April 23, 2013

Engage to inspire

Written by 
agarwal greyI cannot imagine a more rewarding career than academic medicine. For me, the rewards start by engaging the groups we serve, which are many. As educators we engage medical and post-graduate students. As clinicians we engage patients and, by extension, their families and the community. We engage the fields of science and medicine with contributions that will serve future generations. And, of course, we engage each other, as colleagues.

When we all engage in our mission to educate, heal and discover, we provide a tremendous benefit to our local, regional and global communities – now and for decades to come. It is inspiring to realize how great our scope is: UAB is the largest single employer in Alabama; the School of Medicine alone employs more than 1,200 faculty and 3,000 employees. We contribute mightily to UAB’s annual economic impact of nearly $5 billion across the state. At any point in time we are educating more than 1,500 students and residents; through the course of a year, with UAB Medicine, we help care for 47,000 inpatients and 1.3 million patients through our clinics.

Starting today, and until May 8, we are asking you to engage through the UAB Medicine Faculty and Employee Engagement Surveys, which we call “Driving Accountability.” The surveys are confidential, and your honest feedback helps us know what’s working well and what could be improved.

Employees can find more information about the survey here: https://www.avatarsolutions.com/feedback

More information is available for faculty here: https://www.uab.edu/medicine/home/survey

We can all be very proud of our students, who engage communities locally and globally. Here are a few examples:

On Saturday, April 20, more than 150 girls from middle schools throughout Jefferson and Shelby Counties gathered at UAB for the third-annual Girls in Science and Engineering Day, co-founded and organized by Farah Khan, a fourth-year UAB medical student, and Alison Barnard, a recent UAB alumna of the School of Health Professions. Farah and Alison have done a remarkable job creating this free event to excite more young women about science and engineering careers. 

This summer, Jennifer Rowland, a graduate student in Microbiology, and Nicholas Eustace, a student in the M.D./Ph.D program, will spend eight to 12 weeks at the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV in Durban, South Africa.

Clark Powell, a Birmingham native and third-year medical student, will spend a year doing research with Henry Wang, M.D., associate professor in Emergency Medicine, funded by a prestigious grant from the American Society of Nephrology.

Finally, this past weekend I engaged with alumni at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Alabama Chief Residents Society (ACRS) in New Orleans. This unique group of medical leaders was created by Michael Saag, M.D., a true pioneer in HIV care and a professor of Infectious Diseases at UAB, and Vince Tumminello Jr., M.D., an internal medicine specialist in Baton Rouge, La., when they were chief residents.

The ACRS has 170 members across the country, with most of them practicing in the Southeast, and they continue to give back to the School of Medicine. Many of them are responsible for recruiting countless residents to UAB. The group meets annually for camaraderie and to stay connected to the place where they trained as physicians.

As you can tell, engagement is not a term we take for granted at UAB. Learning about all the ways we engage truly is inspiring. I look forward to engaging with you, and hope you’ll tell me what you think is inspiring about UAB.

All the best,

Anupam Agarwal
Interim Senior Vice President for Medicine
and Dean, UAB School of Medicine

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