February 11, 2013

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UAB President Ray Watts

On Friday, February 8, the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System offered me the opportunity to serve as UAB’s seventh president. This is, of course, an exciting challenge, and it is truly a great honor. After all, UAB is where I earned my undergraduate degree and discovered the possibilities of a career in medicine. It is where I

January 17, 2013

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Senior vice president for medicine and dean Ray Watts

UAB was closed during the last week of 2012—the academic side took a holiday; our hospitals never close, of course—but many generous donors made sure that our development team stayed busy through the final hours of the year.

We are deeply grateful for the alumni, organizations, foundations, and grateful patients and families

November 15, 2012


Senior vice president for medicine and dean Ray Watts cuts the ribbon to open the new Equal Access Birmingham clinic at the Church of the Reconciler. Photo by Arik Sokol.

There’s something really special about this season of the year, when families gather together and give thanks for each other and the many blessings they share. But we, in the extended School of Medicine

October 2, 2012


Senior vice president for medicine and dean Ray Watts

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since we set in motion our AMC21 Strategic Plan for the School of Medicine. As you can imagine, the past 12 months have been both busy and productive. I want to commend our faculty and staff, alumni, friends, donors, and other supporters for dedicating their time, knowledge, and

September 1, 2012


Senior vice president for medicine and dean Ray Watts presents the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research to Dr. Louise Chow (top photo) and Dr. Anupam Agarwal (bottom photo).

Leadership is one of the most important qualities that a physician possesses. It’s the reason our patients come to us for treatment, seeking guidance about their health. In addition, many of us are

August 1, 2012


Senior vice president for medicine and dean Ray Watts

Teaching, along with research and clinical care, is a year-round responsibility for the School of Medicine, which means we don’t slow down during the summer. Last month, for example, 285 new residents and fellows from all corners of the United States began their training in our graduate medical education programs.

These eager

July 2, 2012


Dean Ray Watts speaks at Commencement in May.

When I walk through Volker Hall, I think about the thousands of practicing physicians who have studied, worked, and conducted research there in the past 40 years. I also think about the challenge we face in providing our current and future students with the best educational opportunities and learning environment—a top priority of our AMC21

May 7, 2012


Dean Ray Watts (second from left) visits with alumni during last month's reception in Auburn/Opelika. See a photo slideshow from the event.

Our comprehensive AMC21 Strategic Plan for the School of Medicine and the UAB Health System focuses on the areas of medical science in which UAB has identified strengths and the greatest potential for growth. It’s no surprise that cardiovascular

April 16, 2012


Dean Ray Watts addresses the audience on Match Day. Click to see a slideshow of photos from the event.

Aside from commencement, the most exciting day on our School of Medicine calendar for our students and their families may be Match Day—the day in March when all fourth-year students find out where they will go for their residency training. In the moment our students open their

March 1, 2012


Dean Ray Watts (at right) presents Dr. Albert Tully with a plaque at Medical Alumni Weekend. The plaque thanks Dr. Tully for his fundraising efforts for the Dr. Tinsley R. Harrison Endowed Chair in Medical Resident Education.

I enjoyed meeting many of you at the 39th Annual Medical Alumni Weekend in February, which was a great success. I was honored to present the 20th Annual

February 3, 2012


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts speaks at the Scholarship Dinner in January.

A great medical education benefits physicians for a lifetime, but paying for it can sometimes last just as long.

Affording medical school is a concern for all of our students. The financial burden of education can place limits on what and where future physicians practice, and ultimately,

January 17, 2012


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts talks with alumni at a reception in Point Clear.

The beginning of a new year offers an opportunity to look back at the milestones we achieved in the previous one. For me, our success in strengthening our connections with alumni was one of the high points of 2011.

The Medical Alumni Association has done an excellent job of reaching out to

November 14, 2011


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts

As I have traveled the state and region visiting with alumni, many have asked me the same question: Has the School of Medicine admissions process changed over the years?

My answer is yes. The admissions process has changed because health care and practicing medicine have changed. We must prepare our students for rapidly evolving careers that

October 10, 2011


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts with School of Medicine students

In many ways, educating medical students is a specialty much like surgery, pediatrics, or another field of medicine. To teach medicine as well as to practice it, you need depth and breadth of knowledge—not only the fundamentals but also the newest discoveries, treatments and practices—plus strong

September 7, 2011


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts

One of the most exciting parts of being a physician is learning about scientific discoveries that could help improve, and even save, the lives of our patients. Many of these important findings come from our own School of Medicine faculty, and lately it seems that they have announced a new breakthrough every week.

In just the last month, ...

August 2, 2011


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts speaks to students during orientation.

Do you remember how you felt on your first day of medical school? That day—a mix of excitement and trepidation, a sense of accomplishment, and a dawning realization that this was the first day of a lifelong commitment—came back to me very clearly on July 25, when the faculty, staff, and I welcomed 176 new

July 5, 2011


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts


Dr. Vijay Misra

A month ago, Dr. Vijay Misra, director of the UAB Heart and Vascular Center Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, passed away suddenly at the age of 51. A member of the School of Medicine faculty for 13 years, Dr. Misra was internationally known for his pioneering research, particularly in the development of innovative

June 2, 2011


(Left to right) Dr. Sara Finley, Dr. Wayne Finley, senior vice president and dean Ray Watts, and Nancy Watts

Over the last six months, School of Medicine faculty and staff have engaged in AMC21, a comprehensive strategic planning effort that will guide the SOM’s research enterprise for the next five years. At the same time, faculty from our Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and

May 3, 2011


Senior vice president and dean Ray Watts

The impact of the devastating storm system that hit the Southeast on April 27 will be felt for some time by residents in communities across Alabama and neighboring states.

Many of our alumni have been personally affected, as well as some of our students. Our Medical Student Services group, led by Dr. Laura Kezar, associate dean for students,

April 1, 2011


(Left to right) Eddie Hyatt, senior vice president and dean Ray Watts, Jennifer Eldredge, and Brittany Richardson

Our annual Scholarship Dinner in March showcased some of our brightest and most talented students and gave them the opportunity to meet and thank the generous donors who provide support. Nearly a quarter of our students receive scholarship funds totaling $2.5 million,