What is your most recent institutional affiliation?
I retired from Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University Health as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for AU Health System. I served as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Professor in Cardiovascular Diseases in the medical school.
What were some of the projects you worked on while you were at Iowa and how did this work prepare you for your career?
I had many roles and projects. I received superb clinical and research training during both my residency and fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases at Iowa. I was also given the responsibility in developing leadership skills and executive leadership as a Chief Resident, Director of Cardiology at the VA and then finally as Chief of Staff at the Iowa City VA Medical Center and Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs. After my research mentor passed away (Mel Marcus) a number of senior faculty stepped in to assure I could be successful. A few of these important individuals to me were Frank Abboud, Allyn Mark, Robert Kelch, Gary Wilkinson, and David Skorton. Each of them contributed greatly to my success and provided that continued guidance for a career path that vanished with Mel’s death.
What was most valuable to you during your years at the University of Iowa?
Personally, simply put – meeting my wife, Linda. I met her on my first day after moving to Iowa City – we were neighbors. But from a career standpoint it was the friendship, mentorship by my mentors, and ultimately my ability to mentor and influence young students, trainees, and colleagues. The environment for research collaboration was outstanding and it continues to be. My personal quest for excellence was allowed to flourish while at Iowa and the demand for excellence in all we did as residents, fellows and faculty was imprinted into my DNA.
What is one memory that stands out from your time at Iowa?
I learned in my Internship that faculty would invite the ‘team’ at the end of the month for a dinner that included spouses and most of them were at their homes. This was a custom I continued throughout my career and some of my most enjoyable memories are those times of interaction and collegiality that sprouted from those dinners.
What is something you learned at Iowa that you still use in your current role?
Continue to strive for excellence and tolerate nothing but your best efforts. It’s ok to fail, but not give up! I hope I passed that lesson on to my sons (both UI College of Engineering Graduates).
How do/did you maintain a life-work balance?
Improving my work-life balance was a major reason for me to Retire and move to a part-time position and changing my career path. This allowed Linda and me to spend more time with my sons, daughter-in-law and grandson. We are able to golf more often and travel more with the goal of seeing many of our beautiful national parks. One of our favorite annual events has been to get to the beautiful mountains of Colorado for several weeks of light hiking during the late summer and fall.
Photos from Dr. Dellsperger’s time at Iowa:
Photos from the Dellspergers’ travels: