Jane Rowat – Celebrating 25 years at Iowa

For many years, during our department’s Employee Appreciation Day, a banner was hung listing members’ names in order of their years of continuous service. In a department that inspires loyalty and longevity, many names have three and even four decades listed behind them. And one of those names that has steadily climbed the banner is Jane Rowat, BS, MS, who, this week, celebrates her 25th anniversary with us. Throughout her tenure, Rowat has been an integral leader in shaping the successful and nationally ranked curricula that have trained class after class of undergraduates, medical students, and our internal medicine residents.

In addition to serving as the Internal Medicine Residency Program’s Education Development Director, Rowat has served as the Carver College of Medicine Strand (Clinical and Professional Skills) Co-Director and the Inpatient Internal Medicine Clerkship Co-Director. She has been innovative and creative in curriculum development and believes in a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. The residents, students, and her colleagues value her as a mentor and admire the dedication and expertise she exhibits on a daily basis. 

Rowat’s leadership efforts and teamwork contributed significantly to the full re-accreditation of the Medicine Residency Training Program and many subspecialty fellowship programs, some of which were at risk of re-accreditation. In each instance, her creativity and exemplary can-do energy were keys to the success of these efforts.

Rowat has the unique ability to empower others to achieve common goals and to work with diverse groups of learners on a wide range of educational projects, all with ease and confidence. She contributed meaningfully to the development of a creative new curriculum across a spectrum of learners. Examples of her work include implementation of an ethics curriculum for medical students and the development and implementation of a variety of Teaching Skills curricula, including the Objective Structured Clinical Evaluations and the Fellows and Faculty as Clinician Educators program, a Teaching Resident Rotation, and the Distinction in Medical Education program. (Rowat describes these programs in detail here.) These innovative programs have been replicated in other departments and have led to local, regional, and national recognition. 

And she is far from resting on her success. Working closely with our Vice Chair for Education Manish Suneja, MD, and other educational leaders in the department, Rowat is helping guide the incorporation of technology-based enhancements that will speed the feedback residents and instructors receive. Her passion for mentoring both at the organizational and individual level can be seen in her boundless energy and creativity. An inspirational and dedicated instructor, Jane Rowat’s impact on medical education will be impossible to measure for decades to come.

Below are some photographs from over the years as well as a few comments from those who have come to appreciate everything she has devoted to the department, the college, and the university. Congratulations on 25 years, Jane!

Her genuine joy in helping others, her authenticity, her passion for life-long learning and creativity has been a source of motivation and inspiration for all of us.
Manish Suneja, MD, Vice Chair for Education, Department of Internal Medicine

Jane is in a class of her own. Her understanding of the best practice in learning models comes as naturally as her disarming smile. Not very often do you meet someone with such a font of knowledge and experience be so humble. That is why we appreciate Jane. She imbues confidence, without being intimidating. Her passion for learners runs deep, and her commitment to our trainees is unquestionable. We shine in our education mission because Jane has quietly but confidently guided us and led the way, often from behind.
E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, Chair and DEO, Department of Internal Medicine

Jane: How fortuitous for the College that you were looking for a position just as a new era in medical education was dawning in our College. All the potential evident in the pages of your resume and your interview have been realized in the subsequent 25 years. My how the time has flown – you were/are the best educator the college and department ever hired. It would take pages to do justice to your contributions to curriculum design, integration of content, establishment of the learning communities, design of MERF, contributions to the medical literature, thoughtful introduction to and assessment of clinical skills, and LCME leadership.

One’s life is most enriched through the connections one makes, the people one mentors, shared dreams and commitments. Your door was always open to students, staff, residents and faculty seeking educational advice, venting or seeking comfort – and I was first in line! I am extremely grateful to have had you as a colleague, to have been mentored by you and most of all to be able to count you as a dear, dear friend.
Peter Densen, MD, Executive Dean, Carver College of Medicine, 20072010

Jane was one of the critical people responsible for designing and implementing the CCOM new curriculum.  Her devotion to the medical students and to medical education, organizational skills and attention to detail, problem solving ability, creativity, drive for constant improvement, optimism, sense of humor, and wonderful personality are truly unparalleled.  The CCOM and its students are much better off because of Jane.
Christopher S. Cooper, M.D., FACS, FAAP, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, Carver College of Medicine

Jane is a perfect example of how you can serve many groups in many capacities at one single university over a career. From students in the dental school, to medical students to resident physicians, Jane’s work has launched thousands of careers. 

Beyond service, Jane was able to push for things to get better. Peter Densen was no match for Jane when she had an idea to make our medical school better for the students. 

Jane also saw problems brewing before the rest of us. She even brought Lynn into the mix. We created a medical school intramural basketball league and the administration thought we could compete with the medical students. Jane knew we could not – but with Lynn on our team we would be ok. She was right! The medical students were quite surprised to see Densen, Rowat, Howell and Clancy show up and make it through entire games! 

Thanks, Jane, for having our backs!
Gerard Clancy, MD, Senior Associate Dean for External Affairs, Carver College of Medicine

Jane is an “always” person.
    A smile
    A positive attitude
    Supportive of others
    Giving her best
    A treasured friend and colleague
Randy Jordison, Administrator, Department of Internal Medicine, 1975–2017

Jane has been such a wonderful mentor, colleague, and friend. She is incredibly dedicated to education and has inspired many changes within our residency program to improve our curriculum and program as a whole. She is the driving force behind countless committees, initiatives, and innovations. She is truly an unsung hero in our department.
Katie Harris, MD, Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program

With her wealth of experience and knowledge, Jane has been an inspiration to me as I worked to provide more opportunities for resident education. She is always available at a moment’s notice with a helpful hand or helpful hint and she’s a joy to work with! She is truly what a mentor should aspire to be.
Jennifer Strouse, MD, Fellow, Rheumatology (Chief Resident 201920)

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