International and national recognition

For the second year in a row, U. S. News & World Report has ranked us among the nation’s best. You can read the full report of where our medical school stands in addition to other subspecialties within the Carver College of Medicine that were nationally ranked here. Last year our department’s training program was one of 17 programs in the country and one of five in the Midwest that were nationally ranked. This year, the list has essentially doubled in size and our position relative to our peers remains the same. Internal Medicine at Iowa is now one of six in the Midwest, standing alongside Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis, Mayo Clinic, University of Michigan, with the University of Chicago joining us this year in the rankings. As I said last year when we made the first, smaller list, we can guess at the many reasons why leadership at other academic medical centers would rank us among the best. But the best response remains for us to acknowledge the hard work, creativity, and commitment of our faculty and staff. We will continue to move forward on what we know is the wisest course, confident that the results we see daily in our trainees’ growth and success provides our best barometer of our national reputation.

Although education receives a great deal of deserved national attention, our researchers and clinicians are no less worthy. The invitation from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to Dr. Loreen Herwaldt and her colleague in the College of Engineering is a recent example of the impact our work has. Their careful thinking about how best to protect health care workers from infection by designing better equipment resulted in an article that caught the attention of many. By documenting how PPE can fail or fall short of its intended use and how it can be improved, Dr. Herwaldt and her colleagues have stated their case directly to those who are in a position to shape public policy in this arena. Future increases of safety in labs and operating rooms can be directly attributed to their willingness to share their expertise on the national stage. And, as the first in the United States to be designated as a Neuroendocrine Tumor Center of Excellence by the European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society, the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center will now gain the attention of patients here and abroad who seek access to the most cutting-edge therapies for these challenging tumors. This title recognizes the depth of the interdisciplinary team, including many in the Department of Internal Medicine, who through tireless efforts earned this international distinction.

There are countless other ways our faculty and colleagues are making a national impact and I will list but a few. Dr. Paloma Giangrande and her colleagues published in Nature Communications the results of using aptamers to treat multiple organ dysfunction syndrome by neutralizing histones. Many other faculty members including Drs. Steven Lentz, Scott Vogelgesang, Zuhair Ballas, Barry London, and Ferhaan Ahmad serve or have served as editors or members of editorial boards for prominent academic journals. Professional societies receive the benefit of our leadership and guidance when we volunteer and are elected to their presidencies. For example, Dr. Mary Beth Fasano has been on the board of directors of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology since last year and will become president next year. Similarly, our Department Administrator Chris Laubenthal has just been elected to lead the Administrators of Internal Medicine Council within the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine. I will begin my tenure as president of the Endocrine Society in 10 days. These professional societies play major roles in shaping the science and practice of diverse subspecialties in addition to advocating for public policy that will improve the health of our citizens and the delivery of health care in our country. These few examples represent a small sampling of how you and all of us in the Department of Internal Medicine represent the University of Iowa in dramatically positive ways.

Thus, it is not surprising that as you read this, we celebrate another spectacular Internal Medicine match. The cheers and sighs of relief are echoing through the hallways outside our offices. Today is Match Day, as close to a high holiday as our profession gets. I want to congratulate the Carver College of Medicine graduates on what I am sure is excellent placement in top residency programs across the country, including the 7 who have matched into our program as well. They will join new interns who will come to Iowa from the West Coast, the East Coast, the North, the South, and the Midwest. Our new interns represent 20 institutions across 15 states. I want to be among the first to welcome these new interns who will be joining us in Internal Medicine in just a few short months. Your incredible achievements to reach this point will only serve as a prelude to what we will accomplish together in the next few years. Congratulations to our Education Leadership on recruiting yet another class of the highest caliber.

About E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD

E. Dale Abel, MD PhD Francois M. Abboud Chair in Internal Medicine John B. Stokes III Chair in Diabetes Research Chair, Department of Internal Medicine Director, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center Director, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering

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