In addition to the UAB Health System's AMC21 Goals, the Department of Medicine pursues objectives for the current fiscal year. In FY18, the Department will focus on the following priorities:

  1. GI programs

  2. Cancer programs

  3. Manage hospital length of stay 

  4. Establish clinic access priorities to Improve access

  5. Improve inclusion and increase diversity

  6. Division education reviews

  7. Promote well-being

  8. Promote equity

  9. Pilot increased support for funded research faculty

  10. Increase research funding, impact, and recognition


A Review of FY17 Goals and Progress

The Department of Medicine held a strategic planning retreat with more than 100 faculty and staff in August 2016 to discuss and rank priorities within the Department that had been identified through surveys deployed in early summer. There were many ideas that overlapped the five work group areas, and much of the work that was identified centered around the following issues: fairness in compensation, IMPACT, recognition of faculty value/contribution, and recruitment/retention. The resulting goals were aspirational in nature, and progress has been made in each of the priority areas below.

Clinical Highlights

The clinical team focused on partnerships throughout the year. Specifically, we opted to plug into existing teams within the Health System rather than invent a new Clinical Efficiency Team to help improve operational issues. We also directed improvements in the use of the automated consult order and reduced the number of denied days in GI and Cards procedures.

  • Ensure continual improvement of the inpatient subspecialty consult process > Achieved

  • Establish a Clinical Efficiency Team to identify health system resources available to mitigate DOM clinical/operational concerns > Achieved

  • Develop recommendations for creation of Destination Programs within the DOM > UAB Signature Programs

Education Highlights

The education work group delivered a terrific tool for use in annual faculty reviews that enables faculty to highlight their educational contributions throughout the year. We also identified a potential donor who might help establish an endowment for medical education.

  • Ensure that education activities are discussed and recognized at the annual faculty review > Achieved

  • Enhance incentives and resources for outstanding medical educators > Donor Commitment Pending

  • Expand last year’s work to improve the quality of Medicine Grand Rounds > Achieved

Research Highlights

We are delighted to have achieved 2.5% growth in our NIH funding, and anticipate holding steady at our Blue Ridge rank of #17. We also took a deep dive into the research survey and the issue of percent effort requirement to identify the major points of contention. A survey is planned for gaining insight into the current state of MD/PhD collaborations.

  • Evaluate the incentive program for research faculty > Achieved

  • Evaluate the percent effort requirement and salary coverage among research faculty > Achieved

  • Improve collaborations among PhD and MD faculty > In Progress

  • Explore appropriate metrics for assessing the impact of investigators’ scholarly contributions > Achieved

Culture Highlights

The culture work group had the priority that was most vocally supported among faculty, which was to examine compensation to ascertain whether a gender gap might exist. We found diplomacy to be a key component in this exploration, and have deferred to the School to undertake the formal analysis and report on this issue. Work on the catalog of national awards and honors is ongoing, pending the development of a data structure.

  • Undertake an objective study to identify possible gaps in compensation for female faculty members in the DOM > Deferred to School of Medicine

  • Catalog known opportunities/requirements for UAB and national awards to promote DOM faculty nominations > Achieved

  • Support the Clinical Workgroup in establishing its Clinical Efficiency Team > Achieved

Sustainability Highlights

We began working with departing faculty members to formalize an exit interview process, and this serves as the basis for our declined offer template. We also had the most outstanding fundraising year the Department has ever seen, and our finances continue to be in the black, thanks to careful and strategic stewardship.

  • Standardize expectations, policies, and resource toolkits for Annual Comprehensive Performance Reviews for faculty > In Progress

  • Develop recommended guidelines for an onboarding and ongoing retention process for new DOM faculty members > In Progress

  • Establish a follow up interview process for candidates who decline a faculty position > Achieved