NameJohnny E. Bates, M.D.
Degree and graduation yearMathematics (BS), 1978
Current employer and jobPhysician; CEO and owner of Quality Correctional Health Care, Inc.
Greatest professional accomplishments?Starting my own business and being recognized in the 2016 UAB Top 25 Excellence in Business Awards.
What first attracted you to UAB?I had a scholarship to UAB back in the day when there were only 3 or 4 buildings, depending on what you counted as a building. At that time, UAB was known as a commuter college because there were really no dorms or facilities. I had been in a fraternity at another university, and made two Bs and a C. If I had stayed there I would have never gotten into medical school. UAB helped keep me focused and disciplined.
How has your experiences at UAB helped you in your professional/personal life?It allowed me to pursue a medical degree, and pursue my calling. I later found out that I liked taking care of populations as much or more than the individual patient.
My background in mathematics helped me to teach courses in clinical decision making based upon mathematic principles, and to pick up computer programming easily. I wrote several programs as a resident and one was sold commercially for a period of time.
What is your favorite UAB memory/moment?This is going to seem quite weird, but back in the day the Math Department was just above Sneaky Pete’s Hotdogs and I remember the aroma of those hotdogs.
My most favorite recent moment was being awarded the Top 25 Excellence in Business Award as an alumnus. I also fondly remember the first time I saw UAB take the field in a NCAA Football game. I am very proud of my alma mater.
What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at UAB?It’s much different now, and there is more of a campus than in my time. I would say that the most important thing is to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge from multiple disciplines that exist at UAB. Some of my favorite courses were electives, and I became so fascinated with art that I pursued a minor in Art History.
I think college in general prepares you for a life-time of learning, and is only the prelude to many future twists and turns that you cannot foresee. I went on to get a Masters Degree in Medical Management and started a business which now employees over 300 people in four states; something I could have never imagined years ago.
UAB is something you take with you! I designed our logo around the school colors, so I am reminded daily of what UAB did for me.