The Breadth and Depth of Our Faculty

The Carver College of Medicine recently held a reception to recognize the promotion of faculty members to Professor and, next week, the College will honor those promoted to Associate Professor. Academic promotion recognizes the incredible achievement of our colleagues whose talent, commitment, and achievement mark their extraordinary contributions to our institution and to their chosen fields. I am grateful for their service to the institution, the college, and the department, and congratulate them on their well-deserved success.

These annual events are important signals of our faculty’s commitment and the College’s support of their careers. Endowed chairs and professorships represent another level of support awarded to some of our faculty in recognition of their position or their academic contribution and service that result from the generosity of donors whose gifts establish endowments to support these appointments. The department is grateful for the generosity of philanthropists who, through a variety of trusts and direct gifts, support basic and clinical research, education of our students, and care for our patients. Although, the college celebrates these achievements with investiture ceremonies, what may be less obvious is that many of these professorships are renewed without much fanfare. These chairs and professorships benefit not only the holders but also impact many of our trainees. For example, I know that these funds have supported trainees and junior faculty in various ways, ranging from direct support of their training, to supporting their participation in scientific conferences.

There are more than 20 active chairs and professorships in our department representing nearly every subspecialty in Internal Medicine. I would like to use this venue to recognize them and their important contributions to the department. These individuals represent a fraction of our faculty who are deserving of additional support. As such, it remains important for us to communicate to those who are inclined to support our missions via philanthropy of the immense value of endowed chairs and professorships to our mission.  Therefore, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Alli Ingman, Aaron Olesen, and Megan Rife, whose work on behalf of the University of Iowa Foundation and Internal Medicine are critical to our efforts to communicate with and educate potential donors and many grateful patients and alumni about opportunities to invest in the future of our department. They are available to support and to work with you if you encounter individuals who express an interest in supporting our mission via philanthropy.

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In my last post, I discussed a number of ways in which the department reaches beyond our walls. You might not be aware of additional ways in which our faculty connect with Iowans. Through the Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs, our faculty participate in the Visiting Professor Program, which sends them to one of nine different community-based residency programs across the state, from Sioux City in the west to Davenport in the east. There, our faculty contribute to resident training, in addition to offering continuing medical education to their faculty. In the 2015-16 academic year, 24 of 91 teaching days were filled by Internal Medicine instructors, with nearly every division represented. Last year, our Department covered 19 of the total 88. Greg Nelson, Assistant Dean for Clinical Education Programs, informs me that numbers for this coming academic year will likely be similar. I would encourage you to explore the opportunities in the Visiting Professor Program and to look for ways in which you might be able to participate. Thank you to those members, listed below, who participated last year and to those who have already committed to participating this year.

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When we think about educating our medical students, it is easy to picture faculty members here on our main campus or even across the street at the VA Medical Center. But the truth is our education mission equally depends on an array of about 175 adjunct clinical faculty who are deployed throughout the state. Our third-year students, who have the opportunity to enter clerkships in diverse community settings, rely on these faculty members as they rotate in Outpatient Internal Medicine, Community-Based Primary Care, and Family Medicine clerkships. Many students choose to spend four weeks in Des Moines at the Iowa Methodist Medical Center; others go to Mason City, the Quad Cities, and Waterloo, just to name a few. I am grateful for the membership of these “invisible” colleagues in our department. I recognize, honor, and acknowledge the diverse means by which our exceptional and talented faculty members contribute to education, to the compassionate care of our patients, and to unlocking discoveries through research and scholarship. It is my hope that each of you knows just how critical you are to every aspect of our mission.

About E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD

E. Dale Abel, MD PhD Francois M. Abboud Chair in Internal Medicine John B. Stokes III Chair in Diabetes Research Chair, Department of Internal Medicine Director, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center Director, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering

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