By Lisa Willett, M.D.

directorIt’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through another academic year.  I wish to thank the current group of residents and chief medical residents (CMRs) for their time and energy developing this edition of Letters to Tinsley.  We have had a great start this academic year, and I always marvel at our residents’ professional values and dedication to patients. There are so many exciting things going on, it’s difficult for me to decide what to share with you.

We graduated 40 Internal Medicine and Medicine-Pediatric residents this past June.  Their career plans represent diverse interests and expertise.  Sixty-Four percent of graduates are pursuing further training in a fellowship (including a General Medicine fellowship, a Patient Safety fellowship, and Informatics at the NIH).  Of those fellows, we were fortunate to keep half of our grads right here at UAB for the next stages of their training.  Twelve residents are practicing General Medicine, 5 joined primary care practices, 5 are hospitalists, and 2 stayed at UAB in academic General Medicine.  Our program continues to provide rich opportunities for exposures to subspecialty and general medicine, electives in research and patient safety, and opportunities to practice in the community with private practitioners and hospitalists (many of them with you!).  We are tremendously proud of this graduating class and look forward to watching them develop as leaders and healers at UAB, Birmingham, and across the country.

The 2nd annual Legacy Dinner was July 9th at Dr. Glenn Cobbs’ home.  It was a huge success.  UAB Internal Medicine alumni Dr. George Karam (CMR 1981) and Dr. Craig Coe (resident 1980-1983) led efforts to establish the Legacy Fund to keep the values of Dr. Harrison alive in today’s complex world of medical training.  Dr. Cobbs, Dr. Alex Leigh (CMR 2008), and Dr. Martin Lester (who trained with Dr. Harrison during his cardiology fellowship) were guest speakers and left the rising third year residents with wonderful words of advice and inspiration.

Camp Dismukes was September 28th and we all enjoyed a beautiful sunny fall day at Oak Mountain State Park.  The kickball game between the faculty and residents was finally a bit more competitive this year.  Our brilliant CMRs decided to have the interns and faculty on one team compete against the second and third year residents.  No one was injured, the barbeque was delicious, and the babies and pups outnumbered the bees.

Interview season is here, and we are excited to meet and greet over 350 applicants.  Last year, we interviewed students from 86 medical schools and expect even more this year.  We are fortunate to recruit the best students from across the nation (and the world!).  Please check out our new website to see brief videos by our current residents sharing their reflections about our program.  They share their thoughts on why UAB is such a remarkable place to train and care for patients.  They say it better than I will write it, and it is absolutely worth your time to watch.

In closing, I wish to thank you for staying involved with our program and for keeping in touch.  Several of you have contributed to our program with great generosity and the residents sincerely appreciate your support.   We have big plans for ongoing curricular innovations, such as using ultrasound, electronic tablets, and simulation.  Also, we continue to provide settings to get our “family” together with out-of-hospital social events as often as possible.  If you are in town and have time, we’d love for you to visit and join us!

Lisa Willett, M.D.

-Program Director