“The highest compliment I can pay is this: I know that if I were in need, I would want Elizabeth taking care of me,” Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD, MS, said during her remarks extolling the many qualities of this year’s fellowship graduate, Elizabeth Bowen, MD. Though her comments were not overlong, they were lengthier than other fellowship program directors might be afforded with a dozen, six, or even four graduates to describe.
Shibli-Rahhal’s comments were not the only benefit of a smaller, more intimate graduation event. Bowen herself had time both to thank faculty, colleagues, and family for their support during her training, as well as time to open her thoughtful and personalized graduation gift.
Time was also available to recognize a graduate of the program last year, Adeyinka Taiwo, MBBS, who was invited for an event that required fewer pieces of personal protective equipment and less social distancing. Taiwo’s fellow graduate from last year, Julie Schommer, DO, was also invited but unable to attend.
In fact, from the outdoor deck of a cidery and restaurant just outside of Iowa City, one which afforded views of an apple orchard and strawberry fields, guests had lots of time to chat and catch up without feeling rushed by a long formal program or the presence of so many attendees that produced the need to mingle more speedily.
The framed and signed certificate’s presentation complete, guests sat down to a delicious and plentiful meal in the cool evening air. Stories were swapped, bonds were strengthened, and a few group photos were taken.
Congratulations to graduate Elizabeth Bowen and special thanks to fellowship coordinator Laura Deines for creating such a special evening.