Dr. M. Heath Hale is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is certified in family medicine and sports medicine and currently works as an attending physician at Student Health Services where in addition to caring for patients with primary care needs, he also staffs a Sports Medicine Clinic and manages a myriad of sports related injuries in our general student population—including, but not limited to, UAB athletes, members of club sports teams, and participants in intramural sports. Additionally, Dr. Hale is one of the UAB Team Physicians and serves as the Medical Director for the Athletic Department. Part of this role has involved developing and implementing a Concussion Management Plan for all UAB varsity athletes that details protocols for baseline testing, diagnosis, management (including guidance through returning to scholastic activity and to sport), as well as education. Other responsibilities have included spear heading the development of the Athletic Mental Health Team and serving as a member of a multi-disciplinary Eating Disorder Treatment Team. Before transitioning to full-time clinical duties at Student Health Services, Dr. Hale worked as a non-operative sports medicine specialist treating patients at the UAB Sports Medicine Clinic at Children’s of Alabama. During his time there, he was an integral part of the formation of the UAB Concussion Clinic where he served as a past co-director and is still a member of the Children’s of Alabama Concussion Task Force.
In addition to being a dedicated clinician, Dr. Hale is also a passionate educator—mentoring and supervising residents in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Internal Medicine. He also teaches upper level Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residents and serves as the director of the sports medicine rotation for this department’s residency program. He has been asked to lecture at numerous residency conferences including at PM&R Grand Rounds. In regards to medical student education, he was selected as a Clinical Skills Scholar in the School of Medicine teaching first and second year medical students from 2013—2017. Moreover, he has been an invited lecturer on Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries at the University of Alabama School of Medicine for the past 4 years and has also lectured on musculoskeletal topics as part of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course. In April 2016, he served as moderator of the 3rd Annual Concussion Summit at Children’s of Alabama (COA) and lectured at this event multiple years. Dr. Hale has served as a preceptor in the clinical setting for learners at all levels—from pre-medical students to senior residents and in 2013, he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society as a faculty member after being nominated by student members.
Most of Dr. Hale’s scholarly activity and contribution to science focuses on concussive head injuries but he has also been a co-author on publications addressing other issues in primary care sports medicine as well.