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

Up Front

Mark O’Connell, M.D., center, receives the distinguished teaching award from AAMC Chair Thomas Lawley, M.D., left, and AOA Executive Director Richard L. Byyny, M.D.

Mark O’Connell, M.D., center, receives the distinguished teaching award from AAMC Chair Thomas Lawley, M.D., left, and AOA Executive Director Richard L. Byyny, M.D.

Dr. O’Connell Honored for His Pioneering Contributions to Medical Education

Mark O’Connell, M.D., senior associate dean for educational development and the Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education, received the 2011 national Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award Saturday for his significant contributions to medical education over the past quarter century.

The award, presented at a black-tie dinner held during the Association of American Medical Colleges’ annual meeting in Denver, was established by the AOA Medical Honor Society to provide national recognition to gifted teachers who have distinguished themselves in medical student education, which Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., noted is an apt description of O’Connell.

Read more about Dr. O'Connell »

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Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D.

Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D.

Dr. Bishopric Inducted in American Clinical and Climatological Association

Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory, was inducted into the American Clinical and Climatological Association at the organization’s annual gathering in Sarasota on October 21. The prestigious society limits new membership to 25 physicians in the United States each year.

Founded in 1884 over concerns about tuberculosis and the effect of climate on its treatment, the group expanded its interests to cover all aspects of internal medicine with emphasis on the clinical study of disease. Members are required to be active in discussions and take part in scholarly presentations about teaching, research and clinical care.

Read more about Dr. Bishopric »

Lourdes Illa, M.D., left, and Marisa Echenique, Psy.D., are using a grant to expand suicide prevention services for students.

Lourdes Illa, M.D., left, and Marisa Echenique, Psy.D., are using a grant to expand suicide prevention services for students.

Grant Aims to Boost Suicide Prevention Programs for UM Students

Lourdes Illa, M.D., and Marisa Echenique, Psy.D., are on a mission to make suicide prevention everybody’s responsibility on campus. With their clinical training, they understand the desperation that leads to the act, and they know that classmates, teachers and others sometimes notice red flags, but are unsure how to intervene and curtail the third leading cause of death among people ages 14 to 24.

Now, armed with a three-year, $295,653 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Illa, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and training director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Echenique, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are launching “UM Unites to Prevent College Suicide by Transforming Campus Culture.”

Based on the Coral Gables campus but aimed at undergraduate and graduate students across the University, UM Unites is designed to increase awareness of the suicide risk among college students, the warning signs, and, most importantly, the availability of resources to help and the need to intervene.

Read more about the SAMHSA grant »

First-year medical student Brian Simmons administers eye drops to Guirlande Aime during her ophthalmology exam at the DOCS Little Haiti Health Fair.

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First-year medical student Brian Simmons administers eye drops to Guirlande Aime during her ophthalmology exam at the DOCS Little Haiti Health Fair.

Annual DOCS Health Fair Still a ‘Great Deal’ in Little Haiti

Hundreds of people, many who lined up as early as 5 a.m., turned out last weekend for the Miller School’s 17th annual Little Haiti Health Fair organized by the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service (DOCS).

Miller School students were thrilled to see the crowds, knowing that so many people benefit from the free and outstanding services they offer under the supervision of faculty physicians. They also know that, for some area residents, the fair provides the most comprehensive preventive care they’ll receive all year — and for a few the visit could be lifesaving.

“I don’t have insurance,” said Marcelin St. Suryn, who heard about the health fair on Haitian radio and figured it would be a good place for a prostate exam and other screenings.”For people like me, this health fair is a blessing.”

Read more and view a photo gallery of the Little Haiti Health Fair »

From left, Hilit Mechaber, M.D., Alex Mechaber, M.D., and Ana Campo, M.D.

From left, Hilit Mechaber, M.D., Alex Mechaber, M.D., and Ana Campo, M.D.

New Leadership Roles for Team in Undergraduate Medical Education

The Department of Medical Education has three familiar faces taking on new roles and responsibilities at the Miller School. The administration has been reorganized with Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education, now in place as the sole leader overseeing all programs in undergraduate medical education.

Mechaber, whose title has not changed, is taking on the entire enterprise, under Laurence Gardner, M.D., executive dean for education and policy. Previously, Mechaber, associate professor of medicine, shared the educational and administrative leadership duties, but says this structure goes back to an established model of having one leader. “It is a real privilege to be able to lead such a dedicated team as we build on the Miller School’s outstanding foundations to innovate, educate and prepare future physicians.”

Read more about the reorganization in medical education »

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., celebrates his award with radio host Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D.

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., celebrates his award with radio host Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D.

Vice Chair of Psychiatry Receives Human Rights Award

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., professor and executive vice chair and director of clinical programs in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, received the Irving Blumberg Human Rights Award from the American Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, an affiliated organization of the United Nations. Ruiz received the award at the 16th Annual United Nations Luncheon on October 27.

President of the World Psychiatric Association, Ruiz is internationally renowned in the field of psychiatric education, cross-cultural psychiatry, administrative psychiatry and health services research. The award recognizes his accomplishments as an international leader in training, service provision and advocacy for persons with psychiatric conditions.

Ruiz expressed pride in the award “after so many years advocating on behalf of the mentally ill, particularly the most socio-economically deprived patients with mental illness. This award represents to me the culmination of my advocacy efforts on behalf of mentally ill patients for several decades.”

Tarek Bardawil, M.D., M.B.A.

Tarek Bardawil, M.D., M.B.A.

Landmark Gynecologic Procedure Performed at University of Miami Hospital

Tarek Bardawil, M.D., M.B.A., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was the first physician in Miami-Dade County to perform a single incision laparoscopic myomectomy, according to a representative from Applied Medical, the company that provides the technology used in single incision laparoscopic surgery.

Up to 80 percent of women in childbearing years suffer from fibroids, benign growths in the uterus. When fibroids cause bleeding, abdominal pressure and pain, a myomectomy is recommended for removal of the fibroids. This procedure allows the physician to remove fibroids and preserve a woman’s uterus and fertility.

Single incision laparoscopic surgery provides the advantage of a single incision.

Read more about the procedure »

Resident Arjun Mohan, M.D., won first place for his poster in the Clinical Vignette category.

Resident Arjun Mohan, M.D., won first place for his poster in the Clinical Vignette category.

Regional Campus Takes Top Prizes in Poster Competition

A medical student and a resident at the Miller School’s regional campus in Palm Beach County won the first poster symposium at the Palm Beach County Medical Society’s Future of Medicine Summit V last month.

Held at the Palm Beach Convention Center October 27-29, the annual summit’s first poster competition was open to all medical students and residents in Palm Beach County, and included a total of 26 entries from UM, the Palm Beach Centre for Graduate Medical Education, Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University, and Scripps Research Institute.

Read more about the winners »

Laurie Garrett, center, was welcomed by medical educators Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., and Laurence Gardner, M.D.

Laurie Garrett, center, was welcomed by medical educators Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., and Laurence Gardner, M.D.

Award-Winning Science Author Addresses Students

Laurie Garrett, an award-winning journalist, best-selling author and expert in public health and infectious diseases, shared her research, insights and wisdom on pandemic threats, government preparedness and the future of public and global health in a fascinating talk delivered largely to medical students last week.

During her November 3 lecture, Garrett shared many of the disturbing conclusions of her new book, I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks, including how the government grossly under-estimated the public health impacts of those nightmarish events

Read more about Laurie Garrett's visit to the Miller School »

Call for Nominations: Discovery Science Grand Rounds

The basic science chairs at the Miller School invite all departments conducting discovery science research to nominate one or more faculty members to present this year’s Discovery Science Grand Rounds by submitting the faculty member’s name and a brief summary of the proposed topic by January 31.

The Discovery Science presentations should convey novel concepts and insights without focusing on a narrow set of specialized data. Diagrammatic summaries and graphics are encouraged, but over-generalization should be avoided.

The next series of Discovery Science Grand Rounds, held the second Thursday of each month, will start Thursday, March 14, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Lois Pope LIFE Center, seventh-floor auditorium. The 40-minute lectures, which have a format similar to keynote lectures at scientific meetings, will focus on fields of exceptional significance and novelty with a broad interdisciplinary interest. Only UM faculty will be invited to present.

Read more about Discovery Science Grand Rounds and submit your nomination »

Funding and Research

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