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Release: April 28, 1999

Iowa physicians receive new award for mentoring UI medical students

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three community-based Iowa physicians were among the faculty and staff recognized by University of Iowa College of Medicine students for contributing to their medical education. Dean A. Bunting, M.D., of Davenport; Susan L. Espeland, M.D., of Des Moines; and Larry A. Severidt, M.D., of Pella received preceptor-of-the-year awards for the 1998-99 academic year.

This is the first year the medical students have presented these awards, said Peter Densen, M.D., associate dean for student affairs and curriculum at the college.

Preceptors serve as mentors to UI medical students during their clerkships in community-based and primary medicine. The clerkships allow students to understand the teamwork involved in practicing medicine and to hone clinical skills such as taking a medical history.

"The awards are one way the students can show how much they appreciate these physicians' guidance and expertise," Densen said.

The awards were presented at the annual Aesculapian Frolics, a student-sponsored event that recognizes outstanding teaching and support to medical students. The students also performed skits lampooning student-faculty life.

• Bunting received the Community-Based Primary Care Preceptor-of-the-Year award. Bunting practices family medicine at Family Medical Center in Davenport. He received his medical degree in 1984 from the UI College of Medicine and completed a family practice residency in 1987 at Genesis Medical Education Foundation in Davenport. He earned his bachelor of science degree in 1980 from the University of Dubuque. At a separate ceremony held April 8 Bunting also received the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) 1999 Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award from the Iowa Chapter of the national medical student honor society. He is the first recipient of this AOA Iowa Chapter award, which recognizes excellence in teaching among community preceptors. UI medical student members of AOA, representing approximately the top 15 percent of their medical classes, voted to award the honor to Bunting.

• Espeland received the Off-Campus Preceptor-of-the-Year award. A UI preceptor since 1994, Espeland practices internal medicine at Integra Health Internal Medicine in Des Moines. She is also a UI clinical assistant professor of internal medicine. Espeland graduated from the UI College of Medicine in 1988 and completed her general internal medicine residency in 1991 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Espeland earned her bachelor's degree from Luther College.

Severidt received the Family Medicine Preceptor-of-the-Year award. He is in family practice at the Pella Medical Clinic. Severidt also serves as local residency coordinator of the UI Rural Track Family Practice Residency Program, which helps train physicians interested in practicing in rural communities. Severidt earned his medical degree from the UI in 1977 and completed a family practice residency in 1980 at Genesis Medical Education Foundation in Davenport. He earned his bachelor of science degree in 1972 from Iowa State University.