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!
MEFFA Grants Support Innovative Teaching
Several educational initiatives are on tap this year thanks to grants from the Arkansas Medical Society (AMS) and the Medical Education Foundation for Arkansas (MEFFA). This year’s MEFFA supported projects include virtual reality-facilitated anatomy education and stress reduction, teaching microscopes for OB/GYN rotations, a summer preceptorship in radiation oncology, online education in pediatric endocrinology, and the annual Teach the Teacher conference.
Congratulations to the faculty, departments and units behind these innovative proposals: Dr. Linda Worley (COM, UAMS Northwest Campus); Dr. Alexis White (Obstetrics and Gynecology); Dr. Gary Lewis (Radiation Oncology); Dr. Jon Oden (Pediatric Endocrinology); and Dr. Karina Clemmons (Medical Humanities and Bioethics).
MEFFA is also sponsoring two AMS Distinguished Lectures. Guest speakers will discuss health equity and lifestyle medicine, proposed by Dr. Gina Drobena (Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group); and patient-centered preclinical medical school curriculum, proposed by Dr. David Davies (Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences).
International Conference Leader
Dr. Mayumi Nakagawa, Professor of Pathology, has been invited to serve on the planning committee for the 2023 International Papillomavirus Conference, the annual meeting of the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS). Dr. Nakagawa is internationally recognized for her expertise in human papillomavirus (HPV) immunology and, as many of you know, recently was awarded $3.6 million from the National Cancer Institute to complete phase 2 clinical trials of the breakthrough vaccine she developed to treat cancers caused by HPV. The IPVS is recognized as the global authority on papillomaviruses. We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Nakagawa at UAMS, where she also serves as the Drs. Mae and Anderson Nettleship Endowed Chair in Oncologic Pathology and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Program in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
Assessing Virtual Interviews
Dr. Jill Fussell, Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and Rehabilitative Medicine, is a coauthor of a timely article on virtual interviews for residency and fellowship recruitment published in Pediatrics. In “National Pediatric Experience with Virtual Interviews: Lessons Learned and Future Recommendations,” Dr. Fussell and colleagues from around the country explore many of the innovations adopted by pediatric training programs during the pandemic. The authors highlight the strengths and weaknesses of three potential models for future interview seasons. Congratulations!
“Five A’s” for Communication during COVID
“Life in the time of COVID-19 is like being dropped suddenly into an unfamiliar country without the benefit of a smiling tour guide.” Thus begins an insightful letter by Dr. Stephen Sorsby, Assistant Professor in Family and Preventive Medicine, and colleagues published in Family Medicine. The letter focuses on the unique difficulties of workplace communication due to constraints of the pandemic. Dr. Sorsby and co-authors Dr. Elizabeth Schmit and Dr. William Ventres recommend “Five A’s” for improving communication among colleagues today and even post-pandemic: Be Aware; Acknowledge Losses; Develop Alternatives; Adapt; and Anticipate the Future. Click here for this excellent short read.
Center of Excellence
A shout-out to Dr. Aravindhan Veerapandiyan, Assistant Professor in Pediatric Neurology, and his team in the Comprehensive Neuromuscular Program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, on earning Charcot Marie Tooth Association Center of Excellence Distinction. Only a small number of centers in the country and across the world have received this distinction, which speaks volumes about the expertise and dedication of this team to children with Charcot Marie Tooth disease, a hereditary condition that impairs functioning of motor and sensory peripheral nerves.
Congratulations to Dr. Surjith Vattoth, a lead author and editor for the fourth edition of Elsevier’s “Diagnostic Imaging: Head and Neck.” Dr. Vattoth, an Associate Professor of Radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology, authored or co-authored 52 chapters and edited approximately 100 chapters by other authors. The premier diagnostic imaging book series is used by radiologists and trainees around the globe. Chapters also will be available in the online educational platform Elsevier STATdx.
Disparities in Pediatric Anesthesia
An excellent review article by Dr. Arundathi Reddy, Professor of Anesthesiology and Chief of Pediatric Anesthesia, and Dr. Destiny Chau, Professor, is featured in the Fall 2021 newsletter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pediatric Anesthesia: Towards Understanding of the Problem and Charting the Path Forward” examines currently published literature on disparities in the field and perioperative outcomes.
Geriatric Student Scholar
Congratulations to fourth-year medical student Erica Dewey on being selected for the 2021-2022 Geriatric Student Scholars Program by the UAMS Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC) in the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. The Student Scholars program is designed to increase health professions students’ interest and exposure to older adults as well as their understanding of older adults and the specialized care they need. The program also promotes interprofessional collaboration among health professions students. Learn more about the program, Erica and this year’s Student Scholars from other UAMS colleges here.
Fifth-year Neurosurgery resident Dr. Matthew Helton did a great job presenting a poster at the 2021 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting last month. Dr. Helton, who was also the recipient of a Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation travel grant, presented an abstract titled “The Lateral in the Prone Position – Feasibility and Versatility.” Coauthors included Dr. Helton’s mentor, Associate Professor Dr. Noojan Kazemi, PGY-7 and Chief Resident Dr. Marcus Stephens, and 2021 Neurosurgery Residency graduate Dr. Angela Palmer.
Putting Patients First
This week I would like to share two diverse examples of exemplary patient care. The first was detailed in a letter I received from a patient of Dr. Hakan Paydak, Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology. “I trust him with my life!” the patient wrote. “Of all the doctors that I see, Dr. Paydak stands at the top of the list in terms of having a caring, sincere and empathetic bedside manner. Our conversations are open and proactive, and he is responsive to my calls, emails and texts.”
The other example is from the Family Medical Center, where Dr. Pilar Murphy, an Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy, is a clinical pharmacist. Dr. Stephen Sorsby wrote to let me know about Dr. Murphy’s efforts to help a patient with severe autism. The patient was unable to tolerate any kind of injection, but needed a flu vaccination. “Dr. Murphy called multiple pharmacies, both here at UAMS and in the community, before finding one that caries FluMist, so we can adequately protect this vulnerable patient.”