The Gift that Changed Everything: Scholarships

As a UAB undergraduate and medical student, Anand Iyer viewed scholarships as doors to new opportunities. Now, as an assistant professor in the School of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Iyer understands that those doors never close. Here, he describes the long-lasting impact of scholarships on his career success:

In hindsight, the scholarships I earned were more important than I understood at the time. Receiving a scholarship for full tuition and fees influenced my decision to come to UAB. When I interviewed for the University Honors Program and the Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP), I knew UAB was a perfect match. Leaders in both programs were instrumental in my early career development and remain good friends and mentors.

ANAND IYER, M.D.

Hometown
Anniston, Alabama

UAB Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology, 2007
  • Doctor of Medicine, 2011
  • Internal Medicine Residency, 2014
  • Pulmonary-Critical Care Fellowship, 2017

Iyer is now pursuing his third UAB degree—a Master of Science in Public Health.

UAB Scholarships

  • University Scholars Award
  • UAB Dept. of Music Piano Scholarship
  • Aaron Lamar, Jr., Scholarship for Service to UAB
  • W. Hudson Turner, M.D., Endowed Scholarship in the School of Medicine
  • W. Earle Drennen Endowed Scholarship in the School of Medicine

External Scholarships

  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
  • Phi Kappa Phi Slater Fellowship
  • Alpha Lambda Delta Mariah Leonard Fellowship

Notable Honors

  • Young Alumni Rising Star, UAB National Alumni Society
  • School of Medicine Class of 2011 President

In addition to providing necessary financial support for college and medical school, scholarships allowed me to focus on doing my best and learning to be a good doctor. In fact, many of them helped solidify my interest in staying in the state to help Alabamians live healthier lives. For graduate fellowships, I earned from Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi, which I used toward medical school, I had to build a case that I would focus on developing innovative care models for older adult s with chronic disease. I am doing just that in pulmonary medicine.

Between scholarships and support from my parents, it is a huge relief not to have to pay back loans. Many physicians accrue enormous debt in college and medical school, putting a strain on them early. Some colleagues are forced to moonlight in other jobs just to pay it back, which obviously detracts from learning to be a good doctor. During our postgraduate training, we work extremely long hours at a relatively lower level of pay for years after medical school and can barely make a dent in that debt during that time.

I am forever thankful to the donors who made the scholarships I earned possible, and aim to repay their generosity and kindness every day through my work. In addition to providing subspecialty care as a UAB pulmonologist and intensivist, I have reopened the pulmonary clinic at Cooper Green Mercy Health and am working to bring subspecialty pulmonary care to a large indigent population of Jefferson County citizens who desperately need it.

Through EMSAP, I shadowed physicians at Cooper Green when it was an inpatient facility and rotated through the hospital in medical school and residency. It has been amazing to return to that facility as an attending. I also earned a prestigious T3 2 training grant during fellowship and an institutional UAB Patient-Centered Outcomes Research K12 award as an attending, both from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These awards support my research on the role of palliative and supportive care in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and offset costs of a master’s in public health, my third UAB degree. I’m proud to be a Blazer for life!

Help shape a life through education: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about establishing a scholarship at UAB.