Landefeld Seth ScreenSeth Landefeld, MD, Department of Medicine Chairman

I am delighted to update you on all that’s happening in the Department of Medicine. The Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program is the heart and soul of the Department. I attend on the Tinsley Service each July and January, where I have learned time and again that UAB provides the best clinical training anywhere. I welcome you to visit on service any time you’d like.

Like the Residency, the Department of Medicine is vital and thriving. Our 240 clinical faculty are growing our inpatient and outpatient programs, with 10% more patients coming to UAB each year. Cardiology’s four-year-old TAVR program, for example, has now provided more than 300 patients with aortic valves. This ranks us at #11 in the U.S. for volume. The outcomes have been life-altering, giving people like former Selma police chief Earnest Tate, a viable alternative to higher-risk open heart surgery. 

“To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood…and to teach them this art,”

Teaching is an essential part of our profession and a fundamental aspect of the Hippocratic Oath, borrowing from the Latin meaning of the word “doctor.” Despite this ideal expectation, few physicians have any formal training in education or teaching skills. Beginning during the 2016-2017 academic year, fifteen residents will be participating in the newly developed UAB Clinician Educator Track. Designed for residents interested in a career in academic medicine, the track encourages exploration of medical education and mentorship for future clinician educators over a two-year curriculum.

by Shannon Booker, MD

The State of Alabama is ranked #49 in health outcomes overall, #47 in diabetes prevalence, #40 in smoking rates, and #46 in obesity.1  These facts are unsurprising to those of us on the front lines of providing health care in Alabama. In our interactions with patients, we often come across educational, socioeconomic, and cultural barriers that prevent us from providing the best possible medical care.

As yet another academic year rapidly comes to a close, the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program gathered on Saturday, May 21st at the McWane Science Center to celebrate another unbelievable year of learning and development. We especially want to acknowledge and appreciate the outstanding work and dedication of our graduating residents as they move on to fellowships and careers in medicine.

George Karam, Susan Karam, Craig Coe, and Glenn Cobbs
George & Susan Karam with Drs. Coe and Cobbs
In every new issue of Letters to Tinsley, we interview a senior resident to learn more about the trainees that the residency calls friends and colleagues. We also interview an alumnus to learn about their current practice and the impact that UAB Residency training has made upon them.  For this edition, we have a very special interview with resident Susan Karam with a bit of a twist.  Susan’s father, Dr. George Karam, is a graduate of UAB internal medicine residency and served as chief medical resident from 1980-1981. 

Alison and Jake Rogers at the Crawfish Table
Alison & Jake Rogers at the 2016 Crawfish Boil.
On April 9th, the Internal Medicine Residency staff, leadership, and residents gathered at Dr. and Mrs. Heudebert’s house for a crawfish boil. This event followed the first of its kind, which occurred in 2013, with 150 lbs. of crawfish cooked by chief medical resident Kirk Russ and under the instruction of PGY3 Chris Capps.

The Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency is a program steeped in tradition. To celebrate this legacy, the first ever UAB Residency Reunion saw our alumni get together, greet old friends, and share stories from their training.
Drs. Crawford Owens and Dick Briggs
This event was held in March at the UAB National Alumni Society House, bringing together residents from every decade from the 1960s to 2016. Program Director Lisa Willett gave a program update, and alumni were treated to a slideshow of resident life over the decades.

Drs. Stripling, Willett, Blackburn, Morris, Weil, Russ
Stripling, Willett, Blackburn, Morris, Weil, & Russ
It has been an honor to serve the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program this year as Chief Medical Residents. There have been ongoing improvements to our program this year with the continuation of the Health Disparities Track, formation of the Clinician Educator Track, emphasis on Resident Wellness, and a focus on Diversity Enrichment. However, the central tenants of this residency program—unsurpassed clinical education, myriad research opportunities, and excellent patient care—remain unchanged.  We would like to thank the program leadership and office staff, but especially the residents who teach us daily, for an amazing year. 

Jim Harms MDby Jim Harms, MD

I can still recall listening with awe to my sister, a medical student at the time, describe how she had learned to use physical exam techniques to diagnose disease. There’s something magical about the concept of being able to sit with a patient, and discover what they ail from using only your hands, senses, and intellect.When I became a medical student, crammed in study carrels for long hours, I was able to indulge my fascination as I read about eliciting egophony, or identifying a pericardial

UAB’s Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program is excited to welcome the new incoming Internal Medicine residents for the 2016-2017 academic year.  This interview season marked an exciting and unprecedented year for our program. We received 1,975 applications and interviewed 337 residents from across the country and indeed across the world. Among these, were 80 AOA and 137 female applicants. The program is delighted to welcome 42 new trainees this coming June including 36 Categorical, 2 ABIM Research Pathway, and 4 Preliminary residents.  These talented young physicians hail from 24 different medical institutions in 17 different states and 5 countries.  Please welcome the UAB Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Intern Class of 2016-2017!