Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine Fellows Graduation, 2019

Sirens went off, but it was because of an impending severe thunderstorm, not because of the Elton John parody lyrics. Last weekend, the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine hosted its annual celebration of both its graduating fellows and division successes at Brown Deer Golf Club in neighboring Coralville.

Faculty, staff, family, and friends came together and were able to enjoy the patio and some live jazz standards performed by the son of David Stoltz, MD, PhD, and his son’s friends as the clouds rolled in.

After moving inside, the evening’s presentation got underway. Division Director Joseph Zabner, MD, presented the annual Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award to fellowship Program Director Jeffrey Wilson, MD. Herbert Berger, MD, presented graduating fellow Charles Rappaport, MD, with a MyPillow as the fellow who completed his sleep study training requirements before his classmates.

After recapping a number of division achievements, Wilson then led the group in a game of Know Your Fellows, revealing childhood details he said family members were very willing to provide. Wilson also had audience members guess which dogs belonged to which fellows.

He then turned the microphone over to faculty who spoke about the research skills and achievements of the fellows they each worked with. Mahmoud About Alaiwa, MD, described the diligence of Maria I. Pino Argumedo, MD, before she and her family came up to receive some tokens of appreciation and pose for a photograph. Zabner praised the independence of thought of Raul Villacreses Rada, MD. Gregory Schmidt, MD, marveled at the speed with which Rappaport grasped the finer details of ultrasound. Stoltz shared how Zachary Holliday, MD, posed a question based on a pattern only Holliday saw that will shape much of his lab’s coming research.

The formal, serious recognitions addressed, and then it was time for Thomas Gross, MD, to take the stage. He gave a brief history of why fellowship celebrations are important to the division. Gross also said that he thought after last year’s presentation he would not be asked back and that he did not have an idea anyway. Until he saw Rocketman at FilmScene in Iowa City. He quickly penned some lyrics to a new version of the song called “Bronch It, Man.” Which he then performed, into a decommissioned bronchoscope as a microphone, donning a flashing light-up hat, glasses, and feathered boa.

And then he raised the bar one step farther, encouraging the audience to join him in a conga line around the banquet hall. Many joined in, dancing and singing along to more Elton John songs.

The fellows were more than ready to respond. They had a video of their own set to a montage of photographs scored by animal rights activist Sarah McLachlan, asking viewers to consider sponsoring a needy fellow.

Holliday then presented the superlatives for some of the faculty and fellows. Zabner, for example, was named “Most Likely to Walk Away Mid Convers–” and Schmidt “Most Likely to Replace His Arms with Ultrasound Wands.” The audience laughed right along with the light roasting, a characteristic response of the division.

And then, too soon, the rain had let up and attendees began to drift toward the door. A few more group photos, a few more plans for the next week, and then the evening was at an end.

Congratulations to this year’s graduates!

Zachary Holliday, MD
Maria I. Pino Argumedo, MD
Charles Rappaport, MD
Raul Villacreses Rada, MD


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