Zeta Soror Denah Maxwell graduates medical school following years of collecting honors
Deanah Maxwell, MD, Tuskegee native and daughter of Macon County Commission Chairman Louis Maxwell, graduated from the Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency Program on June 19.
Maxwell is a University of Alabama Rural Medical Scholar, graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and a family physician prepared to enter medical practice. She is a member of the seventh class in the Rural Medical Scholars Program (RMSP), which was established in 1996 exclusively for qualified rural students from Alabama who want to become rural primary care physicians in the state.
The special RMSP curriculum, which targets the often unique rural health concerns and issues in small town medical practice, begins with a year of rural community health coursework and field experiences at The University of Alabama and includes four years of medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine (UASOM) headquartered in Birmingham. Students in RMSP return to the Tuscaloosa campus of UASOM for clinical training in the last two years of medical school.
Maxwell chose to complete her residency training in Tuscaloosa as well. She will be in good company since “one in eight of the family physicians in the state are graduates of the Tuscaloosa Family Practice Residency,” said Family Medicine Program Director John Waits, MD, who also practices family medicine in Bibb County and trains resident physicians and medical students in his rural clinic there. Maxwell will complete an additional year of post-graduate medical education at UA as an Academic Fellow in Family Medicine before she establishes her medical practice.
Maxwell was a 1996 Rural Health Scholar as a high school student, served as counselor in the UA Rural Minority Health Scholars summer program and was a graduate assistant in Community and Rural Medicine. She attended summer programs at Tuskegee and Xavier Universities and the Biomedical Symposium for Health Careers in Houston. Her professional goal is to return to her community as a family practitioner.
Maxwell participated in the UA Rural Health Scholars Program at CCHS as an 11th grader at Booker T. Washington High School in Tuskegee. After her graduation from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a B.S. in Medical Technology, she became a UA Rural Medical Scholar and medical student at UASOM and the College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS) at UA. She has mentored other rural students throughout her career.
“When Deanah served as a counselor for the Minority Rural Pipeline program,” said program director Cynthia Moore, “she was focused and determined that students have the best experience possible. She created a weekly seminar in which the students had to research the different medical fields, the undergraduate institution they would be attending and the academic requirements for the medical school they planned to attend.”
At UAB, Maxwell was Minority Presidential Scholar, Toyota Community Scholar and class president. She earned the Scholastic Medical Technology award for the highest GPA in the program and was named to the President’s list, Dean’s list, and the National Dean’s List. She was admitted to Alpha Lambda Delta, Golden Key and Alpha Eta honor societies. She was also a member of UAB Marching Band, served as the Black Student Awareness Program Chair and Homecoming Chair, and was a resident assistant.
Maxwell was community service chair for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority’s Gamma Theta chapter and volunteered at AIDS Outreach, Alternative Spring Break, Children’s Hospital and Whatley Elementary School. As a family medicine resident physician in Tuscaloosa, she organized a volunteer medical staff for the Good Samaritan, a local free clinic.
Dr. Maxwell was elected senior class president of medical students at the Tuscaloosa campus of the medical school. She was also chosen by her peers for admission to the Gold Humanism Honor Society because she excelled in clinical care, leadership, professionalism, compassion, patient care and dedication to service.
The medical faculty chose Dr. Maxwell to receive the prestigious Dean’s Award, William R. Willard Award, named for the founding dean of the college. This singular recognition is awarded annually to a senior medical student for outstanding contributions to the goals and missions of the College of Community Health Sciences.
She also received national recognition when she won the 2008 Student Achievement Award from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). The Award was presented to Maxwell during NRHA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans, which attracted 900 rural health professionals and students and featured the U.S. Surgeon General as keynote speaker.