Nephrology Fellows Graduation, 2019

Members of every division in Internal Medicine will rightly say that they view their colleagues like family. In the face of the kinds of challenges they face daily the development of these bonds are inevitable. But in the Division of Nephrology, it is not just co-workers who get treated like family. Their co-workers’ families get treated like family too. Every year, the fellowship graduation event makes this clear.

Fitting that on Father’s Day last week, this “family” and their “extended family” celebrated their successes and the graduation of four of their fellows. Tucked in behind a historic apple orchard north of Iowa City, Rapid Creek Cidery offered guests a warm and spacious hall for their event.

With a bright Iowa sunset as a backdrop for their reunion, attendees of all ages greeted each other, played games, and caught each other up on their lives.

Group photos in that setting lasted as long as the light did. Tired of just standing and squinting, the graduates wanted to take some “fun” ones.

Back inside guests helped themselves to a delicious buffet. Once finished they were back on their feet making sure they got a chance to talk to everyone in attendance.

After a bit more socializing, fellowship program director Lisa Antes, MD, welcomed guests and spoke briefly about the first three graduates. Antes expressed her gratitude to each of them for choosing nephrology and for choosing Iowa. They came to the program at just the right time, she said.

After Antes introduced the first three fellows–Agnes Ounda, MBChB; Mandeep Gill, MBBS; and Prerna Kumar, MBBS–transplant fellowship director Sarat Kuppachi, MBBS, introduced Youness Hussein, MD. Hussein brought up Hem/Onc fellow Najla Itani, MD, for a picture, while their son was happy to pose in a few photos later.

Two inaugural awards were then announced. Division Director Chou-Long Huang, MD, PhD, announced that the Exceptional Citizenship award went to Christie Thomas, MBBS. Rebecca Hegeman, MD, announced the winner of the Teaching Excellence award, the absent Douglas Somers, MD.

Following the awards, few headed for the doors. There was a cake and gift bags for all the fathers in attendance. The soon-to-be-second-year fellows posed with the graduates, ready to savor one more year with their family.

Congratulations to this year’s graduates!

Mandeep Gill, MBBS
Youness Hussein, MD

Prerna Kumar, MBBS
Agnes Ounda, MBChB

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