Member Spotlight: E. Dale Abel

E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD
Chair/Department Executive Officer, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center
Professor of Internal Medicine - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Professor of Biochemistry
Professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME)
University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

How long have you been a member of AAIM?

I have been a member of APM for the last three to four years but have been a member of AAIM for longer.

Describe your typical day. 

I wear two main hats in my current work. One as Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine in Carver College of Medicine of the University of Iowa and the second as the Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. The role of the Chair includes daily program planning and mentoring meetings with trainees, faculty and senior members of the Department. My role with the Fraternal Order involves managing, discussing, and being involved in advancing the research mission of the Center. I also run basic science research laboratory. Both roles require significant scheduling, multi-tasking, and grant writing. A typical day would have a mix of these roles.

What is your favorite part of the job?

I enjoy communicating with the various members of the team to move clinical and research programs forward. I also get great satisfaction with mentoring medical students and researchers to help shape careers. In addition, I also appreciate opportunities to teach.

How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?

APM as provided a wonderful opportunity to network with peers. It is comprised of colleagues who understand the issues of the Academic Medicine. Being able to reach out to peers for advice on how to handle challenging circumstances that arise in Departments of Internal Medicine is very beneficial in collectively maintaining vibrant and strong medical communities.

What’s your favorite moment of your career so far?

There are many moments that come to mind. There are big and small moments that create such satisfaction in a day or among many years. On the larger scale, is the privilege of being recognized through awards and elections. Being nominated and elected into the National Academy of Medicine, ASCI and ACP, among others, come to mind as all career moments. But I also still feel joy when a paper is accepted and when a grant is funded. In all these career moments that come to pass due to someone nominating me for an award or other recognition, it is important to me to send a note of appreciation for the contribution of others to any accolades that I might receive.

What was your childhood dream job?

I grew up in Jamaica and was encouraged from a young age to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Education was very important. Thus, being a doctor and being a good doctor was something I have strived for, for as long as I can recall, and I have enjoyed this journey immensely.

How do you spend your free time?

My wife and I are empty-nesters now and like to spend time travelling. We go off the beaten path and try to visit unique locations and not necessarily resorts. We also enjoy meeting people of different and diverse cultures.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

There are a few things about me that might surprise people. In my younger days I was an accomplished tenor. I was also well known for my poetry as an adolescent in Jamaica. And although medicine and science tend to shy away from the topic of religion, I think a lot about it and would feel very comfortable in discussing it if the opportunity arises.