College residents, fellows honored at graduation

Sixteen physicians were honored June 30 at the 43rd annual graduation ceremony of The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency and Fellowships.


The College of Community Health Sciences provides graduate and post-graduate medical education through both the three-year University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency and year-long fellowships for family medicine physicians seeking additional training in behavioral health, emergency medicine, geriatrics, hospitalist medicine, obstetrics and sports medicine.


“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to interact with these residents for the past 36 months,” said residency Director Dr. Richard Friend, who welcomed graduates and their family and friends to the ceremony held at the Zone-South at Bryant Denny Stadium on the UA campus. “As residency director, the best part of my job is that I get to see them come in, help shape them and then this – graduation.”

The graduating residents and fellows will soon begin their own practices in Alabama and other states or will go on to complete fellowship programs.

To date, the UA Family Medicine Residency has graduated 488 family medicine physicians, and just over half practice in 48 of the state’s 67 counties, the majority in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Dr. Catherin Scarbrough was guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. She served previously as associate director of the UA Family Medicine Residency and was an associate professor of Family, Internal, and Rural Medicine at the College.

“I know how you feel – relief at finishing, excitement at starting something new and anxiety,” she said. “Health care is changing before our eyes and you are on the front line of primary care. You are good enough, you are going to make it and you are going to thrive.”

Graduating residents made brief comments as they received their certificates. “I am very lucky to be part of this class,” said Dr. Swati Patel. Added Dr. Raymond Hunt: “I’m excited to finish residency but not to leave Tuscaloosa. It’s like home.”

“You guys are ready,” Friend said in closing. “I know you will go out into the world and do great things.”

2018 Graduating Residents

  • Dakota Jones
  • Ansley Baccus
  • Andrea Fair
  • Raymond Hunt
  • Stephen Kelton
  • Brianna Kendrick
  • Natalie Kuijpers
  • Jacquelynn Luker
  • Amritpaul Manhas
  • Brittany McArthur
  • Cheree Melton
  • Swati Patel
  • Efe Sahinoglu
  • Lisa Tsugios
  • Amy Wambolt
  • Ashley Wambolt


2018 Graduating Fellows

  • Michelle Pike-Hough – Emergency Medicine Fellow
  • Owen Ulmer – Emergency Medicine Fellow
  • Douglas Cowser – Hospitalist Fellow
  • Ravi Mangal – Hospitalist Fellow
  • Carrie Coxwell – Obstetrics Fellow
  • Blake DeWitt – Obstetrics Fellow
  • Keirsten Smith – Sports Medicine Fellow


Residency Award Winners

  • William R. Willard Award – Dr. Ben Lee
  • Internal Medicine-Intern Award – Dr. Meghan Bonds
  • Internal Medicine-Best Resident – Dr. Amritpaul Manhas
  • Pediatrics Award – Dr. Brianna Kendrick
  • Psychiatry Award – Dr. Jacquelynn Luker
  • Psychiatry/R3 Award – Dr. Ashley Wambolt
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Award – Dr. Raymond Hunt
  • William F. deShazo III Sports Medicine Award – Dr. Brianna Kendrick
  • Global Health Award – Dr. Natalie Kuijpers
  • Research/Scholarship Award – Drs. Dakota Jones, Jacquelynn Luker, Brittany McArthur, Cheree Melton, Amy Walmbolt and Ashley Wambolt
  • William W. Winternitz Award in Geriatrics – Drs. Jacquelynn Luker and Brittany McArthur
  • Society of Teachers in Family Medicine Teaching Award – Dr. Amritpaul Manhas
  • Clinical Competency Committee Awards – Dr. Rachel Rackard (PGY-1), Dr. Russ Guin (PGY-2) and Dr. Natalie Kuijpers (PGY-3)
  • William Owings Award for Excellence in Family Medicine – Dr. Jacquelynn Luker
  • 360 Award – Dr. Jacquelynn Luker


Chief Residents Recognized

  • Stephen Kelton
  • Brianna Kendrick
  • Natalie Kuijpers


Rural Medical Scholar Graduates Recognized

  • Dakota Jones
  • Jacquelynn Luker

The College’s Rural Medical Scholars Program recruits students from rural Alabama who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities in the state.