“In 10 years, in 20 years, when their names come up, when Iowa’s name comes up, I will always be proud to say I trained there, that I trained with my fellow graduates.” Oluwaseun Adeola, MB, ChB, MPH, said this during the formal recognition of that evening’s graduates in the ballroom of the Hilton Garden Inn. But that attitude, that feeling like the graduates of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship had become a family, was echoed throughout the evening.
It was easy to see during the social hour and as the graduates organized a number of group photos just how much they enjoy each other’s company. And how much they would all miss each other. After three years of intense training, long hours, answering tough questions, and depending on one another to get through it all, deep bonds should be no surprise.
Following dinner, emcee and fellowship program director Paul Lindower, MD, began the evening’s presentations. First, he presented former fellow Erik B. Schelbert, MD, MS, with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Schelbert, now on faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, offered words of congratulation and advice to the graduates.
Lindower then presented the Paul Neuhaser Award to the graduates who delivered the most outstanding clinical conference. This year’s winners were Brodie Marthaler, MD, and Musab Alqasrawi, MBBS. The Dr. Lyle A. and Mabel R. Baker Award–given to the graduating fellow who conducted exceptional research and presented by Kaiko Irani, MD–went to Amgad Mentias, MB, ChB.
Division Director Barry London, MD, PhD, presented the Dr. George Irving Pesek Humanitarian Award to Donald Brown, MD, for his compassionate care and commitment to the education of his trainees. Lindower then spoke briefly about the remarkable efforts made by Mentias as this year’s Chief Fellow as he formally recognized the graduate. London then presented the Kanu A. Chatterjee Award for Clinical Excellence, named for a transformational physician who dedicated his final years to Iowa trainees and patients, to Adeola.
It was then time for the fellows to respond. Marthaler donned an earned stand-up comedian hat and lightly roasted his fellow graduates revealing more of his affection for them than any real criticism. Chad Ward, MD, made sure Marthaler got his share as well.
A new tradition was then recognized, a game of Two Truths and a Lie, in which each fellow got to reveal little-known facts about themselves allowing the audience to guess which one was not true. A surprising number of musicians hide among the cardiologists.
The Cardiovascular Disease Fellows were then each formally recognized one by one and presented with a small token from the division. Phillip Horwitz, MD, acknowledged the graduation of Rudhir Tandon, MBBS, and Aref Bin Abdhulhak, MBBS, from their additional training in interventional cardiology. Bin Abdhulhak described how–after a career of separation from home, and moving from place to place for training and being asked where he was from–it will be easy to answer now. “I am from Iowa,” he declared.
Denice Hodgson-Zingman, MD, introduced Thein Tun Aung, MBBS, as this year’s graduate from the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship. Linda Cadaret, MD, expressed her deep gratitude and Iowa’s good fortune for the arrival of Ernesto Ruiz Duque, MD, for the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship.
Abdul “Haseeb” Qazi, MBBS, then presented a video montage he had made from pictures he had gathered from all the fellows and his own library. “Sorry for all the selfies,” Qazi joked. The mix of Snapchat clips and formal and informal gatherings further revealed how much fun this group had together both on and off the clock.
After the video there was one more order of business: announcing that Lindower would be stepping down as program director of the fellowship program. After a dozen years and growing the program into a national powerhouse, he would hand the reins over to someone else who will carry on the tradition. The room rose into a standing ovation for the beloved instructor and leader.
The evening’s formal presentations concluded, the group migrated back into the hall outside the ballroom, where the light was a little better, for a few more group photos and promises that they would see each other the next day for a family picnic at the home of one of the fellows.
Congratulations to all the graduates!
Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship
Oluwaseun Adeola, MB, ChB, MPH
Musab Alqasrawi, MB, BS
Chakradhari Inampudi, MB, BS
Brodie Marthaler, MD
Amgad Mentias, MB, ChB
Abdul Qazi, MB, BS
Chad Ward, MD
Rudhir Tandon, MB, BS
Aref Bin Abdulhak, MB, BS
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship
Thein Tun Aung, MB, BS
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
Ernesto Ruiz Duque, MD