Emphasizing our unique community

My deep thanks to the eight women faculty members who took the time to write such thoughtful and personal responses a couple weeks ago for “Women in Medicine” month. Reading them again, I am struck by how important mentorship and community have been to each of them, a common thread that appears in each response. That same lesson shines through in some of the comments gathered by The Loop last week. There is a responsibility to pay forward the aid we have received, to make the paths of those coming behind us a little smoother. This is certainly important for women and minority faculty, but I suspect that no matter how much privilege was already available to you, someone has played a key role in your career path. I appreciate this timely reminder to all of us to keep an eye out for opportunities to aid the development of the next generation.

Women in Medicine month overlaps with Latinx/a/o Heritage month, which begins on September 15 and extends to October 15. The Carver College of Medicine and the University of Iowa have already been celebrating and focusing our attention on the important contributions that our Latinx/a/o colleagues bring to medicine and to our community in general. Earlier this week, the college hosted Drs. Jorge Girotti and Emma Olivera for a conversation about their work with the Latino Medical Student Association. The college has also highlighted dynamic members of our faculty, staff, and student population, who make a difference at UI Health Care every day. Some of you may recall that one of those staff members, Adrián Silva, an interpreter here, worked with our Design Center to produce videos early last year encouraging COVID-19 vaccination. There are many other resources on the college’s site that are worth exploring in honor of this month. Also worth noting is the college’s Latinx Faculty Council’s current makeup finds five of its seven roles—including president and vice president—held by members from our department. Thank you for your service!

And speaking of service, today is the first day of recruitment interviews for our residency program. Our gratitude goes out to the fabulous administrative staff, an exceptional education leadership team, and the additional faculty volunteers who will help interview every Monday and Friday for the next four months. We are virtual again this year, and it seems clear that this will be just how it is done now. The medical students appreciate saving time and money in travel costs and our program has a track record of two accomplished incoming intern classes now to show that we are not missing out on anyone. It also seems clear that from the brief profiles of this year’s interns and last year’s class the interview day is a pretty crucial moment in their decision. But if we continue to emphasize what makes Iowa such a special place to train—the collegial atmosphere, faculty blending each resident’s individual goals with the fundamentals of a knowledgeable and confident internist, a town and campus that is easy to navigate and live in—the choice should be pretty easy for the right recruit. Additionally, our fellowship programs are still in the middle of their interview season. If they continue to emphasize the unique and innovative instructional methods on display in these recent stories about the rheumatology and pulmonary and critical care fellowships, they should also have no trouble at all this year.

About Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD

Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD; Interim Chair and DEO, Department of Internal Medicine; Kate Daum Endowed Professor; Professor of Medicine – Cardiovascular Medicine; Professor of Radiation Oncology

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