Dr Perkins and residents (Halloween 2008)

Dr Perkins and residents (Halloween 2008)

The University of South Alabama is in Mobile, Alabama. We are approximately 30 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico (thus in little danger of being pushed into the gulf by a hurricane but close enough to get wet easily). The University was founded approximately 40 years ago but there is a tradition of medical education dating back to the 1840’s here in Mobile. The residency is sponsored by the USA Medical Center which along with the USA Children’s and  Woman’s Hospital has a combined bed capacity of approximatly 300 beds.

I was the program director from 1999 to 2010 here at USA Family Medicine and am the current Chairman of the department. My background is in academic medicine and I have spent all of my academic time here in Mobile. I have served as Chairman since 2005 as well. I’ve got an interest in population based health and we’ve got extensive community medicine experiences within the residency program. Additionally, we have taken on improving the care of the citizens of Alabama as a mission. To this end, we try to give preference to those residency candidates who express a desire to stay in the area.

We try to teach our residents based on the New Model of practice as outlined in the Future of Family Medicine documents and the AAFP Transformed project including the aspects of the Medical Home needed to practice in the 21st century. As such, we emphasize the core values of Family Medicine which include mindful communication, patient engagement and partnership, culturally sensitive care, and whole person care in the context of a continuous relationship. We then focus on Information Access, Practice Management, Care Management, Quality and Safety, and teaching team-based care.

Additionally, I have taken on the presidency of the  Alabama Rural Health Association. I’ve done this because transforming healthcare is going to take a team approach. The Association has representation from many different stakeholders and it will take all of us pushing and pulling to improve care in Alabama.