UAB has partnered with three other leading academic medical centers to study residents wellness and clinical skill and the factors in the training environment that support those values in a five-year, American Medical Association $1.8 million grant-supported study. Working under the hypothesis that time spent in direct patient care improves communication, heightens clinical skill, and supports professional wellness, faculty from UAB, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and Stanford University are investigating over a dozen measures in the post-graduate training environment as they "re-imagine residency" for the twenty-first century.

During each year of your residency, the grant is there to be the best clinical educator you’ll ever have! These carefully designed initiatives focused on improving your skills in communication and physical exam mirrors the attributes of some of the best clinician educators by:

Strengthening your bedside physical exam and ultrasound skills through the Bedside Teaching Initiative.

Trainees spend little time at the bedside in the modern academic hospital and often sense a decline in their physical exam skills as they matriculate through residency. The bedside teaching initiative is designed to increase the amount of time that trainees spend at the bedside practicing and honing their physical exam and ultrasound skills under the guidance of dedicated clinician educators. We believe increase time at the bedside will increase satisfaction in the educational environment, improve engagement, and decrease burnout.

AMA Grant Photo 1

Providing you with direct, personalized feedback on how to improve your clinical skill through the Assessment of Physical Exam and Communication Skills (APECS) Initiative.

Assessment of Physical Examination and Communication Skills (APECS) is a novel assessment that uses encounters with both real and standardized patients to assess bedside clinical skills. APECS is modeled after the high-stakes MRCP (UK) Practical Assessment in Clinical Examination Skills (PACES), but includes real-time feedback and coaching from experienced faculty preceptors as part of a formative evaluation. During APECS, interns will rotate through a series of stations where they encounter both real patients with real disease and standardized patients in the presence of general internist and subspecialist. At the end of the series, residents will receive personalized feedback on how to improve their clinical skills.

* Activities are modified for appropriate social distancing with masking during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Improving your communication and connection with patients through the Presence 5 Initiative.

The Stanford Presence 5 comprises evidence-based practices that will help foster clinician awareness, focus, and attention with the intent to understand and connect with patients. Presence 5 focus on 5 important steps: preparing with intention, listening intently, agree on what matters, connecting with the patient’s story, and exploring a patient’s emotional cues. Presence 5 practices will help improve residents’ confidence in their interpersonal skills and experience meaningful interactions with their patients.

Assessing your residency experience, learning environment, wellness along the way through monthly surveys.

We believe your residency experience is deeply influenced by the learning environment and your wellness. We value your wellness and wellbeing. Using a variety of validated survey tools compiled into a monthly survey assessment, we assess residents’ sense of fulfillment, work load, and wellness. We use your feedback to inform and modify our initiatives aimed to help you.

AMA Grant Survey

Our Grant Team and Partners

AMA Grant Team

Our Local Team

AMA Grant UAB People
Top (left to right): Steven Allon, Stephen Russell, Stephanie Sanders, KeAndrea Titer
Bottom (left to right): Alice Weaver, Madeline Eckenrode, Starr Steinhilber, Lisa Willett

  • Principal Investigator: Lisa Willett, MD
  • Co-PI: Stephen Russell, MD (Executive Committee Representation)
  • Chief Investigator: KeAndrea Titer, MD
  • Presence 5 Champion: Madeline Eckenrode, MD
  • Outpatient Initiative Champions: Starr Steinhilber, MD and Steven Allon, MD
  • Grant Administrative Assistant: Stephanie Sanders
  • APECS Administrative Assistant: Halie Biggs
  • Resident Engagement Champions: Alice Weaver, MD; Mauricio Kahn, MD; Courtney Wagner, MD


Stephen Russell, MD
Associate Professor, Co-Director of Enhanced Clinical Skills Track

KeAndrea Titer, MD
Assistant Professor, Co-Director of Enhanced Clinical Skills Track

GEL Study Email Address: