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October 15, 2013 - Two USA Alumni Serving as Assistant Chief Residents at Duke University
USA COM graduates Drs. Kimberly Bryan and Tyler Black

Drs. Kimberly Bryan and Tyler Black, two University of South Alabama College of Medicine graduates of the class of 2011, have been named assistant chief residents at Duke University’s Internal Medicine program. “I felt very honored to be chosen as one of the assistant chiefs,” said Dr. Bryan. “It's exciting that two USA alumni share this role at such a prestigious institution.”

Dr. Bryan, a native of Mobile, Ala., received her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees prior to graduating from USA’s College of Medicine. During her fourth year of medical school, she was recognized for a spirit of volunteerism, empathy, and inspiration with the Regan Robinson Young Scholarship. Today she says, “I am looking forward to teaching medical students and fellow residents and serving as a mentor."

"Being chosen as an assistant chief resident at Duke is a significant honor which recognizes the resident as an outstanding clinician, teacher and leader,” Dr. Bryan said. “This recognition affords opportunity to assume essential teaching roles and affect positive change within the program."

The selection process for an assistant chief resident position is extremely competitive. “Each year junior residents apply for the position to serve their senior year, and only a small handful is selected to serve at three different Duke locations,” Dr. Bryan explained. “Among the highest honors awarded to Duke housestaff, ACRs are chosen by the chief residents and senior program leadership.”

“It was an honor to be chosen as an assistant chief resident at Duke,” said Dr. Black. When selecting an internal medicine residency program he “was looking for a well-respected program that offered excellent clinical training, a diverse patient population, and opportunities for career advancement.”

The leadership roles accompanying the residency program at Duke are different than many across the nation.

“The assistant chief resident is a third-year resident that spends two months working directly with the chief in an administrative and teaching role,” explained Dr. Black. “At Duke, the chief resident spends a year between residency and chief year doing something else such as fellowship or being a hospitalist.”

"As USA graduates, it’s exciting that both Kim and I have been chosen to serve in this role,” said Dr. Black. “We have worked hard during our time here and realize that we would not be where we are today if not for the opportunities provided to us at the USA College of Medicine.”

Both physicians point to many factors leading to their selection - an extremely significant one being the solid foundations received as medical students at USA. “Residency is not easy no matter where you go,” said Dr. Black, but “I feel that the educational experiences that are provided at the USA College of Medicine are second to none. The rigorous coursework and strong clinical experience as a medical student at USA definitely helped prepare me for my new role here.”

“USA has taught me how to be a scholar and a hard worker,” said Dr. Bryan. “Duke is one of the top 10 medical centers in the United States and with this status they are able to essentially cherry pick their residents. The fact that two USA graduates were accepted to be assistant chiefs is phenomenal and speaks to the fact that USA prepared us as leaders.”

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