The curriculum for the 12 fellows in Hematology/Oncology was 20 pages when Kelly Adamson joined the division nine years ago. Constant tweaks from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) have pushed the curriculum to 100 pages today.

Kelly  Adamson manages the fellowship program for the department. If you know someone who should be Employee of the Month, nominate them. Send letters of nomination to Jason Turner at or visit
Adamson has been in charge of that curriculum since she began her position as an administrative associate. She ensures the fellows stay on course and complete all of the tasks required by the ACGME.

“She has generated the data and helped to design the curriculum to be ACGME-compliant,” says Supriya Koya, M.D., one of the Hematology/Oncology fellows. “She is a great source of inspiration to all of us here.”

Adamson manages the fellowship program: she coordinates daily conferences and speaker lectures, conducts year-end graduation ceremonies, arranges interviews for the applicants and reimburses fellows for their educational expenses. Because Adamson performs her duties efficiently and with the highest praise of her colleagues, she has been selected as May’s Employee of the Month.

“She handles every need of the 12 fellows and faculty,” Koya says. “She constantly reminds us of our administrative responsibilities when we are busy with clinical work and ignoring these responsibilities. She takes care of even small necessities.”

Lisle Nabell, M.D., fellowship director of the Hematology/Oncology division, agrees with Koya and also expresses her admiration for Adamson’s work.

“It has been fun watching Kelly step into this program and then develop ownership of an increasingly demanding job,” Nabell says. “The amount of oversight to keep our fellowship compliant with the ACGME mandates has grown considerably the past several years, and Kelly has been instrumental in staying abreast of changes and initiating necessary changes.”

Adamson takes the praise in stride.

“I’m fortunate to work with some great people, and that makes my job much easier,” Adamson says.
Keeping up with the curriculum changes is the most difficult part of her job, Adamson says, and the program is constantly evolving.

“They want more paperwork now than when they did when I first started,” Adamson says. “I never had worked at a university prior to coming to UAB, and if I had to jump into it now, I don’t think there would be time for a learning curve. It certainly would be much harder coming in with no knowledge. I think I really lucked out coming to UAB when I did.”

The fellows say Adamson walks them through any issues they have with the curriculum and makes their jobs much easier.

“Kelly keeps our fellowship afloat,” says John Reardon, M.D., a Hematology/Oncology fellow. “We have had a fair amount of transition in our department, and she has adapted to the changes. She really is like a mother to the fellows.”

Adamson says another challenging — but fun — aspect of her job is balancing the work she needs to do to assist the fellows. She coordinates their schedules and keeps track of the paperwork they need to submit.

Even that process is prone to significant change. Four fellows rotate out of the program and four new fellows rotate in each year, so there always are new personalities entering and friends moving away.

“Once our fellows graduate they are board-eligible for hematology and oncology, and while it’s an exciting time for them, it’s sad to see them leave,” Adamson says. “The good thing is many of them keep in touch. They call back to talk from time to time, and they send pictures of their children. I keep up with them.”

Adamson’s friendly personality makes it easy for fellows to engage her and rely on her for guidance, says Racquel Innis-Shelton, M.D., another fellow in the program.

“I have only been here eight months and Kelly has been so kind and is always willing to help with a smile on her face,” Innis-Shelton says. “She has been so pleasant to work with and has a wealth of information in her back pocket on how to navigate through the UAB Health System.”

“She always keeps a cool head and a sense of humor,” adds James Foran, M.D., former fellowship director of the division. “She has a great work ethic and is efficient and creative. Kelly embodies the UAB spirit of excellence, innovation and good manners.”