The Department of Internal Medicine would like to introduce our newest members who joined us in August and September. We are pleased to welcome them to the department.
Brittany Bettendorf, MD – Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Brittany Bettendorf joined the Division of Immunology on August 31 from her Adult Rheumatology Fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals in Milwaukee. She earned her MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and went on to complete a Combined Residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics there. Dr. Bettendorf’s clinical interests include the transition of care for young adult patients with Rheumatologic disease and the care of pregnant patients with Rheumatologic disease. She also serves as an Affiliate Faculty member in the Program in Bioethics and Humanities at Carver College of Medicine where she is co-director of the Personal-Professional Compass Program and a member of the Council for Humanities Distinction Track. She is working on developing an op-ed writing course for medical students to promote the use of writing as a vehicle for patient advocacy. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children (ages 2.5 and 5 months) and reading and writing.
Friederike Fischer, MD – Associate
General Internal Medicine
Dr. Friederike Fischer joined the Division of General Internal Medicine on September 1 as an Associate, having recently held a Hospitalist position at the University of Alabama Hospitalist Service in Tuscaloosa, where she also completed a one-year fellowship in Hospital Medicine. Dr. Fischer received her MD from Rostock University in Germany. She successfully defended her dissertation (summa cum laude) on “The extracellular circulation of RNA in the supernatant of a renal clear cell colony (CAKI-1)” in 2011. In 2008 she completed an Internship with the department of Internal Medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, before returning to Germany for a one-year internship in Intensive Care Medicine and Anesthesia (Evangelisches Krankenhaus Mülheim an der Ruhr, in Mülheim).
In 2013 Dr. Fischer completed a residency in Family Medicine at the Northeast Iowa Family Medicine Residency (affiliated with the University of Iowa), where she served as Chief Resident in her third year.
Renal disease and clinical pharmacology in acutely hospitalized patients have emerged as her personal clinical interests over the last three years, and she hopes to be able to pursue some of her interest on an academic level.
Dr. Fischer is an active figure skater, striving for the Gold Level (adult track) with the Eastern Iowa Figure Skating Club in Cedar Rapids. When not spending personal time on the ice rink she shows great interest in commercial aviation and the complex but fascinating system of air traffic control.
Dr. Fischer is thankful for all the support that family, her fiancé, and her training programs have provided throughout her medical career.
Amrutha George, MD – Associate
Dr. Amrutha Mary George joined the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism as an Associate on August 31 after completing an Endocrinology Fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She received her MBBS from the University of Kerala, in Thiruvananthapuram, India, followed by an Internal Medicine Residency at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Dr. George’s recent research focuses on tachycardia and widened pulse pressure in hyperthyroidism. Outside of medicine, she enjoys listening to Carnatic music, dancing and spending time with her four little boys.
Mariko Hagiwara, MD – Clinical Assistant Professor
General Internal Medicine
Dr. Mariko Hagiwara joined the Division of General Internal Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor on August 31, coming from her previous position as a Hospitalist in the community setting in San Antonio, Texas. She earned her MD from Yamanashi Medical University in Japan before completing an Internship at the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. Dr. Hagiwara then moved on to an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of South Dakota. Her primary academic interest is to develop her skills as a clinical educator for medical students, residents, and other healthcare professionals. Her hobbies include outdoor activities, cooking, and volleyball. She enjoys spending her time with her husband and four children.
Nabeel Hamzeh, MD – Associate Professor
Pulmonary, Critical Care & Occupational Medicine
Dr. Nabeel Hamzeh recently joined the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Occupational Medicine on August 28 as an Associate Professor from his previous position as Associate Professor at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Hamzeh received his MBBS from the University of Jordan in Amman, after which he completed a rotating Internship. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, where he also served as Chief Resident. After that, Dr. Hamzeh went to Houston, Texas, for a Fellowship in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, followed by a faculty appointment at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Hamzeh’s clinical and research interests focus on sarcoidosis and interstitial lung diseases. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, biking, and spending time with his family.
Diana Jalal, MD – Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Jalal has just returned to the University of Iowa when she joined the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension on September 1 as a Clinical Associate Professor and Deputy Chief of Medicine at the VA. Most recently, she was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and the Clinical Director for Renal at the University of Colorado Hospital. Dr. Jalal received her MBBS from the University of Jordan in Amman, where she also did an internship before completing her residency at Iowa in Internal Medicine. After leaving Iowa City, she completed a clinical fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine, followed by a research fellowship at the University of Texas at Houston. Dr. Jalal is a member of the American Heart Association’s Leadership Committee for the Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease and a member of the editorial boards for the journal Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease and the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In her spare time, Dr. Jalal enjoys spending time with her kids, running, and playing the piano. Dr. Jalal is excited to be back in Iowa City working with the veterans and to take advantage of the innovation and talent in the Department of Internal Medicine (and other departments on campus) to expand her translational research on cardiovascular outcomes in chronic kidney disease.
Bharat Kumar, MD – Clinical Assistant Professor
Immunology (Allergy/Imm & Rheumatology)
Dr. Bharat Kumar joined the Division of Immunology as a Clinical Assistant Professor on August 31, having just completed his fellowship in the Rheumatology and Allergy/Immunology Dual Certification Pathway at UIHC, as well as completing a Master of Medical Education at the Carver College of Medicine. He earned his MD from Saba University School of Medicine in the Netherlands, Antilles, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington. Dr. Kumar specializes in both Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology within the division, and his research interests include medical education, diagnostic reasoning, and complex immune-based disorders. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, and traveling.
Avraham Levin, MD, MSc – Clinical Assistant Professor
Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Dr. Avraham Levin joined the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology on August 31 as a Clinical Assistant Professor, having previously worked as an Attending Physician and Instructor in Clinical Investigation at Rockefeller University in New York. He received his MD from the Hebrew University/Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel, and his MSc in Translational Research at Rockefeller University. Dr. Levin completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Hebrew University/Hadassah Medical Center, also serving as Chief Resident, before holding a Gastroenterology Fellowship there. Dr. Levin’s clinical and research interests focus on genetic predisposition to gastrointestinal malignancies such as gastric, pancreatic, and colon cancer. His interests outside medicine include hiking, playing ice hockey, and spending time with his family.
Juan Pagan-Ferrer, MD – Clinical Assistant Professor
General Internal Medicine
Dr. Juan Pagan-Ferrer joined the Division of General Internal Medicine on September 21, having just completed his Geriatric and Palliative Care Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He received his MD from the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, followed by an internship at the Veterans Administration Caribbean Healthcare System there. He completed a medicine residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and worked previously as a Hospitalist in that community. Dr. Pagan-Ferrer’s primary academic interests include identifying patient populations that might benefit from early advanced care planning, palliative medicine, and end-of-life discussion. Another area of interest for Dr. Pagan-Ferrer is to develop his skills as a clinical educator for medical students, residents, and other healthcare professionals. In his spare time, he likes to find ways to make healthy alternatives for his meals, exercise, bike, people-watch, and read science fiction.