Internal Medicine Residents Graduation, 8 June 2023

Stick with us, there is a lot to cover and all of it matters. Not just to our graduates and the award winners, but to their colleagues and loved ones who watched them take this next–and in some cases, their final–step toward the completion of their training. We want to celebrate each detail and they deserve it.

As guests first arrived at Hancher Auditorium, they were invited to pause for a photograph with their group. We have posted those here.

After a brief social while everyone arrived, graduates and program leadership gathered on the stairs for a group photo. Our thanks to UI Health Care’s photography team for organizing and capturing the moment.

Vice Chair for Education and Residency Program Director Manish Suneja, MD, and Interim Chair and DEO Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD, welcomed the attendees and made brief remarks congratulating the graduates and expressing their confidence in their readiness to tackle any challenge that lay ahead.

Following their remarks, dinner was served. While guests made their way through the line and as they ate, a slideshow highlighting each graduate played on a screen near the stage. Messages from family and colleagues were interwoven with photographs depicting their lives.

Following the congratulations from friends, coworkers, and loved ones, graduates were presented with messages from some Hawkeye celebrities.

As guests finished their desserts, they got one more treat–a Law & Order parody in which our Chief Residents investigate the question, “Did someone shove Suneja?”

As the applause and laughter faded, it was time for the formal presentation of certificates to each graduate. As they took the stage, Suneja made a few brief comments about them, a photograph was snapped, and the graduate made a few remarks.

First, the preliminary residents, those who spend a year training with Internal Medicine before heading to a different specialty, were recognized.

Departing Preliminary Residents

Hebah Abudawaba
Radiation Oncology
Brandon Baksh
Halie Burdick
Patrick Donegan
Trenton Greif
Matthew Hunt
Kyle Kinder
Physical Med & Rehab
Matthew Meyer
Sammy Tadros
Jonathan Trejo

Next, it was time to recognize the categorical graduates. Suneja announced where each graduate would head next, some of whom would be staying on at Iowa for subspecialty fellowship or as Chief Residents or Hospitalists.

Graduating Categorical Residents

Taylor Becker Taylor Cox Joshua Denk
Dave Dimachkie Katelin Durham Aron Evans
Alex Garza Rachel Genova Reed Johnson
Erin Meyers Stephen Peltier Shahana Prakash
Adam Prescott Mahak Saad John Smestead
Erin Sternhagen Colten Stewart Stephen Stone
Naomi Vather-Wu Cory Wilson Arya Zandvakili
Kathie Zhang


Then it was the turn for graduates of our Physician-Scientist Training Pathway and the combined Medicine-Psychiatry residents. These residents were recognized alongside PSTP Program Director David Stoltz, MD, PhD, or Med-Psych Program Director Vicki Kijewski, MD.

PSTP Residents

Rachel Genova Cory Wilson Arya Zandvakili

Graduating Medicine-Psychiatry Residents

Brigid Adviento Stephen Brennan Lisa Wehr Maves

Video of the certificate presentations is below, including the graduates’ speeches.

Residents can also choose to enter distinction pathways, the broad options reflecting the spectrum of careers the program prepares trainees to enter, whether toward one as a Hospitalist or in primary care or as a clinician educator. Residents who completed these pathways were photographed alongside associate program directors and directors of these pathways Andrew Bryant, MD, Krista Johnson, MD, or Jennifer Strouse, MD.

The final set of graduates, the Chief Residents, were then recognized. Suneja expressed his deep appreciation for their organization, clinical skills, and creativity before calling each of them individually.

A video tribute to the Chief Residents had also been prepared.

Three final awards would close out the formal portion of the evening. At the Chiefs’ Grand Rounds, the first set of awards, which had been voted on by the residents themselves, had already been delivered. Two awards–Outstanding Resident and Outstanding Faculty–have long traditions in the department, and the Amarchi Anukam Humanism Award would also see the second winner since its inception.

Those winners are:

Outstanding Faculty Teacher of the Year Award
William Iverson, MD

Amarchi Anukam Humanism Award
Reed Johnson, MD

Outstanding Resident of the Year Award
Rachel Genova, MD, PhD

You can watch videos of their announcement and the winners’ acceptance speeches in the Awards post.

The formal ceremonies concluded, guests lingered for more handshakes, hugs, and group photos.

Congratulations, Class of 2023!

To watch the full ceremony, a recording of the live broadcast can be found here:

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