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Release: March 28, 2000

Three Iowa physicians honored by UI medical students as preceptors of year

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three community-based Iowa physicians have been recognized for their contributions to medical education by University of Iowa College of Medicine students.

Ronald Shirk, D.O., of Urbandale; Steven Shirts, M.D., of Des Moines; and Milton Van Gundy, M.D., of Marshalltown were named "Preceptors of the Year" for the 1999-2000 academic year.

Each year UI medical students give awards to UI College of Medicine faculty, administrative staff and medical residents who provide outstanding teaching and support to the students. The preceptors serve as mentors to third-year UI medical students during the students' clinical clerkships. The clerkships emphasize clinical skill development and give students the opportunity to work closely with the physicians -- taking medical histories, seeing patients (under the physician's supervision) and working with other health care professionals in a community-based setting.

Shirk, a clinical lecturer in the UI department of family medicine, received the Family Medicine Preceptor of the Year award. He graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Science in Des Moines in 1973 and completed his internship at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines in 1974. Shirk has practiced in the Des Moines area ever since, at Urbandale Family Physicians. He is a member of the Iowa Medical Society and the Polk County Medical Society. He is a staff member at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, as well as Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Mercy Medical Center, all in Des Moines.

Shirts, UI clinical assistant professor in the UI department of obstetrics and gynecology, received the Off-Campus Preceptor of the Year award. Shirts received his medical degree at the University of Washington in 1975. He received medical residency experience in obstetrics and gynecology at R.E. Thomason General Hospital in El Paso, Texas and Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver, Colo. Beginning in 1983, he was a physician on the obstetrics and gynecology staff at Pioneer Valley Hospital in West Valley City, Utah for 13 years. Since 1996 he has served as director of the obstetrics and gynecology service at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines. Shirts was named Broadlawns' Teacher of the Year for 1997-98.

Van Gundy, a clinical lecturer in the UI department of family medicine, received the Community-Based Primary Care Preceptor of the Year award. He received his medical degree at the University of Kansas in 1973. He completed his family practice residency in Cedar Rapids. Van Gundy is a past president (1985) of the Iowa Academy of Family Practice as well as a member of the American Academy of Family Practice and the Iowa Medical Society. He is a McFarland Clinic emergency medicine physician serving Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.