June 27, 2017

Six Learning Communities renamed after prominent School of Medicine figures

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hirschowitzlcMembers of the Hirschowitz Learning Community in the LC space.The Learning Communities (LCs) play an instrumental role for students’ navigating medical school. Every year first-year students are introduced to their Learning Communities based on their regional campus assignments for clinical work. Learning Communities are named after inspiring and prominent figures within the School of Medicine’s past and are intended to remind students of what they can achieve.

Recently, the students in six LCs that had yet to be formally named after a prominent School of Medicine figure were given the opportunity to select names for their communities. The list of potential names included short biographies of each figure and his/her accomplishments.

The students selected the following names: Barfield-Carter, Finley, Hamilton, Lyons, McCallum and Oparil.

The Woods community has been renamed the Barfield-Carter community after Melson Barfield-Carter, M.D. Dr. Barfield-Carter became the first female faculty member of the School of Medicine and the first female named as chair of a department (radiology.) She was described as a hard worker who was dedicated and firm in her convictions. She was known to go out of her way for others and enjoyed entertaining the faculty, residents, technologists and students at her home in Birmingham and cabin in Guntersville.

The Leisch community has been renamed the Hamilton community after Herschell Lee Hamilton, M.D., otherwise known as the “Dog Bite Doctor.” Dr. Hamilton earned this nickname as well as the “battle surgeon” for often providing medical care, including surgery, to the residents of Birmingham who were sick or injured during the civil rights movement. When he arrived in Birmingham, he was its first African-American board-certified general surgeon.

The Heersink community has been renamed the Lyons community after Champ Lyons, M.D. Dr. Lyons first arrived to Birmingham in 1950 to become the first full-time chair of Surgery in 1950 and remained there until his passing in 1965. In the year of his death, Dr. Lyons became one of the first members of the faculty in the history of the university to be named a Distinguished Professor.

The Khoury community has been renamed the Finley community after Wayne Finley, M.D., Ph.D., and Sara Finley, M.D. The Finleys were considered pioneers in the field of medical genetics after co-founding the Laboratory of Medical Genetics, the first center of its kind in the Southeast. They also spent a year in Sweden studying under Uppsala’s Jan Böök, director of the Institute for Medical Genetics.

The Sellers community has been renamed the McCallum community after Charles McCallum, Jr., DMD, M.D. Dr. McCallum, or as his close friends called him “Scotty,” completed his residency program at UAB as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He served as vice president for Health Affairs and director of the medical center. In 1987, he became the third president of UAB. After stepping down as president, he was named a Distinguished Professor. People close to him describe his great empathy for students and his warm personality.

The Resuehr community has been renamed the Oparil community after Suzanne Oparil, M.D., FACC, FAHA, FASH, FAPS. Dr. Oparil was a cardiologist who focused on research regarding the cardiovascular disease and the development of novel treatments for hypertension, including ACE inhibitors. She was named a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and was the Director of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program. According to an interview in the Journal of Clincial Hypertension, “Dr. Oparil has always been an outspoken critic of those in medicine who speak to hear themselves heard.”
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