC Connections


by J. Daniel Duran and D.F. Jones

Nightmare never-ending

A unique look into post-traumatic stress disorder and the origins and effects of this growing disease.



ommon sounds heard in everyday life can trigger an episode. Nights are even harder as restlessness hits when trying to fall asleep, and even if you manage to doze off, your mind replays the events you would rather forget in your head. You are short with your loved ones, getting angry easily over anything. When you are not angry, you are depressed and cannot understand why you are feeling this way. You might try to cope with the stress by drinking alcohol or using drugs. This is the reality faced by 1 out of 8 soldiers returning from the Middle East–and up until the Vietnam War, it was not even recognized as a legitimate condition. Even though plenty of research has been done on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since then, little is known about why some are affected by traumatic events. Many will go through their entire lives reliving the horrors of war.


Summer/Fall 2007

PTSD & Symptoms


PTSD is a severe psychological consequence of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. Before it was given a name, it was commonly referred to as “shell shock” and considered an unfortunate incident of war. However, the disorder is now known to be caused by exposure to traumatic events like the death of a fellow soldier, the death of civilians, the constant fear of being killed and the high stress levels associated with fighting a war. According to Chirag Raval, M.D. (‘00), medical director for the Case Management Program and Operation Iraqi Freedom Clinic at Hines VA Hospital in Hines, Ill., “Someone is put in a position of extreme stress where their life or somebody near them is in danger. The possibility of great harm or death is present. So they witness this or a part of this and get stuck reliving it.” In any given year, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates 7.7 million Americans 18 and older suffer from the illness. When Vietnam veterans returned, 30 percent of them experienced PTSD at some point after the war. It is unclear right now how many returning from the current Middle East conflict have been diagnosed with the illness. Symptoms can be categorized in three different spheres, and all affect the lives of those suffering from it as well as those around them dramatically. The first is hyper vigilance, meaning people affected with PTSD are on edge all the time. They are preoccupied about the traumatic event occurring again and may have to relive it over and over. “Because they’re on edge, they come off as angry, irritable or agitated,” says Raval. “They can end up having trouble falling asleep because they’re on edge and worried about something happening.” They may also suffer from avoidance, including the inability to remember important aspects of the trauma, lack of interest in activities, feeling of detachment, sense of having no future, and staying away from people and places. Raval notes that people with the disorder “will try to avoid certain places that remind them of the incident. They

will avoid confrontations about it. You hear about people who avoid war-time movies because of the noises and sounds, or people who stay indoors during July 4th because the fireworks sound like mortar rounds.” The third sphere incorporates intrusiveness. No matter what they do, where they go, those affected with PTSD try their best to avoid thinking about the event as well as certain scenarios. Raval adds that with “smells, sounds, noises, they keep remembering [the traumatic event] and that takes them back to the original traumatic event.” Depression, anxiety and phobia to

3 Spheres of Responses 1. Hyper vigilance  


On edge all the time Worry about the traumatic event happening again Anger, agitation and irritability Insomnia and bad sleep habits

2. Avoidance 

Abstinence from going places that could be associated with the traumatic event Avoidance of confrontations about the event Can affect memory

3. Intrusiveness 

Impossibility of escaping memory and images of traumatic event Smells, sounds and noises can trigger memory of event Nightmares and flashbacks

things people normally wouldn’t be frightened of can develop and can accompany the disorder. Physical symptoms include paleness, palpitations, headache, fever, fainting, dizziness and agitation, which are all caused by the anxiety and sense of guilt of the event. Unfortunately, the illness also often leads to alcohol and drug abuse. “If we were looking for the most macho group of guys, it’s those in the military,” explains Raval. “So they will try to deal with these emotions, these problems on their own. … I’d say alcohol is probably one of the most abused substances that I’ve seen these days. A good amount smoke marijuana to manage their nerves. That helps dull the pain for them temporarily, but at the end of the day, we want them to be able to function with a clear head without being addicted to any substance to sleep, or any substance to deal with their everyday life.”

Shell Shock or Mental Illness? During the World War I and II, PTSD was commonly misdiagnosed as a soldier simply being shell-shocked. It was considered a psychiatric illness due to injury to the nervous system during combat. It was later understood the long-term effects that combat had on a soldier were more complex than injury to the nerves. “Shell shock is the original description of PTSD. It just wasn’t well organized into a disorder,” says Raval. “It’s not something tangible that you can hook up to a machine and test.” In fact, PTSD wasn’t recognized until the 1980s when it was introduced into the third edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. That is not to say it wasn’t recognized prior to this. Shell shock, combat fatigue and war neurosis were all terms used to describe the illness; however the Vietnam War pushed PTSD into the spotlight and probably most of the information on PTSD available stems from research on the veterans of that war. “Around the Vietnam time, you had a big enough population where you could actually figure out that this is something real, this is something that’s happening to a lot of people,” describes Raval. “I think the taboo with mental health is a little bit less since that time and just through education and experience,

“Shell shock is the original description of PTSD. It just wasn’t well organized into a disorder. It’s not something tangible that you can hook up to a machine and test.”

[PTSD] is something that is treatable. It doesn’t have to have such a drastic effect on life. I think the fact that people can get better and return to regular functioning kind of motivates treatment for it.” However, it is understood war is not the only traumatic event that can cause PTSD. Rape, natural disasters, terrorist attacks and accidents can affect those involved severely.

Research The most researched treatment for PTSD so far has been Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). According to EMDR Institute, the treatment developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., “facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced.” During the session, the patient is exposed to emotionally disturbing material while simultaneously focusing on external stimuli. The treatment is not a one-session deal and serves to desensitize patients from the traumatic event, not necessarily eliminating all symptoms and complications related to the illness. It was given the highest level of recommendation for the treatment of trauma by the American Psychiatric Association and places in the “A” category as strongly recommended for the treatment of trauma by the Department of Veterans Affairs

and Department of Defense. Other more controversial methods of treating the illness include the use of LSD for psychedelic psychotherapy in the Netherlands to help those suffering from PTSD after being at concentration camps. Also, the use of the drug MDMA (better know as Ecstasy) during talk therapy sessions is also being researched.

The Controversy Because of the rise in diagnosis of PTSD in 2005, the Department for Veterans Affairs wants to make sure those who are trying to cheat the system in order to gain compensation cannot do so. Some argue the spiraling cost of the Middle East crisis is pushing the government to cut back on benefits owed to veterans. According to an article in the Washington Post, in the past five years the number of those who received benefits for PTSD has grown seven times as fast as those receiving benefits for disabilities in general. In 2005, a total of 215, 871 veterans received benefits for the illness at a cost of $4.3 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 1999. The VA argues the system encourages returning soldiers to exaggerate claims in order to maintain eligibility for benefits. And because PTSD is something most have to live with for the rest of their lives, being diagnosed with the illness can grant a soldier with disability status, and those considered 100 percent receive benefits on average of $2,300 a month.

Raval said he doesn’t believe “that our veterans are using the system for money and/or benefits. Illinois has been rated poor in terms of compensation so I believe more is being done to make sure veterans get the benefits they are entitled to.” However, research indicates many suffering from PTSD never seek treatment for fear of social stigma of having a mental illness. So while groups opposing the VA’s decision agree that some are trying to cheat the system, they argue there are many more out there that refuse to seek help. “There are a lot of people that don’t realize it or think that it’s kind of normal to act and feel the way they’re acting. But there’s so much hype and education out there, and the word PTSD is so media friendly [that the disorder is on the rise] because of the war, but at the same time the education is getting out there,” said Raval. What we know today about PTSD is inadequate to properly treat those who suffer from it. Researchers still are trying to understand why some are affected while others go on with their lives despite going through a traumatic event. Most never get over the condition, reliving the horrific details every day. However, with the difficulty of diagnosing the disease, the reluctance of some to come forward and the government’s need to cut back on benefits to veterans, it will be seen if advances can be made in learning more about trauma and how it affects those exposed to it.

AUC Connections

In the past five years, the number of veterans receiving benefits for PTSD has grown seven times as fast as those receiving benefits for disabilites in general.


e t extrem s o m e le f th habitab some o r in e n u d , n s u nd eir rk reign la ians rely on th rces wo o f o f g d in e v rm ic ra . se phys in the a eat soldiers. B e s h r t r troops o , t u s c o n r o r t io D t o f o t a e u s r tance ting sit dical ca e m e circums nts and daun id rov me ge to p d le environ w o and kn training


R F ht nell is a flig Dr. Greg Pin R of the USAF rt a p , n o e rg su avels dron and tr a u q S g in ly F g for world carin all over the ir family pilots as the also a e is physician. H ho t surgeon w rescue fligh gs s and landin e ch n u la s work le Space Shutt for NASA’s program.



e n i c i d e



o by D.F. J

rda is a Dr. Chad Ca the South member of National Dakota Air recently Guard and m a 2returned fro yment month deplo in Iraq.

ost of the m e n ectly o y l b ions dir gua s r i a c e e d v r a i sh he or hysician g professions. T ous asset⎯his i n c i e s, challeng erson’s most pr illnesse g n i s p o a n t r diag impac ibing Whethe . h t l a r prescr d e o s n o i her h t a ing oper heir training an ven in the perform et s e⎯e must u er advic s f f r o o t d c o n d a ion, oices medicat make ch o t s often s e en d Forces . e s intuitiv ey m n r o i A t i e th ases, th ond c c n i y t s n n e a a i h c m s si re n har itions. I ealth ca as a phy Serving rs to those cond vide the same h lable in docto d pro y avai chnolog subjects ice medicine an and e t d n a es r homes i i act l e r p h p p t t u s s m even u e o m eeks or ny of th y work away fr w a r m o f t s u e o ili and The with their fam n be enormous edicine. m m o r n f a i d l i e a civ to unite es isolat mental strain c s m m i e t e e s m g thin The are so n can but one a time. , t e a g s r rofessio h u p t s s n i n h a t c mo s s ve for l ion leve ite the hardship oldiers and a lo t a r t s u r f sp low s ctors de with fel d e m these do r o e bond f carry: th ry. unt their co



e wher cape o N rt lands m ed, dese yes. There are o h c r a r p e. A our e ay F the shad stings y w A in egrees in r forehead and d 0 2 s 1 working to own you nges of n climb e d a ll Mile c s a a d s e h a e c e r m e co tb mperatu o well th istan. as to be s. Swea

hh ll to ection Afghan where te wn healt knows a in all dir a place outhern .D. (‘85) cult, and your o M , Imagine ndreds of miles floors. This is S a ll e n, you r iamma me diffi s you ca et s for hu nd dirt seph Sc ple things beco water a o J h ]g c stretche no electricity a u n u o o e Y m g “[ h n Sur rink as arella. ven sim tents wit r Army Battalio at you d esert. E Sciamm t becoming d th s e t y o a th s h e ,” k Senio credibly an do your job and no ditions li dy so in [water] c eme con the rinking it’s alrea ing out so you d d y n such extr b a t , s g Army at e mornin d phase everyth yourself alive ju ined the jo th , e in priority. in p ke u n, an keep medic “You wa ssibly ca ergency ple, and on. s and n in em s you po the injured peo take acti aged six medic a ia l ic o to s o y c h im s p h f n o d d a n e e e o fi m ll r stay a ti e a ti e a c p r h c here ote lo ks com oard-ce it, take 11 attac all aid station w ldiers. The rem ve and b through t. ti p a e . n n S o k e o .” r ti Yo ted 500 s s in th opera on up a sm dehydra marella, a New ore than se friend headed from the limited medicati g two clo , Sciammarella up numbering m ries sustained ] Sciam d in s n o [a L s . 4 tan gro cilitie of inju 0 in 200 Afghanis re battalion⎯a 90s. variety ratory fa age of 5 ti riving in the mid y , no labo marella. the wide s r ie fo it g il c atch in After ar al care for an en in r m fa ar W a r y ia c n o c a r p S e in -r m s X th h r medic pproac had no tion Nor those there on te emembe r a r ,” e e p O in provided to take a new a at we had. We g ic ey durin tier med wh re for all im ation forced h ad to deal with almost like fron months in Turk ided medical ca h destin v h r y o u e r ll a p fo ry launc r “W a t e n te h e im , li r p e s s c p a r ) e as th .D. (’83 Task Fo om. It w r served to pull fr rm Walmsley, M r the Combined tour, late ’s fo y e le s in G. Sto Walm medic l during of flight rd. As chief e National Gua lthough peacefu a th Base, duty for ing irlik Air The Inc eeks provid

t two w or and spen d a lv a S l E oolhouses. traveled to , ch s ft f le o , t ll u e o n s pulation In 2001, Pin digenous po in to re ca primary


y no X-ra d a y h e “W borator la o n , s facilitie limited ] d n a [ s . facilitie ull from p o t n io t medica ally almost like ter .” It was li edicine m r ie t n o fr

h pilots ed to fly wit ir u q re is es t, d the stress Carda, righ n ta rs e d n u better ir. in order to hile in the a w h g u ro th they go

d execute hter jets ere g th fi e 6 1 m F ing his ti dical team such as r ft u a d r c ⎯ ir onments ilitary a led a me tile envir ase. Walmsley . Still, m . t Storm into enemy hos b r e e ort staff s p e th p f D ation ions s and su air base ioning o w it e s r o c p ir for Oper ort-flying miss ic exas, ine to a strateg umbing sh ome in T nce and d brought medic st-paced, ear-n sorties⎯ om his h e. importa fr fa n e a y a a e th w in n g a li y provin world health nd om hom e flight d crews ed half a orking so far fr don’t like this a viced th that ser eeping pilots an the job. Station w I d y, n e . a is ‘H g s of vin say, But k daily ba one side ow to adapt to li that you can’t ed on a ted only ly h ense e endur k s h ic e s u y th q a represen d s d n ted. As a y learne almsley liness a t be loca h Walmsle ration and lone s a challenge W come.” ig m e els with over “Sepa where h e,’” wa nell trav u have to ) never knows alk hom in o P w y , g n to o in g r th . (‘97 Squad I’m goin biggest rt nell, M.D e Flying n is the at suppo n. Greg Pin ir Force Reserv ia n “Isolatio o ic e s g y r h people th t of aircraft. u p f S A o y t s il p h te u g m o li ta r fa F their nited S amoun and a g be certain serve as of the U stantly o-pilots le and a ll to con member ver the world to roup of pilots, c e p o n e in p P f o o ag forcing mount pilots all g squadron is ee world ertain a ks in fiv ere in th ound a c h A flyin r a w y d n le ree wee a il y th b s , e lo o is p ib e r h tw d c ic s h to e whole nts,” de them, w must be ready spent th e we were in te ere we ations. I h u p e w it r u s e s o f r h n o g The ariety t wher Force w conditio . The the Air d for a v in Deser called austere h prepare ips with ys in the Bahra s m scratc t’ tr o a e h fr n w o it d d to “I’ve nt 90 da y. We can go in we have to buil e p s e v ls. I’ call and star hote varies dramati nothing there, ” ’s “It ordinary. e . r t ll e u e b n th g e in r P in e h th y w n e a s ba t is go into a nd environmen ea medicin

tter a j. Chad M geon Ma ency r e ght Sur v rg li e F m F e O A aq, US d in the Mind Balad, Ir people he helpe in l a it es of the e Hosp

40 mil Theatr e faces aq al about ir Force ividly th nt hospit e flown out of Ir At the A 5) remembers v rs. te e th t r a 0 ie e (‘ d w ld . r. o t te s a a .D a e w ll ies th ty of also tr Carda, M they weren’t a e casualt to the raw reali rda recalls of en were nd ost of th a d childr m C im n , h a ,” a room⎯a e s d d v r e n s a li ia o a C il ding to ly, it exp off and still be r Iraqi civ o te c a c n A . tu d r at the Baghda al. Unfo ee blown lunteer north of ough the hospit body you can s was a vo with d lt r e n a a th e th s d d r n t passe ity tha r 17 yea ything o il n c fo a treated e fa t c e a r u h o o f F “Ab y room o raphic injuries the Air c h n . e it e g c w r e n d rie h the g the em involve the expe deal wit rking in as been ways to ital. Wo Carda h p d s n o fi H e to e Theatr allenged Carda Air Forc ch sualties a c s mas


or ple are in ther peo ee, o s n io it e pos t you s ome of th kids tha e saw eing in s da. “Especially sitions w b o lf p e e s r . th u r is f o s a o y a C e e b m in ts y o c g il ima stru g in s on a da ’t try to mber,” in u imagine bein ting an “You don of a family me . Suppor ed or yo n t a ta is th n s k a thin wn kid n Afgh be injur try not to them to your o at.” Souther s would r in ie s e ld c o ome n s g o r t ie were⎯s comparin lump in your th h similar exper no surprise tha the kids g s it n ig a w u b w o lt a y it a e puts as how aliban, arella d during arella w st the T Sciamm n again our unit I had Sciamm o d ti e a u r g e p la rs from o t p a ie y t a ld th tr o r. n th s a ic fa d g o in ew in tw me e ut one th ool⎯fighting th e men. We lost s a 22-year-old ning, th r o s h m a killed. B c lo t s w x u h e h o n ic y ig e h h n f w e th o f h t t o nt ou One rt is w right ou unit we t there. rdest pa “The ha that we were ou was unreal. His an only .” d le aining c onths re⎯it one kil on and tr it takes quick ti a c u the six m h the night befo e was the only d ork. E n, but wit e, and h line of w ertain situatio worked c landmin n is key in this a a l. it in rms h fu o s d le tio vehic he perfo succes hat to prepara knows w s in order to be eon, but the job d, e n n Mental ia o ic ti s ta y n g decisio t the ph ight sur dron might be s y a r fl tever he a th a ta h e n s r e w a u ens taining e squa n and mom ight be defined th o c ts e r n k e c e h a m m gw ackp assess ountry. ou position t knowin edical b ferent c t, and y Pinnell’s in mindset. No rries a large m s in a dif ght on your fee y a d t a e ta r c r n u e ac dic⎯ to fo ery li n the pla requires former parame first two e to be v where o a ugh the you hav n be any a c e Pinnell⎯ to get him thro do is such that w ically, eed hat we ell. “Bas might n ture of w ed,” notes Pinn a n e h “T ly train be broad need to s.” y a d few within a


asic B e h T

ey ents, th nvironm gencies e le ti s o r ned in h in medical eme or statio s ere they e move emselve th th n d o n ffices wh s o fi n r s ia o r ic to s ls c y a o s ph se d ospit ed Force cted. Often, the ovided at the h t. For Arm uge asse pr xpe s e ie n g u lo e o to be a h n th d h t c e c v e te o p r x ic p e skills must the bas s. medical many of ed State se basic it without u n to U g e in in th arn practice ciammarella, le For S

To Back

arella, a Dr. Sciamm lion sursenior batta tationed at geon, was s cation in a remote lo hanistan Southern Afg vided ro where he p for an medical care on erati infantry op Taliban fighting the


st part is e e d r a h .W “The se men lo u o y when iers from ld o s o lost tw g the six in r u d it our un we were t a h t s month re.” out the

lla was Sciammare e Army awarded th tion Commenda aving the Medal for s ically ill life of a crit nt at an Afghan infa t with isolated pos dical minimal me supplies. rovide ed him p ach help o r p p a plified s, a sim e had to ent. facilitie y d equipm marella says. “W rong r n a to a n r o o b ti w a la m s ic f a ia d o c e w e S s t m eu wha ata,” ck of ly of having th ratory d skills to decide n the la ed supp it m li y c Without ssible care give o EKGs, no labo r e ti v s o a n g m o ia o n p , pick fr d our d the best e are no X-rays apnel skills an nd then have to and shr “Ther ination a , m a m x e e l th gunshot a r s r ic fo o s u y o io in h d r p m e more s d from use our , what to them.” d range ain. The allenges taking e people do the best for r te s r a e e te th tr t r h a e wit to arell any ch cky des on to try Sciamm y the ro owever, faced m medicati rray of injuries as aused b c h , s a ie ll it e a r ere, it w m e The Over th ciamma S red extr … r. . tu s c te e a p s o s fr to bsce helic . wounds of dental a n out by roblems g the life ere flow y-to-day type p dicitis to n e p p a cases w for savin pite the a te l d u a c l, d a a e m m M r o o es. Des ndation care of n ad everything fr n your skills.” Comme l medical suppli e “We h e Army based o a iod whil s th r g im e d e p in in d r r m th u doing also awa mote post with during a six-ho arged. s a w literally a a re arell not in disch times Sciamm fghan infant at nd was ons, but several overed a medical afflicti eathing equires c r ill A r e b r t y a d y ll e a ll th p ic a crit nt stop air, and infant fu le a variety of fa e e in th th e , n in th o d t an ati pilots fact tha al evacu lso trained to h for a keep the g medic ements are a ility is to s ib n awaitin s o n e o g r p nt requir s u e and e e s c r r r t r o h u in F c g a li e F . with Air Their m ne of th s . o s e e r s e s s u s n e o u e h tr a s c s t al be d many the usu g of fligh these stresses as logge sion. cts that rstandin ts. He h stand o r evac mis f different aspe il e d p d an unde e n h u m it n k w a w c y o a fl t a h of shape d y lo k d r c ll Ca to actua cluding one Bla flying. There’s a y, and what kin is n o e rg in pilots ds to fl flight su -wing aircraft eep the rson nee dds Carda. xed mental b is to k hat a pe jo ”a w r y, r u d Army fi s o o fo e of the y b y m e y, ll o s a il th r ic h a n s it e succes o y im w t h “Pr miliar of fligh tial to th about p n fa ts e k c g s s e in in e ff th e m is the e to beco eds you hav , and all high spe ilots and e to be in e physical for p aircraft at such you hav it n qu rating a Flying is hile ope occur w t a th s task


hard it is like how tify and s m le b o ntial pr tely iden uch pote to more accura s to te arda to rela allows C ing able g breathe t. geon. Be the flyin ctor. r to u s is t h it n lt mber of e u e do c m m y fi n il o if a of a flig d ir s m e env ario. A ke a fa ome and how is extrem a different scen r them much li You bec . to hear th s y in u g ts e n f fo s e o e s e t e m th r a ’r il a h r u a c o w t fo e trea tice use y ts and has som ily prac ell beca the pilo Pinnell chief fam ow them very w els with t, v a is g tr lo e o h n e h n, f psyc get to k lems lik squadro the chie ian. You ase prob ones so e ic s is y d h p ic “You are family time z t chron nd and e time.” crossing ll to trea their frie ith them all th equiring Pinne de jet lag from untries. o c t n gw reveals differe older, r es inclu in e u r s s travelin a n is e anage,” g r ts m r e o e il th to ll p a O e y l ou . v n a a n a c h M active, y ertensio s and lo ce, you be very and hyp naging disease y practi to il is d m it n r fa ” te l th y. a r y a ma rm se the of injur and also s you do in a no is becau pective n dollar quickly ve to do the pers a thing lti-billio h m e o u u th fr o m y s ll on ’s g m A “A S in le b A th o a N r r v p r e luati he othe opedic rgeon fo ferent medical “T th u . r s o ll t e f h o n t ig Pin a lo ur dif escue fl manage ndings. nning fo active r package have to crew ma launches and la t of the rescue also an a is f o ll e t r n a r n P a o Pin hat it’s . p w le e m a ’r o tt r e d u down, w shuttle doesn’t ttle prog support the sh u s e h s m e o c c spa the elps p or rs, he h le goes u other words, if helicopte ever the shutt In . it t r n o e p up “Wh rs that s our problem.” elicopte omes c e b on the h it , d to do suppose

The h t r o

rd Rewa

e Armed ian in th se overic s y h p g as a For the h servin eir role. iggest come wit lso thrive in th t m the b a e th th s s e ip a iv h t s g u d t b r a , a e serv nces th all the h not only hospital ircumsta Despite ntinue to e smallest of c Theatre o c e c y r in n o a F m e Air mes th or killed Forces, hile at th injured ’s someti s w it e , d n s e r o e lp v ly e achie the on en he h e childr rs aren’t reward. anyone at soldie mbers th e th m r e e r d a I think kids Card g remin ts than in n of those r e e e ti r b a o a c s p g a ic in ’s tr k a It ia c . ta d q e t m lm.” in Ira t more p going on. … Bu nd keeping the saw a lo a s r pilots e r t’ e a te w h tt , th e ly ig battle. em b nate e war irs. F . As a “Unfortu a product of th ings⎯getting th e able to do the le b s availa th ar It’s n s g . r io d in e it d te s th r a il. o o a o p anticip ost rew b when enging erican s of the m ne his jo erous and chall and defend Am war fighters o e d n o ’s s e a h w ang lives knows actual e most d to save pires him Pinnell are the one of th on air support ion,” ins ts] who h s o it il is w [p m d e e e d s e th are task r troops depen pport th p them part of ou ble to su nd kee a country, innell, “being a y h lt , but a ct, he te in life them he For P my so la e believed. If fa to keep r le A b e a th g h g that in e h d in b e ic in n d h r jo n a w a use in ery day. ld not think of en he le a v c e h a w d n n to a ta u te each hanis eople wo eed to contribu this is th in Afg Many p es, and ly a mon eeks. lt the n r fe a e a n ll y e r hat it do ith these ta w a w s r m o is fo d m h y le ia d Sc Arm nde be w ailab nd rily exte wouldn’t be av help the y unit, to ervice a volunta at would ian n infantr f being in the s th a ic s g h s y a in it h w p w th be ome ht it cts o another actually d to do s st thoug ng aspe “I wante ortunity ever to the most grueli mmarella. “I ju p f ia p o c test o ce one mits S the grea experien go through,” ad ids and s k tbeat.” id r g k a n e g u h o n y a ese you gain in th a t a it h o w d see would r, and I an hono


nded ntarily exte lu o v a ll re a Sciamm he onth when g his tour a m ld be leavin u o w e h t a for learned th ut a doctor o h it w rs ie the sold e weeks. almost thre

gged many Carda has lo rce and Air Fo hours with ing aircraft Army fixed-w ckhawk ne Bla including o ission. medevac m 28



have four children; Bill, Kim, Kelly and Neal. John E. Olenczak, M.D. (’83) has been in private practice since 1986. He recently retired

Raymond G. Spaw, M.D. (’80) retired from the U.S. Navy in 2007 after 20 years of service. He is now in private practice in Texas Hill Country. He and his wife, Vickie, have four children; Rhiannon, Lucas, Jacob and Amelia. Timothy M. Iliff, M.D. (’81) is certified in family practice with a specialization in long-term care. He and his wife, Weegie, have three children; Tim, Moran and Bug. John A. Patrizio, M.D. (’81) has more than 20 years of full-time practice experience in emergency medicine in Richmond, Va. He and his wife, Lynn, have three children; Michael, Lauren and Katie. They are planning a trip to St. Maarten in December and look forward to visiting the campus. Clifton S. Schermerhorn, M.D. (’81) has been a board-certified psychiatrist since 1993. He has been in private practice in Orange County, Calif., for 23 years and has also served as an associate professor for family practice, psychiatry and neurology at the Western University of Health Sciences-COPS in Pomona, Calif. He is the chief of neuropsychiatric service at Tustin Community Hospital and former chief of staff and chief of services at Western Medical Center Anaheim and CPC Santa Ana Hospitals. He and his wife, Janet, have two children; Brockton and Chandler.

Kenneth C. Redlin, M.D. (’83) became vice president of the Medical Affairs for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-St. Francis in Milwaukee, Wis. His responsibilites include oversight of more than 800 physicians and direction of the programs. Douglas A. Wert, M.D. (’83) is president of Florida Medical Center and previous chief of medicine at Community Hospital. He is also an honorary instructor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He has a hospital and office practice in New Port Richey, Fla. He married wife Nancy on Montserrat in January 1981 while attending AUC. They have three children; Jennifer, Heather and Andrew. Philip G. Martin, M.D. (’84) opened San Pedro Quick Care, a walk-in medical clinic, in January 2007. He is licensed to practice medicine in California and Hawaii and is the father of two children; Erica, 20, and Chad, 17. Adam Thau, M.D. (’84) is chief of the Department of Emer-

gency Medicine-Northwest Medical Center and director of the Stroke Center at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, Fla. He is also a member of the National Emergency Medicine Advisory Panel and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in Nashville, Tenn. He and his wife, Bridget, have three boys; Matt, Kevin and Liam. Kevin D. Weikart, M.D., F.A.C.P. (’84) is chief of medicine at St. Joseph Health Center and

David W. Beyer, M.D. (’86) is a board-certified anesthesiologist and, along with 10 other surgeons, has opened a freestanding ambulatory surgical center where he is anesthesiologist and medical director. Owned and operated by the physicians, this model has had a tremendously positive response from patients and staff. He and his wife, Nancy, have a daughter, Madeleine. They live in Ligonier, Pa.

Steven M. Brown, M.D. (’86) currently practices in Minden, Nev., and has served as one of Nevada’s 12 ringside physicians for nine years. He has officiated some of the biggest boxing and Ultimate Fighting Championship contests in the world, appearing on HBO, Showtime, ESPN and pay-per-view. He recently returned from a safari in Africa where he harvested a 654-pound full-maned lion with a bow and arrow. He intends to bowhunt the rest of the “Big 6”: elephant, rhino, leopard, cape buffalo and hippopotamus. He and wife Teddy have one child, Joshua.

AUC Connections

William F. Stineman, M.D. (’81) is enjoying his 21st year in private practice as a family physician in Franklin, Wis. He was recently recertified by the American Academy of Family Physicians. He and his wife, Denise,

Phillip Phillips, M.D. (’85) is board certified and recertified in internal medicine. He is also board certified in forensic medicine. Since 1996, he has served as the fulltime medical director for the Maryland State Police and part-time for the Baltimore Washington I n t e r n a t i o n a l Airport/Fire-Rescue Division. He was also promoted to lieutenant colonel for the Medical Corps and served as an FAA flight surgeon for the Maryland State Police Aviation Wing. He was recently appointed to the technical advisory panel of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He and his wife, Debora, have three children; Heather, Sarah and Kristen.

from anesthesiology and now has a private practice in interventional pain at the Open Pain and Spine Institute, a division of Mid-Atlantic Orthopedic Specialists. He is also a percent owner of Cumberland Valley Surgical Center. He and wife, Barbara, have been married 28 years and live in Hagerstown, Md. The couple has two children, Bryce and Britt.





Hospital West in St. Charles County, Mo. He was also elected president of the St. Charles and Lincoln County Medical Society. He and his wife, Tamara, have two children; Aaron and Zachary.

Bruce M. Goodson, M.D. (’85) is in family practice and currently resides in Hickory, N.C. He and his wife, Ann, have four children; Drew, Kyle, Seth and Hannah.

Bernie B. Vinoski Jr., M.D. (’85) is board certified in internal medicine and has been in private practice since 1991. He has been chief of the GI unit at Beaufort Memorial Hospital in South Carolina since 1993. In 2002, he became a member of the Board of Directors for the hospital. He has been a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain since 2004. He and his wife, Marsha, have two children; Katie, 23, and Ben, 20.

Fawwaz I. Hamati, M.D. (’85) married Agnes Krozser, M.D. (’86) in 1989. They are planning a trip to Whistler, Canada. He is

Robert L. De Grood, M.D. (’86) is practicing general and vascular surgery in Little River, S.C., in a group practice he

Summer/Fall 2007

Ross A. Goehring, M.D. (’85) has undergone a kidney transplant in December 2006 from a living donor and is doing well. He is married to wife Susan.


currently researching orthopedics and infectious diseases. The couple lives in Jonesborough, Tenn., and has a child named Ashley.

founded in 1995. He and his wife, Pamela, have three children; Chase, 11, Will, 9, and Harry, 4. Joel I. Last, M.D. (’86) completed one year of transitional residency at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, Pa., in 1987. He concluded three years of residency at Georgetown in Washington D.C. in 1990. After residency, he worked at Virginia Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for one year. He has been a board-certified psychiatrist since 1991 and has since had a private practice in general psychiatry in Western Pennsylvania. He is the father of three children. Mark B. Safford, M.D. (’86) is board certified in internal medicine with a specialization in

critical care medicine. He lives in Merrick, N.Y. Rick S. Lozon, M.D. (’87) has had a private practice called Kalamazoo Anesthesia since 1999 in Western Michigan. He is also a member of the American Board of Anesthesiology and the National Board of Echocardiography. He is married to his wife, Kristina Kehler-Lozon, M.D., and has three children; Ella, Emma and Ericka. Soraya Bhikoo, M.D. (’88) returned home to South Africa in 1991 and started an internship program at Tembesa Hospital in the Gauteng Province. She became a medical officer at Kalafong Hospital in a pediatric rotation and worked there for three years. After leaving the hospital setting, she worked in

Class Notes

several different general practices as a locum and in the emergency room. She has been in private practice since 1993. Once a week, she works at the EROS School consulting disabled children.

Ali Sanai, M.D. (’88) is board certified in internal medicine and is in private practice. He is also a member of the faculty at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Maryland. He is married and has one child.

Jeffrey M. Kagan, M.D. (’88) is on the Editorial Board of Medical Economics and a certified medical director of Vitas Innovative Hospice in Hartford, Conn. He and his wife, Sunny, have two children; Jon and Emily.

Daniel Lopez, M.D. (’89) a family medicine physician, is in private practice with his wife Natalie, a nurse practitioner. He is in the Navy Reserve and was re-called to active duty where he served one year at the Marine Depot in San Diego, Calif. The couple lives in Bermuda Dunes, Calif., and has two children; Austin and Avery.

Frank F. Marinkovich, M.D. (’88) is certified in internal medicine and lives in Woodinville, Wash. He and his wife, Rita, have five children; Hannah, Luke, Samantha, Johnmark and Isak.


Jeffrey R. Rapp Jr., M.D (’89) is a board-certified family practioner in Fremont, Neb., where he sees 25 to 30 patients a day.

Chikere Agadaga, M.D. (‘82)

AUC Connections

Chikere Agadaga, M.D. (’82) passed away on Jan. 11, 2005, at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., after a tragic car accident. He received his bachelor’s degree in zoology at Alabama A&M University and attended graduate school there. He subsequently received his medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean, in Montserrat. Agadaga went on to complete his internship at Howard Hospital in Washington D.C., and his medical residency at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He worked for the Veterans Administration and was a diplomat in internal medicine, certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He leaves to cherish his memory a devoted wife, Ure Agadaga; five sisters, Amanu Odueley, Amezhinim, Ezenyeye Agadaga, Sanim Agadaga, Eyeuma Agadaga; six brothers, Uba Agadaga, Chukwudi Agadaga, Orji Agadaga, Gbeajim Agadaga, Meka Agadaga and Unuka Agadaga. All reside in Nigeria. He also leaves a host of nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.




He spends his free time raising a family of three children, running and collecting old comic books.

1990s Christin A. Montalbano, M.D. (’91) has been an emergency medical physician for four years with Staten Island University Hospital. In March 2006, he received the hospital’s Service Excellence Award for patient care and satisfaction. He married his wife, Margaret, in September 2006.

productive endocrinology and works at Pacific Reproductive Services in Southern California. He is married to wife Nayrouz Sadoun. Howard N. Kornfeld, M.D. (’96) finished his residency in pediatrics in 1999 and has been in private practice since. He is a board-certified pediatrician and a fellow of the American Acad-

emy of Pediatrics. He is also a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and recently became partner in his new practice, Summit Medical Group. He sits on the Board of Directors of Summit Speech School, a school for the deaf. He and his wife, Jodie, have one child; Noah Abraham.


Andrew J. Hear, M.D. (’95) previously served as chairman of internal medicine at Fort Hamilton Hughes Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio. He is now vice president of the executive committee. In 2007, he will preside as chief of staff. He is also an internist in private practice. Mazin Abdullah, M.D. (’96) is an OB/GYN specialized in re-

Summer/Fall 2007

Manmit Saini, M.D. (‘97)


Martin Maag, M.D. (’96) is board certified in family practice with a specialization in emergency medicine. He currently resides in Bradenton, Fla. He and his wife, Shelli, have two children; Connor and Claire.

Vanessa S. Lund, M.D. (’96), who now goes by Vaness Davis, gave birth to daughter Natalie Katherine Davis on May 12, 2006. She and her husband, William, also have a son named Paul. They live in Des Plains, Iowa.

Manmit Saini, M.D. (’97) lost a heroic battle with cancer at the age of 38 on Feb. 3, 2007. The beloved husband of Shannon Saini (Ellis), he is also survived by son Jivan, 6, daughters Asha, 18 months, Joyti, 3 months, and stepson James Mack, 12. Mani was born on May 10, 1968, in Phillaur, Punjab, India, to Channan Singh Saini and Surita Kumari Saini, also parents of Dr. Vijay Saini. He was a graduate of the American University of Caribbean and completed his general surgery residency training at Wayne State Medical School in 2005. He was due to graduate from a plastic surgery fellowship in June 2007. Mani was a well-respected and loved surgeon, teacher, colleague and friend. He will be dearly missed by all. An account has been set up for the family at Chase International Bank in the name of Shannon Ellis.

Alan N. Smiy, M.D. (’97) is board certified in family medicine and completed his residency at Michigan State University. He has been in private practice since 2002. His office recently sponsored a shipment of more than 3,000 pounds of goods and personal items to the soldiers in Iraq for the Christmas holidays. He and his wife, Julie, have four children; Stephanie, Michael, Christopher and Natalie.

Srinivas J. Sarma, M.D. (’97) is currently running the cardiac surgical intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Sabena, were married in 1999 and have two children; Saya and Nayan. Praveena Jeereddi, M.D. (’98) is an internist in a private practice. She recently got married to fellow AUC alumnus Viswa Reddy, M.D. (’98), who works at Kaiser Permanente as an inpatient psychiatrist. They work and reside in Southern California.

Class Notes

Pei-Chi Fu, M.D. (’99) is in private practice and met husband Robert Yi-Hong Hsiao, M.D. (’99), who works as a neonatologist, while attending AUC. They have two children; Kyle and Ethan, and reside in Wichita, Kan. Anne C. Hom, M.D. (’99) and husband Sherman have one child, Courtney, 15. They live in Upper Montclair, N.J. Rahil Shah, M.D. (’99) is in private practice at University Medical Center as a board-certified gastroenterologist. He and his wife, Pinki Prasad, M.D., have been married for two years and live in Nashville, Tenn., with their two dogs.

2000s Robert F. Davison, M.D. (’00) completed his residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and now is in a private practice named Green Bay Radiology at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wis. He is married to his wife, Ann, and certified by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. Matthew T. Langenberg, M.D. (’00) is a first-year vascular fellow at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He completed a general surgery residency last year in Youngstown, Ohio, and recently passed his written board exam for general surgery.

Hillary Robinowitz-Elins, M.D. (’01) completed her OB/GYN residency in June 2006 at Methodist Health System of Dallas. She finished her commissioned officer training and began her service to the U.S. Air Force with a faculty assignment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Wright State University School of Medicine. She recently married Maj. Robert Gilliland and is the proud “mother” of a mutt puppy named Lola. R. Scott Frankenfield, M.D. (’01) served as chief resident in family medicine from 2003-2004 at the Community Health Network in Indianapolis, Ind., and was named the 2004 Indiana Academy of Family Physicians Resident of the Year. He is currently serving as one of eight members on the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors. He also has a private practice in his hometown of Portland, Ind. He hosts a weekly talk show called Teen Aware Live about teen physical, emotional and spiritual health. He has been married to his wife, Rayma, for five years, and has two children; Gabe and Noah.

Scott M. Martin, M.D. (’00) finished his physicial medicine and rehabilitation residency at Wayne State University. He also completed an accredited fellowship in interventional pain management at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is married fellow AUC alumna Mary Ann Martin, M.D. (‘00), who finished her residency at Wayne State University in internal medicine. She has completed an accredited fellowship in endocrinology at the University of Michigan, and they have moved to Orange County in California where both are in private practice. The couple has two children, Ashlin and Pierce.

Nilar U. M.D. (’01) is a boardcertified family practitioner working in Maryland. Ghazanfar Ahmed, M.D. (’02) is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is currently in a group practice in Ohio. He and wife Iram Ahmed, M.D. (‘01), also a family practitioner, have one son, Zain. Roger A. Cook, M.D. (’02) finished his residency in anesthesiology. He has accepted a spot in Great Falls, Mont., with an all-M.D. group. He is looking to

John P. Sosa, M.D. (’00) is board certified in family medicine and is currently working as an urgent care physician. He opened Blue Amber Medical Spa and Wellness in Rochester Hills, Mich., in Spring 2007. He is an ACSM certified personal trainer. He and his wife, Maria, have been married for six years and have two daughters; Joanna (pictured) and Gabrielle.

AUC Connections

David Metz, M.D. (’00) completed an internship at the University of Florida and residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami. He completed a fellowship in nephrology and transplant and interventional nephrology. He is also a preceptor for Nova South-

eastern University for thirdand fourth-year medical students. He now has a private practice in Hollywood, Fla., and is board certified in internal medicine.




hear from fellow classmates. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children; Austin, Cameron, and Mackenzie. Michele R. Lanza, M.D. (’02) completed her family medicine residency at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia in July 2006. She works at a private practice, Silver Bay Medical Center in Toms River, N.J., which is associated with Ocean Medical Center. She has medical licenses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. She is also a member of the AMA and AAFP.

Sonal A. Shah, M.D. (’03) completed her residency in internal medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn. She will be starting as a hospitalist in Chicago with Advocate Health Centers and recently traveled to India for a month. Robert K. Brummeler, M.D. (’04) is specialized in family medicine and lives in Plymouth, Mich. Aaron M. Roberts, M.D. (’04) is completing his final year of family practice residency at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, as chief resident. He will be starting a fellowship in primary care sports medicine in Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife, Tiffanie, have two daughters; Is-

abella, born in St. Maarten, and Kaitlyn, born during clinicals in Waterford, Ireland. Phil Stawski, M.D. (’04) is completing his residency in emergency medicine at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio. In addition to working in the emergency department, he has also enjoyed being a flight physician for an aero-medical helicopter service. He has accepted a position with California Emergency Physicians as an attending physician in Redding, Calif.

Carilion Health Roanoke, Va.



Ginger L. Manos, M.D. (’05) completed a preliminary surgery residency at the University of Tennessee Knoxville Medical Center. She is a second-year resident at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va. She is engaged to be married in June 2007. Derek A. McCoy, M.D. (’05) was elected chief resident in the family medicine residency program at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga., for 2007-2008. Gina Armstrong M.D. (’06) is currently awaiting residency placement for 2007. She applied for physical medicine and rehabilitation with an internal medicine preliminary spot. Nasir Asghar, M.D. (’06) currently resides in Stamford, Conn.

Summer/Fall 2007

Todd A. Sidel, M.D. (’00) was elected by the Fort Wayne Medical Society as a delegate to the Indiana State Medical Association. He is on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Society of Anesthesiologists. In October 2006, he joined a 24-member group, Associated Anesthesiologists of Fort Wayne. He and his wife, Angela, have four children; Arden, Ana, Alaina and Thomas.


Henry Cabrera, M.D. (’03) is in his preliminary surgery year at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami. He is also in categorical anesthesiology at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago and is now a PGY-3.

Elaine Frazier, M.D. (’02) finished her internal medicine residency in July 2006 at Maryland General Hospital, where she was one of the chief residents. She passed the internal medicine boards in September 2006 and is currently pursuing a second board certification in emergency medicine. She is now at Christiana Care Health Systems, a Trauma 1 hospital, located in Newark, Del., and a resident in emergency medicine (PGY2). Because of her previous certification, she was given partial credit for her first year.

Rada Shakov, M.D. (‘04) married Emil Shakov, M.D. (’04) in September 2003. Rada will be starting her gastroenterology fellowship, and Emil is currently in his third year of residency in surgery at St. Frances Medical Center in Trenton, N.J. They recently bought a townhome and adopted a miniature schnauzer named Stella.

Allen Y. Wang, M.D. (’04) currently resides in Richmond, Va. Mark H. Aittaniemi M.D. (’05) recently secured an anesthesiology residency at PGY-2 level at the Pennsylvania State University Medical Center in Hershey, Penn. He is married to his wife, Molly, and is currently doing a surgical preliminary year at

Maria V. Milla, M.D. (’04) is a second-year pediatrics resident at Long Island College Hospital/ Beth Israel Hospital Medical Center. She lives in New York City.

Joshua C. Blair, M.D. (’06) is finishing his first year of residency at Self Regional Memorial Hospital in Greenwood, S.C. He

Class Notes

is also taking the Step III final licensing exam. He and his dog, Blue, live in Greenwood. He enjoys playing guitar, writing music, reading and playing tennis in his spare time.

ical general surgery position at St. Agnes in Baltimore, he recently converted to a one-year commitment and will be returning to his previous job as an airline pilot.

Charles Catania, M.D. (’06) has spent the last year working at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, specifically on research dealing with the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. He begins his family medicine residency in July 2007 at Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, N.J. He is married to his wife, Kimberly.

Douglas B. Stewart, M.D. (’06) married wife Laura Stewart, M.D. (’06), in January 2005 and both started residencies at St. John Hospital in Detroit in July 2006. He began internal medicine with plans to do cardiology or critical care. She began pediatrics with a strong interest in neonatology.

R. Scott Childs, M.D. (’06) currently resides in Albuquerque, N.M. Although last year he matched into a categor-


Andy E. Shen, M.D. (’05) is in his first year of family medicine residency at Methodist Hospital in Houston. He and his wife have been happily married for over two years.

Ian Kaminsky, M.D. (’06) is in his transitional year residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. He will start a radiology residency at the same hospital in July 2007.

Roy Dubash, M.D. (‘02)

AUC Connections

There are a number of different medical organizations on the state and national levels where physicians can get involved and represent their community. Roy Dubash, M.D. (’02) serves as chairperson for Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), which leads a group of residents and fellows that express ideas and opinions on behalf of these members in the state of Kentucky. In addition, he is a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) as well as a resident member of the KMA Community & Rural Health Committee and the KMA Domestic Violence Committee. “If people do not get involved with organizations like these, new laws and new policies that directly affect physicians may be developed without a physician having a voice or any input,” said Dubash. Active community involvement is also key for Dubash. As a project for his residency, Dubash is working closely with the local hospice chapter in order to bring awareness to their pediatric hospice program. He, along with hospice, has organized a daylong event this summer that will educate families and the medical community about the benefits of the program. “As doctors, I just think it’s important to give back to your community. Organizing a community event, volunteering at a local homeless shelter, or even having a free clinic for patients that otherwise would not be able to see a doctor are a few ways that we can give back to the community.” Dubash is currently a second-year resident at the University of Kentucky, East Kentucky Family Practice Residency Program, in Hazard, Ky. In July 2007, he will become the new chief resident there. Looking ahead, Dubash is considering a one-year emergency medicine fellowship. He is also thinking of remaining at his residency program to become a full-time faculty member at the University of Kentucky. “I have a lot of decisions to make in the next year,” added Dubash. “This is definitely one of the most exciting times in my life.”



Notes Spotlight

Summer/Fall 2007

Mohammad K. Omari, M.D. (‘03)


Mohammad K. Omari, M.D. (’03) is finally seeing his hard work pay off. He recently matched into a difficult pulmonary/critical care fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich., starting July 1. Omari had always taken an interest in critical care medicine, especially ER/ICU care, but during medical school, he started to realize that this was not the right field for him. Once he began his internal medicine residency, Omari started to take a real interest in critical care and ICU coverage. But getting into a fellowship proved difficult because of the high number of applicants and few spots available. Omari convinced members of the department during interviews and eventually was granted a position. “It was a dream-come-true for me to do this fellowship and become a specialist in a field I truly adore,” said Omari. Currently, he works as an attending academic preceptor at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich. Omari works directly with residents as part of the teaching faculty. He serves as a mentor, and teaching rounds are held three times a week with assigned teams. “Being there in the lectures allows us to give our input and help residents get better in clinical skills, medical knowledge and presentation skills.”

Omari credits his experience in Blackburn, England, as shaping him into the doctor he is today. He sees the close supervision he received there as a catalyst for his learning experience. A three-hour teaching class with a constant physician focus on history taking, physical examination skills, assessment and organizing plans for patient care was extremely beneficial. Additionally, he was able to participate in a weekly two-hour radiology session and work closely with the Manchester University students during combined lectures and grand rounds. “The experience in England was one of the most rewarding chapters in my life. I felt I gained the most medical knowledge [there] as well as the clinical skills required to make a competent physician,” noted Omari. Omari now sets his sights on completing his fellowship and finding a career in a teaching hospital as part of the teaching staff or even as a chairman for the pulmonary/critical care medicine section. “I love teaching. In the distant future, I would probably like to continue teaching while seeing patients as a part-time faculty.” Omari lives in Troy, Mich., with his wife, Israa.

Class Notes

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New St. Maarten Airport undergoes $100 million-plus upgrade

Flying High

s St. Maarten continues to develop into a major tourist destination, Princess Juliana International Airport is undergoing an extensive masterplan to better serve the roughly 1.7 million passengers that go through its gates annually. The $100 million-plus three-phase program has been in the works since 1998, and is slated to conclude with a new parallel taxiway system to be built in the near future―if traffic continues to grow as forecasted, said PJIA marketing manager Juliette Hassell. According to the company’s Web site, the first phase, completed in 2001, consisted of renovating existing facilities, improving the runway, and expanding the apron―now large enough to park 10 wide body jets next to corporate and commuter jets. The second, more ambitious phase, included the construction of a $12 million radar facility and a five-floor air traffic control tower, marking the end of an era when PJIA air traffic controllers performed their tasks exclusively through radio communication. The old terminal was demolished, making way for the new four-level building that became operational last November. With the capacity to handle 2.5 million passengers annually, the glass-enclosed facility is fully air-conditioned and has 46 check-in counters and 11 boarding gates. “Although it is a very modern building,” Hassel said, “the emphasis was in creating a structure that maintained our ‘Caribbean flavor.’” To accomplish that, she explained, a lot of wood was used to mimic the island’s typical roofing style and sunset scenes were displayed in the baggage claim area. PJIA began as a military base in 1942 before being converted into a civilian airport a year later. It relocated to its present site in 1964 complete with a new terminal building and control tower. Through the years, it has established itself as the main hub that feeds both St. Maarten and the surrounding islands. With approximately 200 scheduled and charter flights daily it is currently the second busiest in the Northeastern Caribbean, trailing only Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan.

Summer/Fall 2007



Paula Distefano


Memory Lane Column B

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10)

a) b) c)

Saltfish Never-me Willie Mrs. Peters Thomas Mango Bigfoot Stein Nepco Arrow

d) e) f) g) h) i) j)

Nice guy who worked on campus. “Nutty” Monserratian who drilled in front of the school with a wooden gun. Raised chickens and let students use the telephone, before they built her a new house off campus. Skinny kid with dreadlocks that hung out on campus. Stole chicken meat for my roommate. Police used to beat him with a cat-o’-nine-tails. Big nice guy with a taxi. Psychotic Montserratian that walked around town talking to himself. Owned a bar called Nepco's Den in the middle of the island. Sold chicken roti on Wednesdays. Musician with a red Datsun 280-Z. Produced some of the “Hot-Hot-Hottest” music in the West Indies! One of the kids who used to hang around campus. Eventually got to work on a boat. (But not the Kim G.) Had a rum shack halfway down the hill with a pig in the back. Broken jaw from when he was kicked by a donkey as a kid.

Do you have interesting stories or anecdotes of your time at AUC? Send us your memories! Drop us a line at:

1 (b); 2 (f); 3 (a); 4 (c); 5 (j); 6 (e); 7 (i); 8 (d); 9 (g); 10 (h)

Column A


There were many colorful personalities in Montserrat in the early 80’s. James B. Turner, M.D. (’86) invites fellow alumni to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about some very interesting characters that hung out on and around campus during that time. See if you can ace the pop quiz below by matching column A to column B. (Hint: None of the people below were students, but they may have worked on campus.)

Photo by Jason Jones


Philipsburg Courthouse, St. Maarten Built in 1793, the white wooden building is Front Street’s most prominent landmark.

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AUC Connections: Summer/Fall 2007  

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