When tragedy strikes, people say to look for the heroes. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have brought utter devastation to areas in Texas, the Louisiana Gulf Coast, Florida, and South Carolina, but thankfully the heroes are in good supply.

And many of those heroes wear white coats and scrubs. In Houston, a doctor whose own home was flooded used every means necessary—journeying by canoe and then wading through waist-high floodwaters—to perform emergency surgery on a 16-year-old boy. In Miami, doctors helped a woman trapped in her home during Hurricane Irma successfully deliver her baby by coaching her over the phone.

Now, more than ever, I’m reminded of the strength and determination of our medical community across the U.S., and am proud to be a part of it. The UAB School of Medicine is opening our clinics, hospitals, and centers to help in any way needed, and we will continue to support our fellow doctors and medical professionals during this difficult time.

The annual Argus Awards recognize a different, but equally as important, kind of hero: the teaching physician. Created in 1996, the Argus Awards give medical students the chance to honor their mentors, professors, and course directors for outstanding service to medical education. It also allows our students to recognize their favorite courses and departments. This year, awards were handed out in categories like "Best Clinical Department" for the Birmingham campus and each of the school's regional campuses, “Best Educator: Patient, Doctor and Society,” “Best MS1 Organ Module,” and “Best Educator: Musculoskeletal and Skin.” I want to congratulate all the nominees and winners for going above and beyond the call of duty to educate the next generation of medical professionals. Click here for a full list of winners.

Finally, as members of the Birmingham community, it is vital we support the arts. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has a wonderful program called Doctors for the ASO that allows us to strengthen the cultural, intellectual, and economic health of our community while enjoying events and great music with our colleagues and friends. As we change lives through medicine, so too does the orchestra change lives through music. Click here to learn more about joining Doctors for the ASO.

Sincerely,
Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS
Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean
James C. Lee Endowed Chair

September 2017