Selwyn Vickers 4 LRThe events set off by the death of George Floyd in recent weeks have generated long overdue introspection and conversations around systemic racism in communities across America. As we stand on the precipice of another potential turning point in our country’s long march toward true justice and equality, I have been thinking about what this all means for medicine, and academic medicine in

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRIt has been a little over three months since the first COVID-19 patient was diagnosed in the U.S. In that time, as the virus has spread across the country, some troubling but familiar patterns have emerged. As is often the case in a national crisis, longstanding inequities and disparities around race and socioeconomic status are magnified. Specifically, we are seeing alarming evidence that

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRThis month, I am excited share that National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins’ visit to the School of Medicine on March 5 and 6 was exceptionally impactful.

Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, such as those responsible for cystic fibrosis, and for his leadership of the international Human Genome Project. He was appointed the

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LREarlier this month, the Medical Alumni Association (MAA) hosted the 47th Annual Medical Alumni Weekend, and I had the opportunity to speak to our remarkable former students. About 350 alumni were in attendance, and each had the option to participate in several events, such as Mini Medical School, an awards luncheon, class reunions, and the annual Reynolds-Finley lecture.

As we presented awards

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRI'm pleased to start the new year by sharing some exciting news with you. We recently announced that the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., will present a special talk here at UAB on the future of NIH research funding. The talk will take place Friday, March 6, at 8 a.m. in the Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium (620 19th Street South). The level of NIH

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRI am excited to share that we have appointed a new director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB: Barry Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Sleckman, a nationally-recognized cancer physician-scientist, comes to us by way of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, where he currently serves as an associate director. He completed his M.D. and Ph.D. in immunology at

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRAs technology becomes ever more ubiquitous in medical school instruction, the role of high-quality teachers and mentors remains critically important to training and molding skilled and compassionate physicians. This is a principle that holds true across all health professions, which is why UAB created the Healthcare Educators Academy. Funded with a grant from the University of Alabama Health

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRThis month, the School of Medicine will once again welcome the incoming class of medical students with our annual White Coat Ceremony, taking place Sunday, August 18, at 2 p.m. at the Alabama Theatre. The ceremony follows a Welcome Event featuring barbecue and spectacular city views hosted by the Medical Alumni Association on Saturday, August 17, at Vulcan Park and Museum.

I’m always pleased to

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRThis month, the School of Medicine will once again welcome the incoming class of medical students with our annual White Coat Ceremony, taking place Sunday, August 18, at 2 p.m. at the Alabama Theatre. The ceremony follows a Welcome Event featuring barbecue and spectacular city views hosted by the Medical Alumni Association on Saturday, August 17, at Vulcan Park and Museum.

I’m always pleased to

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRAs summer heats up, our School of Medicine has again welcomed a new class of residents and fellows. The Graduate Medical Education (GME) Office hosted an orientation for over 189 of them Wednesday, June 19, at UAB Hospital’s West Pavilion. Institutional leaders welcomed the new residents and fellows, who attended multiple presentations and training sessions to prepare them for their training at UAB. The

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRUAB’s star is on the rise among U.S. biomedical research institutions. The School of Medicine has gained 10 spots in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding rankings since 2013—from No. 31 to No. 21 in 2018—and is on the cusp of achieving one of our central strategic goals of a top 20 ranking. Moreover, UAB is among an elite group of eight academic medical centers that has attained more than $100

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRI am pleased to share an abundance of exciting news with you this month. First off, UAB has named Dr. Mona Fouad’s “Healthy Alabama 2030: Live HealthSmart” project the winning proposal of the university’s inaugural Grand Challenge. Dr. Fouad is the director of the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center, director of the Division of Preventive Medicine, and senior associate dean

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Vickers bookcase cropped LRI often say the two most important days in the lives of medical students are the day they get in to medical school and the day they get out. On March 15, we celebrated another outstanding Match Day, with 98 percent of medical students matching into residency positions. Our students will continue their medical training at 89 institutions in 30 states across the U.S.

I had a somewhat subdued Match

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRMarch is Women’s History Month, and I’d like to honor the incredible work done every day by women on our faculty and staff. At the School of Medicine, we have made significant strides in increasing gender parity among our faculty and students. In 2014, the gender breakdown in our faculty was 65 percent male/35 percent female. In fiscal year 2018, it was 53 percent male/47 percent female. The

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRIn 1969, the University of Alabama at Birmingham was born as an independent institution firmly rooted in Birmingham, the product of uniting a university extension center and a pioneering academic medical center. Since then, the ideas and innovations that flow from UAB have energized our community and helped transform our city and state. While the School of Medicine’s history dates back to the

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRLater this week, I will have the pleasure of presenting surgery grand rounds at Yale School of Medicine. With Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up Jan. 21, I am taking the opportunity to talk about an early champion of diversity in medicine and a seminal figure in my own medical training: Levi Watkins Jr., M.D. A Montgomery native, Dr. Watkins broke new ground all along his journey to becoming a

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRFor many people, giving gifts is a treasured part of the holiday season. This year, we are especially grateful for all of the gifts, both large and small, given to the School of Medicine by our alumni and friends. Their support is essential to advancing our missions in medical education, biomedical research, and patient care.

On Dec. 4, UAB announced a remarkable act of philanthropy and

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LREvery year around this time, I am reminded that we at the School of Medicine have much for which to be thankful. Above all, we are fortunate to be part of an organization that makes a real difference in people’s lives through the care we provide, the students we train, and the research we conduct in our labs with the potential to change the future of treatment for many diseases.

For this reason,

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Selwyn Vickers 4 LRThis month I’m pleased to share with you some highlights from our busy fall season thus far. On September 20, we welcomed dozens of donors, guests, current and former school leaders, and medical scholarship recipients to our 2018 Scholarship Dinner. This annual tradition offers us an opportunity to thank the many supporters who help make our students’ dreams of medical school a reality, and allows us

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Selwyn Vickers, MD, FACSWhile a few decades may have passed since I attended medical school, I vividly recall the strong bonds I developed with some of my instructors. One of the influential figures in my life was Dr. Levi Watkins, an African-American surgeon from Montgomery who launched a program to actively recruit minority students to Johns Hopkins’ medical school. Another mentor was Dr. John Cameron, a surgeon whose

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