The last two weeks have brought good news about the national profile of the Department of Internal Medicine and the Carver College of Medicine. The release of the U. S. News & World Report 2019 rankings of the best graduate schools in the country revealed what every Hawkeye already knows. Namely, that our medical education programs stand shoulder to shoulder with the strongest institutions in the country. Out of more than 140 accredited programs in the United States, Iowa was ranked at #32 for research overall. And, most gratifying, our residency program was ranked #17, one of only five programs in the Midwest to be ranked at all. The same rankings listed surgical training in Iowa at #12. There are numerous reasons why the medical school deans and senior faculty who were polled would list our program among the best. We will not try to figure this out, but rather will continue to innovate in our programs and methods in a quest to constantly improve. I think that the appropriate reaction to this news is to acknowledge that we are well regarded by our peers and to acknowledge all of our faculty who are completely committed to educational excellence. Our strategy to creatively provide the knowledge, wisdom, and skills to prepare the next generation of physicians is working and will continue to be robustly supported.
As much as that news was encouraging, we were most excited about the results from this year’s Residency Match. We are very pleased that all 33 of our open spots were filled by outstanding graduates from many of the best medical schools in the region and the country. Our incoming class hails from 16 different institutions in 12 states across the country, and we also welcome two international candidates from China and Iceland. Six of these rising interns are members of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society, membership in which is reserved for students in the top of their class who have demonstrated ethics, professionalism, excellence in scholarship, and humanism. Many faculty and staff have already had the opportunity to meet the newest members of our community during the interview process. I am sure that the rest of you are just as eager to confirm that all of us, interns included, have made a great choice. (For more coverage of this year’s Match Day, start here.)
The other good news on the education front could nearly be drowned out. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) has notified us that the Carver College of Medicine has received continued full accreditation. It is never a foregone conclusion and it is certainly a process that requires the efforts of many faculty and staff to achieve. The site visits alone are time-intensive and, like any rigorous external review, they induce an additional layer of awareness to a system that is already at a keen edge of vigilance. To those members who prepared the documents and self-evaluations in the weeks and months leading up to the LCME review and then participated in the visits themselves, thank you for your hard work. You put an additional shine on an already-gleaming series of programs. Congratulations to Dr. Chris Cooper on leading such a successful review.
As the Carver College of Medicine continues to grow its national profile in medical education, University of Iowa Health Care also strives to be synonymous with high-quality and compassionate patient care. Dr. Mo Milhem is a distinguished colleague who has consistently demonstrated his deep respect for the patient experience. His receipt of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation is strong evidence of that. Equally compelling is the outpouring of feedback to this news. Scroll down to the bottom of this post and read the dozen or so echoes of Dr. Milhem’s nominator. When one touches as many lives as deeply and in such transformative ways as Dr. Milhem has, it is not hard to imagine dozens and dozens more who would voice similar sentiments and gratitude. Congratulations on this recognition, Dr. Mo, and thank you for the example you set for all of us and for the boundless amounts of empathy and energy that you bring to every patient encounter.