Drs. Paulman step away from UNMC, but not its mission

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | February 11, 2020

Image with caption: Drs. Paul and Audrey Paulman at their retirement tea earlier this month.

Drs. Paul and Audrey Paulman at their retirement tea earlier this month.

Paul Paulman, M.D., and Audrey Paulman, M.D., will be retiring from their UNMC faculty positions after more than 60 combined years of calling the med center home.

But they will continue to write their well-respected textbooks. They will continue to help teach future health care providers. They will explore new volunteer opportunities.

Paul arrived at UNMC in 1982, when he and Audrey moved from a practice in rural Nebraska. (Both Drs. Paulman, who met in medical school, have rural backgrounds.) Initially becoming a private practitioner in Omaha, Audrey followed Paul to the med center in 1996, becoming a provider and then taking on a role at UNMC's student-run SHARING Clinics.

"There are a lot of logistical problems with being two physicians in a small town," Audrey said. "Your call schedule is 'Paul/Audrey/Paul/Audrey.' As a family, there was not much time off."

When the pair came to Omaha, Paul still had a strong rural commitment, Audrey said, and felt he could best serve his rural ties and commitments by educating physicians for rural Nebraska.

"It sounds 'noble,'" Audrey said with a laugh. "It was the truth."

"The things that attracted me were the opportunity to work with the students and the rural doctors," Paul said. "Also, there was autonomy to innovate and to do more outreach to rural communities and those in need."

Paul is known to say that UNMC is part of "the University of Nebraska, not the University of Douglas County." In his time at UNMC, he worked tirelessly to maximize the institution's impact across the state.

"Our job is to serve the citizens of the state," he said. "The state doesn't stop at the county line."

He ran the Rural Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, which sends medical students out into rural Nebraska. He started a rural experience for second-year students. He was part of the genesis of the SIM-NE program, which uses mobile simulation units to provide rural outreach for emergency medical services, "who are critical health care infrastructure people for the smaller communities," Paul said.

All these programs will continue, he said.

Audrey described her medical center career as much more of a practice model.

"I have worked with the SHARING Clinics, mainly working with financial sustainability, and we worked to launch the Faculty Association for the Society of Student Run Free Clinics here," she said.

Audrey also was integral in the opening of the GOODLIFE Clinic, part of UNMC's student-run SHARING Clinics, in 2002.

When UNMC hosted the national organizational and kickoff meeting for the Society for Student-Run Free Clinics in 2013, she said it was a career highlight.

UNMC also hosted the organization's first independent meeting in 2018, and the founding meeting of the Student Run Free Clinics Faculty Association.

"We invited people from across the country to Omaha in February," she said. "It was a great meeting, they had so much fun, and the med center just shone."

Dr. Audrey Paulman officially retired on Monday. Dr. Paul Paulman will retire March 1.

They plan to staff the SHARING Clinics in retirement, and perhaps also become SIM-NE trainers.

"Building workforce across the state, that's what UNMC is here for," Audrey said. "That's our job."

Apparently, even in retirement.


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Daniel Halm
February 12, 2020 at 9:44 AM

Best wishes for you on your retirement. Its a full time job. Dan Halm

Meera Dewan
February 11, 2020 at 8:37 PM

Congratulations to both of you! Enjoy your much deserved retirement!

Catherine Mello
February 11, 2020 at 3:32 PM

UNMC will not be the same without you two. Thanks so much for all you have done to educate generations of students and your dedication to serving the underserved! You have both been so wonderful to me and I will miss seeing you. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!

Keith Swarts
February 11, 2020 at 11:26 AM

Congrats to both of you. I have truly enjoyed working with you on many endeavors. As they say, “light that fuse and enjoy the ride!”.

Keith Swarts
February 11, 2020 at 11:25 AM

Congrats to both of you. I have truly enjoyed working with you on many endeavors. As they say, “light that fuse and enjoy the ride!”.

Keith Swarts
February 11, 2020 at 11:20 AM

Congrats to both of you. I have truly enjoyed working with you on many endeavors. As they say, “light that fuse and enjoy the ride!”.

Hannah Christiansen
February 11, 2020 at 9:19 AM

Congrats to you both! We have left big shoes to fill!

Greg Bociek
February 11, 2020 at 8:28 AM

Thanks for your wonderful commitment to UNMC past, present, and future!

Tere Batt-Student Health Coordinator
February 11, 2020 at 8:03 AM

Congrats guys. Take some train rides and explore during your retirement. I won' t say good bye as I know you both will visit us. Take Care.

Harold M Maurer
February 11, 2020 at 7:33 AM

Congratulations Audrey and Paul. You’ve done an exceptional and inspiring job for UNMC and the State. I know that you will continue to contribute, but in different ways. Best of luck and wishes. Hal Maurer

Karol Warchola Penner
February 11, 2020 at 6:47 AM

Dr. Audrey Paulman, you will be missed! The care you provided to both of my elderly parents, the support you gave me when we transitioned each to hospice, I will always be indebted to you and your kind, gentle, and straightforward heart. You are leaving mighty big clinical shoes to fill. Best of luck to you and your husband as you enter this next adventure!

Chandra Are
February 11, 2020 at 5:58 AM

To the Paulman’s, It was a joy working with both of you. Paul- thank you for the help and guidance you rendered for fostering simulation on our campus. Your contributions are too numerous to enlist and so are the downstream beneficial ramifications. Not to forget your great sense of humor. Few couples can match your immense contributions and ardent support of everything UNMC. Glad to know you both will be around. Enjoy your well- deserved retirement and a big thanks Chandra Are