Patient Care at UAB

Big picture

UAB specialists attract patients not just from Alabama but around the country, notes President Watts. UAB has the only hospital in Alabama providing the highest level of certified care for high-risk infants and their mothers, as well as patients with severe trauma and burns.

bts-hospital“Do you want to know how to help me?”
Homewood resident Lois Ward (top, and bottom center, getting ready for her close-up) represents the more than 1 million patients treated each year at UAB, as well as the many health-care providers trained at UAB in fields such as nursing, optometry, health professions, and dentistry, as well as medicine.
The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only comprehensive center designated by the National Cancer Institute in a six-state region, offers patients access to the latest clinical trials of new treatments, as well as to physicians with decades of experience in each cancer subtype.

But UAB Hospital should also be a destination for pregnant women with no complications, patients with common, “easily treatable” cancers, and other conditions, says Watts. “Most people think of UAB as the place you go when you’re really sick,” he says. “It’s absolutely true that we offer some of the most advanced specialty care in the world, but we are equally strong in primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and the other clinical areas.”

The latest issue of Best Doctors in America offers plenty of evidence to support that contention. It features 291 UAB physicians in 55 specialties, putting them among the top 5 percent of clinicians in the country, as voted by their peers.

As the primary training ground for physicians, nurses, and other health-care specialists in Alabama, UAB also produces the next generation of professionals who will care for residents around the state. The UAB School of Medicine, for instance, trains some 80 percent of Alabama physicians.


Medical, nursing, and health professions students at UAB don’t just learn how to treat disease. They are shaped by one fundamental lesson: Compassionate care is just as important as cutting-edge therapies.

In UAB’s high-tech Clinical Skills Center, students from all UAB health schools—plus others from universities around the state—practice their bedside manner in a make-it-or-break-it final exam. Feel the pressure in “The Great Pretenders,” a video and story from UAB Magazine:

0212oscesm"...Moates is preparing for a five-hour shift as UAB senior medical students take their Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE).

'I’m having a ball,' he says with a grin.

The medical students are not so relaxed. A passing grade on the OSCE is required for graduation, and the tension on the third floor of Volker Hall is palpable..."   Read more

Several UAB School of Medicine students don’t need help understanding the patient experience. In "The Toughest Tests," third-year student Sarah Gammons and other current medical students talk about their own struggles with chronic illness and how it is shaping their approach to health care:

Sarah Gammons"...Gammons says the experience 'completely changed' her outlook on being a physician.

'I feel like I have more empathy now,' she says. 'You don’t really know what that is until you’ve been in a tough situation. When patients are in the hospital and are miserable and in a bad mood, I can understand why.'

She adds that she may explore endocrinology or oncology as a career because she now knows a different side of those specialties..." Read more


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