The following is a joint statement from E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and Manish Suneja, MD, Vice Chair for Education and Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
The Department of Internal Medicine is proud to introduce our incoming class of interns for the 2021–22 academic year. Once again, we have filled all our preliminary and categorical positions directly in this year’s Match. For greater than a decade we have always filled our Match, but it is never something we want to take for granted, especially in a recruiting season such as this one, which was like no other. Recruiting during a pandemic is certainly not an experience any of us will want to repeat, but we are proud of the quick and nimble adaptations of everyone in our department to execute an exceptional recruiting season. Whether it was ensuring the stability of scheduling and video conferencing software or finding ways to replicate the “Iowa experience” with pre-recorded interviews and social media campaigns, at every turn, our team rallied. We could not be prouder.
By the end of this shortened but intense interview season, we interviewed more than 300 of the thousands of applicants, a record number for us. Because travel was not a concern, we saw a dramatic uptick in the number of applications, as graduating medical students applied to a larger number of the leading training programs in the country. Their stellar credentials matched their aspirations. Nevertheless, we saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate why Iowa is nationally competitive and we believe today’s results show that we continue to attract the best in the country. We invited candidates for interviews whose written applications represented exceptional potential. This gave us the confidence that no matter how the Match shook out, we would have recruited a class of interns with the capacity for success. Every Monday and Friday morning during the interview season spanning from October to January, each cohort of candidates received a welcome from the Chair, no matter what else might be pressing. Every interviewed candidate met individually with the Program Director and Associate Program Director Katie Harris, MD. Each recruit was encouraged to take the opportunity to ask as many questions as possible to get the sense of a place they most likely had never seen in person, certainly not in the context of choosing a postgrad training program.
Who are our incoming interns? These 33 newly minted physicians are among the most accomplished graduates from the best medical schools in the country. In fact, they come from 24 programs in 16 states, including 5 graduates from the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. This group also includes 2 interns entering our Physician-Scientist Training Pathway, 2 entering our Medicine-Psychiatry Residency, and 8 prelims who plan to go on to other specialties. Many of our incoming residents already have at least one peer-reviewed publication to their credit and anyone who does not yet will be hard-pressed to avoid earning one by the time they leave our program. Opportunities abound here for whatever tailored training experience our trainees envision as necessary to achieve their career goals.
Despite the challenges that we have faced during the pandemic, our current trainees remained committed to excellence, to supporting each other and building a stronger and more resilient community. We believe that our recruits heard this during their “visit,” and I want to thank all of our current trainees and faculty who took time to share their perspectives with our candidates, so that they could be convinced that this is the place for them to spend the next three years (or more!) of their lives.
To our new members who may be reading this, we are thrilled that you will be joining us in just a few months. When you interviewed here, we promised that your training here will be tailored to your long-term career goals. You have entrusted your future to us and we are humbled by your trust and will work tirelessly to deliver the same community, culture, rigor, and training that has enabled our current trainees to achieve their goals. As you come to Iowa to be exposed to more opportunity and pathways that you might not even have considered, or as you delve more deeply into ones you are already passionate about, we are confident that you will achieve your dreams here. Welcome to Iowa!