As much a recognition of four remarkable gastroenterologists and their graduation, the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology also celebrated the ability to just be together again. At the Coralville Marriott on last Friday evening, a few dozen division members–faculty, fellows and just a couple plus-ones for the graduates themselves–came together to eat, laugh, and pose for so many group photos. Because they could.
Earlier in the day, the group photos began when the fellows presented the Robert Summers Memorial Teacher of the Year Award to Fred Johlin, MD, because he would be unable to attend that evening.
It did not take long, though, once Hye Yeon Jhon, MD, delivered bouquets of flowers to the fellows before the pre-dinner group photos began in earnest.
As guests sat down to their meals, one more guest made an appearance. All the way from Austin, Texas, the recently emeritized Michael Voigt, MD, was able to wish the graduates well via FaceTimeon the phone of William Silverman, MD.
After tiramisu, Division Director David Elliott, MD, PhD, formally welcomed everyone, including those joining in over the Zoom link sent to friends and family around the world. Elliott shared the news that Johlin had received his teaching award earlier in the day after reminding everyone just how missed the award’s namesake, Robert Summers, MD, still is.
Fellowship Director Adrian Holm, MD, then took the stage and offered a few words of reflection and advice on the road the fellows have traveled to reach this point. He reminded them to trust themselves and to continually challenge themselves. “If you find you feel like you know all the answers, that’s when you need to worry,” Holm cautioned. But he expressed his confidence in them that would never stop learning and never stop growing to become better than the excellent clinicians they’d already proven themselves to be.
He then asked the fellows up to the stage and introduced each of them to the audience, providing little-known details and personal remembrances of their time here. Each fellow then offered their own words, expressing gratitude for their time and the investment of the faculty in their growth. Though each of them would be moving on, either to more training or to private practice, they promised that their connections to Iowa would remain strong.
The formal presentations concluded but guests were still not quite ready to leave. A few more group photos were still needed!
Congratulations to this year’s graduates!
Special thanks to Hilary Humphrey and Taryn McElhinney for all their hard work in producing the evening’s event!