Happy Day After Thanksgiving, whether you are shopping, abstaining from shopping, or just still digesting yesterday’s meal! For those whose clinical assignments are such that you have been able to take advantage of this brief fall break, I hope you are enjoying this time with the people who are important to you. For those who have sacrificed time with loved ones this week to care for someone else’s loved ones, you have all our deepest gratitude. This week offers a chance for us to take a deep breath before the final push to close out the calendar year. As we assess and tally what we have accomplished in 2018, I marvel at both how quickly this year has passed and at the breadth of our efforts within such a short span. I remain deeply impressed by the quality of the work you do for our patients, for our students and trainees, and for each other. This year, one thing that I am thankful for is that I get to support you in that work’s completion.
In my last post, I noted that our trainees were getting plenty of opportunity to show a national audience what they could do. National meetings of professional societies are important platforms to advance our colleagues’ and our own understanding of the critical issues that affect our work. We have and should continue to capitalize on every opportunity to show our peers the good work happening at Iowa, but we should also seek leadership roles within these organizations. This recap of some of the events at the annual meeting of the Society of Leukocyte Biology (SLB) reveals not only that half of the poster awards given to the nearly 120 participants were won by Iowa trainees, but also that the organization’s current president is Dr. Lee-Ann Allen. SLB’s former president, Dr. Bill Nauseef, was named an Honorary Life Member for his contributions to the field. It is safe to say that Iowa is well-represented in the organization.
Another recent meeting, the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA), held this year in Chicago, found faculty, fellows, and trainees from Iowa showing the way. Each year, the Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center publishes a guide to Iowa participation at AHA’s meeting. Last year’s guide featured 38 different instances of Iowa involvement, from oral and poster presentations to panel participations. This year, Iowa showed up in nearly 50 different conference venues. One of those settings was the Sol Sherry Distinguished Lecture in Thrombosis, one of three named lectures sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB). This year’s Sherry Lecture was delivered by former ATVB Chair, current MSTP Director, and Hematology Section Chief, Dr. Steven Lentz. Iowa work was also recognized in the award for best publication this year from Circulation Research. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country in San Diego, the Director of the Division of Nephrology, Dr. Chou-Long Huang, also delivered a named lecture, the Coburn Lecture, at the American Society of Nephrology. Congratulations, and thank you to all who take the time to participate in these important venues.
Closer to home, our Education Leadership team is enjoying a well-deserved week off from Residency recruitment interviews. Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to meet with the strong applicants to our program. Our training programs represent an important part of the fabric of our Department and sets the tone for many of the other aspects of our missions. I continue to be impressed with the ways in which our house officers are supported from the minute they step foot in our community and in turn how much each trainee grows to fulfill their potential. Our faculty are constantly innovating to ensure they have accurate tools to measure and evaluate the skills of our trainees. I am pleased to see how the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations continues to evolve and I congratulate the team on their successful receipt of an Education Innovation grant from the GME office to expand and refine our assessment capability.