Medical Student Recipient of Rural Health Lecture Award

Daniel Partain, a third-year medical student, is the recipient of The University of Alabama Institute for Rural Health Research’s first annual William A. Curry, MD, Rural Health Lecture Award.

Partain is a student at The University of Alabama School of Medicine. He is completing his clinical training at the College. For the training of medical students, the College is a branch campus of the School of Medicine.

The award honors a third- or fourth-year medical student at the Tuscaloosa campus who demonstrates an academic interest in rural medicine and is engaged in rural research or scholarly activity in a rural setting. The award is designed to encourage medical students to pursue experiences in rural medicine.    

As part of the award, Partain spoke during a breakout session at the 14th Annual Rural Health Conference, The Weight of our Rural Communities: Partnering to Reduce Obesity, which will be held Feb. 20 at the University’s Ferguson Center Student Union. He will also receive a plaque and a $150 honorarium. 

This year’s Rural Health Conference ( focused on obesity and featured speakers in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and clinical aspects of obesity. Partain’s lecture was titled “The Obesity Epidemic in Fayette County, Alabama.”

Partain earned a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin. He is expected to complete his medical degree in 2014.

While a student at the University of Wisconsin, Partain completed a Senior Honors Research Thesis at the Carbone Cancer Center that focused on adults with Melanoma and children with Neuroblastoma. He also worked as a research assistant at the center, assisting with research in tumor microenvironment, immunotherapy and combined therapies with natural botanical products.

Partain is active in community service projects. He works with Hospice of West Alabama and previously provided health care at a student-operated free clinic to indigent patients in Birmingham, Ala. 

William Curry, MD, is a former dean of the College of Community Health Sciences and founder of the annual Rural Health Conference. He currently serves as associate dean of Rural and Primary Care and a professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Alabama School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham.

The annual Rural Health Conference is attended by health care professionals, community leaders, government officials and representatives of faith-based organizations who come together to hear from prominent speakers and share critical information and knowledge about health disparities that impact rural Alabama.