Matt Jones, MD, Surgery Resident, recently spent five months working at Baptist Medical Centre, a mission hospital, in northern Ghana. Having visited Ghana, located in West Africa, twice before, Dr. Jones decided to take advantage of the study abroad opportunity offered with his elective research year so that he could spend a meaningful amount of time practicing medicine in a third-world environment.
The mission hospital is a 200-bed facility that had only three doctors to treat the patients it draws from not only the north but also across Ghana, as well as neighboring Togo and Burkina Faso. The general surgeon, who served the hospital for more than 20 years, retired in September 2009, leaving only an obstetrics and gynecology physician and Dr. Jones to provide the hospital's surgical care.
The third year surgery resident said that he was able to complete a significant number of cases in Ghana, as well as participate in procedures no longer common in the U.S.
"Healthcare in northern Ghana is about 30 years behind," he said. "They do all of their hernia repairs with suture. In the states, we implant mesh using open or laparoscopic procedures. Only in rare cases do we use a simple suture technique, but there, we repair them all using the classic method. You really learn and understand the disease better because the procedure shows the anatomy better."
Dr. Jones said he also got to experience more continuity of care with patients.
"I would see them in the clinic, do their surgery, see them post-operation, take their stitches out, and if there was a complication, I would take care of them until they got better," he said. "As a resident, I don't often see the same patients in clinic that I operate on, and I rarely get to see them one or two months down the road. With skin grafts, which are common at the mission hospital, I would see patients a couple of weeks after they went home. I actually got to see that they got better and not just hope that they got better."
While Dr. Jones worked at the hospital, his wife, Megan, was learning the local language, Mampruli, and became involved with efforts to open a public library. Upon returning to the U.S., Megan organized a book drive, partnering with the UT Graduate School of Medicine Preston Medical Library and First Baptist Church, Knoxville. Through the drive, approximately 5,000 books were donated, including medical textbooks, children's books, and books of all other genres.
"We hope to go back to Ghana one day," Dr. Jones said. "They are very welcoming people. Because the hospital has been there a long time, they have a lot of respect for visiting doctors and Americans in general. The longer you stay, the more you get to be friends with people. They are not just patients. Even though their world seems different, they are more like you than you think."
A chronicle of the Jones's trip is available on Megan's blog.
Posted: July 26, 2010
Paige Rinehart, Medical Administrative Coordinator, Anesthesiology, recently earned Training Administrators of Graduate Medical Education (TAGME) Certification in Anesthesiology and has been recognized as an outstanding coordinator in her specialty by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Rinehart joined with several other anesthesiology program coordinators to become the first class of administrators to earn certification in their specialty. Rinehart spearheaded the effort to establish the certification as chairperson.
"It was a personal goal of mine to see this accomplished," Rinehart said. "The other specialties were already ahead of Anesthesiology with having a certification program, and my goal was to get Anesthesiology in line with other specialties."
Rinehart's efforts did not go unnoticed. She was invited by ACGME to speak at its July workshop for new program coordinators to learn the basics of accreditation. Rinehart discussed, "A Year in the Life of a Coordinator," and participated in a question and answer session. Rinehart said her presentation covered deadlines faced by the coordinator and the requirements coordinators are challenged to follow by each regulatory body.
Rinehart has been a residency coordinator for the UT Graduate School of Medicine since 1991, serving the hospital since 1985, and is a member of TAGME.
Posted: July 22, 2010
Consistent care for stroke patients often does not exist, despite nationally accepted guidelines. Medical experts at the Third Annual Stroke Symposium hope to change that.
The Third Annual Stroke Symposium: Providing Quality Care and Improving Outcomes is scheduled for Fridray, October 1, at University of Tennessee Conference Center, Knoxville. This course offers up to six continuing medical education (CME) credits, as well as CEUs and contact hours.
The need for improvement in care is urgent: Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of mortality in Tennessee. The state ranks third highest among states in mortality due to stroke.
Using published goals and guidelines as well as feedback from participants at the Second Annual Stroke Symposium and identified knowledge gaps, regional and national experts at the Third Annual Stroke Symposium will address the value of adhering to guidelines, successful treatment options, primary and secondary prevention of stroke and medical management, rehabilitation and nursing care of those experiencing stroke.
Participants will learn from nationally renowned experts in stroke care: Pamela Woods Duncan, PhD, Professor, Physical Therapy, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, and Kiwon Lee, MD, Assistant Professor, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York. Regional experts also will present information on topics including speech pathology, pharmacy, radiology, nutrition and more.
This CME symposium is ideal for healthcare professionals practicing in emergency medicine, family medicine and internal medicine, as well as pharmacists, advanced practice nurses, staff nurses, therapists and other professionals who work to prevent and treat stroke. It is directed by John Beuerlein, M.D., Medical Director of Knoxville Inpatient Physicians and University of Tennessee Medical Center Primary Stroke Program and presented by the University of Tennessee Medical Center Brain and Spine Institute and UT Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville.
Posted: July 20, 2010
Nestlé Nutrition Institute (NNI) is launching an Enteral Nutrition fellowship program, and Christy Lawson, MD, Surgical Critical Care Fellow, will be in the inaugural class of six fellows. These physicians will receive training in nutrition therapy as an integral part of trauma, surgery, gastroenterology, endocrinology and critical care specialties at some of the nation's leading medical centers.
Dr. Lawson said the fellowship affords a unique opportunity to study surgical nutrition from some of the nation's leading experts in the field, which she hopes to bring back to the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine.
"The new fellows identified through the NNI's initiative represent the next generation of physician thought leaders," said David Yates, Regional Business Head of Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition. "Their dedication to using enteral nutrition as a key component in the critical care process will not only change the landscape of care, but it will ultimately save lives. We are proud to welcome these fine candidates to the program."
The one-year program will include a four-week clinical rotation where fellows will be exposed to an intense educational curriculum while participating in hospital rounds and learning tube-feeding related procedures. The fellowship also provides mentoring and professional support, enabling participants to publish, identify research interests, and participate in U.S. and international professional meetings, including the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Clinical Nutrition Week meeting.
For more than 60 years, Nestlé has contributed to the continuing nutrition education of health professionals. Founded in 2000, the Institute formalizes Nestlé's commitment to collaborate with health professionals in the area of infant, clinical and performance nutrition to actively participate in the exchange of knowledge and nutrition expertise. Primary activities under the Institute include the sponsorship of workshops, the development of publications and educational tools, and provide scholarships for postgraduate study or training in fields related to health and nutrition.
Posted: July 15, 2010
The opening of the University of Tennessee Medical Center's Heart Hospital is not only combating Tennessee's number one killer, cardiovascular disease, but it is also bolstering Graduate School of Medicine fellowship programs.
The Heart Hospital is designed to optimize patient outcomes by following evidence-based clinical pathways. The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association found that dedicated heart hospitals following appropriate clinical guidelines saw improved outcomes in 20 percent of heart surgery cases and improved care processes in 90 percent of cases. This is the type of training Cardiovascular Disease, Pulmonary Disease and Vascular Surgery fellows are being exposed to at the UT Graduate School of Medicine and can carry forward to other institutions in the southeast region and beyond.
Program Directors Dale Wortham, MD, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship; Tina Dudney, MD, Pulmonary Disease Fellowship; and Michael Freeman, MD, Vascular Surgery Fellowship, agree that the Heart Hospital provides further opportunities for fellows to meet the core competencies as outlined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, including patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice.
Dr. Wortham said, "The Heart Hospital cardiovascular critical care units have large individual rooms. Families sleep in these rooms with the patient. This is an excellent educational opportunity for the fellows to learn to interact with patients and families."
The Heart Hospital currently includes 24 private cardiovascular intensive care units equipped with computers and monitoring equipment on a movable track. The units are also connected to existing operating rooms and cardiac catheterization labs.
"The state-of-the-art facilities and technologies available in the Heart Hospital promote a patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach to health care that greatly enhances fellowship education in pulmonary and critical care medicine," Dr. Dudney said.
The facility, which will include an information desk, conference center, and an enlarged UT Graduate School of Medicine Preston Medical Library, is already gaining attention among prospective fellows.
Dr. Freeman said, "I don't think there's any question that an outstanding facility will have an effect on recruitment. Candidates want to work in a pleasant environment, one that is pleasing to the eye, and the Heart Hospital will be impressive to them."
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the Heart Hospital April 22 with participants including James Neutens, PhD, Dean; John Mack, Jr., MD, Associate Professor, Surgery; Timothy Panella, MD, Associate Professor and Chair, Medicine; Paul Branca, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine; Dr. Freeman; and D. Russell Huntsinger, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine.
Posted: July 12, 2010
Charles Bruker, MD, Senior Pathology Resident, recently returned from Beijing, China, where he presented research findings on, "ODAM: A Novel Biomarker for Epithelial Carcinomas," at PepCon 2010, which is a conference focused on cutting-edge peptide and protein research. As the only resident among an international group of scientists and physicians, Dr. Bruker said he felt quite honored to be chosen to represent his research team and the UT Graduate School of Medicine.
Odontogenic Ameloblast associated protein (ODAM) was first detected by Alan Solomon, MD, Director, Human Immunology and Cancer Program, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, and is currently being researched by a team including Daniel Kestler, PhD; Dr. Bruker; Sabina Siddiqui, MD; Keith Gray, MD; James Foster, MD; Sagar Gandhi, MD; John Bell, MD; and James Lewis, MD. Dr. Bruker said that with Dr. Solomon's encouragement, he had the confidence to make a successful presentation in the international arena, which is an uncommon step forward for the institution.
"I feel that I represented the University of Tennessee and the Graduate School of Medicine quite well," Dr. Bruker said. "If the momentum of our ODAM research persists and we continue to have promising results, then it has the potential to have international importance. This is the first step in that growth."
Dr. Kestler and Dr. Bruker recently received funding from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to continue their ODAM research, studying its expression in breast tumors as well as patients' humoral response to this protein.
Posted: July 8, 2010
Benjamin Helms, DO, Internal Medicine Resident, was selected by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Class of 2011 to receive an Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award. Recipients were selected by medical students based on residents' demonstrated commitment to teaching during medical students' rotations and residents' compassionate treatment of patients and families, students, and colleagues as outlined by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, Inc.
In nominating Dr. Helms, who was then a first-year resident, student comments included,
"He has been a really great teacher and definitely took time out of his daily floor work to give mini teaching sessions to us. He was always very helpful with things and always gave us the credit when we contributed to the treatment plans for our patients."
-- UT College of Medicine Medical Student
"He went above and beyond for his patients and was always willing to teach. He was an excellent role model and an advocate for students. He has displayed the same level of professionalism to medical students as he did for his colleagues and patients."
-- UT College of Medicine Medical Student
Other recipients of the award are W. Heath Giles, MD, General Surgery, Chattanooga; Jaclyn Bergeron, MD, Medicine/Pediatrics, Memphis; Holly D. Corley, MD, Medicine/Pediatrics, Memphis; Miriah Denbo, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Memphis; and Danielle L. Tate, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Memphis.
Posted: July 6, 2010
Dr. Boyd Inspires AVID Nashville High School Students
Approximately 170 high school students from metropolitan Nashville schools recently gathered at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine to glimpse a day in the life of a radiologist, as presented by James Boyd, MD, Assistant Professor, Radiology. Through the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, a college preparatory program, a diverse group of students visit college campuses in the Nashville area throughout the school year and then visit the University of Tennessee at the end of the year.
Wilson Boyd, Nashville area teacher, AVID chaperone, and son of Dr. Boyd, said AVID staff wanted to give the students an interactive, real medical experience, which is why the tour included the UT Graduate School of Medicine for the first time this year.
Welcomed by J. Mark McKinney, MD, Chair, Radiology, the students were asked to assist Dr. Boyd in diagnosing three cases with the help of participating Radiology Residents Jason Hill, MD, chief; Christine Ormsby, MD; Brian Dupree, MD; Nicholas Waddell, MD; Josh Medina, MD; Samuel Porter, MD; and Amanda Ingram, MD, and Medical Student Lindsay Luttrell. AVID students brainstormed a list of questions that radiologists should ask when introduced to a new case. Then, Dr. Boyd showed students images of three brain scans taken using CT and MRI equipment and explained how differential diagnosis was used to identify hyperdense mass foramen of Monro, brain abscess and glioblastoma multiforme in these three cases.
Dr. Boyd encouraged students to pursue the medical field, saying "take the challenging path" and "easy things don't allow you to grow."
Of the rewards of radiology, Dr. Boyd said, "Radiology is a super cool field. You work with computers all day, doctors send patients to you and say, 'I have this problem, how do I image it?' We help them. It's also rewarding for me to train young radiologists."
Students found Dr. Boyd's presentation inspiring, including LaTericka Hudson, 10th grade AVID participant, who said the event encouraged her and gave her the drive to continue her pursuit of a career in medicine.
Posted: July 1, 2010
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