There’s no doubt that scholarships make a huge difference for students. My career in academic medicine may have been completely different, if not for a 1, 026-mile trip I took to interview for one in the summer of 1982. 
Back in July, I shared my personal goals under the UAB Medicine AMC21 strategic plan to create an enriched environment for engagement, innovation and discovery across mission areas in the School of Medicine. In order to meet any of those goals, we have to develop the environment of UAB as a destination for the country’s best talent.
The nature of an academic medical center is an inquisitive one. That curiosity is what makes UAB special, not only in the Birmingham community, but throughout the state of Alabama.
Since Dr. Ferniany, Dr. Bonner and I have asked you all to commit as partners in the UAB Medicine strategic plan, I want to share with you my personal goals under AMC21 to create an enriched environment for engagement, innovation and discovery in the School of Medicine.
These strategic investments will help to create programs in which UAB can be a national leader in academic medicine and allow us to have a top faculty with cutting-edge programs.
Achieving our mission can't happen through leadership alone: having faculty and staff with the desire and the tools to work toward these organizational goals are crucial to all our endeavors.
This week was National Volunteer Week, and it has me thinking about opportunities to give back and serve the Birmingham community.
First, I want to congratulate each of our fourth-year medical students on their strong showing at Match Day on Friday.
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