Gain insights, advice at Oct. 12 residency forum

Want to know what medical residency is really like? DMU students will gain insights and advice from University graduates in family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, otolaryngology and podiatric medicine at a residency forum this Friday, Oct. 12. The event is sponsored by DMU’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK), Sigma Sigma Phi and Pi Delta.

The ASK mentor network is comprised of DMU alumni and current students. DMU alumni volunteer their time to share information and knowledge with students about their education, career choices and transitioning to life after DMU. Students gain knowledge and can ask questions about their future careers. Alumni network members don’t have to be in Des Moines; they can participate via Skype and other online technologies.

This Friday’s residency forum will feature roundtable sessions from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by simultaneous keynote talks from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. by podiatric physician and CPMS Alumna of the Year, Kelly John, D.P.M.’99, M.H.A.’99, FACFAS, and internal medicine physician Leatrice Olson, D.O.’80, FACOI. Students should register at to participate.

Kelly John, D.P.M.’99, M.H.A.’99, FACFAS

Dr. John practices with OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, SwedishAmerican Hospital, Mercy Health, Ambulatory Surgery Center and OrthoIllinois Surgery Center in Rockford, IL. With sponsorship by OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Dr. John was instrumental in developing the first podiatric residency in Rockford, which she serves as director. The three-year program, a podiatric medical and surgical residency with added rearfoot/reconstruction, accepts two residents per year and hosts an additional one to two podiatric medical students each month.

Dr. Olson is the internal medicine residency program director and a staff physician at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Heavily involved in leadership positions as well as a member of many committees, she serves as chair of the internal medicine research committee and clinical competency committee for Mercy’s internal medicine residency program. She also is the chair of the medical executive committee and has served as president of the medical staff since 2015. In 2017, Dr. Olson published an article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, “Fit in five: a unique approach to preventing burnout in an internal medicine residency.” She is involved in a variety of quality improvement projects as well.

Leatrice Olson, D.O.’80, FACOI

Drs. John and Olson also will participate in the roundtable sessions, as will these alumni:

  • Chase Brown, D.O.’17, a family medicine resident at Utah Valley Hospital, Provo, UT
  • Ashley Dikis, D.P.M.’12, a podiatric physician at Greeneville Orthopaedic Clinic – Ballad Health, Greeneville, TN; she and her husband, Jeff Dikis, D.P.M.’12, completed their residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh
  • Zak Geiger, D.O.’18, a resident in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at Western Reserve Hospital, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  • Jeffrey Olson, D.P.M.’14, a podiatric physician at Skiff Medical Center, Newton, IA, who completed his podiatric medicine and surgery residency/reconstructive rearfoot and ankle at Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills, MI
  • Paul Pierson, D.O.’14, chief surgery resident at Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines
  • Katelynn Splett, D.O.’17, an internal medicine resident at Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines
  • Taylar Swartz, D.O.’18, an obstetrics/gynecology resident at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha
  • Brian Whyms, D.O.’16, an internal medicine resident at Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines

All DMU alumni are encouraged to join ASK and get involved in other ways at DMU. For information, visit the DMU alumni website.

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