Cardiology Fellows Graduation, 2020

Succeeding Paul Lindower, MD, as program director for the cardiology fellowships, Ferhaan Ahmad, MD, PhD, might have hoped for a less dramatic year but the pandemic had other plans. Adapting procedures to the presence of the coronavirus, all while ensuring that trainees satisfied their education requirements meant a lot of creative and quick steering from Ahmad. But at last week’s graduation celebration, itself an adaptive response to the new post-COVID world, Ahmad shared credit for the year’s successes with program coordinator Cari Harland and the graduates themselves, recognizing the team effort.

Despite a menu reduced to a few individually packaged snacks and a dramatic reduction in allowable in-person attendees, Ahmad and Harland organized an evening that did not diminish the efforts of the graduates themselves. And not all the changes to the celebration’s format felt like a reduction. Though the vast majority of attendees joined virtually, many who may have been limited by distance in years past could attend this year, even if it was the middle of the night for some in their part of the world.

And many elements remained, especially recognition of outstanding achievements. The Paul and Mary Neuhauser Award for the best clinical conference went to Akhil Parashar, MB, BS. The Dr. Lyle A. and Mabel R. Baker Award for exceptional research, presented by Kaikobad Irani, MD, went to Abdul Qazi, MB, BS. The Irving George Pesek Humanitarian Award, presented by Pesek’s daughter Catherine Pesek Bird, DO, went to Diane Kilberger, RN, BSN, for her compassionate care and commitment to education.

Shubha Roy, MBBS, presented the Lewis E. January Memorial Clinical Teaching Award to Kan Liu, MD, PhD, who encouraged the fellows to pass on what they have learned to the next generation. After Ahmad presented the Chief Fellow Award to Pulkit Chaudhury, MD, Division Director Barry London, MD, PhD, presented him the Kanu A. Chatterjee Award for Clinical Excellence.

Interspersed between presentations were trivia questions, making use of the Zoom polling technology. Attendees could match the baby or toddler photo to the correct fellow. But an element that remained from graduations past was the “two truths and a lie” element. As each fellow was presented with a frame for his diploma, guests could again vote on which of the three presented statements did not ring true. Some discussion on just how much a particular faculty member could benchpress ensued.

Though the evening was abbreviated, it will certainly remain one of the most memorable graduation celebrations in division history. Not just for its format, but for the remarkable fellows who will remain Hawkeyes for life, no matter where they go next. Congratulations!

Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship
Pulkit Chaudhury, MD
Faisal Matto, MBBS
Akhil Parashar, MBBS

Interventional Fellowship
Musab Alqasrawi, MBBS
Abdul Qazi, MBBS

Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship
Cyrus Kocherla, MD

Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
Shareef Mansour, MBBS


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