Coinciding with the two-day Continuing Medical Education conference, Progress, the conclusion of the annual meeting of the Iowa Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) was held just down the block in the Hotel Vetro. Most of the chapter business had been addressed the previous evening, allowing the medical society the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company.
Only one piece of business still needed resolving, who would represent Iowa ACP in the Clinical Vignette Competition at the April 2018 national meeting in New Orleans. The other two Internal Medicine Residency programs in the state held competitions similar to our own late last month. The winners from the Des Moines Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Des Moines Mercy programs faced off against the University of Iowa’s Dr. Justin Chau.
The format remained the same. Ten minutes to present, five for questions and answers from the audience. After the presentations, a balanced judging panel of ACP members stepped away to confer. At the end of the evening the awards were announced: third place went to Dr. Lindsey Rearigh of Des Moines Mercy, second to Dr. Candice Schlafmann of Des Moines Methodist, and first to Dr. Justin Chau. Dr. Chau will receive a travel budget to New Orleans and the chance to compete for the national title. Congratulations and good luck to him!
While the judges discussed the merits of each presentation, Iowa ACP Chapter Governor Dr. Scott Vogelgesang introduced the winners of this year’s Laureate Awards. The Laureate Award recognizes a physician’s achievements and excellence in internal medicine in the state. Previous award winners have distinguished themselves through scholarship and research or outstanding clinical care. One of this year’s Laureate Awards went to Dr. Lauris Kaldjian, Professor of General Internal Medicine and Richard M. Caplan Chair in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities. Dr. Kaldjian has served the profession for decades asking the difficult questions that can come up in matters of life and death. “I am deeply grateful,” Dr. Kaldjian said, “for the opportunities I have had and the lessons I have learned from my patients and from the clinicians who daily take up the challenge of treating patients as persons.”
The other Laureate Award went to Dr. Jay Rosenberger, Internist at UnityPoint Health in Des Moines. Dr. Rosenberger cited the importance of great role models, which he now tries to be for his students. “The medical students, pharmacy students, and residents inspire me. They demand that I stay current in my own medical education. Not only am I better for it,” he said, “but so are my patients.” Dr. Rosenberger also thanked his family, many of whom were also in attendance.
The Iowa Chapter also presented the Excellence Award to Dr. John Viner, an Infectious Diseases specialist with Grand River Medical Group in Dubuque. After a nearly four-decade career, Dr. Viner earned the Excellence Award for “achievement of a senior physician who has been a faithful member of the Chapter and who has made major contributions to medicine in internal medicine in the State of Iowa.” Dr. Viner gave a warm and thoughtful speech in accepting the award, grateful for the support of colleagues, friends, and particularly the family who had traveled to watch him receive the award.
The final award, the Joseph E. Johnson Leadership Award, was presented to Dr. Bharat Kumar. The award recognizes a resident or fellow member of the chapter who has demonstrated leadership in a variety of areas within medicine, whether it is patient care, education, or in research. Dr. Kumar recently joined the faculty of the Division of Immunology after completing the dual-track fellowship in both Allergy/Immunology and in Rheumatology.
Congratulations to all the award winners, and especially to Dr. Vogelgesang and Denise Floerchinger for staging such a successful event.