Robert Sheppard and Nathan Culmer

January 2019 Accolades: Dr. Robert Sheppard and Dr. Nathan Culmer

Dr. Robert Sheppard, associate professor of medicine and founder and director of the College’s Hospitalist Medicine Services and Hospitalist Medicine Fellowship, was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from The University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association.

The award is given “For superior accomplishments and contributions to the University of Alabama School of Medicine.”

Sheppard was in private practice for 25 years before joining the College and beginning the hospitalist medicine program at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. He has primary clinical teaching responsibilities for the College’s medical students, residents and hospitalist fellows.

He has received numerous teaching awards from the College and the University of Alabama School of Medicine, including the Argus Award, Patrick McCue Award, Golden Stethoscope Award and Best Clinical Instructor Award.

Sheppard received bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from The University of Alabama and his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He completed residency training in categorical internal medicine, with a focus on cardiology, at the University of South Alabama Medical College in Mobile, and also was chief resident.

The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Sheppard at an awards luncheon in Birmingham on February 23, during the annual University of Alabama Medical Alumni Weekend.


Dr. Nathan Culmer, assistant professor of Medical Education and director of Academic Technologies and Faculty Development for the College, was selected by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Foundation as one of 10 recipients of the 2019 New Faculty Scholar Award.

The award recognizes leadership potential and provides financial support to attend this year’s Society of Teachers of Family Medicine spring conference in Toronto, Canada. As part of the award, Culmer will provide a presentation at a conference breakfast roundtable.

In his role with the College, Culmer leads the utilization of educational and simulation technology, as well as distance technology aspects of telehealth services. He also oversees faculty development.

Culmer received his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, his master’s in human communication studies from California State University-Fullerton, and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Iowa. Before joining the College, he spent four years at Pennsylvania State University with responsibilities in instructional design.