A Conversation with Outstanding Alumnus, Dr. Eric L. Wallace, '98

Posted September 23, 2016 | Discuss

Dr. Eric L. Wallace, '98

Q: Tell us what you do now. What does your typical day entail?
A: I am currently Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at UAB.  I am director of the home dialysis program at UAB, associate fellowship program director, and co-director of the Fabry disease and other rare genetic kidney disease clinic at UAB. Furthermore, I have become a leader and advocate in the field of home dialysis and most recently the use of telemedicine in the delivery of distant care.
As far as a typical day.  I get up, and with the help of my wife, Eleanor Wallace who is also a physician, get my 2 and a half-year-old daughter and 4 and a half-year-old son ( have to include the "half" or he would get mad) ready for school.  I then go into work and either see patients in clinic or the hospital depending on the month. On months I am not in the hospital I dedicate myself to research and writing manuscripts on home dialysis, telemedicine, and some basic science.

Q: How has your life journey been influenced by your time at Donoho?
A: I think that my life journey has been influenced by Donoho in many ways. Now as an educator, myself, I think that the most important thing is not what is taught but how to learn. Donoho did a fantastic job in teaching how to learn and how to push and challenge yourself. The small size of Donoho was also a huge influence in my life journey.  I am and have always been pretty small and very unathletic. However, at Donoho, I was allowed to try and compete in anything.  In the JV football team, I was a lineman. ( I think my job was to trip people as they trampled over me to get to the quarterback.) On the track team, I threw discus. I would not have ever been able to even try these things at a larger school.  But by trying, I learned that any skill can be learned with enough dedication and practice. This experience is what has had the most influence. An attitude that if I don't know about something I can learn about it and start doing it.

Q: What are some words of advice you’d like to share with current Donoho students?
A: I think the biggest thing to share with Donoho students is the following.  Never stop,  whenever you have reached one goal, pat yourself on the back.  But don't pat yourself on the back for too long. Start thinking about the next step, the next hurdle, the next goal, the next struggle.