Vickers bookcase cropped LRSummer is an exciting time for our School of Medicine, as we recently welcomed a new class of residents and fellows. Our UAB Graduate Medical Education (GME) team hosted an orientation for over 180 of them on Wednesday, June 20. The new crop of residents and fellows learned about the physician well-being resources we have available and UAB Medicine’s preferred method of communicating with patients and families, called AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank You).

In addition to training the next generation of academic physicians, educators, and scientists, our academic medical center seeks to combat health care disparities and provide care for the underserved in our state. I’m pleased this year’s orientation marked the first year residents and fellows learned more about our initiatives in this area from key leaders like Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, head of our Office for Diversity and Inclusion, while also being educated on how to address the unique health care needs of our patient population.

I want to thank Alice Goepfert, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and designated institutional official (DIO) for UAB Hospital, and Brenessa Lindeman, M.D., associate DIO, and their team for creating this clinical learning environment and implementing this new informational session. The GME Office staff organized an informative orientation where residents and fellows also learned about the hospital’s quality initiatives, risk management protocols, and compliance regulations.

Our new class of residents and fellows makes important contributions to the quality of care we provide, often helping experienced physicians learn new technological procedures. They are a diverse group representing approximately 60 U.S. medical schools and 27 international universities, who bring fresh perspectives to clinical scenarios. As of July, we have welcomed 269 incoming residents and fellows to our 30 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) residency programs and 60 ACGME fellowship programs in Birmingham, Huntsville, Selma, and Montgomery.

For this residency and fellowship class, we welcomed back some familiar faces who completed medical school here. Our class of 2018 had a match rate of 98 percent—above the national average of 94.3 percent—and we are particularly gratified that 53 graduates chose to continue their medical training at UAB.

I wish these new residents and fellows the very best as they embark on the next phase of their training. We are honored they have chosen to contribute their passion and talent to advancing our patient care and research missions.

Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS
Senior Vice President for Medicine
Dean, School of Medicine
James C. Lee Endowed Chair
University of Alabama at Birmingham