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 to connect donors to the students benefiting from their generosity. The dinner was hosted by Craig Hoesley, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education and chair of the Department of Medical Education. Several current students spoke about how scholarship support has helped them, and Susan Ferguson Bradley, M.D., alumna and member of the UAB Torchlighter Society, shared powerful testimony on the meaning of scholarships in her life and why she chose to make a medical scholarship legacy gift. Other school leaders in attendance were Christina Grabowski, Ph.D., associate dean for admissions and enrollment management; Huntsville Regional Medical Campus Dean Roger Smalligan, M.D.; and Irfan Asif, M.D., our new chair of family and community medicine. We also welcomed former School of Medicine Dean and scholarship donor Bob Rich, M.D., and former chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine T. Michael Harrington, M.D., as well as past Medical Alumni Association Presidents Wayne Finley, M.D., Ph.D., and Doris Sturgis Phillips, M.D. (also scholarship donors).

Thanks to the support of scholarship donors, the school distribute more than $3.8 million in scholarship dollars this year—a 30 percent increase over last year. Since last year, 17 new scholarships have been made possible by, and existing scholarships have been strengthened with additional contributions from, donors like those who attended the Scholarship Dinner. We are deeply grateful for their commitment to our students—an investment in them is an investment in the health of their future patients. You can view an online album of photos from the event by clicking here. If you’d like to learn more about giving to medical student scholarships, click here or contact Jessica Brooks Lane at 205-975-4452 or

In other news, last week we announced that Dan E. Berkowitz, M.B.BCh, has been named chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine in the School of Medicine. He comes to UAB after 25 years at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he currently serves as the vice-chair for research in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care.

Dr. Berkowitz earned his medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1984. After his medical internship at Coronation Hospital in Johannesburg and fellowship in Human Genetics, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1987. He completed his anesthesia residency and fellowship in Cardiac Anesthesia at Duke University Medical Center. He subsequently joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he served in a variety of roles. You can read more about him here.

Dr. Berkowitz is an outstanding fit for this leadership role. His extensive leadership and laboratory experience will continue to strengthen and expand our already thriving Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. I hope you will join me in welcoming him to the Birmingham medical community.

Lastly, I’m pleased to share the news that we will be reinstituting the UAB Family Medicine Residency in Birmingham after an 18-year absence. As a first step, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Cahaba Medical Care to partner with us in the residency. The program will join our existing affiliated family medicine residencies in Huntsville and Selma, and we hope to begin recruiting residents for 2019. The timing is especially fortuitous since we recently welcomed our new chair of family and community medicine Irfan Asif, M.D. As a key plank of the school’s overall strategy to train more primary care providers for our state, this is a goal we have been working toward for quite some time. There will be more news about the residency in the coming months, but I am very happy to share this important milestone with you.

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