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.

During those months, the hospital survived through their fortitude. And when the elation of the vaccine came, it was with a deserving respite for the program and a beginning of return to normalcy. This has been a year of growth, and we are so proud of our residents' grace and adaptability through it all.

Even as we (temporarily) traded our professional attire for scrubs, the program remained committed to a high standard of medical education and patient care. Educational conferences have returned from a purely online format to a hybrid format with socially distanced, in-person and virtual attendance, allowing residents to gather, socialize, and learn together. The junior resident curriculum has been modified to expand our ambulatory offerings while still maintaining a high standard of intensive care training. We have moved to a single full-day of continuity clinic rather than two half days, and we created another full ambulatory month during PGY-2 year to allow for a more immersive experience in a given specialty. Our POCUS curriculum continues to expand, giving residents access to cutting edge procedural training that meets the changing medical landscape. And at the end of it all, we were able to hold our Graduation Ceremony at Regions Field to celebrate.

It is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye. We are so grateful to our residents and program directors for such a unique year. It has been an honor to serve during such a pivotal period in medicine—one that we will certainly never forget. We hope for continued progress towards normalcy and welcome the new Chief Medical Residents who are aptly suited to guide the next phase of the program. 

Steven Allon will join the faculty at Vanderbilt University as an academic general internist. He has enjoyed his last eight years at UAB in medical school and residency and will miss the city dearly. His wife, Catherine, is a PA-C who will join the palliative care team at Vanderbilt. They look forward to exploring a new city.

Sean Carter will be starting a rheumatology fellowship at MUSC in July. He feels like he has a new family in Birmingham and will never forget the time that he has spent at UAB. He, his wife, Katilyn, and daughter, Nicole, look forward to picking out a favorite beach.

Seema Kumar will be starting Gastroenterology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University. She looks forward to a new experience in a new city, and she is thankful she will still be able to make weekend trips back to Birmingham to visit UAB.

Kevin Schwalbach will be applying to a pulmonary and critical care fellowship while working as a Hospitalist in the Birmingham area. He and his wife, Melanie, are excited to be welcoming their first baby in July!

- SSSK (Steven, Sean, Seema, and Kevin)