Dr Lisa WillettAbove: Dr. Lisa Willett, Professor and Program Director, Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Program

I am excited to announce a change in our residency program's leadership. After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to step down as the Program Director of the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2023. I have been the Program Director for 10 years, the Associate Program Director for 10 years prior, and an Assistant Program Director for two years prior to that. So, after 22 wonderful years, I look back with enormous pride and gratitude for the time I spent as a director of our residency program.

By Courtney Wagner, MD (PGY-3)

Dr Courtney Wagner PGY3Above: Dr. Courtney Wagner, PGY-3

Frequency illusion is a phenomenon in which after first noticing something, you start to see it everywhere. After losing my father to suicide during my intern year, this happened to me with the semicolon tattoo. In grammar, a semicolon is used when an author could have chosen to end the sentence but did not. For people struggling with mental health, this has become a symbol for when somebody could have chosen to end their life but did not.

By Yassmin Hegazy, MD (PGY-2)

Drs. Davis Bradford and Leah LeischPictured L to R: Dr. Davis Bradford and Dr. Leah Leisch

With the opioid epidemic and the subsequent rise of cases of substance use and mental illness caused by the COVID pandemic, addiction medicine has increasingly become an integral part of medical practice. To reflect this, the residency program, along with GIM faculty Dr. Davis Bradford and Dr. Leah Leisch, have recently conceptualized a new Addiction Medicine rotation for trainees. 

2021 Chief Medical Residents2020-2021 Chief Medical Residents
Pictured L to R: Drs. Sean Carter, Seema Kumar, Steven Allon, and Kevin Schwalbach

This has not been the typical academic year in any sense of the word. Yet even under the daily threat of political and social upheaval, our residents were steadfast in their commitment to patient care. The year was punctuated by surges of the COVID-19 pandemic in August and December, with their corresponding resident run "Surge Teams" cropping up throughout the hospital to meet the acute need.

By Natasha Mehra, MD (PGY-2)

Headshot of Dr. Karla Williams, MD (Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine) in white medical coat, 2019.Above: Dr. Karla Williams, Assistant Professor (General Internal Medicine)

Anyone who knows Dr. Karla Williams is aware that she wears many hats around the hospital. In November 2020, she added one more to her closet when she was promoted to Assistant Program Director. In addition to her new role, Dr. Williams works part-time with the UAB Hospitalist group, is a member of the General Internal Medicine Division, and serves as the director of the Internal Medicine Program's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She brings her zest for life and passion into everything she does.

2021-2022 Chief Medical Residents2021-2022 Chief Medical Residents
Pictured L to R: Drs. Will Morgan, Anne Wagstaff, Lindsey Shipley, and Sal Kamal

The turn of the academic year was greeted with much excitement and optimism in hopes of welcoming a new intern class into many "old traditions" such as in-person conferences, social events, and the general sense of camaraderie that makes the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program so special. While the Delta surge certainly required us to adapt on the fly (something we are quite used to doing these days), we have remained persistent in our efforts to foster our culture of a tight-knit resident family that enjoys being together in and out of the hospital.

Dr. Kevin SchwalbachAbove: Dr. Kevin Schwalbach, Chief Medical Resident (2020-2021)

After Kevin Schwalbach, M.D., received his Bachelor of Science from DePaul University in Minnesota, he was unsure of where his love for science would lead him. He spent the next four years in basic science, studying the development of zebrafish and stickleback fish. Though he enjoyed four years in basic research, it became clear to Schwalbach that all roads led to medicine.