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Release: Immediate

UI department of family medicine celebrating 'Silver Jubilee'

IOWA CITY, Iowa --The University of Iowa department of family medicine will celebrate its "Silver Jubilee" anniversary Oct. 16-18 with activities that include a hayride, western barbecue, banquet and participation in the Hospice Road Races.

The department will welcome back graduates of the Family Practice Residency Program, along with former faculty, staff, and members of the medical community from across the state. They will join with current faculty, staff, university leadership, and members of the Iowa City/Coralville community in celebrating the occasion.

The department of family medicine began 25 years ago as a joint residency training program between the UI and Mercy Hospital in Iowa City.

"This cooperative relationship continues today and has evolved into a nationally recognized program for resident education," said Dr. Gerald J. Jogerst, UI assistant professor and interim head of family medicine.

The department of family medicine offers a three-year, fully accredited residency training program that prepares physicians to provide continuing and comprehensive personal care to patients and their families. The program includes education in all areas of family medicine and emphasizes the value of wellness and preventive medicine.

The department shares its expertise internationally through partnerships with several nations that advance the establishment of family medicine training programs for physicians, nurses, social workers and medical students in Japan, Korea, China and Russia. The international programs provide partners with a better understanding of cultural differences, particularly how health care operates within different cultural and economic systems.

In addition to the residency program, the department's predoctoral education division directs and coordinates medical student courses and activities. Some 150 family physicians in private practice throughout Iowa volunteer to take third-year medical students into their offices for three weeks. This provides a unique opportunity for all medical students to have a one-on-one relationship with a practicing Iowa family physician. The fact that medical students consistently rank the course highly reflects favorably on the family physicians who take the time to teach, Jogerst said.

The UI College of Medicine's commitment to family physician training is underscored by its receipt of the Gold Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians for three consecutive years. Only seven medical schools in the U.S. received the most recent award, which is based on the number of graduating medical students choosing family medicine as a career.

In July the department's faculty and administrative offices relocated to the Pomerantz Family Pavilion at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, and the department's primary clinical practice moved to the UI Family Care Center in the Pomerantz Family Pavilion. "We are pleased with the new accommodations," said Sharon Booker, department administrator. "It's very functional for us and convenient for our patients."

Dr. Dan Fick, family practice medical director, said, "The whole development of the UI Family Care Center represents a significant institutional commitment to primary care. Our department is excited about being part of the UI Family Care Center."

Jogerst said the "Silver Jubilee" is an opportune time for graduates and former colleagues to reunite. "I think those joining us for this event will be pleased with the progress of the last 25 years."