A Valentine to UT Southwestern

Four alumni share why they love their alma mater

Photo of Clements University Hospital overlaid with a hand drawn heart
William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital at UT Southwestern Medical Center Source image: Mei-Chun Jau/UT Southwestern Medical Center

Festooned with hearts in shades from blush to scarlet, Valentine’s Day is about expressing unabashed affection. For four alumni, it’s also a chance to reflect on why they love UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Whether it was the place they found their calling, their community, or a lifelong companion, UT Southwestern made a difference in their lives, just as it’s made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of alumni worldwide.

A 35-year love letter to medicine

Growing up half a world away in the tiny Texas Panhandle town of Canadian, Malouf Abraham Jr., M.D., never forgot his family’s Lebanese roots.

He graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School in 1964 as the second youngest person in his class. After completing his internship at a hospital in Savanna, Georgia, he served as a physician during the Vietnam War, returning home to build the Abraham Allergy Clinic on the back corner of his grandparent's city-block-long property in Canadian. Inside the lobby sat a mortar and pestle that belonged to his grandfather, who had also been a physician.

Malouf Abraham
Malouf Abraham, M.D. Provided by Malouf Abraham

Dr. Abraham found every aspect of allergy study fascinating, from the initial scratch test used to identify a patient’s allergies to finding the right combination of treatments.

“I felt almost like a mad scientist trying to figure out which trees, grasses, or weeds were contributing to my patients with respiratory allergies. And then I had to devise which allergy shot they needed,” he said.

Over the next 35 years, he became one of the region’s most sought-after experts in the field. Patients came to the remote Texas town from as far away as Montana. His practice ballooned to more than 14,000 patients, one of the state’s largest allergy clinics.

“I had so many allergy patients that I had to store their files in a whole separate house across the street from my clinic,” said Dr. Abraham.

Now in his 80s, he has been retired from practice for more than 20 years. Looking back, he’s glad he fell in love with medicine at UT Southwestern.

“But what made me feel most wonderful about my allergy specialization were the numbers of letters I received from grateful patients saying how much I had helped them,” he said. “These letters still make me feel wonderful today.”

No place like home

Temple Howell-Stampley, M.D., arrived at UT Southwestern in 1993. She was there to begin an internal medicine internship at Parkland Health & Hospital System. It was the start of a love affair with the institution and its culture.

Temple Howell-Stampley
Temple Howell-Stampley, M.D. Dave Gresham /UT Southwestern Medical Center

She completed her internship and residency, and after a year-long clinical research fellowship, joined the Division of General Internal Medicine as an Assistant Professor. There she built a thriving primary care practice while nurturing a growing love for mentoring students and residents in training.

Striking out on her own, she spent a few years in private practice, but being away from the Medical Center only reinforced her passion for high quality patient care, education, and mentorship. She returned to the Department of Internal Medicine where she led the development of a satellite general internal medicine clinic on campus and rebuilt her primary care practice, eventually becoming Medical Director of Outpatient Services and rising to the rank of Professor.

"What I love most about UT Southwestern is the camaraderie and collaboration with colleagues who believe in providing high-quality, patient-centered care and are dedicated to training the next generation of health care providers.” Dr. Howell-Stampley said. “The innovations that emerge from working together feed my soul and make my job incredibly exciting. While I was in private practice, I missed all of that, as well as the lifelong professional releationships that date back to my internship and continue to grow and thrive today."

“What I love most about UT Southwestern is the camaraderie with my colleagues who believe in providing high quality, patient-centered care …”

Today, Dr. Howell-Stampley is Chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in the School of Health Professions, where she also directs the Physician Assistant Program.

“For me, my education and experiences at UT Southwestern have played a monumental role in my development as a physician, educator, mentor, and leader," she said. "When I returned, I was glad that I had come back home to where it all started. My goal now is to continue to give back to the community which has given me so much.”

In sickness and in health

It may sound cliché, but UT Southwestern alumni Philip Frykman, M.D., Ph.D., and C. Channing (Ruud) Frykman, M.D., had their first date on Valentine’s Day.

They dined at Goldfinger Greek Restaurant, part of an evening choreographed by his pals from the Medical Scientist Training Program. During spring break, the couple travelled on a medical mission to Mexico, spending the evenings sitting and talking in a gazebo under the stars.

“This is when we fell in love,” Dr. Philip Frykman said. “Our mission leader married us the next year.”

Dr. C. Channing Frykman graduated in 1994 and went on to complete her residency at Children’s Medical Center, fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a pediatrician helping underserved communities. Dr. Philip Frykman completed his M.D./Ph.D. program three years later, moving on to a general surgery residency and pediatric surgery fellowship.

C. Channing Frykman and Philip Frykman with their three children
C. Channing Frykman, M.D., and Philip Frykman, M.D., Ph.D., with their three children Provided by C. Channing Frykman

Eventually, the family moved to Los Angeles. He accepted a position at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She joined Los Angeles Christian Health Centers as a volunteer physician while they navigated their children's complex medical conditions and extensive hospitalizations.

One day, while walking in a crosswalk along the Pacific Coast Highway, Dr. C. Channing Frykman was hit by a car. She sustained injuries and other trauma that required daily brain rehab to heal. Within a year, Dr. Philip Frykman suffered a rare brain hemorrhage that required emergency neurosurgery. Defying all odds, he fully recovered, returning to full-time practice. Surmounting their family's medical challenges only strengthened the couple’s bond.

“We are eternally grateful for our UT Southwestern family and training that have been a lifeline for us.”

“We will soon be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary,” Dr. C. Channing Frykman said. “It has been quite a faith building, miraculous journey, and we are eternally grateful for our UT Southwestern family and training that have been a lifeline for us.

“On this Valentine’s Day, we know more than ever how much our UT Southwestern colleagues have sustained us with their prayers and support in the most transforming, tangible ways.”

  • Dr. Howell-Stampley holds the Cissy and W. Plack Carr, Jr. Professorship in Medical Education and the P. Eugene Jones, Ph.D., PA-C Professorship in Physician Assistant Studies.