Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Regions Field Welcome

Please join us as we welcome our new residents and fellows!

Friday, July 11 

5:30 to 7:30 pm

Home of the Birmingham Barons

All residents, fellows, faculty and spouses are invited.

The event will be held in a private suite on Level 3 of the stadium. (There is no game scheduled—just a party for us!) 

Parking is available in the stadium's VIP lot at the corner of 3rd Avenue South and 14th Street. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Get To Know: Maurice S. Albin, M.D., M.Sc.

Maurice S. Albin, M.D., M.Sc. / photo by Mike Strawn
Whether he’s researching 19th-century anesthesia practices, conducting groundbreaking research on mammalian brain transplantation, exploring the physiopathology of venous air embolism or acute traumatic spinal cord injury, or writing poetry inspired by his life’s work, Professor Maurice Albin brings a generous scholarship and unflagging enthusiasm to his specialty.

Dr. Albin has covered quite a bit of territory in his nearly 60 years of specializing in neurosurgical anesthesia and neuroscience research. Before moving to Birmingham and joining the UAB Department of Anesthesiology, he served as Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh.

In the 1960s, he and his research colleagues at the Metropolitan General Hospital of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine isolated the brain of a canine and then transplanted it to the neck of another canine, attracting the attention of the Nobel Prize committee, as well as novelist Peter Niesewand, whose 1982 espionage thriller Fall Back referenced their pioneering research.  

Lately, Dr. Albin has been exploring the role of the Civil War in disseminating early anesthesia practices. The July 2014 issue of the ASA Newsletter includes his paper "The Civil War and the Familiarization of American Medicine With Anesthesia and Anesthetics."  Last fall, the Scandinavian Journal of Pain published “In praise of anesthesia: Two case studies of pain and suffering during major surgical procedures with and without anesthesia in the United States Civil War, 1861–65.” [See PubMed for his full publication listing.] 

We asked Dr. Albin to share a few thoughts about issues that have impacted his career. Below are his responses.

On neurosurgical anesthesia:
I have always been fascinated by the organic basis of our thought processes, which inevitably led me to search for the basic mechanisms possibly embedded in the brain. And, of course, pain and cognition—to name but a few characteristics—are deeply affected by anesthetics. By the early 1960s, there was an explosion of knowledge concerning the effects of anesthetic agents on cerebrovascular dynamics, which impacted upon the anesthetic management of the patient with neurological dysfunction.

“At that time I was at the Mayo Clinic doing my residency in anesthesia and enrolled in a two-year anesthesiology fellowship program that granted a Masters of Science degree in anesthesiology, with my thesis being a study on the physiological and pathological effects of localized spinal cord hypothermia. This was a life-changing decision, as it brought me in contact with world-class scientists and gave me whole new perspective on my career in anesthesia.

“Although being financially strapped with three children, I was fortunate to have a wonderful helpmate and decided to enter the academic life and to continue the pursuit of information relating to anesthesia and its central nervous system effects. From there on out it was logical to join with a few others to organize a society that would help to disseminate knowledge relating to neurosurgical anesthesia. The society, known as SNACC (Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care), celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and has honored me by lending my name to the keynote lecture at its annual meeting.”

On being a good academician:
“I don't think that I know the secret to being a 'good academician.' We in academic anesthesia are fortunate in that we have a duty to either teach others, inform others through our research or a combination of both —and I can't think of a higher calling, as in the long run it is all dedicated to the alleviation of suffering through the dissemination of knowledge.

“For those pursuing an anesthesiology residency or fellowship, the only message I can proclaim is to READ, READ and READ the medical and anesthesia literature. With a reasonable knowledge of statistics in your background, you now have a chance to be very critical of so much of the medical literature that pounds on our sensorium every day.

“I developed an outreach program in the 1970s, '80s and '90s dedicated to upgrading the knowledge base concerning neurosurgical anesthesia among Latin American anesthesiologists. This also meshed with my love of and appreciation for Hispanic culture. One of the primary conditions of acceptance was that the applicant had to agree to return to his or her native country after training and not remain in the USA. I probably trained more than 30 fellows from foreign countries, the bulk coming from Latin America, but also representing countries such as Spain, Singapore, Switzerland, Germany, China and Russia."

On his military service:
Dr. Albin in World War II / photo by Mike Strawn
“I was both fortunate and unfortunate in my time spent in the service during World War II—fortunate in being able to help my fellow comrades; in having the privilege of seeing unbelievable acts of courage and sacrifice; in realizing that we must have a feeling of goodness towards all people; and in underscoring that a sense of humility is important in dealing with the suffering. It was unfortunate that I also had to see man as a beast, inflicting degrading inhumanity on fellow humans that often defied description.”

On the future of anesthesia:
"Although the Affordable Care Act is still being challenged, my sense is that this paradigm of care will eventually be a permanent part of our medical landscape. This will unleash (as is already happening) significant increases in the patient population, requiring all aspects of anesthesia care. I feel confident that our UAB Department of Anesthesiology with its attuned leadership is well positioned to entertain these challenges as they arise and accomplish our goals of supplying and bettering patient care, education and research."

Many thanks, Dr. Albin, for sharing your insights with us!

Dr. Maurice S. Albin, M.D., M.Sc., has been a professor in the UAB Department of Anesthesiology since 2001. He may be reached at  

—Julie Cole Miller

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Congratulations To Our 2014 Graduates!

Resident graduates at the Graduation Reception held at The Clubhouse on Highland, June 2014

This is a bittersweet time. We are so proud of our graduates and excited for them to begin the next step in their careers. But we will also miss them.

Our sincerest congratulations to our graduates: 

Our Resident Graduates
Michael Antonetti, M.D.
Laura Mae Chih Chiang, M.D.
Kelly Marcus Coleman, M.D.
Brian Dewayne Dishong, M.D.
Christopher Michael Dukes, M.D.
Cassandra Rae Duncan-Azadi, M.D.
Spencer William Evenhuis, D.O.
Adam Wayne Farris, M.D.
Casey Lauren Hitt, M.D.
Daniel Weston Hobgood, M.D.
Elizabeth May Horton, M.D.
Calvin Ogden McGowan, M.D.
Troy Elijah Mott, M.D.
Lucretia Denoi Nave, M.D.
Hallie Lauren Neal, M.D.
Arpan Jitendra Patel, M.D.
William Aaron Potter, M.D.
Steve Francis Tran, M.D.
Kristen Marie Trulear-Jackson, M.D.
John Robert Walker, M.D.

Our Fellow Graduates
Robert Alexander Aitken, M.D. (Cardiothoracic)
Andrew Bellamy Barker, M.D. (Critical Care)
Michelle Daryanani, D.O. (Critical Care)
Harold Erik Fite, M.D. (Pain Medicine)
Ashlee McQueen Fulmer, M.D. (Pain Medicine)
Christopher Keith Gilbertson, D.O. (Cardiothoracic)
Matthew Wallace Ison, M.D. (Critical Care)
Adam Ross Kessler, D.O. (Chief Fellow) (Critical Care)
Benjamin Joseph Sutlive, M.D. (Cardiothoracic)
Brant Michael Wagener, M.D., Ph.D. (Anesthesia Research)
Nicolaus Dale Winters, M.D. (Pain Medicine)
John Mark Zimmerman, M.D. (Obstetric)

What an outstanding group! Best wishes to you!