Congratulations to the Class of 2018! For more than 160 medical students, this week represents the culmination of years of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. Our Department played a key role in their education. We celebrate their achievements and wish them well in their future endeavors. Each year the Department of Internal Medicine awards three prizes to medical students who exemplify the highest qualities in scholarship, clinical achievement, empathy and humanism. Five graduating physicians received our three most prestigious annual awards: the William R. Wilson Award (Greta Dahlberg and Lizzy Gerdis), the John and Oral Sebelin Award for Excellence in Internal Medicine (Josh Schoenfeld and Perry Wu), and the Thomas J. Parsons Award (Hamali Batra-Sharma). These outstanding new physicians exemplify some of the best of internal medicine, and I am confident that as they move on to their respective residencies they will show the world the quality of Hawkeye gold. I hope that you are as proud of your time at Iowa as this institution is of you. My thanks and congratulations as well to our faculty who invest countless hours of dedication in conveying the art and science of medicine to our students to ensure that the future of health care is in very prepared hands.
In another few weeks, we will say good-bye to our graduating residents, and I will have more to say about them later. Their impending departure is partially mitigated by the knowledge that some of our graduates will remain here as fellows. One of our Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine fellows has been funded through an endowment from John Fieselmann, MD, Emeritus Professor. The Department is deeply grateful for Dr. Fieselmann’s generosity and his commitment to education. Philanthropy is a critical source that propels our missions, particularly in research and education. Although our ability to increase our research portfolio continues to grow, it is essential that we continue to identify additional resources to support these missions that remain challenging to fund. We would do well to remember that a large community of individuals remains motivated to support our missions by their philanthropy. As always, we are fortunate to have the assistance of Alli Ingman, Aaron Olesen, and Megan Rife from the UI Center for Advancement, who are our key partners in bridging the philanthropy of interested donors with missions that they may support.
Even when our training is completed, the need for ongoing education never ends. Continuing medical education (CME) ensures that providers maintain an understanding of recent clinical advances, research discoveries, techniques, and technologies. Spring is a busy time for division-sponsored CME events. Recently, the Divisions of Cardiovascular Medicine and of Infectious Diseases held day-long conferences for regional providers. These events are large undertakings and I appreciate the divisions’ efforts in coordinating them. I would also like to offer my congratulations to everyone who contributed to Iowa’s successful hosting of this year’s Midwest Cystic Fibrosis Consortium. Three more events in which Internal Medicine faculty will play a key role covering ethics in healthcare, diabetes and obesity management, and rheumatology are approaching.
Finally, I wanted to call your attention to another service within University of Iowa Health Care in which members of Internal Medicine play key leadership roles. In my last post, I pointed to Dr. Jorge Salinas and his work as the Hospital Epidemiologist. Dr. Tim Thomsen is a Clinical Professor in General Internal Medicine and the Director of the Supportive and Palliative Care service. We all work tirelessly to alleviate suffering by curing disease or managing chronic conditions. Dr. Thomsen and his team focus more intently on mitigating pain and suffering in those patients where a cure might no longer be possible. Their relentless focus on physical, mental, and emotional well-being, particularly at the end of life, promotes human dignity and strengthens families often through very difficult times. Recent changes Dr. Thomsen initiated in the service have supported the growing demand for this essential service. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with this team and how their expertise could contribute to your patients’ care.