Jill Powers, DO, FACP | 2018 Laureate Award Recipient
The Laureate Award honors Fellows and Masters of the College who have demonstrated, by their example and conduct, an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research and in service to their community, their Chapter, and the American College of Physicians.
The recipient of this award shall bear the title Laureate of the Iowa Chapter.
Jill M. Powers, DO FACP- 2018 Laureate of the Iowa Chapter
“I was in second grade, and I just wanted to be that person to help the kid on the playground.” At least, that’s my response whenever people ask me when I decided to be a doctor. I had early exposures to hospitals when I was little, for a kidney issue that thankfully never affected my health in the long run. I was inspired by my father who volunteered at both The American Red Cross teaching CPR and as a local fireman. In addition, my mom’s tackle-box-sized first aid kit kept her prepared for her many adventures of being at the right place at the right time to help random strangers. Although to be honest, I think it was my singing/acting career falling through that led me to medical school. You know, as my back up plan.
In all seriousness, I’m thankful that I can honestly say I love my job. I feel like I’m just at the beginning of my career, and therefore, I’m extremely humbled by the honor of being listed among the names of my mentors as Laureate Award recipients. I’ve had great mentors through Dr. Yost, Dr. Craig, Dr. Rosenberger, Dr. Purtle and most recently Dr. Vogelgesang. They’ve inspired me to be at my best, stay up to date and saying yes to be involved through the ACP. Dr. Yost was my residency director who excitingly welcomed my news that I was pregnant as an intern and again when I graduated residency and started my career. He taught me that, yes, life balance is important and possible with a career in medicine. Dr. Craig encouraged me to give back through mission work, and I had the pleasure of joining him in El Salvador in 2016. I’ve said yes to return there this November. Dr. Purtle showed me how to get involved on committees, take on leadership roles to enact change, and keep the physician voice heard in policy. I showed up to my first local medical society meeting and found myself nominated for a four- year rotation through the executive board. I said yes. Then, when I was asked to be the next chief of staff at the local hospital because our group needed a voice there, I said yes.
Dr. Vogelsang inspired me to be more involved in the ACP, other than just attending meetings and he asked me to be on the council. And I said yes again. Through ACP, I’ve able to obtain many leadership opportunities, develop connections, and realize how one physician can make a difference by saying yes when others may have said no. My most recent engagement occurred because I read an article in the local paper about the opioid crisis. They mentioned how our county health department lacked a physician on their board. When I contacted the administrator, this time it was them who said a surprised yes.
Last but not least, Dr. Rosenberger taught me how to love my patients, let them love me, and not take things too personally. My patients are very capable of giving me grief, like when I’ve showed up to work with stitches in my face after a bike crash during a triathlon.
I’ve joked that I really didn’t get far in life as my practice is located across the street from the hospital where I was born. Next year will mark my tenth year in private practice at Grand River Medical Group (formerly known as Dubuque Internal Medicine.) My next task is to join the newly formed nutrition committee to start reversing disease in my community through diet rather than maintaining it with medications. This is in honor of my father, who passed away from heart disease last year. To all my family, especially my husband, Brian, and children, Kyle and Ruth: Thank you for coming along on this ride with me and sticking up for me when people ask, “Girls can’t be doctors, can they?” by always saying, “Yes.”
The Award was presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting, October 18. 2018. The awardee is to be nominated by a process that may originate from the Awards Committee or from any member of the Chapter.
The awardee should be an experienced physician and Fellow or Master of long-standing, with acknowledged experience and peer approval in the field of internal medicine. In addition, the awardee should have served the Chapter with distinction.
It is with distinct pleasure that this year the Iowa Chapter of the American College of Physicians presents the Laureate Award to Jill M. Powers, DO, FACP. Dr. Powers is a long-standing and loyal support of the College, has rendered distinguished service to the Chapter, and has upheld the high ideals of professional standards for which the College is know.
We salute and honor her on this occasion, and we wish her well in the future
Scott A Vogelgesand, MD, FACP, FACR
Governor, Iowa Chapter