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Department of Family Medicine


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Cristin Swords Adams, DO

Dr. Cristin Swords Adams joined the faculty in August 2016 as an assistant professor. After graduating from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, VA, Dr. Adams went on to receive her residency training through the Trident/MUSC Family Medicine Residency Program here in Charleston. Originally from Connecticut, Dr. Adams is passionate about giving back to the community through volunteer work. Her professional interests include global health, underserved care, preventive medicine, and osteopathic manipulative treatment.

Cindy Allen, PhD, APRN, FNP
Dr. Allen joined the faculty in 2010. Prior to this appointment, she was an Instructor at the College of Nursing teaching in the graduate program. Cindy was the recipient of the Golden Lamp Award from 2007-2010 and 2010 Palmetto Gold Award. Her graduate studies were earned from Case Western Reserve University and Medical University of South Carolina. Her areas of professional interest include: pediatrics, preventative care, research and medical education.
Dr. Bain received her Bachelors in Biology from University of Cincinnati, obtained her MD from Ohio State, and completed her residency training at Aultman Hospital in Canton, OH. At Clinton Memorial Hospital, she served as Chief of Medicine from 2007 to 2013, and Chief of Staff from 2013 to 2014. She joined the MUSC Department of Family Medicine faculty in 2014 as an Associate Professor. Her main areas of interest are women’s health, including obstetrics and gynecology, practice management, rural health care and medical education. She currently serves as the Associate Program Director for the Trident/MUSC Family Medicine Residency Program.
Russell S. Blackwelder, MD, MDiv
Dr. Blackwelder earned his undergraduate degree from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and M.Div. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. From there he completed medical school and residency at MUSC. Dr. Blackwelder joined the MUSC Department of Family Medicine in 2015 as an Assistant Professor and Director of Geriatric Education. He also serves as Associate Medical Director at the Village of Summerville, a continuing care retirement community. His clinical interests include geriatrics, spirituality and medicine, medical education, and end of life care.
Joseph Benich III, MD
Dr. Benich was born in Charleston, SC and attended college at Clemson University. He graduated from MUSC and completed the Trident/MUSC residency program serving as chief resident in 2008. He joined our faculty as an assistant professor in July 2008 and is the clinic director for our East Cooper University Family Medicine office. His clinical and research interests include cardiovascular disease, preventive care, and medical education.

Sarah Bradford, MD

Dr. Sarah Bradford started her career in Toronto as a clinical teacher in the family medicine department and then moved to Virginia practicing full spectrum care including obstetrics in a rural area as well as teaching family medicine as a community preceptor for VCOM and VCU. She is interested in women's health and obstetrics as well as treating addiction especially in pregnancy.


Dr. Scott Bragg completed undergraduate education and earned his PharmD degree from West Virginia University. He completed pharmacy residency training in family medicine at UPMC St. Margaret in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Bragg joined the South Carolina College of Pharmacy in 2013 as an assistant professor. He practices clinical pharmacy at Trident Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina where provides clinical teaching to pharmacy students, medical students, and family medicine residents. Dr. Bragg's professional interests are family medicine, teaching assessment, and caring for the underserved.
Clive D. Brock, MB, ChB
Dr. Brock joined our department in 1981 and is one of our residency faculty members. He was trained in South Africa and spent 15 years in private practice before joining the faculty. Dr. Brock has a special interest in the doctor-patient relationship and is involved in Balint group work locally, nationally and internationally and is the past President of the American Balint society.

Brandon D. Brown, MD

Dr. Brown was born in Dillon, SC and attended Erskine College. He graduated from MUSC and completed the Trident/MUSC residency program serving as chief resident in 2014. After residency he worked as a hospitalist in the Trident Health System. He joined our faculty as an assistant professor in December 2015. Dr. Brown currently serves as an Academic Hospitalist, and a Fundamentals of Patient Care Instructor. His clinical and research interests include inpatient medicine, medical student education, and preventive care.

Christopher Bunt, MD, FAAFP 

Dr. Bunt jointed the department in August 2016. A Pittsburgh, PA native, he attended the University of Michigan. He then earned his MD at Uniformed Services University (America’s Medical School) in Bethesda, MD, and completed his Family Medicine Residency with the United States Air Force at Malcolm Grow Medical Center in Maryland. His USAF career took him to Nebraska, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Maryland as well as overseas deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Dr. Bunt also completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill and remains in the Air Force Reserve. He has specific clinical interests in sports medicine, preventive medicine and well-child care. He is the Faculty Advisor for the Family Medicine Interest Group and the FamTrack program. He also is the Military Medical Liaison for the College of Medicine. His research interests include: faculty development, clinical decision-making and evidence based medicine. 

Alexander W. Chessman, MD
Dr. Chessman completed residency training in family medicine in 1987. While completing a fellowship in academic family medicine at UNC Chapel Hill, he served as chief resident during the following year. From 1987 until 1990, he served as the medical director for the department at the Naval Weapons Station Branch Medical Clinic. From 1990-2011, he served as director of medical student education, and he continues to teach and direct or co-direct medical school courses. His scholarly interests focus on medical education.
Alex O. DeCastro, MD
Dr. DeCastro completed his family medicine residency training at Mcleod Family Medicine in 2005. He then served in the USAF in both Primary Care and Aerospace Medicine. He deployed to Iraq in 2008 and still currently serves as a flight surgeon in the USAF reserves. Additionally, he completed his sports medicine fellowship at the Southern Illinois School of Medicine in 2009. He then returned to SC and worked in Urgent Care prior to joining the faculty in 2012. His main areas of interest are sports medicine, cardiovascular fitness, and ultrasound, and medical education.
Vanessa Diaz, MD, MS
Dr. Diaz received her medical degree from the University of Miami (FL) and completed residency in Savannah, GA. She joined our research division as a faculty member in 2004 after completing a two-year faculty development fellowship at MUSC that included obtaining her Masters of Science in Clinical Research. She is currently our Clinical Services Director. Her research interests include Latino health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and women's health issues. A native of Panama, Dr. Diaz is fluent in Spanish.
Peter A. Dodge, Sr, PA-C
Mr. Dodge joined the faculty in March 2003 upon retiring from the U.S. Air Force where he served as a physician assistant for 15 years and 5 years as an active Air Force Medic. His clinical interests include acute care, sports injury, and disease prevention.
Dr. Freedy started his career at MUSC as a clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. After returning to medical school and residency training at MUSC, he joined the Family Medicine residency faculty in 2005 as the Director of Behavioral Science Curriculum. He is active in medical education across the spectrum of learners (medical students, resident physicians, practicing physicians). He also serves as Associate Dean for the Student Affairs in the College of Medicine. His academic interests include: violence and traumatic stress, impact of mental health on physical health, behavioral science curriculum development, and doctor-patent relationships (including Balint training).
Before entering academic family medicine, Dr. Garr worked for six years as the Medical Director of Family Practice Group, a National Health Service Corps practice in rural Tooele, UT. He then moved to Denver, CO where he taught for four years in a family medicine residency program. He and his wife Deborah relocated to Charleston in 1985 when they accepted teaching positions at MUSC. His clinical interests include training physicians to become community responsive practitioners, health promotion/disease prevention, practice-based research and medical ethics.
Barry L. Hainer, MD
After his residency at MUSC and private practice in rural Virginia, Dr. Hainer returned to MUSC as a faculty member from 1980-1985. Between 1985 and 1988, he served as residency program director at East Carolina University before again returning in 1988 to MUSC. Dr. Hainer served as Interim Chair from 2012-2013 and is a Professor of Family Medicine. Dr. Hainer's professional interests include procedural skills and immunization training.
Kesh Hebbar, MD, MRCPI (Dublin), MRCGP (UK)
Dr. Hebbar completed residencies in the United Kingdom in both Internal Medicine and Family Medicine. He was in practice until 1994 when he came to the United States. Dr. Hebbar joined the residency faculty in 1997 after completing his family medicine residency at MUSC. His professional interests include primary care, diabetes and cardiology.
Dr. Hood Watson is originally from Maryland and received her medical degree from University of Maryland School of Medicine.  She completed her Family Medicine residency at Trident/MUSC where she served as chief resident from 2013-2014.  Dr. Hood Watson joined the department in August 2014 as the Family Medicine co-clerkship director.  Her interests include medical education and preventive health.
Ruth G. Jenkins, PhD
Dr. Jenkins joined the department in 1987 as a Research Programmer/Specialist and Statistician. She completed her PhD in 2005 in Medical Informatics from MUSC's Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology and joined the Family Medicine faculty in 2006. She is the Information Manager for the Practice Partner Research Network (PPRNet), a national primary care research network of practices that use electronic health records.
Dr. Kern joined the department in 1999 and serves the College of Medicine as the Associate Dean for Curriculum Integration and Implementation, Clinical Sciences and the Assistant Dean for Patient Safety and Simulation.
Scott Laird, MHSA
Scott joined the Medical University of South Carolina in 1988 as a management engineer and proceeded to fulfill many roles for the University from Director of Management Engineering to Administrator for the Institute of Psychiatry. He received his Masters in Health Services Administration from MUSC in 1991 and in July 1994 joined the Department of Family Medicine. He currently serves as the Administrator for the department.
Eric M. Matheson, MD, MS
Dr. Matheson completed his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2001 and his family medicine residency from St. Vincent’s Family Medicine Residency Program in 2004. Dr. Matheson completed his Masters in Clinical research from MUSC in 2009 and was hired to work for the Department of Family Medicine. Clinical and research interests include nutrition, preventive care, and medical education. He is currently an Associate Professor and serves as the Program Director for the Trident/MUSC Transitional Year Residency Program.
Dr. Mims completed both medical school and Family Medicine residency at MUSC and then joined our department in 2013.  She completed the Academic Generalist Fellowship for a Masters of Clinical Research in 2015 and is now an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Medicine.  Her interests include graduate medical education and quality improvement. She currently serves as the Associate Program Director for the Trident/MUSC Family Medicine Residency Program.
Steven M. Ornstein, MD
Dr. Ornstein trained in this department and joined the faculty in 1985. Dr. Ornstein is the Founder of the Practice Partner Research Network (PPRNet), a national research of sites that uses electronic medical records. His professional interests include health promotion and computers in medicine.
Marty Player, MD, MS
Dr. Player completed his family medicine residency at Christiana Care Health Services in Wilmington, Delaware in 2004. He spent an additional year there as a fellow in faculty development with a focus on underserved and vulnerable populations. He joined the Research Fellowship at MUSC Family Medicine and the Clinical Research masters program in the college of graduate studies at MUSC in July 2005. Research interests include cardiovascular risk factors and detection.
Dr. Ramsetty received her Internal Medicine training at the University of Florida and subspecialty Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism training at Stanford University Hospital. She was previously on faculty in the Endocrinology Department at MUSC from 2006 to 2010 after which she served as staff Endocrinologist and Medical Director of the Roper St. Francis Diabetes Center until 2013. Dr.Ramsetty joined the MUSC Family Medicine Department in 2015. She serves as Medical Director and Faculty Advisor of CARES, the student-run free medical clinic. Her areas of professional interest are hormonal disorders including diabetes and thyroid conditions, cardiovascular disease and prevention, medical student education and care for the underserved.
William M. Simpson, Jr. MD
After completing his Family Practice Residency in this department and serving two years in full-time family practice in the military, Dr. Simpson returned to head our Division of Undergraduate Education in 1976. Over the past 30 years he has served a number of roles including acting chair for two years. From 1984-85 he used his sabbatical to complete a fellowship in geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins. In addition to directing geriatric education in the department, he worked with the Agromedicine Program, a public education program in partnership with Clemson University. He retired from full-time practice in 2009.
Dr. Steyer received his MD from Case Western Research University in 1994, and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. He joined the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Medicine in 2000 as an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. Dr. Steyer was recruited to the Medical College of Georgia-University of Georgia Medical Partnership in 2009 as Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Chair of Clinical Sciences. In January 2014, Dr. Steyer returned to MUSC, assuming the role as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine.
Katherine Tabor, BSN, MSN
Katherine Tabor has many years of experience in healthcare. She received her BSN from the University of Connecticut. She then went on to work in nursing for over 20 years. A career move sent her to the Medical University College of Nursing for her MSN several years ago. Since then she has been working in primary care and most recently came back to MUSC after working in the private practice setting. 
Andrea Wessell. PharmD, BCPS, CDE
Dr. Wessell joined the faculty of the College of Pharmacy with a joint appointment in Family Medicine in 2002. As a PPRNet investigator, Andrea works with primary care practices across the United States on quality and safety improvement interventions. She also participates in the residency program’s Clinical Scholars program as an advisor for quality improvement projects.

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