VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 11 - Number 2 - Spring 2012

We have email addresses for less than half of our medical school's 10,000 alumni, so to help keep your classmates connected, please forward this issue of SOM eNews!

Student News

Class of 2012 
Graduation is this weekend. Look for pictures from the ceremonies in the summer issue of SOM eNews!

Meanwhile, let's celebrate the Class of 2012's Match Day success – they beat the national average in terms of the percent of students who secured one of their preferred matches. Primary care specialties proved attractive this year, and students succeeded in placing into this year's most competitive specialties. Watch video, flip through photos and find out if any of the students are headed to a medical center near you at our Match Day portal.

Minding Your Bedside Manner 
An unexpected collaboration between Medicine and Theatre aims to revive the art of doctor-patient rapport. Theatre's Aaron Anderson, Ph.D., says "The misconception is that theater trains people to 'perform.' In fact, theater trains people how to be 'present' - how to be fully involved in the current moment and how to communicate that personal involvement to other people." Read more about what the students are learning about communicating with patients

Students Host Policy Panel, Workshops for Regional Meeting 
Our chapter of the Student National Medical Association hosted a regional meeting on the MCV Campus that brought together more than 110 medical and pre-medical college students from Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. Read more about the daylong program that offered clinical skills workshops, pre-med advising and a panel discussion between physicians and elected representatives.

Research News

Benefits of Taking Fido to Work 
Man's best friend may make a positive difference in the workplace by reducing stress and making the job more satisfying for other employees. Read more about a study that was supported in part by the VCU Center on Human-Animal Interaction.

Managed Care Plan for Uninsured May Reduce Costs 
A new study shows that managed care plans for the uninsured can reduce costs and emergency department visits. The findings could have implications for the Affordable Care Act of 2014. Read more about the the cost of caring for the uninsured population

VCURES Receives $5.5 Million Grant from U.S. Army 
For patients who've suffered critical injury, an inability to clot normally develops within the first minutes to hours following the trauma. Resuscitation with traditional fluids such as saline solution appears to worsen the issue. Read more about how the VCU Reanimation Engineering Science Center will use the $5.57 million grant to study plasma versus saline to try to identify the most appropriate resuscitation fluid to give to victims.

Clinical News

High Profile Journals Publish Perspectives from Faculty 
In the New England Journal of Medicine, Dean of Medicine Dr. Jerry Strauss and co-author Dr. Joann Bodurtha review advances in reproductive technology that make detecting genetic disorders during pregnancy possible. They point out that even with improved technology, expert consultation may be needed to apply the complex information to decision-making. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Family Medicine and Population Health's Dr. Steve Woolf and his UNC co-author argue that screening tests are not always good for public health. Read more about the Jan. 5 NEJM and Feb. 8 JAMA articles.

Antimicrobial Scrubs May Reduce Bacterial Burden 
New findings show that antimicrobial impregnated scrubs combined with good hand hygiene effectively reduces the burden of MRSA on health care workers' apparel and may potentially play a role in decreasing the risk of transmission to patients. Read more about the study that appeared in in the March issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Alumni News

Reunion Weekend 2012 
Alumni marked Reunion 2012 by returning to the MCV Campus – more than 200 alumni took part in class parties, campus tours and other weekend activities – and by raising more than $825,000 in support of school priorities! You can go online to the Reunion portal to read about the weekend's highlights, see photos and read more about award winners Diane Sansonetti, M'77, H'85, and George White, M'62
URL for Reunion Portal still to come

Go online to give us your latest contact information to be sure that you'll get an invitation to future events. 

Alumni in the News 
Did you know that the Class of 2000's Katie Laughon teamed with Class of 1979's Ware Branch on study findings published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology? The Class of 1974's Edith Mitchell now serves as director of the Kimmel Cancer Center's Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities.

Learn what your classmates have been up to since graduation without waiting for the latest issue of Scarab to arrive. Read more Class Notes, now available online. Or submit your update now. 

Faculty in the News 
Pathology's Dr. Greg Miller is president of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry for a 12-month term.

VCU hits Top 100 in NSF ranking 
VCU jumped significantly in the National Science Foundation's raking of research and development expenditures for both federal and total expenditures. An almost 50 percent increase in federal expenditures and a 31 percent increase in total expenditures moved VCU into the Top 100 in both rankings. Read more about the NSF rankings.

CME Opportunities 
For additional information and to register for the courses below, or call (804) 828-3640 or (800) 413-2872..

40th Annual Hans Berger Symposium: The Evaluation and Management of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
May 21-22, 2012
MCV Campus 

Distinguished faculty from epilepsy centers and neurophysiology laboratories from across the country will offer physicians, technologists and medical professionals practical information in applying state-of-the-art electrodiagnostic testing in the clinical management of patients with epilepsy and related disorders. 

"Peds at the Beach"
July 20 - 22, 2012
Virginia Beach

The 34th Annual Pediatric Primary Care Conference features three half-day sessions that will include important topics in the areas of emergency medicine, primary care, developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Kids' activities are available through the "Kids Cove" located at the Wyndham Hotel.

Richmond CME for Docs 
4th Wednesday of each month, 6 - 8 p.m.
Bon Secours Heart Institute, 7001 Forest Avenue

A collaboration between Bon Secours Medical Group and the VCU Office of Continuing Medical Education has resulted in a relevant, evidence-based CME series. The monthly lectures are aimed at helping physicians to improve and enjoy the practice of medicine. Offered at no charge to participants, the lectures are open to physicians and physician extenders.

School of Medicine eNews is prepared by the School of Medicine's Alumni and Development Office. All alumni and friends for whom we have e-mail addresses will receive School of Medicine eNews unless they unsubscribe; you can do so by sending an e-mail to If this newsletter was forwarded to you by a colleague and you would like to subscribe to future issues, please send an e-mail to We use collected e-mail addresses only to send our own information to you; we do not rent or sell e-mail addresses to anyone.

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Do you know which of the 
below refers to the contents 
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a) The Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive
c) Some Say Money Matters But My Brother Says Being Bright Matters Most
d) Smoke over fire, snow over grass


Construction Progress 
Read about and watch progress 
on the new medical education building via time lapse photography and a real-time video feed 

Mark your calendars for
Reunion Weekends

April 26-28, 2013
For Class years 
ending in a 3 or 8

April 25 - 27, 2014
For Class years 
ending in a 4 or 9 

April 24 - 26, 2015 
For Class years 
ending in a 5 or 0

Annual Fund dollars now go 
100% to support of scholarships! You can give online at the
school's eGiving page

Check out the upcoming CME offerings from the medical school's Office of Continuing Professional Development & Evaluation Studies including conferences .

Check out the Spring 2012
 of the medical school's Dean's Discovery Report

Past issues of SOM
eNews are online.

For More Information: 

School of Medicine 
MCV Alumni Association 
MCV Foundation 
VCU Medical Center