First of all I would like to congratulate all our fourth-year medical students, faculty and staff for another wonderful Match Day. This year, 94 percent of our students matched in a sharply increasing competitive environment.
After two years of preparation and much anticipation, next week, March 9-12, the School of Medicine will host the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. This “LCME site visit” is the most important event for any medical school because it leads to accreditation and the privilege of being called an academic medical center.
When I arrived at UAB as a young assistant professor in 1994 the medical center was booming. The building of North Pavilion had just been completed and the School of Medicine was ranked 16th in NIH funding. It was an exciting time.
In February, when Dr. Ray Watts, president of UAB, asked me to serve as the interim senior vice president for medicine and dean of the medical school, my first reaction was, “No, thank you.” I was extremely honored, but I felt like my plate was already full with other responsibilities.
One of the things that makes medical care at major academic medical centers like UAB special is the scientific discovery that unfolds daily that helps us understand biological mechanisms in ways that lead to better care for people suffering injury or disease.