Here are this week’s Accolades, a roundup of some of the honors and accomplishments of College of Medicine and UAMS faculty, staff, residents, fellows and students I’ve heard about recently!
Distinguished Faculty Scholar
We were delighted to honor Dr. Charles O’Brien, Professor of Internal Medicine (Endocrinology) and Orthopaedic Surgery, as the College of Medicine Distinguished Faculty Scholar yesterday. As an internationally recognized authority in the molecular biology of bone and mineral metabolism – and as a colleague who is dedicated to developing and mentoring aspiring scientists – Dr. O’Brien epitomizes the spirit of this annual award. We will share a link to a recording of his stellar talk, “Osteoclast Formation – Who’s in Control,” in the April COMmunication e-newsletter, which you will receive tomorrow. Learn more about Dr. O’Brien and his research here. Congratulations, Dr. O’Brien. We are honored to have you as a colleague.
Gift of Sight
Thanks to the dedication of many dozens of UAMS team members and community partners, 21 members of the Marshallese community in Northwest Arkansas who had poor eyesight for many years regained good vision through the Gift of Sight Cataractathon last Saturday. You might have read about it in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Sunday or saw the TV coverage, such as this report on KATV. Please take a moment to look through this roster of the volunteers and teams in Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock who made this happen. I want to pass along some words of gratitude from Dr. Paul Phillips, Chair of Ophthalmology and Director of the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, who did a spectacular job leading this initiative.
“The success of this project depended on the efforts of a dedicated team that included ophthalmologists, optometrists, anesthesiologists, nurses, ophthalmic technicians, surgical technologists, translators, administrators, food service providers, bus drivers, and many more,” Dr. Phillips said. “It was gratifying to see the completion of months of planning as everyone came together to take care of the Marshallese. Despite the long hours and huge effort, many told me how great they felt participating and asked when they could do it again.”
New Psychiatry Residency
We received great news this week – initial accreditation approval for the Baptist Health-UAMS Psychiatry Residency Program from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The program eventually will have 16 residents, with the first four residents selected in the upcoming Match cycle and starting their training in July 2022. This program, part of the growing GME enterprise at Baptist, will have a major positive impact on mental health care in Arkansas in the decades ahead.
Special thanks to Dr. Erick Messias, Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, for his superb leadership of this initiative. I join with Dr. Messias in thanking fellow Psychiatry colleagues and GME leaders Dr. Jim Clardy, Director of the UAMS Center for GME, Dr. Molly Gathright, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, and all of the UAMS Psychiatry and Neurology team members who contributed to this effort. It also would not have been possible without the excellent leadership and support of the GME leadership at Baptist, especially Dr. Stan Kellar, Designated Institutional Official (DIO) and Chief of Clinical Affairs for Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock, and Melissa Yandell, M.H.A., Associate DIO for Administrative Services.
Primary Care Excellence
We were pleased to learn that UAMS ranked 39th in primary care in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Medical Schools list – up from 63rd the previous year. The list ranked 122 medical schools on the quality of education relating to primary care, with a key measure being their success in generating graduates who go into primary care. As Dr. James Graham, Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, points out in this UAMS news release, primary care physicians have a key role in prevention and care of chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes and improving the health of Arkansans overall. This makes our efforts to produce outstanding primary care physicians all the more important. We are profoundly grateful for all of our faculty and staff who are involved in primary care education and clinical services. Great job!
A shout-out to Dr. Vivian Shi, Associate Professor of Dermatology, and fourth-year resident Dr. Kelsey Wilson for their contributions to the American Academy of Dermatology’s Virtual Meeting Experience over the weekend. Dr. Shi presented and directed two live talks with Q&A sessions, one on integrative dermatology and the second on dietary triggers and modification of common dermatologic conditions. Dr Shi also presented a poster titled “Abrocitinib in the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis Refractory to Dupilumab Treatment: An Analysis of JADE-EXTEND, a Phase 3 Long-Term Extension Study.” Dr. Wilson presented a poster, “Inpatient training modules increase dermatology resident confidence for hospital consults.”
Department of Emergency Medicine faculty and trainees did a fantastic job at the recent Academic Assembly of the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine – the preeminent Emergency Medicine education organization in the world. Teams gave didactic presentations highlighting lessons from the department’s all-female program leadership, effects of gender on resident evaluations, and a hybrid approach to residency didactics. Separate research presentations explored changes in faculty and resident attendance at conferences after transitioning to a virtual format due to the pandemic. Participants included Drs. Carly Eastin, Travis Eastin, Lauren Evans, Christopher Fowler, Rachael Freeze-Ramsey, Sarah Greenberger, Heidi Meredith, Meryll Pampolina, Meredith Von Dohlen and Amanda Young. Read more about their conference contributions here.