Vogelgesang to step down as Immunology Division Director

After eight years as Director of the Division of Immunology and nearly three decades of service to the University of Iowa, Scott Vogelgesang, MD, has announced his intention to retire. Effective July 1, Benjamin Davis, MD, PhD, will serve as Interim Division Director while a nationwide search is conducted for Vogelgesang’s permanent replacement. Our thanks to Dr. Davis for his contributions and leadership of the division during the transition.

Vogelgesang joined the Department of Internal Medicine in 1995 from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he completed a fellowship in rheumatology after his residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado. Medical education has always been important to Vogelgesang, even while he was still serving in the US Army Medical Corps. Within a few short years of joining our department, Vogelgesang had taken a position as Associate Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving with then-Program Director Janet Schlechte, MD. During those years, his skills as an educator were evidenced by numerous nominations and awards, including the 1999 Collegiate Teaching Award, one of the highest teaching awards given by the Carver College of Medicine. Vogelgesang succeeded Schlechte as Program Director, a position he held for twelve years, including an overlapping eight years as the department’s Vice Chair for Education, during which time he was also named the M. Paul Strottmann Chair of Medical Student Education and Physician Training. This was a particular honor, Vogelgesang said, as Paul Strottmann was a mentor and good friend.

In 2014, Vogelgesang stepped down from those roles when he took on additional responsibilities within the GME office as the Director of Continuing Accreditation Initiatives and as Director of the Division of Immunology, which covers care provided by allergists, immunologists, and rheumatologists. Under his leadership, both subspecialties grew within University of Iowa Health Care in all three academic missions, from the expansion of translational research, the development of subspecialty clinics (e.g., drug-allergy, eosinophilic disorders, ocular inflammatory diseases, scleroderma, and others), faculty recruitment, and divisional support to the establishment of a dual-certification pathway for fellows in immunology and rheumatology. On the clinical side, the number of clinical trials within the division has expanded as has the scope of a complex diseases clinic, which has become a reliable investigative consult service within UI Health Care. At one point nearly a third of all patients seen in the Medical Specialties Clinic were seen by clinicians within the Division of Immunology.

Vogelgesang has been more than a leader within his division, understanding the importance of advocacy both for physicians as a profession as well as for the policies that improve public health. For decades, he has been an active member of the American College of Physicians (ACP), achieving the rank of Master in 2020, the same year he received the ACP Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of service, which include five years as governor of the ACP Iowa Chapter.

Vogelgesang will remain on faculty for approximately a year.

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