November 17, 2016
Barbara Sobko, left, and Karen Buckner November 16, 2016 | Amy Bickers

Dear Dr. Umphrey

Heidi Umphrey, MD, MS, FCAP, and Megan Julian met for the first time on a photo shoot wide smiles, big hugs, and a lot of questions.

Julian is a sophomore Biology major at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Upon discovering I’d received a scholarship, I decided to put a name behind such a generous offer.

Umphrey is an alumna, one who moved through the halls of the College of Arts and Sciences, the rigors of the School of Medicine, and now serves as Chief of Breast Imaging Section of the Department of Radiology.

I discovered that you are exactly the kind of distinguished physician I hope to be one day.

This past summer, Umphrey decided to create a needs-based scholarship for Biology students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“UAB has been so wonderful to me. It has given me so many opportunities from undergraduate to graduate to medical school,” Umphrey said.

The keyword behind Umphrey’s drive to give back is “opportunity.”

You set a great example for women in a male-dominated field, showing young women like myself that not only can women aspire to be doctors, but become great ones.

“I wanted to base it on giving an opportunity to students, because I’ve been so fortunate to have so many wonderful opportunities. To provide an opportunity for someone as bright and wonderful as Megan…it’s fantastic.”

Julian, who graduated from Science Hill High School in East Tennessee, got a call over the summer asking if she had financial need going into the 2016 school year. “And I absolutely did! I was very excited to find out about the scholarship.”

Your donation makes the difficult journey as a student working toward medical school that much easier.

Julian, who previously had lived in Birmingham and attended Spain Park High School, so coming back for college felt like coming home again.

“UAB is a more distinguished school than I could have even imagined, as far as science,” Julian said. “I want to eventually become a physician and hopefully help a lot of people.”

So, during their meeting, Julian peppered Umphrey with questions about the realities of life as a medical student, working as a physician, and being a woman in a field that historically has been dominated by men.

Before the two women parted, Umphrey expressed her great pleasure at meeting Julian. “Call me if you ever need anything,” she said. And the two discussed future plans for having dinner together.

You, your work, and your donation are very much appreciated.


Megan Julian

For information about making a gift to the College of Arts & Sciences, contact Camille Epps, Senior Director of Development, at or (205) 996-2154.