We recently concluded our annual Progress CME conference. This well-established partnership between our department and the College of Pharmacy continues to deliver high-quality educational content. Judging by the consistently high attendance numbers, area providers view this conference as critical for their continuing medical education needs. Organizers work throughout the year to identify speakers and topics and help craft presentations that provide useful updates in clinical practice in engaging ways. Congratulations are due to Ryan Jacobsen, PharmD; Melinda Johnson, MD; Scott Vogelgesang, MD, and the many other planning committee members for this year’s success. Progress represents a strong example by which our Department contributes to the broader community by sharing our expertise and highlighting the work we do at the University of Iowa.
In recent years, professional organizations have also organized events to coincide with Progress. The Iowa Chapters of both the Society of Hospital Medicine and the American College of Physicians held their annual meetings concurrently with Progress. These meetings represent a valuable venue to engage our students and trainees and to provide a platform for them to present their accomplishments. At the ACP meeting, a team of our residents won the quiz bowl against teams from two other internal medicine residency programs in the state. A second-year resident from Iowa, Dr. Jason Cascio, was also selected to represent the state at the ACP national meeting in the chapter’s clinical vignette competition. I would like to thank and recognize Dr. Cascio’s mentor on this project, Dr. Jeydith Gutierrez Perez, for her contribution to Jason’s success.
Earlier that day, a fourth-year medical student in the Carver College of Medicine, Ian Kidder, won first place at the SHM-sponsored poster session. What is notable about Mr. Kidder’s award, which normally goes to residents or faculty from around the state, is that his poster represented a wonderful example of shared mentorship across the training spectrum as evidenced by co-authors from our department: third-year resident Dr. Jen Strouse, hematology-oncology fellow Dr. Chris Strouse, and Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Asad Ali. It is gratifying to see the way in which these three colleagues each took time to mentor Mr. Kidder to this success. In fact, without having to looking too hard it is apparent that all across our department, students, trainees, fellows, and junior faculty are registering impressive successes under the mentorship of their instructors and senior faculty. Here are some examples:
- Associate in Infectious Diseases Dr. Christine Cho and Dr. Michi Goto published a case report of an unusual clinical manifestation in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Third-year fellows Drs. James Vancura and Nancy Gupta took third place in the nation in the American College of Gastroenterology’s GI Jeopardy, reflecting their brilliance and the coaching from our GI faculty.
- Med-Psych Resident Dr. Olivia Knott cited the mentorship of Drs. Vicki Kijewski and Jess Fiedorowicz for her award-winning clinical vignette presentation at the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry annual meeting.
- Priyanka Iyer, a second-year fellow in Rheumatology, presented an interesting case that she worked on with Dr. Brittany Bettendorf at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting and earned second place in the nation.
- First-year medical student Mikako Harata, a research assistant in Dr. Yumi Imai’s lab, recently published her first primary-author manuscript in Physiological Reports.
- Dr. Iliya Amaza, a second-year pulmonary fellow, also published for the first time as primary-author in BMJ Case Reports. The report’s senior author, Dr. Rolando Sanchez, praised Dr. Amaza’s “great discipline and persistence” in achieving this.
There are many more examples within our department of trainee success under their mentor’s guidance. The above summary is all the more timely because we are now deep into the recruitment of our next class of residents and fellows. Share these examples as we recruit our next class of trainees. Prospective recruits may ask about opportunities for taking leadership roles, getting hands-on training, or earning the chance to publish a remarkable discovery. We can tell them that at Iowa it is harder not to achieve great things.
One final thing we can tell our recruits is that in addition to all of the opportunities to grow as scholars, our trainees also have access to forward-looking clinical experiences. Our Associate Chair for Diversity, Dr. Nicole Nisly, recently published two articles in the December issue of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, one on building a successful LGBTQ clinic and another on caring for transgender and non-binary people. Both articles remind us of the innovative clinical programs that our faculty have established for the diverse patient populations that we serve, representing unique opportunities for clinical training. A trainee working alongside Dr. Nisly will learn more in one rotation about a growing and important aspect of primary care than they might gain in three years at almost any other program in the nation. Thank you, Dr. Nisly, for the trails you continue to blaze.