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Athens Advocate


A Quarterly Publication of the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership


Volume 3 | Number 3 | Summer 2014

Oh, The Places They’ll Go

Athens Advocate


Letter from the Campus Dean

Volume 3 | Number 2 | Summer 2014


look at the pictures – mature young physicians donning the green hood, the color on the academic regalia of medicine, proudly posing on the steps of Winnie Davis Hall. What does my mind remember? The picture flashes to lime green sport shirts they wore a few months shy of four years before, standing in the intense heat of an August Georgia day, cutting the ribbon to officially open the Medical Partnership campus in the Interim Medical Partnership Building, a former wool and cotton mill on the Middle Oconee River. What happened in four very short years? To paraphrase Dr. Cristina Elstad Smith, ‘we watched them become physicians.’ On that glorious May 10th morning surrounded by their patient and supportive families; the clinical faculty who rose to the challenge of educating medical students in their offices and in the hospital; the faculty on campus who toiled to ‘work outside the traditional box’ to integrate the basic and clinical sciences with the clinical skills, community experiences, and lessons from public health, health economics, and the humanities; the leadership of the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University both carving new pathways for the University System of Georgia; and members of the Athens Community and Northeast Georgia who supported the development of a medical campus with unparalleled enthusiasm, and having received their MD degrees with other members of the Medical College of Georgia Class of 2014 in a ceremony in Augusta, affirmed their commitment to the Profession of Medicine. These ‘pioneers’ whose grit and persistence led to both their individual success and the success of the Partnership Campus have left a rigorous standard to be reached by the students who follow and a challenge for the faculty to maintain excellence. This issue of the Athens Advocate takes the opportunity to preserve the powerful reflections of members of the MCG Class of 2014 from the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership and the incredible speech by Dr. Steve Lucas, the Athens 2014 Educator of the Year. However, harkening to the challenge from the graduates, it highlights the many ways in which the the students on the Partnership Campus have ‘accepted the baton’ and are continuing to find ways to serve the Athens community, enrich their careers, and develop their leadership through military officer training with future service obligations to their country. Note also that the faculty and staff have also accepted the challenge of excellence through research, educational opportunities, and community service. The standard of clinical excellence, community service, and medical learning has been set – it is now up to us all to take the next steps!

Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia have partnered to create a four-year medical education program in Athens to help alleviate a statewide shortage of physicians that threatens the health of Georgians. The Athens Advocate is published quarterly for alumni, friends, and the medical community of Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia.

Barbara L. Schuster, M.D., GRU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean 706-713-2186 PUBLISHER

GRU/UGA Medical Partnership

In This Issue... Hooding Ceremony – 4 Reflections – 6 Community Celebration & Recognition – 8


Thank A Donor Day – 10


Faculty Scholarship – 11


Student Highlights – 12

Alison Bracewell McCullick, M.P.A. Andrea Horsman & Chris Gustin Jennifer Stowe, M.S. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Andrew Tucker & Alison Bracewell McCullick PHONE

706-713-2183 EMAIL WEBSITE

Special Interest Group & MedWARs – 14 Faculty & Student Kudos – 15 Medical Partnership Tailgate & Folia Call for Submissions – back cover

Articles may be reprinted with permission from the editor.

Copyright © 2014 by the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without permission from the editor.

The GRU/UGA Medical Partnership is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action.


Barbara L. Schuster, M.D. Campus Dean GRU/UGA Medical Partnership

UGA PRESIDENT Jere Morehead, J.D. UGA PROVOST Pamela Whitten, Ph.D.

GRU PRESIDENT Ricardo Azziz, M.D. GRU-MCG DEAN Peter Buckley, M.D.


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The ATHENS ADVOCATE — Summer 2014 Issue


Class of 2014

Hooding Ceremony by Dr. Cristina Elstad Smith Obstetrics/Gynecology Residency Program at Emory University School of Medicine Comments shared at Hooding Ceremony in Augusta, Georgia on May 8, 2014


t’s crazy to think it was four years ago that we were similarly gathered in the Warren Baptist Church to receive our white coats for the first time. We listened to upperclassmen tell us about medical school: what it would be like, what to expect, how to succeed. And then it seemed like someone hit fast forward because here we are today at our Hooding. But we all know it didn’t happen overnight. Many of our lives changed drastically over the last four years. When I think about my life before medical school, it may seem obvious, but one of the biggest differences is that my life didn’t have all of you in it. Then somewhere in those 10,000 hours of anatomy lab, small group, late-night study sessions, and lectures, we bonded. We bonded so well that it’s hard to remember a time before Travis Smith had nicknamed all of us—most memorable Lance, as “Cake”, or before we all knew that J. Broo would show up everyday with two enormous bags full of Publix vegetables to blend up a smoothie, or that Lum would be so reserved it would take her about a year and a half to tell us her name is actually pronounced “loom.” After the first two years, our tightly-knit group spread out some into the hospitals and clinics, to see patients, and learn to do surgeries. But I don’t think there is a single one of us that didn’t have a day so exhuasting or so frustrating that we didn’t seek out a classmate to help carry our burden; or a day so exhilarating—


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an awesome surgical case or a fascinating peds patient—that we weren’t busting at the seams to share with someone who could truly understand our excitement—a classmate. And what I’ve just recently realized is that through all of it, we were literally watching each other become physicians. So of course, we’ve learned a lot and had a ton of fun doing it. We’ve shared the happy times—reasearch publications to marriages and babies—but we’ve also supported each other through truly dark times— personal illness and loss of loved ones. But, no matter how the storm raged, our ship never tipped, it never sank, because we held it together, together.

“...through all of it, we were literally watching each other become physicians.”

Today, as your classmate, I don’t have any profound words of wisdom for you that you couldn’t also say to me. Just know that as we spread out across the country to begin our residencies, some of our paths will inevitably cross again. And I look forward to the day when I can say, “Of course I know Dr. Goodwin!” or “Yeah, I went to medical school with Dr. Berry!” because I know what incredible people you are, and I’ve seen what fantastic physicians you’ve become. So I would just like to say, thank you. I am so proud to have spent the last four years in training together. Congratulations guys. We did it!

The ATHENS ADVOCATE — Summer 2014 Issue


Class of 2014 Dare to Embark When you bring into reach your own dream – one that nobody else has dreamed for you and one that rests outside of the umbrella of expectations that others have set for you – you have a freedom to do with it as you wish. It is your moment to own, and the fruits of your labor attest to this ownership. You should find immense satisfaction in knowing that nobody can ever take that away from you. Although, I will say that, personally, I feel that there is even greater satisfaction in sailing in an uncharted direction and landing with your own two feet on shore. By Dr. Ashley Austin Surgery-Preliminary Year at Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center

By Dr. Justin Brooten Emergency Medicine – Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center


t’s truly a privilege to be able to share something with you all from my experience as a medical student here. There are so many things about this place that I have appreciated, so many people I could thank, and so much that I could share. However, I want to acknowledge one group of people that has been an integral part of this process for me: my fellow medical students. Before coming here, I thought that medical school would be a competitive place, where I would have to fend for myself, and just get through the hard work of learning. Fortunately, I am glad to say that this could not have been further from the truth. Although the work has been difficult, I could not have shared the past four years with a better group of fellow students. My classmates are some of the brightest, most compassionate, talented, articulate, and motivated people I have ever worked with. Being able to share this experience with them has truly been transformative. From the very beginning of school, we realized that we would do better through collaboration. The task ahead was more daunting than any of us could undertake on our own, and there were no Cliffs notes or tips from upperclassmen to go off of. As a small class, we quickly learned each others quirks and personalities. You truly felt that everyone was a friend, and anyone was willing to help you. In addition to the challenges that school presented, life happened for all of us, both positive and negative aspects of life. Who better to understand your current situation, and be a listening ear, than your fellow student? Most of us get to this stage of life because we’re good at something, we were good at school, and we can be trusted to do whatever is necessary to complete the tasks before us. What you don’t expect in coming to medical school is that no matter how smart you think you are, when faced with the immense responsibility of learning the human body, the nature of human illness, and then applying the art and science of medicine to address the suffering of those around you, you realize that you’re in over your head. You need other people to help you. When you face this challenge with other students, you become friends for life in a way that is hard to imagine.

Comments shared at the Community Celebration & Recognition 6

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Not only have we helped each other, but we could not have done this without the support of our school and faculty, our friends and family, and countless others. Thank you for sharing this journey with us and continuing to support us into the next phase of our education. To my fellow students, I am so glad to have been able to share these past four years with you all. We’ve made some great memories together, and I know we’ll be great doctors.

The ATHENS ADVOCATE — Summer 2014 Issue


Class of 2014

Community Celebration and Recognition Saturday, May 10, 2014 Keynote Address by Steve Lucas, MD


s the Bard said, “Thanks, thanks and ever thanks” for this signal honor and for the even greater honor of being with you for these past 4 amazing years. Since being asked to give this address I have been deep in thought on what to say to you on this grand occasion. I had a list of several points that I thought an old doctor should make to his young colleagues at graduation. However, on Thursday in Augusta Dr. Buckley admirably covered almost all of them, and the few scraps he left behind were picked up by Dr. Kirch. So, down the road if you are asked to speak at an occasion like this, ask them to let you go first. But as I was sitting in Augusta 8

GRU/UGA Medical Partnership

pondering a Plan B it occurred to me that I have been in this position before-in fact, many, many times before. This is not too unlike being asked to see a patient who has already been seen by the cardiologist, the gastroenterologist, and the hematologist for a problem that after extensive testing remains undiagnosed. And furthermore, like me here today, the issue seems to be outside your specialty. But, I never tell a patient that I cannot help them until I have tried to help them, so here am I and here is the only mushy part. I was once like you. The question that vexed me then, and even now, was “When will I be a doctor?” We have external markers of progress towards that goal—admission to medical school, academic progress, passing Step 1, matching for a residency and, now, graduation. You can legitimately call yourself a doctor now. But these markers of progress are what Thomas Jefferson called “artificial

embellishments.” My problem at your stage was that I didn’t feel like a doctor, I didn’t even know what I had to do to feel like one, and was not at all sure that I would ever feel like one. All through medical school and beyond I kept waiting for a revelatory moment or a transformational event—something like a flash of light or learning the secret handshake or being given the password that would allow me to cross over to the Platonic form of doctor. That never came. Do not expect it. Instead, and this is the best part, you must work very hard and very long and commit yourself everyday to approaching, but never achieving, your unobtainable high internal standard of exceptional professional performance. Maybe that will help. So, when will you be a doctor? I do not know. When will I be a doctor? I am hoping for tomorrow. It does feel odd to be here as “Educator.” I came among you to be a learner. My first assignment was

clinical skills and I was very nervous when I walked into class with Katie, Rachel, Hammad and Zach. I soothed my insecurity by buying a text on the Medical Interview and Bates Physical Diagnosis book. Then I did SGL with Ashley, Bijal, Zach, Dylan, Lum, Chip, Rutvi, and Joseph. That led to the purchase of Harrison’s and texts on pathology, physiology, cell biology, and biochemistry. At that point my academic salary was gone. It would have been easier to have a direct deposit arrangement with Amazon. But that’s how stimulating my contact with you was. And by the time you came to the hospital I was up at night reading to be ready for you. My last critical care group included Peter, Danny, Xiao, Josh and Porsha. Can you imagine rounds each morning with that group? And that came after the challenge of being with such luminaries as Dylan, Chelsea, Eric, Justin and each and every one of you. So, I learned with you and that is the wonderful thing about education.

The relationship between educator and learner is reciprocating. You all performed magnificently and I thank you for my education. Now the one thing that was left on the table in Augusta was a poem. You did not get to hear Dr. Stone’s poem, “Gaudeamus Igitur. “ I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Stone read his poem once and I certainly recommend it to you. But since you didn’t get a poem at your graduation I thought I would write one for you. This is doggerel from top to bottom though, and not a replacement for Dr. Stone’s superb creation. AT THE GATE Goodbye Anatomy, my old friend, I do not think we need to meet again. And Histo, why don’t you hang with Biochem.

PowerPoints? I am over you. LO’s? I have other things to do! Shelf exam? There’s a place for you. But did you notice that old doc At the gate as we embarked? I wonder why, as we rushed out, he ran in? He cannot want all that again. But he made me pause and I heard him say “Do not put your books away”

There was more of that tripe, but I think that when draped in a horse blanket the best speech is a short speech. So, let me just wish you the greatest of careers and to thank you again for being such good educators. Steve Lucas, MD is a clinical faculty member at the Medical Partnership. Dr. Lucas also received the Educator of the Year Award from the MCG Class of 2014 at the Athens campus.

Groups, large and small, I’ll redefine SPA’s will now be served with wine, Weekly quizzes will be left behind.

The ATHENS ADVOCATE — Summer 2014 Issue



nder the umbrella of the Georgia Volunteer Physician Program, GRU/UGA Medical Partnership students and faculty partnered with Coile Middle School to offer free pre-participation sports physicals for students. Coordinated by Assistant Professor Suzanne Lester, M.D., M.S. and Kelli Bivins, a Coile Middle School Teacher, 13 Medical Partnership students helped conduct physicals for under- and uninsured Coile Middle School students. In addition, Medical Partnership faculty member Farris Johnson, M.D., has been a volunteer provider with the initiative since 2013 and has provided free sports exams at other schools in the Clarke County School District in the past.


n Thursday, April 17, GRU/ UGA Medical Partnership students came together to write heartfelt thank you notes to donors who have generously supported the Medical Partnership and its students. An annual event that was started in 2012, Thank a Donor Day serves to remind the Medical Partnership community about the importance of financial and teaching support. Students were inspired to participate for a variety of reasons. Many acknowledged the steep financial commitment made by medical students and how donors help students achieve their dreams. As one student stated, “From a young age, I knew that I wanted to


GRU/UGA Medical Partnership

become a doctor and help others. Without scholarships, however, this dream would not have become a reality. Because of you, I look forward to helping patients feel better.” While some of the more than 300 notes were sent to financial donors, there was a large community of clinical faculty volunteers who received thank you notes as well. As one student wrote to a clinical volunteer faculty member, “I am the first person to attend medical school in my family, and I am inspired by physicians like you!” An M3 student shared that “it was the rotation with your medical group that gave me confidence in my medical knowledge.”

Every chair in the classroom was filled as students from all four classes participated in Thank a Donor Day. They recognize that tuition only covers a portion of their medical education. The quality education received by GRU/UGA Medical Partnership students is greatly enhanced by the financial and teaching support of many individuals across Georgia. If you are interested in supporting the Medical Partnership through the White Coat Scholarship fund, please visit www. us/white_coat_scholarship.

The Georgia High School Association requires that a “Pre-Participation Physical Examination” be completed by a physician before a child can participate in any sports activities. While visiting a family doctor is not a hardship for many, low-income families may not have easy access to medical care, which can prevent children from participating in athletics at their school. “Helping with sports exams at Coile

was a great service experience,” said Class of 2017 student Sarah Whelchel. “We were able to help kids be involved with sports teams and learned a lot in the process by practicing our clinical exam skills with the guidance of Drs. Lester and Johnson.” This event unexpectedly provided third year medical students with the opportunity to mentor first and second year students in physical examination skills while under the supervision of Drs. Lester and Johnson. “As a second year, volunteering at Coile Middle School was a great way to get hands-on experience as well as serve our community,” stated Sallie McSwain, a member of the Class of 2016. “My favorite part of the day was performing the neuro exam because a lot of the medical students joined in to help each other. The kids had a blast, and so did we.” The Medical Partnership conducted the free pre-participation sports physicals program at Coile Middle School for the first time in 2012, serving more than 30 students. “Due

to the growing reputation of the effort, we have been asked to schedule additional events at other schools,” said Dr. Lester. With an active Family Medicine Special Interest Group at the Medical Partnership, there are always students eager to participate in community service activities of this nature. “I loved being able to assist with the sports physicals because it allows the kids to go out there and play sports and have fun,” said Class of 2015 student Nigel George. “If it weren’t for us, they would not be able to experience the same joys of childhood as their classmates. Overall, the most rewarding aspect was being able to help kids who needed it and appreciated it and couldn’t get this type of help elsewhere. That’s the crux of why most of us went into medicine.” The next event will take place on September 27 and will provide sports physicals for students at two middle schools and one high school.

The ATHENS ADVOCATE — Summer 2014 Issue


Student Highlights

Military Officer Training

A Roundabout Journey by Andrew Johnson


came to medical school with the intention of most incoming medical students: get through medical school as quickly as possible so I can graduate and help people. However, during my first two years of medical school, I became interested in the effects that business has on medicine. I have always wanted to run my own practice, and being an engineering major as an undergraduate, I did not have very much exposure to the business world. As I learned more about medicine and combined this knowledge with my engineering experience, I became interested in entrepreneurship, realizing that while managing a practice, doctors also serve as entrepreneurs. I began reading more articles and books about the topic and discovered several universities offer joint M.D. and M.B.A. programs. Being a new medical partnership between GRU and UGA, I knew the Medical Partnership did not offer such an opportunity, but I decided to pursue the possibility. After speaking with Campus Dean Barbara Schuster and Campus Associate Dean Scott Richardson about applying to business school, I walked away feeling very excited about being a “culture straddler” – being able to advocate for both medicine and business. Both of them were extremely encouraging, and I will forever be grateful for their positive influence. It was a difficult decision to take a year off from medical school and leave my classmates, with whom I had already experienced so much. However, I feel the year in the UGA Terry College of Business was well worth it. The faculty at Terry surpassed my expectations in how warmly they welcomed me into the program. My expectations continued to be exceeded as I was exposed to


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many different facets of business that I otherwise never would have had the opportunity to explore. An unexpected and interesting aspect of business school was the abundant amount of crossover in thought processes and problem solving. In fact, numerous case studies that we studied were from the medical industry. For example, one consulting project we worked on was through the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine flow cytometry core facility. Who else in business school would understand exactly what a cell surface antigen was?! I took classes on entrepreneurship, rapidly expanding my knowledge on how to run a business and appeal to a customer base. Interestingly enough, I have already received questions from physicians regarding marketing for their own practices. The program made me less anxious about starting my own business one day. I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know faculty and students from a completely different background than mine. I was exposed to a new facet of medicine that I was completely unaware of. I truly feel the experience will pay dividends in the future, as I build my own practice. As my year in business school began coming to a close, I found myself


very medical student approaches his or her education in a different way that depends upon past experiences, family support, and personal desires and goals. Each year, a number of GRU/ UGA Medical Partnership students decide to participate in the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), which involves completing their medical degree and then serving in the United State Military. The F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program allows medical students to receive full tuition for an accredited medical program, plus a monthly stipend of approximately $2,000. The active duty service obligation for all HPSP recipients is one year of service for every year the student receives the scholarship. refreshing my knowledge of the physical exam and having my wife quiz me on pharmacology. Delivering babies on my first rotation is going to be quite different from learning the CAPM model for valuing stocks. As I reenter medical school and begin my third year rotations, I feel excited and rejuvenated to work alongside the medical faculty to care for patients and continue my medical education. Andrew Johnson is a third-year medical student from Athens, Georgia. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

During a HPSP medical student’s fourth year, the military “match” results are announced in December before the civilian Match Day in March so that individuals not selected for a military residency program still have time to apply for civilian graduate medical education programs. After graduation, HPSP participants are promoted to the rank of captain or lieutenant depending upon the military branch the student serves in. In general, Army and Air Force students will complete their residency training before receiving their first military assignment. When residency training is complete, the participants enter active duty in their specialty.

Navy personnel typically complete an internship, then have the opportunity to serve as a general medical officer (GMO) with the option of completing a residency following their GMO service. As a GMO, they serve as primary care providers for military units, in addition to practicing in-flight and dive medicine. Over the past summer, three members of the Class of 2017 participated in Armed Forces Officer Training as part of their scholarship. Ken Sack (pictured right center), originally from Alpharetta, Georgia, spent five weeks at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama where he participated in Air Force officer training that included physical fitness training, lectures about the military, and guest speakers who discussed careers in military medicine. “It was an enlightening experience because I had no idea there were so many unique specialties for physicians in the military,” said Ken. “I never considered the physicians who perform surgery mid-flight!” Ken aspires to practice orthopedic surgery in the Air Force serving Airmen and their families. Both Landon King and Palmer Feibelman attended the U.S. Navy Officer Development School in Newport, Rhode Island in June. During the five-week session, they underwent basic military training and leadership development, as well as learned how to fight shipboard fires and repair ship damage. The members of their class

were a mix of students including medical students, doctors, dentists, scientists, lawyers, chaplains, other healthcare students and administrators, and nuclear engineers. A native of Macon, Georgia, Palmer Feibelman (left photo, right) is considering pediatrics and emergency medicine. The most rewarding part of his officer training was learning the true meaning of teamwork. The 40 students “ate together, worked out together, made our beds the same ways, tied our shoes the same way. These requirements could get frustrating, but towards the end, we all had developed a new appreciation for each other and how to work as a team,” Palmer shared. “I learned how to be a stronger leader, but also learned the importance of recognizing the times where I needed to follow the lead of others.” Landon King (pictured far left) grew up in Savannah, Georgia and hopes to one day become a surgeon and partner with Doctors Without Borders or the Thousand Smiles Foundation. “One of the most important aspects of the Health Professions Scholarship Program is that you become a part of something similar to a family. There’s a special bond between people in the armed forces,” stated Landon. “I know that one day I will be able to help care for individuals who protect our freedom, and I don’t know if there is a much higher calling than that.”

The ATHENS ADVOCATE — Summer 2014 Issue


Special Interest Group: Humanities by Joseph Vinson “While medicine is to be your vocation, or calling, see to it that you have also an avocation – some intellectual pastime which may serve to keep you in touch with the world of art, of science, or of letters.” This advice from William Osler served

as inspiration for the creation of the Medical Humanities Interest Group two years ago as well as for its endeavors over the past year. We were privileged to have local writer Heidi Nilsson lead two writing workshops for students and faculty last year. The first session focused on getting us to tap into our creative energy with a series of thinking and writing exercises. The second session explored the rhythms we encounter in the words and experiences of everyday life as medical professionals and taught us ways to harness the

power of rhythm to be more effective communicators. We then directed our creative energy towards the visual arts as we took an evening to paint at Artini’s Art Lounge. The guided session was helpful for both experts and novices alike, so while some renditions of the Sapelo Island Lighthouse turned out better than others, we all improved our craft. In keeping with the words of Osler above, we plan on continuing to support our interest in the humanities in as many ways as possible throughout the 2014-2015 year. The new Medical Humanities president, Sarah Whelchel (sarahwhelchel@gmail. com) is currently gathering ideas for future activities. Joseph Vinson is a third-year medical student and Vice President of the Medical Humanities Interest Group. He is from Dallas, Georgia and is a graduate of Toccoa Falls College.

MedWARs On Saturday, March 29, 2014, two teams of GRU/UGA Medical Partnership students competed in the Southeast MedWAR competition at Fort Gordon Military Base in Augusta, Georgia. The teams participated in a 14.25 mile course that included navigating through the woods, wading through creeks, canoeing, mountain biking, and performing various outdoor medical emergency scenarios. One team was comprised of M1 students Laura Kent, Brynne McAlpine, Meghan Murphy, and Sarah Whelchel. The second team included Palmer Feibelman (M1), Will Galvin (M2), Hunter Meyer (M1), and Davis Waller (M1). This team won second place in the competition. Developed over 10 years ago, the annual MedWAR (Medical Wilderness Adventure Race) is meant to help train students, doctors, nurses and emergency workers to manage medical emergencies that aren’t 14

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near a hospital. Approximately 30 teams competed in this year’s event and were evaluated on how well they responded to the emergency situations. The race began at 10 am and was completed 8 hours later.

Faculty & Student Kudos Suzanne Lester, MD and the CASA Community Health group participated in the American Family Therapy Association meeting at the Georgia Center in early June. As part of the poster presentation, they spoke with people about the mobile care project the Medical Partnership has worked on with the ASPIRE Clinic (part of UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences). Julie K. Gaines, MLIS, and Gerald E. Crites, MD along with colleagues from University of Central Florida College of Medicine and the AAMC, were awarded the 2014 Outstanding Presentation Award for Medical Education Scholarship Research and Education at this year’s Southern Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference in Miami, Florida. The presentation, a small group discussion titled “Scholarly Collaboration at a Distance: The Potentials and Challenges of Web-based Solutions for Establishing Peer-to-Peer Networking and Communities of Practice,” revolved around identifying and analyzing platforms that medical educators and researchers can use to collaborate remotely, e.g. Google Hangout and Zotero. Gaines and her collaborators used their research about web-based platforms for remote collaboration and lessons learned from the University of Central Florida’s Research Network Initiative to inform and provide examples for the small group discussion. Amy Medlock, PhD gave a talk at the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) conference entitled “A Novel Team Centered Learning Strategy to Integrate Basic and Clinical Science” of which she and Gerald E. Crites, MD were the authors. Eve Gallman, PhD presented a poster at IAMSE, entitled “Open-ended Pre-Assessment Questions: An Eye-Opening Experience,” which was an Award Nominee finalist. Gerald E. Crites, MD and Julie K. Gaines, MLIS with colleagues have published a paper in the August issue of Medical Teacher, an AMEE Guide on Medical Education Scholarship. Brett Szymik, PhD, a member of the Medical Partnership anatomy team, had his poster abstract accepted for the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting in San Diego. He presented it at their conference in April. The title of his poster was “Integrating Gross Anatomy into a Casebased Curriculum at a New Medical School” and is coauthored with DeLoris Hesse, PhD and Toby Tally, MD.

Congratulations to Ashley Morrow Townsend, MBA, who was recently selected as a member of the 20142015 LEAD Athens program. Coordinated through the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, LEAD Athens brings together individuals from across the Athens area to develop effective leadership skills that will help build a more vibrant community. Ashley is one of 30 leaders selected from a variety of businesses and organizations and will graduate from the program in April 2015. Gregg Nagle, PhD, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy at the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership, was selected as a Governor’s Teaching Fellow (GTF) for the Academic Year 2014-15. Held at the University of Georgia campus, the GTF program brings together faculty from across Georgia six times throughout an academic year. Established by former Georgia Governor Zell Miller (1991-1999), the Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program provides Georgia’s higher education faculty with expanded opportunities for developing important teaching skills. The program is jointly sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education and the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia. Malinda Schaefer, member of the Class of 2016, had her post-doctoral research published this summer in Science magazine. Entitled “Selection bias at the heterosexual HIV-1 transmission bottleneck,” the article examines what happened when the researchers compared viral sequences to identify features that predicted whether the majority amino acid observed at any particular position in the donor was transmitted. Two features were considered: viral genetic characteristics that correlate with viral fitness, and clinical factors that influence transmission. Joseph Burch, MD/PhD candidate who began medical school at the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership in 2010, was recently named the first recipient of the Tommye Johnson McCoy Travel Support Fund. The fund provides financial aid for combined degree candidates for the purpose of presenting papers, registering for conferences, traveling to conference sites, and other related expenses. Joseph attended the Gordon Research Conference in July and presented preliminary data detailing two newly discovered regulatory motifs for the heme biosynthetic pathway. The M1 and M2 medical students accepted the ALS Ice Bucket challenge from Mercer University and raised over $250. Click on HERE to view their challenge video or go to The ATHENS ADVOCATE — Summer 2014 Issue


Folia: Call for submissions! We are excited to announce the inception of Folia, an online literary magazine that will be produced by students and faculty at the Medical Partnership beginning in the fall of 2014. We hope to feature work by members of the GRU and UGA communities, and as such, all are encouraged to submit short fiction, non-fiction, poetry, visual art, music, book/article reviews, or any other creative work which discusses healthcare or illuminates the experience of health or disease in some way. The inaugural issue will go live this Fall, so please submit your work to To celebrate the first issue, a prize of $50 will be awarded to the single best submission! This magazine will serve as both a creative outlet and

source of enjoyment for practitioners and patients alike, and we look forward to seeing what interesting submissions are created by members of the Medical Partnership community. For more information and submission guidelines, visit our new website at, and email us your questions or comments at Joseph Vinson, Editor, Folia Magazine

Athens Advocate Summer 2014  

Summer 2014 Quarterly Newsletter

Athens Advocate Summer 2014  

Summer 2014 Quarterly Newsletter