GAFP Residents

GAFP 2014 Resident Awards

Congratulations goes out to P. J. Lynn, MD, who was voted to be the GAFP Resident of the Year for his hard work and dedication to family medicine the Floyd Family Medicine Residency Program. Particularly noted is his leadership ability, which continues to develop and grow in his residency training, says Dr. Don Diego, his Program Director. His leadership style is very unassuming and consensus based with his classmates looking to him for advice and representation, and he has, therefore, already been chosen as the next Chief Resident. His honors and awards are impressive, including two Distinguished Service Awards from the University of Florida. Dr. Lynn serves on GAFP’s Board of Directors as a Resident Board Member in his second year, and is active on the Membership Committee this year as well.

The GAFP Keith Ellis Award for Chief/Co-Chief Resident goes to Jennifer Burkmar, MD from the Emory Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Burkmar, according to her Program Director, Dr. Teresa Lianne Beck, is an outstanding resident demonstrating exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills as well as a strong desire to become involved in organizations which are meaningful to her and her patients. Among her many activities and accomplishments include her work with the GAFP, where she is a member of the Student and Resident Recruitment Committee as well as a trustee on the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Board. She is also a member of the Emory University Transitions of Care Task Force, and attended the American Academy of Pediatrics Leadership Advocacy Training for Protecting Children and Families from Tobacco in 2013. Most recently, she attended the Chief Resident Summit on Diabetes sponsored by the Primary Care Education Consortium. Congratulations, Dr. Burkmar!

Family Physician Residents – Georgia Academy to assist with Legal Review of Contracts

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors approved a one-year pilot to offer GAFP PGY3 family physician residents funding of up to $750 to assist them in having their employment contracts reviewed by a lawyer. This funding is eligible for up to 50 family physician residents who are planning on staying and working in Georgia upon graduation.

To be eligible:
  1. You must be a current member of the AAFP/GAFP.
  2. You must be a PGY3 training at a Georgia family medicine residency program.
  3. A lawyer, with a current Georgia license, should be utilized for review of employment in Georgia (post-graduation). The GAFP does not make any lawyer recommendations.
  4. The resident must pay the lawyer and then submit proof of the bill and payment to the GAFP.
  5. Residents will receive this benefit on a “first come first served” basis up to a maximum of 50 residents.

To submit for reimbursement or for additional information, contact Alesa McArthur (GAFP Chief Operating Officer), at 404.321.7445 or

2014 AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students

See what family medicine is all about at AAFP National Conference Thursday, August 7 - Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, MO. Connect with the people who share your passion, learn the ins and outs of family medicine residency, and meet with residency programs and employers who are looking for you. There are various benefits and programming specifically for residents including:

Career Planning sessions

  • Careers in academic family medicine
  • Easing into medical practice
  • Essential principles in global health
  • Fellowships
  • Financial responsibilities
  • Finding the right job
  • Contract negotiation
  • Rural medicine

Clinical Skills sessions

  • Integrative medicine
  • Maternal care and childbirth
  • Outpatient emergency management
  • Residents as teachers
  • Wilderness medicine

Health Policy and Advocacy sessions

  • Conversations with your patients about unnecessary interventions
  • Population health competencies

Practice Management sessions

  • New skills for family physicians
  • Working with interdisciplinary teams

Research sessions

  • Patient oriented evidence
  • Resident research grant presentations

For more information or to register for the National Conference, visit

Need some help getting there? The AAFP also offers numerous $600 scholarships, which are intended to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses (registration, travel, lodging, meals) to attend National Conference. You must be a member of the AAFP to apply. (Not a member? Join today.) Click through the links below to find out more about the scholarships the AAFP offers or visit

Your application, with the required essay or supporting documents, must be received via fax, email, or mail postmarked no later than May 1, 2014.

GAFP's Resident Directors for 2014

Adegoke Adeleke, MD, with Morehouse School of Medicine Family Residency Program

Michelle Cooke, MD, with Atlanta Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program

Alternate Director- Phil Carter, MD, with the Floyd Family Medicine Residency Program

Alternate Director- Patrick Kindregan, DO, with the Floyd Family Medicine Residency Program

Gwinnett Medical Center receives $1 million donation

By Deanna Allen Thursday, December 19, 2013 Gwinnett Daily Post

LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett Medical Center has received a $1 million gift designated for family medicine residency education.

The donation was made by Lawrenceville residents Clyde and Sandra Strickland, and the hospital’s new family medicine teaching facility will be named the Strickland Family Medicine Center in their honor.

“The noticeable shortage of family medicine doctors in the state and the county touches the community and the economy,” Clyde Strickland said. “This new family medicine center will further Gwinnett’s viability by attracting skilled medical talent while improving the community’s overall health through increased individualized care.”

The new 9,400-square-foot facility will be located at 665 Duluth Highway, across the street from the GMC’s Lawrenceville campus. It will include 10 exam rooms, with two rooms that will be equipped for procedures. According to the hospital, a range of treatment options will be available at the family medicine center, from newborn care to geriatrics, including maternity care.

“In the challenging healthcare environment, the Strickland Family Medicine Center offers families access to medical care from trusted physicians who can meet all their needs in one location,” said Phil Wolfe, president and CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center. “As a community hospital, GMC is able to further its mission of accessibility through the humbling generosity of Clyde and Sandra Strickland.”

As the primary clinical teaching site for the new Family Medicine Residency Program, the center will provide educational opportunities for residents, medical students and other allied health professional students. Graduate medical education faculty will work alongside the residents at the family medical center to provide exceptional patient care.

“The Stricklands have given us the opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art family medicine teaching facility that will help us transform the health of Gwinnett County,” said Kevin Johnson, GMC’s residency program director.

The new facility is scheduled to open in the spring.

“Our gift is about helping the community by offering an additional medical resource that’s close to home,” Sandra Strickland said. “We are hopeful that this medical center will help address one of our greatest needs — healthcare.”

The Stricklands also donated $1 million toward the hospital’s heart and vascular center, which is also named in their honor.

January 15, 2014

AAFP National Conference Scholarships

AAFP has 200 scholarships available for residents and students to attend their National Conference, August 1-3 in Kansas City, Mo. The scholarships are for $600 and you must be a member of AAFP to apply.

Scholarship categories include:

  • First-time Student Attendee Award;
  • Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) Leadership Scholarship Program;
  • Minority Scholarships Program for Residents and Medical Students;
  • Community Outreach Awards; and
  • Tomorrow’s Leader Award.

Application packages (application, required essay and/or supporting documents) must be received via fax, email or mail postmarked no later than May 1. To learn more about the scholarships available, please visit:

2013 End of Year Report from Georgia Residency Programs

As part of the Congress of Delegates Annual Meeting, all Georgia residency directors are asked to submit a progress report to the Academy. Excerpts on the exciting activities our residency programs have been engaged in during the past year follow.

Atlanta Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program
Atlanta, GA

We have now graduated 17 classes, with 70% of our graduates remaining in Georgia to practice. 

We had a successful match this year, filling all of our 6 positions with graduates from American medical schools.   We had 1600 applicants for those 6 positions. Our interns have started out very well and have gotten excellent evaluations on their first 2 rotations.

Our Family Medicine Center in Morrow, Georgia, continues to do well. We increased our number of outpatient visits last calendar year by 26% and we are on track to increase it by around 12% for 2013.  We also continue to see continuity OB patients at the Palmetto Health Clinic (an FQHC) in Palmetto.  

One of our first-years residents, Michelle Cooke, has been serving as the AAFP resident representative on the board of the AMA. Finally, all but one of our residents have passed their boards on their first attempt the last 4 years.

The Family Practice Residency at The Medical Center
Columbus, Georgia

We have changed our name (but never our mission). Columbus Regional Healthcare System is now Columbus Regional Health. In the renaming of our system’s three hospitals, The Medical Center becomes Midtown Medical Center

The Family Practice Residency at Midtown Medical Center has a long and distinguished history of providing physician Graduate Medical Education and patient care to the Columbus area.  The three-year Family Practice residency program was established in 1972. Prior to that date, primary care physicians were trained as general practitioners with a two-year residency after medical school.  Over the past sixty years Midtown Medical Center has been instrumental in supplying general practitioners and family physicians who served the needs of Georgia and particularly the Columbus area.  The Medical Education program also sponsors a Transitional Year internship in which medical student graduates receive a traditional internship on their way to specialty training such as anesthesia or radiology.  These two programs have trained over four hundred physicians who are scattered around the state of Georgia and the southeastern United States.  In our immediate area, there are approximately fifty physicians who practice within a thirty-mile radius of Columbus who can claim all or part of their training at Midtown Medical Center.

An important part of our Medical Education mission is providing quality medical care to the underserved.  Under the guidance of full-time attending physicians, our Family Practice and Transitional Year residents provide care in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The teaching services enable The Medical Center to serve as a patient resource and referral center for citizens of Georgia and east Alabama. Residents provide care at the Columbus Health Department clinics and routinely assist on Columbus Regional’s outreach medical van. During the last year, our teaching program saw over 35,000 outpatient visits in the Family Medicine Center, delivered hundreds of infants and cared for thousands of hospital admissions. With training in Advanced Cardiac and Trauma Life Support, residents help provide 24/7 care to patients referred to The Medical Center’s Intensive Care Units and Trauma program.

The Family Medicine residency received a full five-year accreditation (maximum allowable) from the American Osteopathic Association for the three-year osteopathic Family Medicine program. The Transitional Year program is also dually certified by the AOA and ACGME and has a 10 year accreditation cycle from the ACGME. Our Family Medicine Residency Program also received a full 10 year accreditation cycle under the Next Accreditation System of the ACGME.

The residency program is now into full implementation of an Electronic Health Record and has transitioned to AthenaClinicals as its second E.H.R. The residency continues to be the largest outpatient EHR implementation in the Columbus area. Midtown Medical Center and its faculty are committed to keep our residency program at the cutting edge of providing quality and cost effective medicine.

An important mission of our training program is to supply physicians to meet the needs of Georgia citizens. The following physicians graduated in June 2013 and are listed with their practice location:

2013 Graduates:

Ella Amador MD                     Columbus, GA

Stacy Olliff MD                       Atlanta, GA    

Veronica Chastain MD                        Eustas, FL

Manh Pham MD                      Dublin, GA

Paul Lypko MD                                   Chicago, IL - Geriatrics Fellowship at Loyola University

Jonathan Menezes MD            Washington, DC - Geriatrics Fellowship at George Washington University

Aref Rafsanjani MD                Los Angeles CA

Ramla Sharif MD                     Atlanta, GA - Emory University Geriatrics Fellowship

Emily Snodgrass                      Alexandria VA           

Sherri Studstill MD                  Columbus GA

Christopher Thompson                        Macon, GA - Hospice/Palliative Care Fellowship at Mercer University

Audrea Vaughan, DO              Savannah GA

Emory Family Medicine Residency Program
Atlanta, GA

The Emory Family Medicine Residency Program (EFMRP) completed its’ 18th year of training residents.  During the 2012-2013 academic year, 24 residents were in training. All residents completed the program and went into private practice except one graduate who accepted a fellowship position in Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama.  The GAFP Resident of the Year was awarded to Dr. Helma Prinssen.

The program continues to staff its family medicine service (FMS) at Emory University Hospital Midtown, which is the sponsoring hospital for the Emory Family Medicine Residency Program. This is an excellent teaching service with the full academic training and clinical services support of Emory Healthcare.

The Program’s outpatient practice is located in Dunwoody and continues to grow annually. The clinic is working toward PCMH level III certification and plans to achieve this by next fall by incorporating state-of-the-art teaching resources for residents, students, and faculty.  Physicians see patients with laptop computers, using a fully integrated wireless EMR.  The clinic has implemented e-prescribing, a depart process and meaningful use and is fully electronic.  The outpatient EMR freely communicates with all outpatient and inpatient clinical care throughout the Emory system. The program’s website is:

Faculty/ Staff Changes

The interim Chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine is Dr. Kate Heilpern, effective since September 1, 2011.  Dr. Heilpern is also the Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Susan Schayes resigned as Program Director at the end of June. Dr.Teresa Lianne Beck, the

associate program director since 2004, has stepped into her role.

We have added two new full time faculty to the program: Dr. Izzy Lowell and Dr. Maria Gibson.

2013 graduates

Muhammed Ali, MD                            Private practice, Alabama

Terrell Bacchus, MD                            Private practice, Atlanta GA

Abhay Deshmukh, MD                                    Hospitalist, Huntsville AL       

Merih Dogan-Bag, MD                                    Private practice, Atlanta GA

Bilqees Fatima, MD                             Private practice, Alabama

Sonia Garson Padoan, MD                   Private practice, Atlanta GA

Wilhelmina Prinssen, MD                    Grady Neighborhood Clinic, Atlanta GA

Jeffrey Westerfield, MD                                  Sports Medicine Fellowship, Birmingham AL

Mona Massoud, MD                            Private practice, Atlanta GA


We currently have 136 graduates in practice.  Approximately 63 % are practicing in Georgia. 

Future Directions

We anticipate future expansion of our Dunwoody site as we strive to provide care for a larger portion of our local population.  We plan to achieve PCMH level III status by the fall of next year. Our practice has begun offering case management, care coordination and reporting of quality indicators for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity in our practice. 

We plan to open an Urgent Care Center on site, offering expanded hours to include weekends and evenings.  We continue to dedicate faculty resources to teaching medical students and plan on becoming more involved with the FMIG at Emory. We have recently hired two new faculty and are in the process of recruiting several others, so that we may continue to provide excellent teaching for our residents and medical students. 

Augusta, GA

Since graduating its first class of residents in 1975, a total of 259 residents have completed their training in the Family Medicine Residency Program. 81.1 percent of these graduates chose to remain in the Southeast, and of these, 70 percent chose practice sites in Georgia.  70 percent of the 2013 graduates remained in Georgia.

Resident recruitment activities continued on both the local and national levels with program representatives traveling to Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, as well as Atlanta and locally Augusta, GA.  Also, national residency fairs attended were the American Academy of Family Physicians, American and Student National Medical Association in Kansas City.  Those efforts resulted in a successful match with all eight intern positions being filled.  Sixfilled in the National Resident Matching Program match and two in the Osteopathic match.

Since 2000, Mayo Clinic Health System  in Waycross, Georgia, rural track training program, has graduated a total of 23 residents and 70 percent have remained in Georgia and successfully filled their two intern slots in the March 2013 National Resident Matching Program match.

The Family Medicine residency program at GRU/MCG received continued accreditation with the next scheduled visit of 2019 from the ACGME by the RRC.    Our program will be preparing for the next site visit with implementation of the new ACGME “Milestone” requirements into our curriculum.

Our Department hosts five to seven Faculty Development Sessions during the year.  

Grand Rounds were introduced monthly as part of the Noon Conference Series.  Department faculty present a variety of topics.  Informal feedback is also welcomed immediately following the presentations during Q&A sessions.

Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conferences are also held monthly to evaluate cases that present a learning opportunity.

Resident retreat for all PGY-2’s and the two chief residents was held in August 2013 in Tybee Island, Georgia.  Topics presented by faculty included Personal Financial Management, Fatigue and Stress/Burnout, Career Development, and Conflict Management. Team Building was presented by chief residents.

Monthly QI continues and the Quality Assurance Committee comprised of residents under the supervision of faculty remains active.

Continued recognition through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a level III Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH): In accordance with the PCMH guidelines, the FMC adopted a modified multi-disciplinary team structure.  There are seven teams of attending physicians, resident physicians, mid-level providers and nurses.  Teams meet on a monthly basis to discuss patient care issues, communication or safety concerns, and anticipated cross-coverage needs.

Four publications were submitted this past year from residents and three residents presented at a regional/national conference; one at STFM Conference, two at NAPCRG 40th Annual Meeting and one osteopathic resident at the Annual ACOFP Meeting. Each PGY-3 presented at least one scholarly activity over the year. Residents were required to provide a written bibliography, written presentation, copies of articles, and a literature review. PGY-2s provided a Critical Appraisal of Topic (CAT) during their community medicine rotation. In addition, all residents with their advisor presented at Journal Club.

The Medical Center of Central Georgia - Mercer University School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency
Macon, GA

The Medical Center of Central Georgia/Mercer University School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program has had an eventful year.

On January 1, 2013, Dr. Monique Davis-Smith was named the Residency Program Director.  The Family Health Center is participating in the GAFP sponsored Patient Centered Medical Home University and is preparing to submit the application for Level 3 NCQI accreditation. The 2012-13 academic year included the completion of the third year of our participation in the University of Arizona’s Integrative Medicine in Residency program. As one of the original programs in the country offering this program, we are proud to have now graduated 26 residents, one faculty, and four Integrative Geriatric Fellows from this nationally recognized award-winning program.

Our faculty grantsmanship has again been extraordinary this year. Dr. Monique Davis-Smith continues work on the final year of a $3.1 million NIH grant evaluating the effectiveness of a Faith-based Diabetes Prevention Initiative. Dr. Paul Seale continues work on his 3 year, $1.87 million residency training NIH supplement to his 5 year $5.7 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration NIH grant to improve Brief Intervention and Early Treatment of alcohol abuse in our local hospital EC.  Dr. Seale has recently been awarded another grant to advance study in the area of utilizing advanced nurse practitioners for brief interventions.

Implementation of the full library of the Challenger Program for Residencies, made possible by a grant from the GAFP Foundation and generous faculty contributions, continues to be a great success. Residents utilize this invaluable tool for Board review as well as general resourcing. Five of our PGY 3 residents sat for Boards during residency this year and passed.

We matched 8 of 8 positions in the 2013 PGY 1 class with strong candidates, with most having strong ties to Georgia. Of our seven 2013 residency graduates, 3 are in practice in Georgia and two are in fellowship in Georgia with practice plans in state as well. Overall, more than 85% of our graduates are practicing in Georgia, with 70% of those serving in medically underserved areas.

Issues facing our training program include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reimbursement for Family Medicine Physicians limiting recruitment of qualified applicants,
  • The need for talented, committed, and passionate Residency faculty.

Morehouse Family Medicine Residency Program
Atlanta, GA

The Morehouse School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program was established in 1981 and has since graduated 143 residents and currently, 75% of them are practicing in the state of Georgia.

Six new residents entered the program on July 1, 2013:

Olumide Adewumi                              University of Ibadan - Nigeria

Mario Alvarenga                                Universidad Evangelica De El Salvador – El Salvador

Evelyn Campbell-Bayan                     Mercer University School of Medicine – Macon, GA

Omofolarin Fasuyi                             University of Ibadan - Nigeria

Onameyore Utuama                           University of Benin - Nigeria

Samantha Wagner                              Duke University School of Medicine – Durham, NC

Five residents completed training on June 30, 2013:

Montel Bratcher, MD                                     Oconee Regional Medical Center Emergency Medicine

Esraa Dhabaan, MD                          Private Practice, Stockbridge, GA       

Nihinlolawa Ijamakinwa, MD                        Group Practice, Champaign, IL

Joyce-Lyn Oguamanam, MD             Group Practice, Ontario, Canada

Isioma Okwumabua, MD                   Geriatric Fellowship Emory University           


The 5th Annual Resident Research Forum in the Department of Family Medicine was held June 12, 2013 at the National Center for Primary Care where our PGY 3yr residents presented their topics to faculty, residents and medical students.

  • Dr. Esraa Dhabaan -“Association between Perception of Work Environment/Social Life of Morehouse School of Medicine Medical Residents and the Quality of their Patient Care.”
  • Dr. Nihinlolawa Ijamakinwa - “Promotion of Awareness of Pre-diabetes Among Providers in a Clinic Serving African American Patients: A Quality Improvement Project to Prevent the Progression of Pre-Diabetes to Type 2 DM” (recently accepted for presentation at NAPGR)
  • Dr. Isioma Okwumabua - “Overcoming Barriers of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening in Primary Care”
  • Dr. Joyce-Lyn Oguamanam - FM Residency Geriatric Home Visit Curricula, and its Association to the Resident’s Attitude, Motivators, Barriers, Knowledge and Plans to Provide Home Visits
  • Dr. Joyce-Lyn Oguamanam also presented -Exploring the Worthiness of Elderly Home Visit…From the MSM CFHC Patients’ Perspective.

Awards and recognitions:

  • Dr. Folashade Omole, Program Director, became the first female Professor of Family Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine; she was also recognized as Faculty of the year by the MSM MD Class of 2013, Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors Silver Level Recognition Award, and was featured in the Aetna African American History Calendar Celebrating African Americans practicing physical and alternative healing.
  • Dr. Folasade Ajayi, PGY 1 received the 2013 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence Teaching Award.
  • Dr. Nihinlolawa Ijamakinwa (Graduate) won the 2nd place oral presentation award for her research on “Promotion of Awareness of Pre-diabetes Among Providers in a Clinic Serving African American Patients: A Quality Improvement Project to Prevent the Progression of Pre-Diabetes to Type 2 DM” at the Second Annual William E. Booth Research Day at Morehouse School of Medicine GME Research Day.
  • Dr. Isioma Okwumabua was awarded the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Resident Teacher of the Year for 2013 for Morehouse Family Medicine.
  • Dr Isioma Okwumabua was nominated for the GAFP Resident of the Year 2013 award.
  • Dr. Jeffery Bouadou was selected as the President of the MSM GME Resident Association (RA) Committee.
  • Dr. Jeffery Bouadou won the MSM GME Resident of the Year Award 2013.
  • Dr. Wanda Gumbs was elected as the President Elect of the MSM GME RA Committee.
  • Dr. Adegoke Adeleke was elected as the Secretary of the RA Committee.  He also serves as the Alternate Resident Director of GAFP.
  • Drs. Jennifer Francois and Adegoke Adeleke are theGO! Diabetes Change Agents for MSM Family Medicine under a grant from the GAFP.
  • Dr. Mashanda Campbell received a grant award ($6,250) from the California Academy of Family Physicians for her research project on The Evolution of Anticoagulation Management – Atrial Fibrillation.
  • Carolyn M. Clarke, Residency Program Manager, won the MSM GME Program Manager of the Year award 2013.

Floyd Family Medicine Residency Program
Rome, GA

Our new intern class is settling in nicely as we start our yearly recruitment for the next academic year. We matched two students from PCOM and one from MCG, but five of the eight were born and raised in Georgia and are “back home!” We also had the opening of the Northwest Georgia Clinical Campus of MCG in August with its inaugural third year class. PCOM also has an Anchor campus here in Rome with third and fourth year students. We are happy to have these medical students here in Rome for recruiting possibilities despite the challenges for accommodating them for clinical rotations.

With all the new medical school campuses around our State and the 20-30% increase in their class size, those of us in GME can confirm that we are overwhelmed with the requests to accommodate these students for clinical rotations. Unless we take the fight even further and request Congress to increase the cap on DME/IME so that we can immediately allow existing residency programs to increase slots we will not be able to meet the increase in demand to keep our State’s medical students here. We have been predicting this crisis happening for some time now, but let me tell all of you that it’s here now!

Along with increasing our residency slots we need to find more Family Physicians willing to teach. We need these teaching physicians as full time faculty but also as community teaching faculty to accommodate all the clerkship students. We, as an academy, need to lobby our legislators to grant tax breaks for these teaching physicians to compensate for the decrease in their practice revenues that will occur due to their teaching responsibilities. Without excellent community clerkship teachers and excellent full time residency faculty we won’t be able to role model why family medicine is the right choice to provide the best care for the citizens of our State.

We are currently in a financial crisis as a nation but also in our State with most, if not all, of our teaching hospitals facing decreasing margins at a time when we need them to renew their commitment to increasing GME especially in primary care specialties. I ask the GAFP to lead the way in lobbying for the needed State and national dollars to support our teaching hospitals with Family Medicine Residencies. And to lead the way in identifying other sources of funding, wither with an all payer system or new and innovative sources. I am convinced we have the people in our organization to lead this debate.

Family Medicine Residency Program at Memorial University Medical Center
Savannah, GA

This year begins the seventh year since Robert Pallay, M.D. took over the Family Medicine Residency director’s position. The Program at Memorial University Medical Center, Savannah, Georgia has continued to improve and flourish under his direction. In March of 2013 we added Cindy Carter, M.D. as a full time faculty member. By the end of 2013, we will have had 3 of our faculty move on, joining private practices in other parts of the southeast or working in Urgent Care. In addition, Dr. Jackie Huntly, who has run our Integrative Medicine program will be moving to a consultative position still in charge of that program in our residency, but will instead spend more of her time developing her private Life Coaching and Lifestyle Management practice. We are fortunate to be able to continue to have her work with our residents as we go into our fourth year of having Integrative Medicine as part of our curriculum. We are actively interviewing and intend to have replaced all of the faculty by the beginning of the new academic year in June. Fortunately we continue to have Drs. Keith Ellis, Nikki Johnson, Karen Baker, and Bobbi Kumar doing regular precepting shifts that help the full time faculty do the rest of their many responsibilities in the program. Rusty Hightower, M.D., a graduate of the FMR program in the 90’s continues to do all of our geriatric teaching and training in addition to his full time position with Southcoast Medical Group.  In June we were very fortunate to add Steve Livingston, PhD as our behavioral medicine full time faculty. The commitment of our faculty as well as the many sub-specialty physicians we work with here at Memorial make the program a growing success and presence in Savannah and the rest of southeast Georgia.

We have continued to develop our NCQA Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home office this past year. Memorial has wholeheartedly embraced the concept of PCMH care and the residency practice is the first of what is expected to be all of our primary care practices in the system to be certified as PCMH within 18 months. We are working with BCBS-GA on their PC2 program and are discussing involvement with many more payers in similar programs. This will continue in the ensuing years as we continue to strive to make the residency practice and the residency itself PCMH-friendly.

Our 1-2 week rotation in Atlanta doing practice management with the people at Peach Care has been a great success and continues to be fully supported by the administration at Memorial through partnering with experts in the business world. Finally, this year we started regular 3-week rotations in rural medicine with all of our PGY3 residents rotating through a site in Thomasville in southwest Georgia or LaGrange in West Georgia. Feedback so far has been excellent but we wait to see how it continues to work out. For the Archbold people, though, it has been a great success as they have already hired one of the graduates this past year with another probably joining them after her fellowship year.

In addition to our full resident complement, there continues to be 7-9 medical students working with our faculty and residents either in our office or on the hospital team at all times. The recent establishment of the Family Medicine - Accelerated Curriculum (FM-ACT) pilot at Mercer University School of Medicine here in Savannah has been a great success.  We had our second year of students this year; next June the first two will join our own Savannah Family Medicine residency a year earlier than their peers and be moving quickly towards decreasing the shortage of family physicians in Georgia. The program itself continues to gather lots of national attention with articles in JAMA, the NEJM, and many others. Dr. Pallay and his colleagues at Texas Tech continue to be on panels and present to the many institutions interested in this type of accelerated curriculum across the US and other countries. We have started discussions with leadership at Mercer and Memorial to expand that number of FM-ACT students in the near future.

We continue to work with our new EMR, Epic, which has been live for almost a full year, and see many ways it will enhance our PCMH and general patient care. In addition, Lindsey Konor, one of our faculty, went to the Epic headquarters in Wisconsin and took the necessary courses and training to be certified as a physician builder.  In that role she has been most helpful to us here but also to all in the Memorial system using Epic.

Our graduates continue to find diverse career paths. All of last year’s graduates have taken positions doing Family Medicine in practices in Georgia and the Southeast which is an exciting end result of the training we are providing for them here at Memorial. 


The Southwest Georgia Family Medicine Residency was successful in recruiting five residents for PGY 1 positions.

Recruitment and interviewing for academic year 2014 – 2015 will start September 15, 2013.

Six residents graduated:

                        Jeuslyn Chandler, MD, undecided

                        Matthew Davis, MD, Athens GA

                        Jeff Lowery, MD, Albany GA

                        Jimi Malik, MD, Albany GA

                        Uzoma Ndukwe, DO, Athens GA

                        Candace Walker, MD, Atlanta GA

This eighteenth graduating class will bring the total number of successfully trained Family Medicine physicians to 90, including 64 practicing in Georgia. 

The program had a site visit by the ACGME in April 2012. This visit resulted in full accreditation with a four year cycle.  

In July 2013, the fourth class for the Georgia Regents University (MCG) clinical campus began with 7 students who will be completing their third and fourth year rotations at the Albany clinical campus and the neighboring participating hospitals.

Students from PCOM (Atlanta) are now rotating through the Albany Area Primary Heath Care Center.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the FTC have come to a mutual agreement pertaining the purchase of the Palmyra hospital in Albany Ga. PPMH has been given permission from the FTC to assume  management and operations of the Palmyra hospital.  The new campus has been named Phoebe North. 

Summer Student Programs:

Eight premed students from various locations in Southwest Georgia successfully completed the Pathways to Medical School program in July 2013. The SWGA AHEC continues to follow the Pathways graduates and a significant number of the graduates have been able to obtain admission to medical school.

Fourteen first and second year medical students from various medical schools completed the Summer Student externship at the Southwest Georgia Family Medicine Residency in June and July 2013.

March 24, 2014