October 4, 2012
Today, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine announced the creation of a regional campus of the medical school to be located at Baptist Medical Center South.
“We are extremely pleased to expand our class size and look forward to attracting even more highly qualified medical students. We are especially glad to be working with Baptist Health and the leadership of Montgomery to bring a regional campus to their area,” says Ray L. Watts, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine at UAB and dean of the UAB School of Medicine.
The school is expected to enroll 10 third-year students beginning in May 2014. In 2015, it will enroll 20 third-year students and 10 fourth-year students, and beginning in 2016 and thereafter, 20 third-year and 20 fourth-year students will be enrolled.
“This announcement will only enhance the care our physicians and Baptist Health offer to Central Alabama,” W. Russell Tyner, president and CEO of Baptist Health, said. “The UAB School of Medicine’s regional campus in Montgomery will help us continue to recruit and retain the best and the brightest physicians – helping increase the care to our community while making a positive impact on the economy. We are delighted to be a partner with UAB in expanding medical education and increasing the number of primary care physicians being trained in our state.”
“The development of the regional campus in Montgomery is the culmination of the vision of Drs. Tinsley Harrison and Jack Kirschenfeld, who together brought medical education to this community over 40 years ago” said W.J. Many, M.D., recently appointed the initial dean of the campus. “It will be the goal of all involved in the educational process to instill in these medical students the appreciation that it is indeed a privilege to be a physician and, as such, they have a responsibility to give of themselves to all patients that they serve.”
“We are very pleased with UAB’s decision to create this program in Montgomery and we feel it will play a vital role in our efforts of physician recruitment and retention,” said Todd Strange, mayor of the city of Montgomery. “Seventy-nine percent of third-year medical residents cite geographical location and the lifestyle an area affords as their top considerations when evaluating a practice opportunity. Having both medical school training and residency training in Montgomery gives the River Region a clear advantage.”
Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean, Sr. said, “The partnership between the UAB School of Medicine, Baptist Medical Center South, the City and County is another example of how working together enhances the lives of all those who live in Central Alabama. Excellent medical care is vital to our quality of life, and we look forward to welcoming this program and its students to our community.”
"Having a medical school in Montgomery is the equivalent of landing a major new industry,” said Lee Ellis, chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “Thanks to the leadership and vision of UAB and Baptist Health, we now have a tremendous catalyst for retaining and recruiting the best and the brightest, while enhancing the quality of life for people throughout Central Alabama."