By Yassmin Hegazy, M.D. (PGY-2)

Headshot of Dr. Karla Williams, MD (Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine) in white medical coat, 2019.Sheetal Gandotra, M.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care MedicineA Toronto native, who completed her medicine training in Rochester, New York and critical care fellowship at Wake Forest Hospital, Dr. Sheetal Gandotra is one of our leading UAB critical care physicians. While she attends the resident and nurse practitioner ICU teams, Medical Emergency Team (MET), and fellows' pulmonary clinic, Dr. Gandotra has been on the front lines during the onset of the COVID pandemic and now multiple COVID surges. I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Gandotra to talk about her experience and perspective working the ICU during COVID. 

Seth LandefeldDr. Seth Landefeld, MD, MACP, Professor and Chair, UAB Department of Medicine

With the first day of spring this year, I felt that we took a step into a new world. A world in which we experience things I did not foresee in 2019. We live with less-lethal but still-threatening COVID, remote and hybrid work are here to stay for many, we witness Russia's brutal invasions of Ukraine. I felt like Rip Van Winkle rubbing my eyes in disbelief! And in this new world, we adapt, learn, and grow: Lisa Willett, M.D., MACM, begins an exciting transition year as Ryan Kraemer, M.D., steps into the role of IM Residency Program directorship this summer!

Dr Lisa WillettDr. Ryan Kraemer, Associate Professor and Program Director, Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Program

On the flight home from Charlotte, I took a few moments to pause and reflect on how fortunate I am. I was in Charlotte in early April for the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) national meeting. I met with other program directors and associate program directors from across the country. As you might imagine, Dr. Lisa Willett knew just about everyone there! As she introduced me as the new program director of the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency program starting in 2023, there was one universal response: "Congratulations...followed by Ryan, you will be great...you have an excellent program and great mentors at UAB."

Dr Lisa WillettAbove: Dr. Pongtawat Lertwilaiwittaya, PGY-1

by Drs. Lizzie Francis and Bella Kalayilparampil

Q: Everyone’s all-time favorite question—Tell me about yourself!

A: สวัสดีครับ (Sa-was-dee-krub; Hi!) My name is Pongtawat Lertwilaiwittaya. "Hong" is my Thai nickname, but I decided to go by "Pong." I’m originally from Bangkok, Thailand, the capital city of Thailand famous for its elaborate temple and local Thai cuisine. I graduated from Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand. My U.S. residency dream started in 2018 after an inspirational visit as a Medical Genetics aspirant at the NIH (hence Maryland was my first state!). It has been a great pleasure to be part of the four-year Combined Internal Medicine-Medical Genetics Residency program at UAB.

Dr Lisa WillettDr. Rebecca Sullivan, PGY-2

It was my second call day in the MICU, and my first 24-hour call during my intern year. My pager went off, reporting a “CODE BLUE MEDICAL P9.” I started the long journey to P9, almost a quarter mile of meandering hallways from my current location. Thus, I was one of the last to arrive. I quickly walked into the room, crowded with over 20 people, ACLS being performed on the blood-splattered floor. Within moments, I realized that I was most useful outside rather than within the melee, because if this patient survived, I would be admitting her.

By Bella Kalayilparampil, MD (PGY-1)

Dr Courtney Wagner PGY3Mario Andres Espinosa Hernandez, MS4Many of us believe that, in unforseen circumstances, ones that are devasating and challenge us, we will crumble under the pressure. That although we are equipped with the tools necessary and the will to rise to the occasion, we will freeze, unsure of our next steps. Such was not the case for fourth year medical student, Mario Andres Espinosa Hernandez, whose life changed in an instant on a regular Tuesday at his local gym.

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

"I'm ready to go. Where's the need?" As we reflect on our year as chiefs, those words from our residents stuck with us. Throughout every phase of the pandemic, our residents have demonstrated compassion, camaraderie, and strength. During the peak of the Omicron wave, we secured an entire cadre of back-up surge residents, on a volunteer basis, within minutes of sending the email. Our housestaff are amazing, and we remain humbled by their willingness to serve.