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 1850s, we are proud to be a partner in the success of UAB and look forward to growing in capacity, reputation, and impact along with the university in the years to come. Learn more about UAB’s 50th anniversary and make plans to share in the celebration by clicking here. In addition, Medical Alumni Weekend guests will want to attend the 27th Annual Constance S. and James A. Pittman Lecture, “UAB: Fifty Years of Innovation in the Sciences and Medicine,” presented by UAB President and former School of Medicine Dean Ray Watts, M.D. The lecture takes place this Saturday following the alumni awards luncheon and is sure to be fascinating.

In other news, I’m pleased to share with you that Steven Theiss, M.D., has been named the inaugural chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Theiss earned his medical degree from Northwestern University. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at University of Pennsylvania Hospital, where he served as chief resident. He followed that with a fellowship in spine surgery at the Minnesota Spine Center before joining UAB as an assistant professor in 1995.

Dr. Theiss has served as interim chair since orthopaedics was elevated from a division to the 27th department in the School of Medicine in November 2017. He also served as director of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery from 2012 to 2017 and has held the John D. Sherrill Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery since September 2013. I am confident Dr. Theiss will steer this key area of our school with the knowledge, skill, and drive that have characterized his 24 years of service to UAB. He is an exceptional surgeon and leader, and we’re fortunate to have him guiding our newest department.

Last month I delivered the annual State of the School address, during which I shared some of the incredible progress that took place at our school over the past five years. It has been an honor to be part of that remarkable transformation, and I invite you to watch the presentation on our website. The 2018 School of Medicine Annual Report is also now available online. In it, you’ll learn about a few of the people and programs that made 2018 such a standout year.

Also last month, we celebrated what has become a beloved annual tradition showcasing what I consider to be a critical ingredient of our school’s success: the diversity of our faculty, staff, and trainees. The third annual Diversity Fair took place Jan. 25 in the hospital’s North Pavilion Atrium. Each department showcased the food and traditions of the cultures associated with their faculty and staff. Hundreds of guests wandered among the booths sampling cuisines and enjoying live music. This year, a trio of slam poets also performed. You can view photos of the event by clicking here.

Finally, Match Day, when our fourth-years learn where they will conduct their residencies, is coming up March 15. The event will be livestreamed beginning at 10:50 a.m. Join in the excitement as our graduating students discover where this all-important next step of their training journey will take them. 

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