News & Events

  • Microaggressions: What are they and how do we prevent them?

    Microaggressions website imageMost commonly, a micro-aggression has been described by Derald Wing Sue as, “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward marginalized groups.”

    Sue also divided these micro-aggressions into three distinct groups—microassult, microinsult, and microinvalidation.

  • New & Improved Diversity Calendar

    Diversity Calendar Dec2020With the many different cultures, religions, and countries represented at UAB, it might feel overwhelming when trying to be respectful of everyone’s calendars. To help, the SOM Office for Diversity and Inclusion is offering all faculty, staff, and students access to the diversity calendar.

  • Gratitude for Our Women in Medicine

    September Might Be Over, but Our Gratitude Is Year-Long. 

    A few weeks ago, we announced and shared our excitement for Women in Medicine month. To commemorate this time, we asked leadership from each department in the School of Medicine to submit the names of women whose contributions have instrumental in helping UAB fight COVID-19. 

    Regardless of title or job position, we want to extend our sincerest thank you to all women at UAB who help keep our school and hospital running. This video is for you.


  • Spotlight: Ashita Tolwani, M.D.

    Ashita TolwaniEach September, organizations from across the country honor the contributions of women in medicine. At UAB, we are fortunate to have faculty and staff who continually push to advance their respective areas of medicine. Recently, award-winning Ashita Tolwani, M.D., Assistant Nephrology Fellowship Director and Director of ICU Nephrology, was able to get FDA approval during the COVID-19 pandemic to use a solution she created in 2004.

  • SOM Students Share Their Story to Promote UAB Partnership with Young Physician's Initiative

    Julio Dasiel 1For many aspiring medical students, the steps required to become a doctor may not be obvious. Things such as taking appropriate undergraduate courses, entry exams, internship programs, and residency are just a few things for which applicants have to be prepared. Thankfully, those with a family friend who is a physician or who make regular trips to the doctor, get exposure to medical professionals at an early age— which is critical in the development of one’s career.

    Now, take a moment to imagine navigating the medical education system in a foreign country, whose primary language isn’t your own. With a career choice such as medicine, this dream could be a seemingly daunting mission. 

    Thankfully, the passion that fueled Julio Cesar and Dasiel Bellido De Luna, who are currently MS4 and MS3 respectively at UAB School to Medicine, to pursue their medical degree outweighed the fears and uncertainty that inevitably raced through their minds. 

  • Your Racial Justice Questions, Answered.

    A Q Blue WebAfter the forum for racial justice, hosted by the School of Medicine in June, we compiled a listed of questions that team members wanted answered. To start, we have selected and answered two of those questions.


  • SHPEP's Virtual Launch

    SHPEP Virtual ImageEntering the summer of 2020 was a complicated time. As a state, Alabama was starting the process of reopening. As an institution, the University of Alabama at Birmingham remained in limited business operations—managing University courses online and administrative responsibilities via work-from-home. This in-between stage created many questions for people enrolled in UAB programs, especially those coming from other states with their own set of COVID-19 guidelines.

  • LaidBlack Podcast

    LaidBlack PodcastAs a construct, Racial Justice has been around since the United States was founded and arguably since the beginning of time. However, as a term, Racial Justice is something many people are just now coming to understand. Uniformly, racial justice has been described by NEA Ed Justice as “the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.” Depending on the industry, these injustices can take many forms. In medicine and medical education, it can mean the difference between life and death—making the fair treatment of all people of utmost importance.

  • The First Virtual SHPEP Graduation

    SHPEP Online ClassesSummer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), offered through the School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion, will complete its first-ever virtual summer program Friday (7/10). What was traditionally a six-week, in-person education program, was modified in late March/early April to fit within the University’s limited business model.

  • Dr. Raegan Durant Wins Herbert W. Nickens Award

    Dr Durant Profile

    Raised in a home that emphasized higher education and professional achievements, Dr. Raegan Durant was continually surrounded by a family that motivated and supported him to pursue his dreams. From an early age, Durant had already begun talking to and making connections with local Montgomery doctors. This exposure to the profession allowed him to learn about the longitudinal relationships found in medicine, most commonly as a primary care physician. By the time he left for college, Durant knew his passion had laid somewhere in medicine.

  • Finding Meaningful Mentorships

    Diversity and Inclusion—a core comockupermponent of UAB’s mission—takes form in the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion's (ODI) Mentorship Program, UAB Connect.

    UAB Connect offers mentorship matching for students and house staff who come from racial and ethnic minorities that are traditionally underrepresented in medicine (URiM). Through this portal, students can find meaningful mentorships by simply entering in their information and having faculty members who fit that criteria instantly displayed on the screen. From there, students can read more about each mentor or contact them directly.

  • Second Look & Diversity Grand Rounds Recap (2020)

    Dr Hildreth Email ImageAt the end of January, the School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion hosted the annual “Second Look” weekend. During this time, minority students underrepresented in medicine (URiM) considering residencies at UAB were invited to join current students and faculty for Diversity Grand Rounds, featuring James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D, MD.

    In addition to hearing Dr. Hildreth inspire listeners through “The Transformative Power of ‘ONE,’” prospects were encouraged to participate in the fun of our annual diversity fair, as well as attend a reception that recognized the critical contributions of URiM faculty at UAB School of Medicine.

  • Howard University College of Medicine Residency Fair (2020)

    Howard Residency Fair Training LeadersThe annual Howard University College of Medicine Residency Fair is a unique experience that allows medical students to speak with dozens of representatives in one day. Last month, over 80 specialty programs gathered to share their residency and research opportunities with potential applicants. UAB joined academic medical centers from across the country, including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic, to connect with future physicians and health care industry leaders.

  • 4th Annual Diversity Fair (2020) Recap

    Diversity Fair Cover Photo Resized

    Earlier this year, UAB School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion celebrated its 4th annual diversity fair. Coinciding with second look weekend for resident applicants, the diversity fair brings together food, decor from around the world, international music, and a little friendly competition as School of Medicine departments compete for best table.

  • Looking Forward: the 2020 Diversity Fair

    On January 31, 2020, the UAB School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion will host its 4thannual Diversity Fair, celebrating the wealth of experiences, perspectives, 1.25.19 UAB SOM Diversity Fair DMS 34and cultures in the School of Medicine. 

    The Diversity Fair will be held from 4:00 – 6:00 pm in the second floor atrium of North Pavilion, and will feature cuisine from around the world, presented by the School of Medicine departments, as well as a live international band. Judges will circulate from table to table, evaluating each department’s entry based on both food quality and presentation, and the winning tables will be awarded gift cards. 

    “The Fair is an exciting opportunity for us to enjoy all the ways in which we are both similar and different,” said Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. “The atmosphere of the Fair is joyous and celebratory; it’s a chance to come together.”

    The 2019 Diversity Fair drew roughly 700 participants. The Fair is open to all faculty, staff, and students of the School of Medicine and their families, and is free to attend. 

  • Diversity Ambassadors Boost Key Functions for Medical School

    DApanelThe UAB School of Medicine Diversity Ambassadors have been active this inverview season. Diversity Ambassadors serve all four campuses for the UAB School of Medicine, and are an integral part of the ODI Student Affairs interview day. In addition to other functions, they participate in pre-interview dinners with prospects. 

    "Diversity Ambassadors are key to our recruiting efforts, and the feedback from candidates that have interviewed here at the UAB School of Medicine has been very complimentary," says Jenna Blythe-Tjia, who heads recruiting for ODI Student Affairs.

    In October 2019, the application process for MS1s to apply to be Diversity Ambassadors will open.

  • Ashley Turner Awarded AAUW American Fellowship

    The American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded its 2019–20 American Fellowship to Dr. Ashley Nicole Turner of Tallapoosa, GA. Turner is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    “I am truly honored to receive an AAUW American Postdoctoral Fellowship based on my personal commitment to education and equity for women and girls in STEM,” said Turner. “During my postdoctoral training, I am acquiring experience working with the microscopic nematode C. elegans in theScreen Shot 2019 09 27 at 3.42.56 PM basic biology of aging.”

    Turner plans to continue research, mentoring, and teaching as an academic scientist and professor. She wants this to include a C. elegans research lab exploring questions involving the interplay between aging and neurodegeneration, as well as teaching and offering unique research and learning opportunities to students.

    “With the support of AAUW, I will gain the C. elegansmodel, tools, and expertise I need for my professional career aspirations,” said Turner.

  • Defining Success

    Success means something different to each individual, and there is no singular formula for achievement.

    Some of UAB Medicine's most successful women leaders weigh in on success, and how to achieve it.

    Bulgarella Dawn 2018web

    S. Dawn Bulgarella, MSHA, CPA
    Senior Associate Dean
    Administration and Finance

    A major component of being successful is about willingness to work well as a member of a team.  Sometimes you are the team leader and other times you are not. Be open to learning new things and periodically working outside of your comfort zone.

    Cheri CanonCheri L. Canon, M.D.
    Professor and Witten-Stanley Endowed Chair of Radiology

    Discover leadership opportunities at each stage of your career. Identify sponsors to help you get there, and ignore self doubt.

  • Diversity Grand Rounds: The Common Thread

    "The Common Thread: Find Yourself in Everyone," is a practical Toolkit for a Healthy Environment, designed to give School of Medicine departments concrete, user-friendly tools for cultivating inclusion, addressing bias, and resolving conflict. Developed through a grant from the Health Servies Foundation, the Toolkit was created by the Office for Common thread icon 2Diversity & Inclusion with help from subject matter experts, and is housed on an independent website here.

    All four modules for “The Common Thread” have been released. The four modules are: Building Belonging, Understanding Bias, Cultural Competency, and Conflict Resolution. Each module is deliverable in two different formats: a downloadable PowerPoint presentation and downloadable discussion sheets, and there a series of TEDTalk-style videos showcasing the PowerPoint contents. The videos for these presentations are divided into shorter segments of 7-8 minutes each, and feature Dr. Michael Saag, Dr. James Willig, Dr. Tony Jones, Evelyn Jones, and Laura Heider.

    Currently, Dr. Mona Fouad, Evelyn Jones and Laura Heider are visiting each department to present one of the Toolkit modules during Grand Rounds. Several departments have already participated in one module, and several others, are slated to do so. The overarching goals are to begin meaningful dialogue on issues related to diversity and inclusion, and to introduce the functionality of the Toolkit.

  • Graduate Medical Education: Building Diversity

    The last few years have witnessed a significant expansion of graduate medical education efforts at UAB School of Medicine in order to increase the recruitment and retention of residents and fellows who belong to groups that are under-represented in medicine. The Dean’s Committee for Graduate Medical Education (DCGME) Subcommittee for Diversity and inclusion has not only sponsored events to increase community among under-represented trainees, but has also initiated crucial research-based strategy initiatives.

    Latesha ElopreRecruitment and retention of a diverse body of residents and fellows is a challenge for most, if not all, academic medical centers in the United States. A myriad of structural and social obstacles means that women, members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and racial and ethnic minorities are often under-represented in medical school classes. This initial under-representation carries forward into training.

    In 2018, Latesha Elopre, M.D., and Marquita Hicks, M.D., conducted comprehensive qualitative research in order to understand why some trainees were choosing UAB, and others were matching with other institutions for their residencies. In addition to analyzing themes related to graduate medical education recruitment at UAB, researchers examined data and recommendations from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).