Chief Resident introductions, 2021–22

Desmond Barber, MD

Growing up in Wichita, Kansas, I was fortunate enough to watch my dad serve our community as a firefighter and EMT. I saw the dedication and pride he took in his job as well as the respect that he earned in our community. I remember the stories people would tell me about the ways he impacted their lives and helped them and I knew I wanted to follow his example. He was also an EMT in a local emergency room and my family would often take him dinner. This was my earliest exposure to the medical field and I was fascinated. These experiences and my love for science in school influenced my decision to become a doctor and I never looked back.

After graduating from Wichita State University, I went to medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, where I became heavily involved in different organizations and activities. I was able to give back to a community that had given me so much through my involvement with our student-run free healthcare clinic, the JayDoc Community Clinic, and I cultivated and grew my love for teaching by acting as a supplemental instructor.

When I began my search for a residency program a mentor told me that I had to check out the University of Iowa. At the time I didn’t make much of it and added it to my list, but in retrospect, it was one of the best decisions of my life. I was completely blown away on my interview day. It was obvious that Iowa was a program like few others. I was struck by the sense of camaraderie and their enthusiasm for learning. It was apparent that the residents and leadership had worked hard to create that culture and I wanted to be a part of it.

My time here has been phenomenal. I have been continually challenged and grew more than I could have ever imagined, all while feeling completely supported by my co-residents, fellows, faculty, and administration. As a Chief Resident, I will direct my efforts toward further advancements in our amazing ultrasound curriculum, while continuing to cultivate our love for teaching and learning.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing/watching sports, traveling and spending time outside. Following this year I plan to pursue a fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care.

Sydney Bowmaster, MD

I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine from a young age. After high school, I ventured to the east coast to attend college at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. While at Duke, I saw an opportunity to expand my cultural knowledge base and received my Bachelor of Arts in Religion while still fostering my love for science through pursuing minors in both Biology and Chemistry. Additionally, my experiences competing on the varsity women’s rowing team taught me the value of perseverance and teamwork.

Following completion of my undergraduate education, I returned to the Midwest to work briefly as an Emergency Medical Technician before attending medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. While in medical school, I appreciated how my Internal Medicine rotations allowed for an in-depth application of scientific knowledge coupled with the patient relationships and continuity of care that are crucial to the art of medicine. I immediately felt at home at the University of Iowa on my residency interview day, and I am consistently grateful for the program’s unparalleled education and mentorship as well as the family of co-residents I have had the privilege of working with these past few years. The Internal Medicine Residency Program at Iowa has helped shape me as a physician and educator, and I am excited to join this next group of leaders as the Education Chief Resident.

Outside of work, I love spending time outdoors with my husband and our two dogs. We enjoy biking, running, cross country skiing, and traveling. In the summer months, we also like to take advantage of Iowa City’s local farmer’s markets and festivals, or spend a weekend water skiing and fishing on Coralville Reservoir and Lake Macbride. As Chief Resident, I plan to build resident confidence and leadership skills in managing urgent and emergent patient care scenarios. I also hope to promote a longitudinal exposure to interactive board-style questions and case discussions. Upon completion of my chief year, I plan to pursue fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Derek Hupp, MD

I first considered a career in medicine after completing a high school summer internship focused on shadowing physicians in a local emergency department and dialysis center. Getting to interview patients on dialysis and obtain data related to their quality of life provided me an early look at how significant chronic illness can greatly affect people’s lives. After graduating high school in my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, I moved downtown to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with the primary objective of playing alto saxophone in the Cornhusker Marching Band (Go Big Red!). A degree in Global Studies led to further education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

At UNMC, incredible mentors in Internal Medicine showed me how exciting, intellectually challenging, and fun caring for adults across the life course could be. On the interview trail, I was immediately drawn to the strong camaraderie and positive attitude of the leadership and residents here at the University of Iowa. Matching at Iowa has without a doubt helped me grow significantly in every area of my life—I have even started cheering for the Hawkeyes.

I am so excited to work this year as our VA’s Chief Resident in Quality and Safety. My focus will be on reducing breakdowns in transitions of care from an inpatient stay back to our outpatient clinics. Outside of the hospital I enjoy road-tripping to see family in Nebraska and Minnesota with my wife, Samara, and our new dog, Louie. I also love hiking, camping in local state parks, and learning something new about the world every day. After completion of chief residency, I plan to work as an academic general internist.

Yana Zemkova, MD

My medical school personal statement told a true story of a young child racing with an encyclopedia into a closed screen door, as a way to demonstrate my youthful excitement for learning. This same eagerness paved my way through an undergraduate degree in Biology and Spanish, with a side of managerial work at a gymnastics school, with the ultimate goal of medicine.

My medical school experience at the University of New Mexico initially claimed an interest in Emergency Medicine. Apparently, my closest friends always knew that I was bound for internal medicine instead, but I pushed back. The first week of my IM rotation however, I stayed until 7:30pm on an inpatient VA service and was convinced – I never looked back from the special sort of hours-long rounds, complex decision-making, and diagnostic dilemmas. From the very beginning of my love of inpatient internal medicine, I also developed an interest in medical education. In my fourth year of med school, I completed a student adaptation of the Stanford Course in Clinical Teaching and then served as a student coordinator organizing and creating sessions for a month-long rotation for students transitioning from pre-clinical to clinical years.

If you had asked me four years ago where I would go for residency, I would have never believed that Iowa would be the answer. Allow me to provide some cliches that serve perfectly to describe my interview experience: “when you know, you know,” “it just felt right,” and “it was a good fit.” What I left my interview with was a sense of belonging, accomplishment, and encouragement, and my training here has lived up to every expectation with which I entered. The University of Iowa has provided me with a multitude of mentors, an unparalleled foundation with a focus on clinical reasoning, a blossoming skillset with ultrasound, an involvement with program development, physicians to emulate, and countless memories – all in part during a pandemic, yet without sacrificing any patient care. From the original Land of Enchantment with mountains and green chile, to this slightly flatter and colder one, I have been captivated. I look forward to participating in the recruitment process to showcase the program’s accomplishments as well as the meaning behind being a member of the Hawkeye family. Following this, I will pursue a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care, with an ongoing focus in medical education. But what’s in my life besides medicine? I am expanding my wine palate, I enjoy all and any desserts, I can quote New Girl for any situation, and I have a love of miniature schnauzers (although I do not yet personally have one – chief goal perhaps!).

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