by Carlie Stein, MD

As the flowers start to bloom and the temperatures rise, we are in awe that another year is coming to a close. Every year we look forward to the Spring Banquet- an occasion where we not only celebrate our hard work and commitment to patient care, but also award residents who have excelled in research, global health, resident teaching, overall attitude, and clinical excellence. This year's banquet was held May 30th at the McWane Science Center and a great time was had by all. 

Residents at McWane

Awards this year went to the following residents and faculty:

Jake Lancaster was recognized with the Thomas N. James Award for Excellence in Research. Ross Farris, Sarah French, Daniel Ontenient, Glenn Zhao, Brittany Payne, Rajat Kalra, Thao Tran, John Willoughby, and David LaFon were recognized for their presentations at the Southern Society of General Internal Medicine conference in February; and Mack Brown, Kevin Cowley, Stephen Clarkson, Sebastian Sattui, Sunil Rangarajan, and Thao Tran for their acceptance to present at Alabama ACP this June. This year's TIME-R Awardees include Brittany Payne and Rajat Kalra; this group is comprised of residents who have been awarded three months of research time in honor of their choice to participate in more extensive research during their training.

We pride ourselves on a commitment to resident teaching as exemplified by our numerous trainees involved in the "CERT-Creating Effective in Resident Teachers" lunch-and-learn series with interactive discussions of the principles and challenges in the art of teaching. This year we honor Ross Farris (PGY-1), Rajat Kalra (PGY-2), and R.J. Blackburn (PGY-3) with the Ben Friedman Award for Excellence in Teaching by residents. We also honor Ali Khan (Gastroenterology) as the best teaching fellow, Winter Williams (General Internal Medicine) with the Junior Faculty Teaching award and Fred Weber (Gastroenterology) with the Tinsley Harrison Award for Best Overall Faculty Teacher. We also honor Nicholas Raush for the best senior talk.

We are excited that several resident members of our Global Health Track will be traveling abroad during the 2015-6 academic year including David Dougherty, Sarah French, Nicholas Hoppmann, and Jake Lancaster. This year Jill Neely received the honor of selection into the Gorgas Course in Tropical Medicine. She will be spending two months in Peru beginning March 2016.

We cannot forget about our amazing faculty and hospital staff who teach, mentor, and assist us in the everyday care of our patients. This year's housestaff appreciation awards went to Tonya Griggs (Tinsley Harrison Medicine Service) and Monnaka Speights (VA Red Clinic). This year's recipient of the Gustavo Heudebert Award for Faculty Member with Outstanding Contributions to the Residency program is Erin Snyder. She serves as the Assistant Program Director for Ambulatory Medicine, is making numerous improvements to the resident continuity clinic experience, and helps improve the care of our many clinic patients.

Everyone knows the key to successful teamwork has much to do with positive attitudes, enthusiasm and SPIRIT! This year's recipients of the housestaff spirit awards include Ross Farris and Caroline Walker (PGY-1), Will Benton and Jori May (PGY-2), and Monee Amin and Brandi Blackburn (PGY-3).

Every year we honor interns and residents for performance on the VA and Tinsley Harrison ward services, respectively. Twelve VA Book Award interns are honored for their attention to detail and superb history and physical taking skills, and one intern is selected from amongst this group as recipient of the BVAMC Award for Clinical Excellence. This year's selected intern was Nathan Hill. Similarly, two residents are noted each year for their excellence as upper level residents on the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine service. Laura Andrews and Melissa Medley were awarded the Claude Bennett Award for Outstanding Performance on the Tinsley Harrison wards this year.

The Dismukes Award of Excellence is given to four Senior Residents with Outstanding Enthusiasm for Medicine, as well as overall Excellence in Patient Care and Teaching. The four residents noted this year include David LaFon, Andrew Strand, Shabnam Sarker and Nick Raush.

Finally, the E=hH2 Award is an award that goes to a single third year resident who represents the sentiment passed down from Tinsley Harrison himself, E=hH2, which is an equation Dr. Harrison used to describe the purpose of medical education. E stands for education, which Dr. Harrison noted was the product of head (h), or medical knowledge, and Heart (H), which was both capitalized and squared to show its significance relative to knowledge. Dr. Harrison believed that you must teach students medical knowledge, but as medical knowledge will continue to accumulate throughout one's career, the far greater task is teaching students how to give their hearts to the patients they care for. This award is voted on by the housestaff and faculty, and this year's recipient of the E=hH2 award went to Houston Mooney, who was believed to have shown tremendous heart in his care for patients throughout the three years of his training.

Congratulations on a great three years of residency to all of our seniors. We wish you all well in your next endeavors and look forward to another great year ahead!