Partnership Pulse Winter 2016

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Partnership Pulse A Publication of the AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Vol. 6 | No. 1 | Winter 2017

Summer Research Experience at World Health Organization An Interview with Nzota Nsona Student & Resident Accolades Alumni Highlight:


Research at CTRU & One-Year Anniversary MCG Exemplary Teaching Awards

M2 student, Ronke Olowojesiku, spent the summer at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, with an internship in the Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Unit.

Partnership Pulse Vol. 6 | No 1 | Winter 2017

In This Issue... Letter from the Dean – 3

Augusta 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 Partnership Pulse is published bi-annually for alumni, friends, and the medical community of Augusta University and the University of Georgia.

New Year, New Students – 4

Student Highlight: Nzota Nsona – 5 Student & Resident Accolades – 8 SGO & Student Ambassadors – 9 COVER STORY:

Student Research Highlight – 10 Education Beyond the Classroom – 12 Alumni Highlight: Christopher Jackson – 13 Student Research – 15 A Look Back at the Fall Semester – 16 GME Update – 18 New Resident Class – 19 Research/CTRU Update – 20

Michelle A. Nuss, MD AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean 706-713-2188


Jennifer Adams, Lauren Baggett PHONE

706-713-2183 EMAIL



AU/UGA Medical Partnership Mary Kathryn Rogers, MPA EDITOR


Kirsten Gunter DESIGN

Jennifer Stowe, MS

CTRU Celebrates Anniversary – 21 Faculty Spotlight – 22


Articles may be reprinted with permission from the editor. • Copyright © 2017 by the AU/UGA Medical Partnership. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without permission from the editor. • The AU/UGA Medical Partnership is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action.

New Faculty & Staff – 23 Teaching Awards & Upcoming Events – Back Cover




STAY INFORMED. FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! AU UGA Medical Partnership MedPartnership AU/UGA Medical Partnership


AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Letter from the Campus Dean What a year it has been! It is hard to believe that one year has passed since my appointment as Campus Dean. Much progress has been accomplished over the past year because of so many dedicated individuals at the Medical Partnership and in the community. I would like to thank the faculty and staff at the Partnership, as well as the University of Georgia and the Augusta University leadership, for their support during my first year as Dean. We are continuing to evolve our curriculum and define our goals at the Medical Partnership by finalizing our vision, mission, and values for the campus. We are also in the process of defining strategic plan metrics for the Partnership, and I anticipate the great places this will take us. I am excited to say that we have grown to over 700 community clinical preceptors. This is a huge accomplishment for our team. We would not be where we are today without the help of our community partners, and I look forward to working with these physicians and establishing additional relationships this upcoming year. Recent events included a celebration for the CTRU’s first anniversary, discussed later in this issue, as well as a reception on February 13th that included both President Morehead and President Keel, the new MCG Interim Dean Hess, and UGA Provost Whitten. It was wonderful to have our university leaders on campus to share remarks and visit with students, faculty, staff, and our community partners. Building on the strengths of two great universities provides us a remarkable opportunity for collaboration in research and in developing a high-quality medical education program. I am proud of what we have done this past year and am excited to see what 2017 has in store for the Medical Partnership. I wish my best to each of you, and as always, my door is open.

Michelle A. Nuss, MD Campus Dean AU/UGA Medical Partnership

The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



New Year, New Students

by John Francis, MD, PhD Campus Associate Dean for Student & Multicultural Affairs In the fall of 2016 a new class of 40 students matriculated into the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership. They hailed from sixteen Georgia counties and five states. The diversity of the class is notable with family backgrounds from the majority of the world’s continents. Although the demographics of medical schools in the U.S. have changed little in 20 years, MCG is now lauded as being one of the top ten most diverse medical schools in the country. 95% of the class of 2020 have Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) backgrounds and 80% attended college in Georgia. Taken together, over half of the students received pre-medical undergraduate education at the University of Georgia, Emory University, Georgia Southern University and Georgia Institute of Technology. Since the inception of the Medical Partnership, the class of 2020 is notably one of the most desiring of extracurricular scholarly pursuits. Three-fourths of the class anticipate summer research endeavors in the basic and clinical sciences. This represents a significant increase from prior years where typically 50% of first year classes enrolled in our Medical Scholars Program (MSP) during the summer. Students accepted into the MSP will receive funding support for their living expenses for up to 8-10 weeks while they perform research. The students will be mentored and undertake projects at: Augusta University; University of Georgia; the Medical Partnership; Piedmont Athens Regional; Athens Orthopedic Clinic; Atlanta Medical Center; Carolinas Healthcare System; the Center for Disease Control; Emory University; Northwestern University; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Miami; Vanderbilt University; and Yale University. In reflecting upon the class, it is evident that they have an abundance of character. The faculty find them highly intelligent, intellectually curious, collegial, diligent, goal-oriented, driven and hardworking. As they pursue an altruistic career path we also find them compassionate, understanding and kind. Each and every one of them are impressive in their own way. They have mentored and given their time to help the younger generation of students as they dream and work towards pre-medical career paths. They are involved in Athens community service and outreach efforts including work at the Mercy Health Center for the underprivileged. Despite being in medical training they bear witness that life does truly exist beyond the walls of school. Student-doctors within our first year class enjoy: roller figure skating; juggling; mountain biking; running; fishing; hiking; photography; travel; skiing; tennis; kayaking; kickboxing; golf; racquetball; football; soccer; basketball; weight training; rock climbing; cooking; reading; meditating; yoga; hot yoga; dance; and writing screen plays. Our students represent the future healthcare leaders of tomorrow. They will care for our parents, our siblings, and our children. They train to relieve illness and sorrow, and they will compassionately work with vigor to renew wellness and health to those who are in need. We at the Medical Partnership are very proud of our students Surely abundant and great things are in store for them, and we eagerly await their foreseen accomplishments. 4

AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Why don’t you tell me a little bit about your family? I’m from the Congo. I am one of the seven children, and I’m the first daughter, third child. I come from a polygamist family, which means my dad has several wives, and my parents are divorced. I’m married and I have one son. My decision to come to medical school was the toughest one, and I would not be here if it were not for my husband. When I decided to come here (in Athens), it was because of him, and he supported me, my dream. I thought that it would be harder on [my husband and son] than on my part, but I find that it is harder for me than them. I think that one of the hardest things was that, being away from my son, I felt like I was a bad mom. I felt like I was supposed to be there for him, and it gave me all the reasons to drop out – to run away. However, my son was the one to lift my spirits up. He told me, “Mom, if you drop out, you give me all the reasons to drop out in life.” I couldn’t face that. My relationship with my son helps me stay focused on medical school.


An Interview with

Nzota Nsona

Being from the Congo, if someone were to say a woman was a doctor, how would people respond to that? Can you speak to that? I remember when I told my mom at a young age [that I wanted to be a doctor], she told me you couldn’t do that because, you know, we are raised as women to become wives and to have children. Men, in the Congo, are intimidated by women with long degrees. They feel that they cannot really control that woman. They are really very assertive. It is hard to get a husband when you are a doctor because no man wants a woman who studies a lot. They feel like they know too much and are ready to disagree with you all the time. Before you came to medical school, you worked in a hospital. Could you speak briefly to what that was like? Before I came to medical school, I was a nurse. Nursing opened my eyes to what I really wanted to do because before becoming a nurse, I had this idea about The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue


STUDENT HIGHLIGHT what a doctor is, what would constitute a doctor. I had this idea that the doctor was the one who could save everybody, but I now realize that a doctor is more than saving people. There is more to it. It is the one who can relate to the people, the one who is willing to learn from other people, and who is ready to have this open mind to look at everyone equally no matter their race or social status. It’s just so many things that I can never forget, and I want to carry that into my profession. So before you came to medical school, you already knew to approach medicine as part of a team, and the way that the curriculum here is set up is small group learning, team-based activities. Can you speak to connecting your experiences nursing with the curriculum here and why you think that approach is working? The small group learning curriculum in this school is teaching us to work as a team. Medicine is not a solo career. Nobody knows it all, and I believe it offers us the opportunity to learn from each other. It also teaches us how to better communicate with our patients because we believe that, beyond this patient, there is a family. It not only teaches us the medical side; it also teaches us the professional side of medicine. What do you think of the class sizes here? The class size at the Medical Partnership is small. It’s 40. I thought that coming to medical school, I will have a large class size, and I find I like this class size. I can reach the teacher whenever I need them and have easy access to them, but also I know my classmates. I know each classmate has their strengths and weaknesses. When I’m struggling, I know who to consult. Everybody has a talent in something, and that makes everything better because my weakness can be somebody’s strength, and somebody’s weakness can be my strength. We can communicate to one another and help each other better, I think. Yeah, I really like the small class size in comparison. You guys work with simulators, an anatomy lab, live patients; what about those experiences really stand out to you? Working with live patients, it’s really a good thing. You learn things by reading, by having these large lectures, but you have to apply them now to a real person. That usually is the toughest part because you learn that, “Okay, a stroke is about this,” but you have to know when somebody presents it to you, comes to your office. You have to know what steps to use, but you have to know that a person is more than the physical. There is also the emotional side to that person. There is also the spiritual side, so it’s teaching us to treat the person as a whole. When it comes to the anatomy, it’s teaching us what is behind what we see– the deepest of what we can see. It is showing us the how. It brings us closer to the science, but it’s not showing us the emotional or spiritual side.


AU/UGA Medical Partnership

What do you think of the faculty and staff at the Medical Partnership? The faculty and staff here are really great people. They care a lot. They care about you as a student and as a person. They are always willing to help. This is one thing that I was surprised to see when I came to medical school. I thought that people don’t really care if they’re in competition – always about competitions, but no, [the faculty and staff] want you to pass. They want you to work as a group, as a team, because medicine is not a competition. It’s about teamwork. The faculty kind of force us to embrace the idea of working as a team, and I really, really love it. What do you think about the environment and the community of Athens? The Medical Partnership is not only good for the people of Athens, but for the entire state of Georgia. Athens is not only about UGA, but it’s about the community here helping each other. The Mercy Clinic is a way for students to volunteer and directly impact the healthcare of this community. Would you speak a little more about that? Our medical education is not just in the classroom. We are exposed to the community by working with Mercy Clinic, and that’s what medicine is about. It is about serving, helping the community. The community outreach in our curriculum helps me to understand what medicine and being a doctor is about, and that part, working with the community, I can’t get that in a classroom.


What can be done to help lessen the doctor shortage?

Do you want to give back to the Athens community when you graduate?

The doctor shortage is really a very broad topic. One of the ways to help solve the doctor shortage is by creating more medical school campuses like the Medical Partnership, but also by making them more affordable. Making it more diverse. Medical school shouldn’t just be for some privileged people. It should be granted to everyone that has the desire. Don’t look at just those who already have family members as a doctor. That creates a margin of who can and cannot be a doctor. You don’t need a family member in the field to be a doctor. You just need that passion to serve, and school should be granted to those with that passion.

Athens has done so much for me. After graduation, I believe I have to give back to this community. Every Saturday I can come into the Mercy Clinic and continue to give back, and that is pretty awesome.

There should be more everybody. Medicine should be very diverse. We are in this era where the people are very diverse. People coming from different countries, cultures. Medicine right now is limited to only some people, and not all the patients have access to doctors who look like them or care about them, or their cultures, as a person. What is the future of medicine? I believe the future of medicine is being very integrative with science, to create a holistic doctor. What I mean is that people are not only knowledgeable about their science but also knowledgeable about their community, knowledgeable about other peoples’ culture. I believe that medicine is going towards that aspect. It’s booming as we have more doctors coming from different cultural backgrounds, different ethnicities. We have doctors who not only care about science, but we have this curriculum where we teach about a healthy perspective, teach about the cultures in medicine – what you have to be mindful of, how to interact with people different from you. It’s mandatory in our curriculum to have this part of medicine that teaches you how to deal with patients. Patients are diverse.

What is your medical dream for 10-15 years from now? My medical dream is really serving the populations who need help. I always dream about providing medicine in the worst areas where people really need that care. I dream about traveling, going to places where no one wants to go to practice medicine. Hopefully, I can practice in areas inside the United States and outside the U.S. where people are really in need of medical care. What keeps you motivated? My biggest motivation is when I think about where I come from, and when I think about being here, it’s not only a privilege but is also where I always wanted to be, what I always wanted to do. It’s about things I always dream about. People always wanted help back then when I was little, but I couldn’t help. It gives me this opportunity to help them now, and when I’m so down with everything, I think of them. That keeps me going. Why Athens? There is no better place for me to learn medicine than the Medical Partnership. I’m the type of person who learns better by talking with my professor. In a lot of medical schools, you don’t have the opportunities to talk to your professors, to know your classmates. It’s just too big; the classroom is so large. Here in Athens I have the opportunities to know my classmates and talk to my professors, which is awesome, and I know I will be a better doctor because of it. The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



Student & Resident Accolades ACP Georgia 2016 Academic Competition Awards: Resident Oral Vignette – Sonia Suda, MD (Internal Medicine Resident at St. Mary’s Healthcare System) Student Research – Osii Mbata (Class of 2019) Other presenters included Brian Brewer, MD, Akhil Reddy, MD, Tenzing Phanthok, MD, Addison Zhang, MD, Mary DeCroos, MD, and Bennett Gladden, MD.

MCG Highest Achievement Awards: Three of our Medical Partnership students were named as deserving recipients of MCG’s “Highest Achievement” Awards. These awards are given to three students in each clerkship who received the highest total grade (across MCG) in that clerkship for the 2015-2016 academic year. Athens students, now M4s, who received these awards include: • Andrew Dicks – Awards for the Pediatric, OB/GYN, and Surgery Clerkships • Davis Waller – Award for the Pediatric Clerkship • Rachel Johnson– Award for the OB/GYN Clerkship

Medical Association of Georgia’s Medical Student Abstract Competition & Poster Presentations: Best Basic Science – Saadia Hasan (Class of 2019) Best Clinical Science – Alex Vagasi (Class of 2018) Other presenters included Mohit Agarwal, Hannah Childs, Courtney Alvis, Max Green, and Charles Gober. Four Partnership students were elected to the Medical Association of Georgia’s Medical Student Executive Council this fall: Ebony Caldwell (Class of 2018) – Chair Courtney Alvis (Class of 2019) – Treasurer Hannah Childs (Class of 2019) – Delegate Max Green (Class of 2019) – Alternate Delegate

Publications: Matt Broggi, Ebony Caldwell, and Alex Phillips, all students from the Class of 2018, published papers this fall. For questions regarding these students’ research, please email Jennifer Adams (j.adams@ The citations for the papers are provided below: 1. Broggi, M.S., Patil, D., Baum, Y., Pattaras, J., Ogan, K., Master, VA. (2016). Onodera’s Prognostic Nutritional Index as an independent prognostic indicator in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma. Urology, 96(1), 99-105. PubMed PMID: 27431662.

Student Service: Our students receive numerous opportunities to serve our community here in Athens, but we always love to see students going above and beyond. Since February 2016, Ricardo LopezHanson volunteers his Friday evenings with the Pinnacle team in Atlanta. The Pinnacle team at Stone Summit is a rock climbing team and social group for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, and various other developmental delays or special needs. The mission of the Pinnacle is to provide people with special needs the social and climbingspecific skills to engage in life-long recreation in a positive social environment. 8

AU/UGA Medical Partnership

2. Huang, J.H., Broggi, M., Osunkoya, A.O., Master, V.A. (2016). Surgical Management of Primary Scrotal Cancer. Urologic Clinics of North America, 43(4), 531-544. PubMed PMID: 27717439. 3. Phillips DA, Ferreira JA, Ansah D, Teixeira HSA, Kitron U, Filippis TD, Alcântara MH, Fairley JK. A tale of two neglected tropical infections: using GIS to assess the spatial and temporal overlap of schistosomiasis and leprosy in a region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. In press. 4. Veinot TC, Caldwell E, Loveluck J, Arnold MP, Bauermeister J. HIV Testing Behavior and Social Network Characteristics and Functions Among Young Men Who have Sex with Men (YMSM) in Metropolitan Detroit. AIDS and Behavior. 2016:1-23.


SGO & Student Ambassadors Congratulations to the 2016-2017 SGO Officers! CLASS OF 2020: President - Ben Daniel Vice President - Nick Austin Secretary/Treasurer - Jason Jeong Social Chair - Michael Scott Community Service Chair - Naser Ibrahim Curriculum Chair - Silki Modi Honor Council - Julia Stephens & Kenneth Hearn

New Student Ambassadors The AU/UGA Medical Partnership’s Student Ambassadors were happy to welcome nine new members this fall. Student Ambassadors go above and beyond on behalf of their campus to show current and prospective students what the Medical Partnership is all about. Thank you to the following students for their time and help as tour guides, panelists, and volunteers: Nick Austin, Class of 2020

CLASS OF 2019:

John Collar, Class of 2020

President - Danny Steinberg Vice President - Gabe Pajares Hurtado Secretary - Max Green Treasurer - Cinthana Kandasamy Social Chair - Courtney Alvis Community Service Chair - Stephanie Hernandez Curriculum Chair - Jessica Principe Honor Council - Charlie Gober & Blake Hudson

Ben Daniel, Class of 2020 Silki Modi, Class of 2020 Danny Montenegro, Class of 2020 Anudeep Neelam, Class of 2019 Nick Schoenmann, Class of 2019

CLASS OF 2018:

Matt Schwartz, Class of 2020

President - Mark Zapata Vice President - Alex Vagasi Secretary/Treasurer - Bradley Parke Social Chair - Angela Holder Curriculum Chair - Shub Agrawal Honor Council - Amarachi Anukam & Nicholas Clemm

Julia Stephens, Class of 2020

CLASS OF 2017: President - Palmer Feibelman Vice President - Ken Sack Secretary/Treasurer - Andrew Dicks Social Chair - Carlos Soriano Curriculum Chair - Sarah Nuzzo Honor Council - Amelita Woodruff & Sarah Whelchel SGO members are a crucial voice for the students, and they serve as liaisons between students, administrators, and community members. They establish connections throughout Athens to create new programs, events, and initiatives on behalf of their fellow classmates. Thank you to all of our SGO officers for the hard work you put into your roles on campus.

The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



Student Summer Research Experience at the World Health Organization

by Ronke Olowojesiku This summer I explored a dream of mine – working in global health as a fellow in the Duke University Program on Global Policy and Governance in Geneva, Switzerland. The fellowship lasted 10 weeks and consisted of an internship in the Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Unit (PHI) of the World Health Organization and a one-week course on global health through Duke. While I had conducted research abroad before, the Duke program was my first research endeavor not rooted in the basic sciences. Thus, switching over to more policy-based research was a challenging yet enlightening experience. In the lab, I generated data and analyzed it, providing an open-ended interpretation.

The unit itself is an interesting one when considering WHO as a whole: a small group of experts working to bring together individuals across the Organization to tackle large health issues. WHO, much like healthcare overall, exists in silos with one set of individuals working on one specific project and a different set of individuals working on another – neither interacting with the other. I saw the effects of these silos in action when another intern told me about her project and how just days before she was to complete her internship, she learned that someone in another department had already completed work on a similar paper and was ready to publish it. One of the goals of PHI is to break down these silos in the hope of allowing for more innovation, but this goal is not without its difficulties.

Rather than work on one project, I assisted with various small projects within the PHI unit as an intern. These projects included copy-editing papers on hepatitis C drug patents and antimicrobial resistance, researching national policies on health innovation, and exploring funding mechanisms for innovation projects. With each project, my knowledge grew, and I saw how the unit’s focus on innovation can be applicable to many of the problems we face today.

The problem of WHO and its silos is a problem of global health today. Global health financing is fragmented, with various players addressing certain problems in their own way. For example, when considering the AIDS epidemic, funding sources include the Gates Foundation, PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and UNITAID, raising questions regarding governance and coordination of aid efforts. This problem was the focus of the second part of the Duke program,


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STUDENT RESEARCH a crash course in global health with a case competition component. For the case competition, we were put in groups of eight, and tasked to create a rollout strategy from the perspective of a particular agency for the RTS,S/ASO1 malaria vaccine, a therapeutic currently in phase 3 trials. Our group acted as WHO, which proved to be a challenge as WHO is a technical agency that serves mainly to advise and set out guidelines, as opposed to the other agencies represented in the competition, which were financial entities. While in the end we developed a strategy in the spirit of WHO, we concluded that the best way to tackle the question of a rollout was through a coordinated effort between WHO and other financing agencies. Outside of WHO and class, I got to explore Geneva, a beautiful city surrounded by water and mountains. The literature nerd in me was happy to find a statue of Frankenstein’s monster in the city’s Plainpalais neighborhood, where I lived for the summer. As Plainpalais is home to the University of Geneva, many college students live in the area, and I got to interact with students from all over Switzerland as well as other countries. In the center of Plainpalais is a large plaza, where farmer’s markets would assemble over the weekend, and a large screen was set up there to display the soccer matches of the Euro Cup. There were many nights I went to sleep with horns honking and fireworks going off because someone’s team had won! I also traveled outside of Geneva – visiting Annecy and Lyons in France and spending a weekend in Barcelona. However, my last weekend in Switzerland was perhaps my favorite because I

traveled to Lucerne by train for one of the country’s many summer music festivals. All in all, my time in Switzerland this summer was an affirmation for where I see myself in the future and has left me looking at health issues through a larger, more complex lens. Through the Duke program, I came to understand just how large and multifaceted global health is as a whole. Working in a unit calling for widespread change and innovation at a big, bureaucratic agency like WHO showed me how hindering the size, speed, and complexity of working on these issues can be. Despite these difficulties, I left feeling that change is on the rise. What I heard being spoken at WHO and at other agencies is a desire for convergence. There is a call for multidisciplinary, team-based approaches – much like what we focus on at the Medical Partnership. As a future physician, I hope to work in groups such as I did this summer combining people from medicine, public policy, and public health. While I do not see myself working in governance, I would very much like to work on the ground, engaging communities most effected by some of the world’s largest health problems such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. Ronke Olowojesiku AU/UGA Medical Partnership Class of 2019

The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



Education Beyond the Classroom Through an annual gift, the Medical Partnership hosts six roundtable series throughout the year that discuss varying topics in medicine. The roundtable series gives students an opportunity to learn about what they are interested in through requesting particular topics, as well as to interact with UGA Honors students with similar interests. Some of the topics discussed recently include universal healthcare and how the United States differs, gene therapy, and the often confusing principles of nutrition. Due to their popularity, the roundtables often reach maximum capacity upon announcement. Because of an anonymous donor’s generosity, the Medical Partnership can provide our students, as well as the University of Georgia Honors students, with this additional learning opportunity. However, our roundtable series is only one example of how donors can directly contribute to the learning experience of our students. At the Medical Partnership, we believe the integrated approach to teaching, which begins with small group learning, supplemented with large group interactive sessions and combined with additional clinical training will create highly prepared and experienced doctors to better serve our communities. Students at the Medical Partnership develop close relationships with faculty fostering teamwork, mentoring opportunities, and friendships that will last a lifetime. Equipped with critical thinking skills, our students graduate with the expertise, experience, and leadership skills to improve health outcomes of the communities they serve. We are committed to creating the best learning environment possible for our students, while providing them with the most experiential learning opportunities. Our students have opportunities to obtain a dual degree with various acclaimed colleges at UGA, such as the Terry College of Business and the College of Public Health, to better equip them in this rapidly changing health care environment. We also offer additional learning experiences through lecture series, study abroad programs, and research opportunities with the Clinical and Translational Research Unit and local hospitals. If you would like more information on how you can assist the Partnership in ensuring our students reach their full potential and have every opportunity to succeed, please email Mary Kathryn Rogers, Director of Communications and External Affairs, at

Thank you for your support.


AU/UGA Medical Partnership


Reflections on Residency How the Medical Partnership prepared me for life after graduation

by Christopher Jackson, MD Now that I am a 2nd year internal medicine resident at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN, I can definitively say that residency is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life thus far. I can engage with a diverse patient population with pathology that I thought I would only see in the textbooks. The hours are long; balancing clinical duties, studying, and family is challenging. However, having the opportunity to improve patients’ overall health is my driving purpose. There is no reward comparable to a patient whose health is improved by the work you do. Towards this end, I partnered with Christ Community Health Services, a faith-based nonprofit organization of providers, to provide quality health care to indigent patients. Outside of clinical responsibilities, I have always found it important to be involved in leadership, education, and research. I serve on several committees here at UT. I serve as the internal medicine representative for the Graduate Medical Education Committee, and I am the Vice President of the Residency Education Committee that works towards evaluating and innovating the resident education experience. With regards

to research, I have recently presented at several national conferences, published articles, and continue to pursue ongoing projects. My research interests include anticoagulation, respiratory failure, charcot arthropathy, and statin-induced myopathy. I love the opportunity to contribute to the medical literature for the benefit of all patients versus the one patient I see in an encounter. For me, the Medical Partnership experience played a major role in my success thus far. The opportunity for direct patient contact from early 2nd year through 4th year allows you to begin learning clinical reasoning quickly with plenty of time to practice. Some of the first patients I had as a student at the Partnership taught me the tools to take care of the patients I have now. Not only that, the excellent faculty-to-student ratio allows you to develop lifelong mentors. Dr. Howard Cohen was my 2nd year preceptor, and to date, he still serves as one of my clinical mentors. This type of relationship is the product of the environment at the Medical Partnership. Honestly, the privilege to work and learn from clinician educators like Cohen is my fondest memory of the Medical Partnership.

The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue


ALUMNI HIGHLIGHT Now, my life as a resident is quite different than that as a medical student. At times, I have felt overwhelmed with the breadth of knowledge I must assimilate to care for patients. Moreover, the everyday responsibilities of patient care seemed incredibly daunting when I started as an intern. After 18 months of residency, I have learned some things that I wish someone had told me back in medical school: First, you have the strength equal to your task and not the task equal to your strength. Residency is one of the most challenging transitions in life. You really are a doctor, and everyone is asking you questions and expecting answers. You will feel at moments that you do not know enough, or you are not good enough, but I can tell you that you are. The education I received at the Medical Partnership prepared me more than enough for residency. Your job from now until graduation is to learn as much as you can and learn things right the first time. When you are on the wards, see as many patients as you can, reading up on their cases and discussing them with attendings. You have the fortune of learning from every patient you see without the ancillary responsibilities that come with patient care.

lot about organization and administration, which will be vital skills in my role as chief resident. So much of what I have accomplished is based on the foundation that the Medical Partnership helped me build that it is worth reminding myself, and all the current medical students in Athens, that the road ahead may seem intimidating from time to time, but you will be more prepared, more capable, than you would have thought possible.

Next, you should learn how best you learn. While I was a student at the Partnership, Learning Summaries were the bane of my existence. I did not recognize the importance of doing these one to two page summaries three times a week. However, they still help me to this day as a resident. Learning how to synthesize the medical literature efficiently and effectively allows me to provide evidence-based patient-centered care. After medical school, the learning does not stop, but the responsibility for what and how you learn falls on you. Take the time now to develop a system that can help you sustain life-long learning. The Medical Partnership is there to help you. Lastly, time management is not optional. Life does not stop when you become a resident. It is imperative that you work hard but also enjoy time with your family and friends. One thing I wished I did more as a medical student was learning how to balance my priorities with time. Plan for the things you need to accomplish, but do not forsake spending time with those close to you. That quality time will help rejuvenate you for the days ahead. My greatest residency accomplishment was being offered a Chief Resident of Quality and Safety position at the Memphis VAMC for the 2018-2019 school year. I will be responsible for resident education, running morning report, scheduling, attending on the wards, implementing quality improvement and safety policies, and resident recruitment. I’ve always had a passion for teaching, which only grew with my experiences mentoring and tutoring M1’s and M2’s at the Medical Partnership. Thankfully, Dr. Scott Richardson, Campus Associate Dean for Medical Education, also taught me a 14

AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Class of 2015 alumnus, Christopher Jackson, MD, with his clinical mentor and previous preceptor, Dr. Howard Cohen.


Fun, comfort with exercise helps young people with conditions like autism and ADHD remain active

by Toni Baker, MCG Communications Director


pursue in this population.

The best way to help young people with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder get more exercise is to make it fun, according to a small international sampling of adults living with them.

Still there was a lot of exercise and confidence in its benefits in the households surveyed. The overwhelming number of survey respondents said regular exercise would prevent or delay complications of neurodevelopmental disorders and provide short- and long-term benefit to physical, emotional and social wellbeing. They reported the young people with a disorder in their household generally exercised five days per week for about 100 minutes daily, with cardiovascular activities like basketball, cycling and running as the primary focus. Individuals responding to the survey generally reported being physically active as well.

Dr. Julie Martin, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist who is the site clerkship director for pediatrics at the AU/UGA Medical Partnership campus and helped Lustig put his survey together, noted that most physicians and pediatricians would likely want to directly provide more information about exercise and its benefits. But with limited appointment times – averaging about 10 minutes for a sick visit and 20 minutes for a checkup – “It’s just challenging to get everything in,” Martin said.

“We found that a child having fun was a much greater indicator of how likely he or she was to continue exercising,” said Matthew Lustig, senior medical student at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Lustig is enrolled at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens, a fouryear campus of the medical school. Identifying an activity they are good at, from playing basketball to running to tennis, was another top reason for staying physically active, survey participants said. In fact, lack of skill was a much larger deterrent than bottom lines like financial and transportation limitations, said Lustig, who is first-author on a poster presented at the American Medical Association Research Symposium in Orlando, Florida. “In targeting interventions that increase exercise, creating more cost-effective options may not be as necessary as creating more fun options,” Lustig said. While the internet and other family and friends tended to be the go-to sources for exercise information, the 132 adults surveyed said they would like the young people’s physicians to answer their exercise-related questions. The small survey left Lustig with a lot of follow up questions he plans to pursue, including why pediatricians weren’t considered their go-to

Participant recruitment was enabled by an internet questionnaire distributed via Facebook to a wide range of groups associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. That approach enabled a national and international participation from adults living with individuals with a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders. The most prevalent disorders included autism, intellectual disability, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome. The young people with them were a median age of 17; 57 percent were male; and the vast majority where white. A research elective with Dr. Martha S. Tingen, Charles W. Linder, MD Endowed Chair in Pediatrics and associate director of the Georgia Prevention Institute at MCG, enabled Lustig to put his data and research findings together for the AMA presentation. Centers like the GPI have long studied the benefits of exercise and have shown a cognitive benefit in overweight children, for example, another angle Lustig may

This can be particularly difficult in populations, such as the one Lustig surveyed, which already have multiple medical needs. Martin noted a recent visit to her practice of a child thought to have Lyme disease – which has a long list of symptoms including fatigue, sleep issues and depression – who instead appeared to be experiencing depression, for which Martin always recommends exercise as a first line of therapy. The seed for a future as a pediatric neurologist and his interest in the topic of exercise options that work best for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, jelled when Lustig overheard two parents discussing which activity was best for their child while he was volunteering at the Summer Olympics on the UGA campus. Lustig had already worked as a personal trainer, had finished his first two years of medical school and was taking a break in medical school to earn his MBA. His follow-up literature search found little information on the topic. Lustig hopes his current and future studies will help better define the best ways to increase exercise in these children. The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



Alpaca Farm Visit

Being part of a smaller facility, our students are afforded numerous opportunities to interact with their faculty mentors, including an M1 small group visit to faculty member, Dr. Mike Russell’s alpaca farm.

Paintball with the M2’s

M2 students relieved some stress and bonded through teamwork on the paintball course.

SGO Tailgate Above: Medical Partnership students and their Augusta counterparts enjoyed a tailgating event sponsored by the Augusta University Alumni Association, to cheer on the Dawgs against Auburn! At right: Dr William Eiland, Director of the Georgia Museum of Art, has been an advocate of humanities in medical education and a great supporter of the Medical Partnership. To this end, for several years he has hosted the Medical Partnership M2 students at the Georgia Museum of Art for a curated tour of the museum’s collections. To sharpen their clinical acumen, Dr. Eiland challenges them to use their perceptive powers in looking critically at works of visual arts. As physical exam signs help to draw medical students nearer to accurate diagnostic conclusions, describing a painting’s subject, symbols, light, and color helps these students derive meaning from what they see. 16

AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Humanities in Medical Education


White Coat Ceremony | November 5, 2016 Above: The annual White Coat Ceremony, held in Augusta, Georgia, brought the whole MCG Class of 2020 together for the first time.

Dinner with Dr. Francis Clayfully Created

M1 students spent the evening getting to know one another with Campus Dean Michelle Nuss, Associate Dean for Student & Multicultural Affairs John Francis, and anatomist DeLoris Hesse.

M1 & M2 students get creative and social while painting pottery at Clayfully Created.

The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



Residency Program granted highest accreditation status by Mark Ralston, Public Relations Manager, St. Mary’s Health Care System The Internal Medicine Residency Program, Northeast Georgia’s first medical residency program and a joint effort by the Augusta University/ University of Georgia Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s Health Care System, has been granted continued accreditation, the highest status possible, by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. “This is a major milestone,” stated Shelley Nuss, M.D., Campus Dean and Designated Institutional Officer for the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in an email announcing the accreditation. “Savor the moment – and celebrate!” The Internal Medicine Residency Program (IMRP) enables graduates of medical school to complete the final phase of their medical education. A maximum of 10 residents are recruited each year through a national process that matches medical school graduates with residency programs around the nation. The IMRP is accredited for a maximum of 30 residents, 10 for each year of the three-year program. As residents advance from year to year, they gain increasing independence and autonomy, culminating in the opportunity to take their medical board exams and become fully licensed, practicing physicians. Some will go directly into internal medicine practice, providing primary care in the Athens area or other communities, while others will go into fellowships for specialties such as cardiology, neurology or surgery. “Our program has enjoyed fantastic success, especially for a brand new program,” said Pete Yunyongying, M.D., Program Director. “We have successfully recruited two full classes of 10 residents each, with more than 1,300 applications for our first class, more than 1,800 for our second class, and over 2,400 for our third class. Most importantly, between their practice at St. Mary’s Hospital and our residency clinic, Community Internal Medicine of Athens, our resident physicians are building the foundation they need to become highly skilled practitioners.” “Thanks go out to many individuals who worked tirelessly to bring GME to Athens, and to St. Mary’s, our hospital partner,” Dr. Nuss said. “Without St. Mary’s and their relentless support, this would not have been possible.” Dr. Nuss specifically thanked Don McKenna, St. Mary’s President and CEO, and Bruce Middendorf, M.D., St. Mary’s Chief Medical Officer, praising both for their “support and drive for excellence.” She also thanked Dr. Yunyongying, Seth Jelinek, M.D., Assistant Program Director, and Achilia Morrow, M.D., Associate Program Director, for “their dedication and hard work to bring the program 18

AU/UGA Medical Partnership

to this level. They, too, have worked tirelessly to provide the highest quality education to our future residents.” Finally, Dr. Nuss thanked the more than 70 physician faculty members who work with the residents, as well as the nursing, ancillary and support staff of St. Mary’s and the IMRP whose behind-the-scenes efforts keep the program running smoothly and contribute to the residents’ education. She also extended her appreciation to Medical College of Georgia Dean Peter Buckley, M.D., and UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten for their support of GME through the Medical Partnership. The Internal Medicine Residency Program received initial accreditation in 2014, clearing the way for the first class of medical residents to begin their residencies in July 2015. Initial accreditation is valid for two years, so in summer 2016, ACGME conducted a rigorous site visit and review of the program to assess how well it is meeting requirements and goals for resident training and education. The process resulted in ACGME granting continuing accreditation, which provides for ongoing accreditation for 10 years with routine annual review of program data to ensure the IMRP continues to meet requirements.


Waqas Ahmad, MD Medical degree: American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, St. Maarten

Meet the newest Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residents

Kristina Catania, MD

Sandeep Jalli, DO

Medical degree: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts

Medical degree: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Seth Courson, DO

Shannon O’Brien, MD

Medical degree: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Medical degree: Medical College of Georgia, AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Mary De Croos, MD

Zachary Newman, MD

Medical degree: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts

Medical degree: St. George’s University School of Medicine

Zachary Di Iulio, MD

Walaa Treki, MD

Medical degree: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

Medical degree: University of Tripoli

Bennett Gladden, MD

Rida Younus, MD

Medical degree: University of Kansas School of Medicine

Medical degree: International American University College of Medicine

The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



Student Research Experience at CTRU by Adolphia Lauture There are a lot of summer options for medical students. I knew I wanted to do research because I wanted to see how clinical research differed from the basic science research I did in undergrad. Several students in the class of 2018 participated in research with Dr. Jonathon Murrow. So I emailed him inquiring about research opportunities with him or a colleague of his. After learning of my interest of public health and exercise, he recommended Dr. Jennifer Gay from the University of Georgia, College of Public Health. Gay was beginning work on a pilot study looking at the effects of fractionalized bouts of vigorous intensity exercise on individuals at risk for diabetes. As a medical student interested in primary care I knew that this study could impact how I recommend exercise to my patients, so I definitely wanted to be involved. The study took place from May-August. As study coordinator, I recruited, screened, prepped, and conducted the study with the research participants. I also was involved in data analysis and writing the document that will be submitted for publication. I really enjoyed my experience this summer. It was completely different from the basic science research that I had prior experience in. Working with individuals is the best part of clinical research. You find that people truly want to be a part of something greater, they want to help and research allows that. My participants were proud to be in the study because they had family members or friends with diabetes, and they knew the burden that diabetes can have on a person’s life. I also enjoyed the fact that some of the participants used the study as a jumping board for their health journey. They realized what a great workout the stair climber was and committed to using it after they completed the study.

Research is a great opportunity to truly impact the patients you care for. It’s known that exercise can prevent or delay individuals with prediabetes from developing Type 2 diabetes, but that knowledge doesn’t equal individuals with prediabetes incorporating exercise in their life. Gay asked a series of reasonable questions. If the exercise was more vigorous, can it be shorter? Is there a vigorous exercise that can be done in an average setting? Does the time of day impact when this exercise would be more efficacious? These questions led to my summer research project, and the experience I had really encourages me to be a clinician and a researcher when I am out of training. Every aspect of my project was completed at the Clinical and Translational Research Unit on the Health Science Campus. That place is amazing. It provides participants with a single, easily accessible location that they can go to be a part of research. Researchers and doctors from UGA, the hospitals, and the community can participate in a fully functional lab that has exercise equipment, lab services, phlebotomy stations, ECGs, ultrasounds, and more. The CTRU was a one stop shop for our participants. They were screened, prepped, and completed the study in one place. I believe this center is going to open a door for more research to be completed in our part of Georgia. Adolphia Lauture AU/UGA Medical Partnership Class of 2019

Seed Grant Awards There were a total of 18 seed grant applications. Applications were reviewed by an external panel independent of the CTRU. Applications were scored using the rubric outlined in the Request For Proposals. The highest scored grants received funding. The grants funded this cycle were: • Jamie A. Cooper, PhD. (PI) and Ronald Pegg, College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Title: Antioxidant Responses to Exercise and Tart Cherry Consumption. • Brian Miller MD, Ph.D. (PI) (MCG), Rich Meagher, Ph.D. (UGA Genetics), Shelley Nuss, MD (Medical Partnership). Title: Inflammation and the Epigenome in Schizophrenia. • Jonathan Murrow, MD (PI); Melissa Hallow, Ph.D.; Kent Nilsson, MD (Medical Partnership); Catherine Marti, MD; Lynetta Jobe, DVM, PhD (Medical Partnership). Title: Evaluation of the effects 20

AU/UGA Medical Partnership

of SGLT2 inhibition on cardiac hemodynamics and volume status in diabetic patients with preserved ejection fraction heart failure. • Assaf Oshri Ph.D. (PI), Margaret Caughy, Sc.D., Emilie Smith, Ph.D., College of Family and Consumer Sciences; Cynthia Suveg,Ph.D., Department of Psychology. Title: Early life stress, parenting and risky decision-making: A multilevel mechanism. • Cynthia Suveg, Ph.D. (PI) and Ronald Blount, Ph.D. Department of Psychology. Title: Self-Regulation as a Predictor of Transition Readiness in College Students With and Without Medical Conditions. • Henry N. Young, Ph.D. (PI), College of Pharmacy, Kyle Johnsen, Ph.D. College of Engineering, Lokesh Guglani, MD (Emory). Title: Improving chronic respiratory illness medication use by enhancing pediatric care communication.

Clinical & Translational Research Unit Celebrates Anniversary

Pictured are recruitment specialist Jennifer Dunlop, clinical research nurse Krissy Capitano, unit coordinator Kim Schmitz, and CTRU director Brad Phillips. Visitors and guests at the open house anniversary event at the CTRU on January 27, 2017.

by Terry Hastings | January 23, 2017 This originally appeared at The Clinical and Translational Research Unit recently celebrated their one year anniversary with an open house on UGA’s Health Sciences Campus.

facility represent the colleges of Public Health, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pharmacy, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, and Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Elizabeth Fite, a student in the Health and Medical Journalism Master’s Program, The event celebrated the success of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass CTRU as a resource for investigators Communication, is one of the many campus conducting clinical and translational and community members who have research that advances the understanding, volunteered to be part of a CTRU clinical prevention and treatment of human disease trial. at UGA. “This year was the first year in a while that I “The open house was an opportunity for hadn’t received a flu shot,” said Fite. “When the UGA community to learn more about I heard about the clinical trial on influenza CTRU pilot grants, services available to vaccine it appealed to me, because I could investigators, opportunities for expanding get a free flu shot while helping further your research and collaboration through the important research. CTRU, as well as clinical and translational “I feel strongly about supporting researchers science experience and education for and know that sometimes it can be difficult trainees,” said Brad Phillips, CTRU director. Phillips is the Millikan-Reeve Professor and to find study participants,” she said. “Also, I had never been a part of a clinical trial Head, Clinical & Administrative Pharmacy, before and thought that it could give me an College of Pharmacy. interesting and new perspective – and you In the last year, more than 250 participants get a little payment. have enrolled in a wide variety of studies “Participating was a surprisingly simple conducted by principal investigators at process and everyone was so nice — it really UGA, the AU/UGA Medical Partnership, made me feel like I was helping a good and physicians in the Athens medical cause.” community. UGA investigators using the

Currently six studies are in progress, including four that are currently recruiting patients: • Immune Response to Influenza Vaccine. Principal Investigator: Ted Ross, UGA Center for Vaccines and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine. Participants ages 65-90 who have not yet received the flu vaccine are especially needed. • Investigation of Epigenetic Regulation of Body Weight and Heart Disease among Individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Principal Investigator: Brad Phillips, clinical and administrative pharmacy, College of Pharmacy. • Investigation of Self-Regulation as a Predictor of Transition Readiness in College Students With and Without Medical Conditions. Principal Investigators: Cynthia Suveg, and Ronald Blount, department of psychology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. • Computed Tomographic Evaluation of Atherosclerotic Determinants of Myocardial Ischemia (CREDENCE). Principal Investigator: Erick Avelar, MD, AU/UGA Medical Partnership. For more information: The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue



New programs aim to give young docs skills to care for aging adults Athens, Ga., is a small city about 75 miles east of Atlanta. Older adults love its low cost of living, community-mindedness and proximity to a major urban area. What they don’t love, however, is the poor access to specialized senior health care. Nearly 10 percent (11,830) of the city’s 120,000 residents are over age 65, but only three officebased geriatricians practice here. The geriatrician shortage is not unique to Athens, to Georgia, or to the United States. There are fewer than 7,500 board-certified geriatricians nationwide — about 2,000 seniors for every geriatrician — according to the American Geriatrics Society. This ratio is more than double of what one doctor reasonably can handle, the society says, and doesn’t include the two-thirds of other people over 65 who do not need specialized care — not yet, anyway. About 13,000 additional geriatricians are needed to meet the current demand for care, according to estimates. Moreover, as the boomer generation ages, the geriatrician workforce will need to grow by 1,500 annually for the next 15 years to satisfy the nation’s need for senior care by 2030. In Georgia, about 19 percent of the state’s population will be over 65 by then — hovering around 2 million — calling for triple the current number of geriatricians. Athens-area residents may be better off than some Georgians because they have access to St. Mary’s Hospital and Athens Regional Medical Center. As rural hospitals continue to shutter, Athens is set to play an important role in preparing young doctors to care for elders. Both hospitals have fledgling residency programs in internal medicine, and every year the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership, a UGA-housed branch of the Medical College of Georgia, graduates 40 new medical doctors. Unfortunately, few of them want to specialize 22

AU/UGA Medical Partnership

in geriatrics, according to geriatrician Donald W. Scott, M.D., a medical school associate professor who trains residents at St. Mary’s. Scott recounts that when he was born, his father was older than most of his peers. As his father grew older, his many different doctors often prescribed medications that didn’t always work together well. Witnessing the impact of that fragmented care motivated Scott to become a geriatrician. However, he does not see that same drive among his students. “I usually get one or two fourth-year students interested in geriatrics, but it tends to be at the very bottom of the list for most,” he said. So Scott has come up with a different strategy. He is establishing a month-long rotation designed to “geriatricize” medical students, expose them to the aging boomers who will be a large part of their future practice. The rotation will emphasize not only how to care for seniors, but how to talk with them about sexuality and other sensitive topics. Scott also plans to better prepare young physicians to work with patients who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders. Programs like Scott’s are popping up across the country as medical schools attempt to catch up with changing age demographics. Only eight of the nation’s 145 medical schools have full-time geriatric departments, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). While schools are unlikely to add new aging departments due to lack of student interest and qualified faculty, many are adapting their programs to teach skills necessary to care for aging populations. At AU/UGA, students will receive hands-on practice during a weekly geriatrics clinic that Scott is organizing at Community Internal Medicine of Athens, a new primary care clinic set up by St. Mary’s. Here, medical students and internal medicine residents will learn about how home visits and end-of-life planning fit into patient care, Scott said. “Taking care of frail older people requires patience and can be frustrating to primary care

Photo: Lauren Baggett

by Erica Hensley | October 27, 2016 This originally appeared at HealthJournalism. org, the website of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Dr. Ngozi Ifeadi, an internal medicine resident at Piedmont Athens Regional, reviews medication history with a 70-year-old patient at their Community Care Clinic.

doctors,” says Scott, noting that doctors love to think that they are curing disease and relieving suffering, which often isn’t possible for frail patients with multiple maladies. Managing complex drug regimens, in particular, is a time-consuming element in patient care, Scott said, and it is training that most young doctors do not receive. Others issues include learning how to ensure orders from different specialists aren’t in conflict and keeping fragmented care from resulting in insurance complications. Aging isn’t easy for doctors or patients. Because people like consistency, and a sense of familiarity many keep with their long-time primary care physician – typically a family practitioner or an OB/GYN for women – as long as possible. As the senior population grows, workforce forecasts indicate aging patients will rely on physicians such as Scott’s “geriatricized” students — doctors who may not have specialized in geriatrics, but nonetheless will bear the brunt of senior care. Here are some questions to ask as you report on this trend: • With geriatrician shortages looming throughout the United States, how is your community addressing it? • What innovative partnerships exist or are being considered to bring better seniorspecific care to older residents? • What is your local medical school director doing to encourage more students to focus on geriatric care?

NEW FACULTY & STAFF The Medical Partnership family has really grown this past year, and we are grateful to welcome the following wonderful new faculty and staff members during this time of change and expansion. Check out our website’s directory for more information about our faculty and staff:

Bill Higgins, PhD

David A. Paulk, DO

Professor of Physiology

Clinical Assistant Professor

Esther Mitchell

James Appiah-Pippim, MD

Office of Student & Multicultural Affairs Student Affairs Professional III

Critical Care Site Clerkship Director

John R. Norris, MD, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor

Chadwick M. Palmer, MD Clinical Assistant Professor

Mary Kathryn Rogers, MPA Office of Communications & External Affairs Director of External Affairs

Kimberly Tomlinson, MD Emergency Medicine Site Clerkship Director

Faculty, Staff, Students & Alumni: Did you win an award, have an article published, or an abstract accepted to a conference? Let us know so we can share the good news! Email the Medical Partnership’s Office of Communications & External Affairs at Please include all pertinent information related to the award, publication, or conference, such as the journal name or professional association, publication citation, and a brief description of the award or article. The PARTNERSHIP PULSE — Winter 2017 Issue


MCG Exemplary Teaching Awards We are excited to announce that we have many faculty recipients of the 2016 MCG Exemplary Teaching awards for their teaching efforts in the 2015-16 academic year. Award recipients were selected based on teaching excellence in either undergraduate or graduate medical education. Here were the criteria: 1. Quality (based on student evals in a particular teaching setting and/or exemplary contributions as deemed by program/course directors, i.e., group facilitator, Phase 1, 2, 3 preceptor, lecturer, lab instructor) 2. Quantity (number of learners or events) 3. Appropriate standing (dept, campus) 4. Current appointment with Medical College of Georgia AU/MCG distributed certificates at the February MCG Faculty Senate Meeting. Recipients of the 2016 MCG Exemplary Teaching Award: Molly Bond Howard Cohen Katie Dudas William Grimsley Nan Hockley


Suzanne Lester Brian Maloney Jonathan Murrow Shelley Nuss Joseph Powers

Scott Richardson Rajiv Setia Clive Slaughter Brett Szymik

Mark your calendar!

Match Day 2017: Friday, March 17, 2017 in HSC George Hall Wine & Cheese Benefit: Friday, March 24, 2017, 5:30PM – 8:30PM, UGA Carnegie Library Community Health Poster Symposium: Wednesday, April 19th; Time TBA Talent Show: April 2017, Date TBA, HSC George Hall Thank-a-Donor Day: Friday, April 14th Time TBA Hooding : Thursday, May 11th in Augusta, GA Graduation: Friday, May 12th in Augusta, GA Community Celebration of Graduation: Saturday, May 13th, UGA Health Sciences Campus Keep a look out for more upcoming events on our social media!