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NEWS | May 11, 2021

59th MDW: SAUSHEC urology residency program director named Urologist of the Year

By Airman 1st Class Melody Bordeaux

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Allam, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium urology residency program director, was named Urologist of the Year by the Society of Government Service Urologists of the American Urological Association in March 2021.

The 59th Medical Wing commander coined Allam April 19, 2021, for his outstanding leadership in managing and developing education and training curriculum and the academic schedule for SAUSHEC urology residents.

Allam also serves as urology consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General and as the Air Force liaison to the SGSU board of directors.

“I am honored, humbled, surprised and very appreciative of being selected,” Allam said.

The American Urologist Association oversees many organizations including the SGSU and annually asks each organization to select one member, who is within 10 years of finishing training, to represent them. The SGSU selected Allam for all of his contributions to the organization.

“I was one of the co-course directors for the annual Kimbrough Urological Seminar that the Society of Government Service Urologists held in January 2020,” Allam said. “We had continuing medical education lectures and we all came together for education and fellowship.”

Allam takes pride in preparing the urology residents for their future careers in the military.

“We train the residents in not only education and surgical techniques, but also in how to lead as future urologists for the Air Force,” Allam said. “We’re responsible for training the future urologist who care for our military service members; we are also charged with the mission of graduating Army and Air Force officers to become leaders within the medical corps.”

The previous year was especially challenging when COVID-19 changed everything about how patient care was conducted

“COVID-19 impacted our residency program and patient care as well as shifted the focus on keeping the residents healthy,” Allam said. “We had to reschedule our clinics and transition to virtual health appointments, which we were all new to, and prioritize which patients should go to the operating room and find that balance between patient care, resident education and safety for everyone.”

However, through teamwork, Allam still led the residency program and continued graduating urologists.

“I’m able to multitask because I have an assistant program director, Lt. Col. Tim Baumgartner, and Lilia Neaves, our urology residency program coordinator,” Allam said. “The three of us manage the program together along with eight faculty urologists who are responsible for our resident education. I couldn’t do it alone.”

Allam also relies on the support of his clinical and department leadership, the SAUSHEC Graduate Medical Education leadership, and from his family.

“We have great program leadership, faculty, and everybody in our urology clinic is very helpful,” said Allam. “All our residents are great. It’s a great team and we have a good working relationship.”

Allam truly feels he wouldn’t change a thing about his career in the military.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have great people around me who have supported me from being a young resident to where I am now,” Allam said. “The Air Force has been very good to me and my family.”