e-Update: News for University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Faculty and Staff

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Robert Hernandez, M.D., welcomes freshmen with a dose of reality.

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Robert Hernandez, M.D., welcomes freshmen with a dose of reality.

Miller School Welcomes Freshmen

In greeting the Miller School’s newest students at their freshman orientation last week, Robert Hernandez, M.D., tempered his words of welcome with an early dose of reality: “Medical school is a real challenge and you will be pushed here,’’ the senior associate dean for medical student administration told the students. “You will be pushed to your limit.’’

Noting that now their mistakes could impact someone else’s life, Hernandez also warned, “Some of you will ask, ‘Do I have what it takes to really be here?’”

More excited than daunted by the four years of hard work that lie ahead, the 155 students answered with ardent applause. Among them was Thomas Hughes, a Virginia Commonwealth University psychology graduate who decided to pursue a medical rather than teaching career when he was a sophomore.

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Silvina Levis, M.D.

Silvina Levis, M.D.

UM Study Shows Soy Does Not Help Women During Menopause

Soy supplements do not help women in menopause, according to the findings of a two-year, $3 million study conducted at the Miller School’s Osteoporosis Center. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health to determine if the widely popular product could preserve bone health and ease symptoms in the first years of menopause. The results show that, contrary to popular belief, soy isoflavone supplements neither prevent bone loss nor reduce menopausal symptoms.

The findings of the SPARE Study, which stands for Soy Phytoestrogens As Replacement Estrogen, were published in the August 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Several major national media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, the BBC and Reuters have reported the study results.

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Omaida Velazquez, M.D.

Omaida Velazquez, M.D.

Omaida Velazquez, M.D., Named Vice Chair of Research for Surgery

Omaida Velazquez, M.D., professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, has been appointed vice chair of research for the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery.

“Her focus in this new role will be on research enhancement, research compliance and technology transfer with the goal of propelling the department into the top echelons of research at the local, national and international level,’’ said Alan S. Livingstone, M.D., professor and chair of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery.

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Diana D. Cardenas, M.D., M.H.A.

Diana D. Cardenas, M.D., M.H.A.

UTI Study Findings Could Help Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Acute spinal cord injury patients who are undergoing in-patient rehabilitation experience a delay in the onset and a reduction in the incidence of symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI) when they are treated using hydrophilic-coated catheters for intermittent catheterization, as compared to an uncoated PVC catheter, according to a study published in PM&R, the journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The Miller School’s Diana D. Cardenas, M.D., M.H.A., professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and chief of service at Jackson Memorial Rehabilitation Hospital, was the first author of the study of 224 participants, so far the largest randomized clinical trial investigating the effects of a hydrophilic-coated catheter with respect to the occurrence of UTI.

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Terrelle Pryor, left, and Tim “Ice” Harris answer questions at UHealth’s Student Ambassador Camp.

Terrelle Pryor, left, and Tim “Ice” Harris answer questions at UHealth’s Student Ambassador Camp.

Sports Medicine Hosts Second Student Ambassador Camp

About 50 high school students who excel in academics and athletics heard valuable advice last month from an array of inspiring UHealth leaders and sports figures at the 2nd Annual Student Ambassador Camp, a day-long seminar designed to nurture leadership skills.

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who recently departed the team under a cloud for selling memorabilia against NCAA rules, urged the teens from Miami-Dade and Broward counties to make “10-second decisions,” pausing to think about consequences before doing something they’ll regret.

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Funding and Research

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