Further excellence in education

It is hard not to be regularly impressed with the ways in which our educators demonstrate excellence. To say that education innovation is just a part of our department’s culture almost diminishes the effort and creativity of the individuals who produce it. It is not just something in the air or the water that designs new curricula or pilots a new study aid for board review. These things take real thought and work and that shines through in countless ways from our board pass rates to the quality and number of applications our residency and fellowship programs receive, not to mention the stories our alumni tell when they move on to other institutions. Just this week, Dr. Ryan Emmanuel, one of our neurology prelims, said that part of what convinced him to come to Iowa was the fact that one of his “favorite attendings” was a graduate of this program. What we do here gets seen worldwide and I am grateful to all of you for your efforts to maintain and grow that reputation we have for excellence in education. It is also worth taking a step back to remember why this is so important to us. The lessons we teach, the trainees we shape, the wisdom we pass on means the better care our patients receive, the more lives we can change.

BioSkills Lab, Center for Procedural Skills and Simulation

As promised in my last post, our communications team’s story on the “Transition to Residency” course designed by Dr. Matthew Soltys for graduating medical students entering internal medicine residency programs is now available. There are a number of notable factors that I think speak to our unique environment and bode well for the future of this course and its underlying philosophy. In the preparation and execution of this course, Dr. Soltys reached out to many faculty, fellows, and residents. Some offered advice, others presented lectures, still others worked with him running simulations down in our institution’s fabulous simulation center. (If you have not had a tour or seen what can be replicated by these expert engineers, reach out to them and think about ways you could also incorporate their talents.) The volume of aid so many were willing to offer Dr. Soltys on a new idea says a lot about the confidence and support we have for one another. Every year, internal medicine is one of the top choices of our medical school graduates and it is good that we continue to nurture that interest. I am excited to see how this course grows and how long it takes other specialties to follow our lead.

Even after medical school, residency, or fellowship, education for any clinician does not stop. I am very curious to know more about the clever approach Drs. Kevin Doerschug and Desmond Barber have taken to reinforcing intubation skills in our airway management teams and I look forward to seeing the post-assessment results of their pilot course. Their teamwork and that of those who took part are key ingredients in all our clinical work. Our department is committed to providing annual subspecialty continuing medical education conferences for professionals in the region. Today, members of our Division of Cardiovascular Medicine are presenting the Heart Rhythm Symposium alongside colleagues from both within the Carver College of Medicine and from other institutions as far as away as Turkey. A couple weeks ago, under the direction of Dr. Yumi Imai, the annual Advances in Diabetes and Obesity Management conference expanded into part of a second day in an effort to give attendees as much benefit of our expertise as they could. And many of us look forward to next month’s decades-old Progress conference, in which physicians and pharmacists provide updates on a variety of subspecialties across two days. Dr. Joe Szot reports that this year’s conclusion will even offer attendees a chance to demonstrate what they have learned for prizes. You can view the Progress schedule and sign up here.

You will note that the ACP Clinical Vignette Competition will also take place at Progress. Our residency program will be represented against other programs in the state by the winner of our competition that begins next week, Tuesday, September 12, from 12:15 to 3:30 pm. The full list of presentations from our hard-working residents and our generous judges is here. I hope you will attend.

Finally, as we consider the need for and the benefits of providing excellence in education, we should consider that it does not only benefit our clinical practices. We have strong incentives to also be excellent educators in the lab for our future researchers as well. No one knows this more than Dr. Joseph Zabner, who was recognized yesterday with the 2023 Distinguished Mentor Award. His acceptance speech was characteristically gracious on his own behalf and proud of what we all have achieved and continue to achieve together in the unique environment we are fortunate to call home. Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Zabner for his exemplary commitment to this place and our missions.

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

Leave a Reply