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UAB Hospital-Highlands


A recognized leader in clinical care, premedical education and practice-based research

Where We Are Today

We are a recognized leader in the fields of clinical care, premedical education, practice-based research, and student health services. On the Birmingham campus alone, the department employs 21 clinicians who are devoted to family medicine patient care and to the health and welfare of UAB students. In addition, 5 affiliate faculty provide patient care in UAB PrimeCare satellite clinics, over 100 physicians serve as preceptors and course instructors for third and fourth year medical students and nearly 100 have worked with the Alabama Practice-Based Research Network. Our department offers a family medicine residency in partnership with Cahaba Medical Center and educates medical fellows in our various fellowship programs. The UAB Health System also continues to maintain Family Medicine Residency programs in Huntsville and Selma and medical student programs in Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, each with their own faculty and staff.


To improve the health and well-being of society, particularly the citizens of Alabama, by providing innovative health services of exceptional value that are patient- and family-centered, a superior environment for the education of health professionals, and support for research that advances medical science.


To be a top academic department that develops leaders in Family and Community Medicine.

Strategic Goals

Please review our department's five-year strategic goals in this document.

Guiding Principles

Excellence, Innovation, Curiosity, Leadership, Collaboration, Energy

Our Culture

We strive for continuous improvement as we work toward our goal of ever-increasing excellence in clinical care, education, scholarship and service. Continuous improvement requires clear communication and candid feedback, possible only when individuals feel valued for their unique perspectives and contributions, and safe to express themselves. All members of our department and current partners are encouraged to share their thoughts and feedback with us via this online form

Developing and maintaining the departmental culture that we desire, and that allows everyone to do their best work, is itself an ongoing process subject to continuous improvement. Our activities to support our departmental culture include a mentorship program matching new team members with a peer mentor; opportunities for systemic feedback from peers, supervisors and direct reports; individual, confidential consultations with the Office of Leadership and Professional Development as desired; periodic faculty and all-department retreats; regular check-in meetings with the chair and executive administrator; and periodic workshops and facilitated discussion sessions focused on emotional intelligence, interpersonal relationships and team culture.

Our History

The Department of Family and Community Medicine was established in 1975 as an administrative unit of the University of Alabama School of Medicine by founding chairman Dr. Robert G. Sherrill, Jr. In 1979-80, the UAB Family Practice Residency program began and an ambulatory training clinic was established both to educate residents and to maintain faculty clinical skills. The clinical practice saw approximately 9,000 patients each year until the mid-1980s when increasing demands for primary care and demands to generate additional clinical revenue to support the department’s educational mission caused a surge in outpatient visits. For the next decade, the joint faculty-resident clinic practice completed over 20,000 outpatient visits annually. In addition, the department maintained a hospital inpatient service, provided care at a local nursing home, and offered family-centered obstetrical services. During the early 1970s, Family Practice Residency Programs were also established on the Huntsville and Tuscaloosa campuses and in Selma.

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