Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
Anne Frank



Remarkable Responses… In the Worst of Times  

We talk often about the amazingness of the human body and spirit and how privileged we are as the state’s public medical school to tend to and discover more about both. Today we just must do so again as we reflect on the tragedy one year ago at the Boston Marathon. But today we focus on the remarkable individuals that inevitably emerge from such horror, individuals like Heather Abbott. NPR Reporter Tovia Smith shared her story with us this week. The bottom line is that this Monday, when the whistle blows in Boston, Heather will be at her rightful spot, standing with her friends along the race route and cheering on the runners. Last year, that annual sojourn cost her a portion of her leg. But her body and spirit have truly persevered. Many helped, immediately by putting their own fear aside and getting her to an ambulance. Longer term, war heroes, Michelle Obama, and even a reality television star with a similar injury, came to her side to provide comfort and hope. Today she stands confidently in front of students and caregivers and shares her story, even joking about life with six legs and the simple joy of again wearing her favorite shoes. You can hear and read more here, http://n.pr/1kJ7UbP. Simply remarkable.


Like When it’s Safer to Run… Caregivers Stay

And speaking of remarkable, we hope you also remember that emergency medicine physician, Dr. J. Allan Panter (’81), was also on those Boston streets a year ago cheering on his wife Theresa. We don’t know if he was among those who helped Heather, but he helped many when it probably would have been safer to just leave. That is what we are really talking about. In the face of even the darkest days, so many individuals who are caregivers by profession and/or by character, stay the course. What an awesome bunch of individuals we are privileged to share a planet with and we thought today might be a great day to focus on that. Learn more about Dr. Panter here http://bit.ly/1nfTa6I and here



Masterful Minds… Take a Bow

When we last talked, we, of course, talked about the Masters Golf Tournament and, after a spectacular week in our fair city, by early Sunday evening we all knew that Bubba Watson had won his second green jacket. You just have to love his style and his skill! Well, we want to make sure you also know that we have a master of our own. Last week, Dr. Walt Moore was honored as a new Master of the American College of Physicians.  “A skilled practitioner of a particular art or activity” is one way Oxford Dictionaries define “master.” The American College of Physicians  recognizes it as a practictioner of internal medicine who demonstrates strength of character and compassion and serves as a mentor and advocate. We definitely think all of the above describes Dr. Moore. Congratulations and salud.


While Inquiring Young Minds… Find Food for Thought

And since we are clearly on a roll with winners as well as the American College of Physicians, we want to also share that sophomore Caroline Lewis was at the college’s annual Internal Medicine 2014 meeting in Orlando last week presenting her research as one of five winners of the 2014 National Medical Students Competition. Super! Her Dean’s Student Summer Research Program project, working alongside cell membrane repair superstar Dr. Paul McNeil, provided insight into why bisphosphonates, which are commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, can have the uncommon, and ironic side effect of destroying the jawbone if the person also has to have big dental work, like a tooth pulled. Apparently these drugs can impair a cell’s natural ability to repair the exterior membrane that keeps some stuff in and other stuff out. That is essential to keeping a cell alive and functioning. As is the norm, lots more work to do here, but the really good news is that Dr. McNeil has already found that vitamin E may be able to aid ailing membrane repair. Talk about a dyamic duo. This is certainly what the summer research program is all about: putting our incredible students with our incredible faculty and letting the magic of science happen. Congratulations Caroline. We are super proud of you. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1jepp0z.


Then the Competition Gets Tough… And the Real Fun Begins

And speaking of some heady competition. This very night, our students will be taking a vote on whether to save an internist, pediatrician, or surgeon …. While that sounds like a rather cold approach from a group of really awesome students, it’s actually the annual Raft Debate, a super fun event where some of our fabulous faculty work their absolute hardest to sell the importance of their specialty. Of course we absolutely need them all, but this event, hosted by our Alumni Association, is still such great food for thought and a night of serious fun as well. Making the case this year are Drs. William Maddox, Ted Johnson (MD/PhD ‘04) and Joey Christmas (’03), a general surgeon from Savannah who is one of our community clinical faculty members. Dr. Joseph Hobbs (’74), will be doing one of the things he does best: keeping us all (mostly) in line. And Dr. Sylvia Smith will have the interesting role of devil’s advocate (we can’t wait to see that). Per always, we thank so much our Alumni Association and our faculty for their essential and awesome contribution to our medical school, including some fun! Not sure how you could stay away at this point, so the doors of the Lee Auditorium open at 6 p.m.!!


A Change in Leadership… For Pediatrics

Finally today we want to share that Dr. Bernie Maria, who came to us as Chairman of Pediatrics in July 2009, will be leaving this June for new opportunities in New Jersey. Dr. Charlie Linder, a 1963 graduate of our school and Associate Dean Emeritus who led our Section of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine for many, many years, has graciously agreed to serve as Interim Chair while we do a national search. We thank both of these fine individuals for their service to our medical school and to the health of children.


Upcoming Events


April 18 – MCG Alumni Association Raft Debate, 6 p.m., Lee Auditorium.


April 24 –History of Health Sciences Lecture Series talk by Bill Andrews, Interim Chair and Program Director of the GRU Department of Medical Illustration on “The Gravid Uterus,” noon-1 p.m. in the Greenblatt Library’s Historical Collections and Archives Room. A copy of the rare book donated by MCG Alum Dr. Leslie Wilkes is on display.


April 24-27 – The 2014 Alumni Weekend including the MCG Class Reunions & Alumni Banquet. Actor and Writer Ben Stein and Fast Company magazine founding Editor William “Bill” Taylor are the keynote speakers. For more info visit, http://grualumni.com/alumniweekend.


April 29 – President’s Lecture Series, Dr. Eugene P. Trani, President Emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth University, discusses “Making a Merger Work,” at noon, Lee Auditorium. Reception follows.


May 1 – Annual State of the Medical College of Georgia Address, noon, Lee Auditorium.


Now through May 4 – Optic Chiasm: The Crossing Over of Art & Science at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta, see http://bit.ly/1hotPzd, featuring work by MCG Chief Ophthalmic Photographer Mike Stanley and GRU medical illustrators Bill Andrews, William J. Stenstrom, and David J. Mascaro.


May 8 – Hooding Ceremony, 2 p.m., Bell Auditorium, with Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, President of the Association of American Medical Colleges, as guest speaker.  Reception follows at the Old Medical College Building.


May 9 – GRU Graduation, James Brown Arena.


May 22 – Residents as Teachers program, a new required, half-day course for all rising PGY2 residents in MCG core clinical departments with required medical student rotations, including Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery, from 1:15-4:30 pm in GRU Alumni Center. Lunch will be provided from 12:45-1:15 pm.   A second class will be offered Wednesday June 4th, at the same time and location. Contact Amy Legg in the GME office, (alegg@gru.edu), for more information.


June 12 – Investiture Ceremony, 5-6:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.


Ongoing – The GRU Cancer Center is offering a two-step tobacco cessation service for all Georgia Regents University & Health System students and employees who need help quitting tobacco use. Step 1: Initial Visit and Health Assessment. Make an appointment by calling 706-721-6744 or on-line at www.grhealth.org (click on “Request Appointment”). Step 2: Tobacco Cessation Classes, one-hour group sessions for six weeks, provide tools and support to help you quit tobacco. Cessation classes are held on the Summerville and Health Sciences campuses. For more information, visit http://gru.edu/cancer/tobaccofree/.



Check out our MCG Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/grumcg and Twitter page as well.


Have a terrific weekend.