Alan Siegal MDAlan M. Siegal, MD, is on the medical education faculty of the Baptist Health System Residency Program, Birmingham. His past positions have been faculty member and Associate Dean, UAB School of Medicine,; faculty member and Associate Dean, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile; Chief, Geriatric Division, UAB. He received his MD degree from the Medical College of Alabama, which became the School of Medicine at UAB, in 1964. His internal medicine residency training was at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and UAB. He was a research internist for the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in Ohio. He is a Master of the American College of Physicians and Past ACP Governor of Alabama. 

DrJamesPittman PatchI began to formulate my career in endocrinology during my junior year in medical school (1962-63), due to being impressed with the professional talents of Dr. Buris Boshell and Dr. James A. Pittman, Jr. During that year, Dr. Pittman and Dr. Boshell facilitated visiting clinical clerkships for three of my classmates and me at the four Harvard hospitals. I went to Beth Israel, Dr. David Taunton to Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. William Dismukes to Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and Dr. Dice Lineberry to Boston City Hospital. Following this experience the first three of us were accepted to these respective hospitals as interns.

After a two-year stint in the Air Force, I returned to Birmingham in 1968 to finish my last year of internal medicine residency, and then completed an endocrine fellowship with Dr. Robert A. Kreisberg as my mentor.

Two endocrinologists had become Dean and Associate Dean of the medical school in 1968 – Dr. Clifton Meador and Dr. T. Albert Farmer. When Dr. Farmer left to become dean of the medical School of Tennessee-Memphis in 1971, I succeeded him as associate dean. When Dr. Pittman became dean in 1973, he asked me to stay on, but I had already accepted the invitation of Dr. Kreisberg to join the new Department of Internal Medicine at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. I suggested he ask Dr. William Scott, who served in this position for a number of very successful years.

endoUAB Endocrine Division, 1962In 1987, I returned to the UAB faculty to establish a Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine Fellowship program. While I accepted this enterprise, I continued to function as a clinical endocrinologist, furthering my association with Drs. Jim and Connie Pittman in their roles as endocrinologists and developing a lasting personal friendship with them.

My wife, Isabel, had told Jim of her long-time desire to learn to fly during her time at the University of Texas, but her father would not allow it. Dr. Pittman often asked her to go flying with him in his old Stearman bi-plane, but I would not allow it. One weekend while I was away at a meeting and our children were not home, Dr. Pittman took her up for a ride. She only did this once.

Sharing a love of reading and books, Dr. Pittman gave my wife a copy of a hand written and hand illustrated journal of his experiences in Newfoundland titled “Newfoundland and Medicine 1951. J. Pittman.” His signed copy reads: “To the real doctor’s wife… Jim Pittman 2 Nov ’04.” This journal is a detailed log of all his travels, medical experiences, impressions and very detailed hand drawings of maps, boats, buildings, people and islands.

Both Connie and James Pittman have left their incredible imprint on the UAB School of Medicine and hundreds of students, colleagues and friends. We miss them.

About Dr. Pittman

 A93 04 0599 Pittman

Born: April 12, 1927, Orlando, Fla.

B.S., Davidson College: 1948

M.D., Harvard Medical School: 1952

Internship, Massachusetts General Hospital: 1952-54

Clinical Associate, National Institutes of Health: 1954-56

Married Constance Shen, MD: February 19, 1955

Internal Medicine Resident, UAB, 1956; Chief Resident, 1957-58

Joined UAB faculty: 1959

Director, UAB Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism: 1962-71

Dean of Medicine: 1973-92

Died January 12, 2014, Birmingham, Ala.