Dana L. Todd, MD, from Greensboro, Alabama, is a 2010 graduate of The University of Alabama School of Medicine. Since her junior year of high school, Dr. Todd had her mind set on one particular goal – to make a difference in her hometown by offering dependable medical care to those that live in her community. She was introduced to the need of rural primary care physicians by her participation in the Rural Health Scholars Program, one of several programs that make up the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline in the state of Alabama.
While earning her Bachelors in Biology at Alabama A&M, Dr. Todd participated in the Rural Minority Scholars Program at the University of Alabama for three consecutive summers. She soon became active in the Rural Medical Scholars Program, spending the year before entering medical school in the study of rural health and primary care in rural areas. Meeting all of the entrance requirements for UASOM admissions, she secured her place in the medical school program. She spent two years on the Birmingham Campus before returning to the Tuscaloosa Campus for clinical training in her 3rd and 4th year. Following graduation in 2010, Dr. Todd decided to stay in Tuscaloosa and focus on family medicine. She was accepted in and completed the three-year Family Medicine Residency Program.
Dr. Todd currently serves as a family physician in her small hometown of Greensboro and was recently highlighted in a Washington Post article emphasizing the importance of young physicians from the Black Belt of Alabama, receiving training and returning to practice in their hometowns. She spends most of her time either in the emergency room or in community clinics, where she helps manage her largely poor, older patients’ diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. While serving her community, she has also made contributions to publications and papers with an emphasis on minority health.
A single, hard-working mother of a six year old son, she was nominated for this award by her mentor Dr. John R. Wheat, Director of the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline. Dr. Wheat shared that he felt Dr. Todd was the perfect example for the type of physicians that are needed in this underserved region. She is now a leading role model for local kids through the West Alabama Health Scholars Program and the Rural Medical Scholars Program.
What sets her apart is her undying passion and willingness to help those that are underserved and lack adequate medical care. Dr. Todd shared, “Returning home to work gives me a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my patients. I have always dreamt of becoming a small town physician.”