A Farewell from Our Chief Residents

Dustin Krutsinger, MD

Krutsinnger-DustinI’ve been at UIHC since 2003; I consider it my home. I started my time in Iowa City as a nurse in the surgical ICU. I worked with many amazing people and the experience reinforced my interest in medicine. I was demoted from nurse, to lowly medical student in 2008. But with a lot of hard work, I’ve worked my way up to Resident Physician . . . one level below nurses in the medical hierarchy. That is only half a joke. We physicians need to keep in mind the wealth of knowledge that we have already at work on the wards. Between their years of experience and constant contact with patients, they know exactly what a patient needs, understand and often can spot trouble lurking beyond the horizon. As I end my time at UIHC and can leave one piece of advice it would be this: listen to and respect the nurses. I’ll soon be moving on to the University of Pennsylvania to continue training in Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine, but Iowa will always be home.


Charles Rappaport, MD

Rappaport~Charles

My year as a chief resident has flown by. It seems like yesterday we were attending the annual chief symposium in Houston and learning how to prepare for the challenging year ahead of us. Intern orientation started the last week in June and at that point we hit the ground running. The year had many unique challenges that were impossible to prepare for ahead of time, and each one required its own approach and strategy for troubleshooting. This year was also filled with many wonderful teaching and mentoring opportunities that I learned greatly from. I will use what I learned this year for the rest of my career as a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician.

I could not have made it through this year without my co-chiefs. They were a great resource and were always available to help with any issues that arose. We functioned as a well-oiled machine and I could not have asked for better co-chiefs with whom to spend this year.


Raul Villacreses, MD

VillacresesRada~Raul

It is almost unbelievable to me that my chief residency year is coming to an end; it went extremely fast. I am grateful that I was chosen to be one of the chief residents as I have learned so much during this year. I was able to learn from multiple challenges that I never thought could happen; I can certainly tell that I have grown so much. I had the opportunity to function as a mentor, leader, and a problem solver, but on top of everything I was able to do what I love the most, which is to teach our residents and medical students. I am ready to continue my career as a pulmonary/critical care fellow with greater confidence after this year.

I just want to say thank you to all the Internal Medicine Residency program leadership for all their support and mentoring and special thanks to my co-chiefs for being there all the time. Their support was the engine that kept me going strongly until this day. I will cherish this year with all my heart and for the rest of my life.

Oh! And if you ask me, yes! I will do it again.


Alexis Wickersham, MD

Wickersham~Alexis

What a wonderful year this has been! I often reflect on the July version of myself, and it is amazing how much I have grown as an educator, physician, and leader. Being the first Chief Resident in Quality and Patient Safety (CRQS) at Iowa has been an honor, but I started the year with some trepidation. I was initially nervous about teaching quality improvement and patient safety (QI/PS) and mentoring residents through team-based QI projects, all the while leading my own QI project. As the year progressed, I have become more confident in my QI/PS knowledge and skills, and I look forward to applying them towards future QI projects and educational initiatives.

Leaving Iowa to pursue my career as an academic hospitalist comes with bittersweet emotions. While I am excited about what lies ahead, leaving Iowa weighs heavy on my heart. I am forever grateful for the training I received at Iowa and the life-long connections I have made with my colleagues. I am deeply appreciative for those that have guided and mentored me on my journey and who will continue to shape the lives and careers of future residents and chiefs to come.

To our rising chiefs, I wish you the best for your year ahead. Surround yourself with those who celebrate in your success, learn from them, and embrace their mentorship. And try to stay present in the moment, because next thing you know, you blink, and June is here!

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