Link: University of Iowa

Information About


Alumni Interview

Denise Hooks-Anderson, M.D.

Portrait

97MD

What is your hometown?

Ashdown, AR

When did you become interested in science and medicine?

My earliest childhood memories were of wanting to be a doctor. There were no health professionals in my family at all. I liked science and math, and I wanted to help people. Therefore, medicine was the logical career choice.

Please highlight your major career achievements, awards, discoveries, etc.

2003 Salute to Excellence in Healthcare Award; 2004 AAFP Foundation Pfizer Teacher Development Award, National Health Service Corps

Is there a teacher, mentor or Carver College of Medicine faculty member who has helped shape your education?

Dr. Keith Carter, Chair of the Ophthalmology Department; Dr. Carter and his wife were essentially my family away from home while in Iowa. During those basic science years when I thought I would never see the wards, Dr. Carter was always full of encouragement. He believed in me which caused me to start believing in myself.

How or why did you choose the UI for your education and medical training?

I attended Jackson State University for my undergraduate education. Many of my professors there spoke very highly of the University of Iowa and informed me that fellow Jacksonians had graduated from there. So in addition to having a great reputation, the University of Iowa also provided me with a different experience: the Midwestern way of life. For the first time in my life, I learned what a silo was!

What kind of professional opportunities or advantages has your UI medical training provided?

When people find out that I am a graduate of the University of Iowa, you can see that they are impressed by their facial expression. The reputation that the school has in research has also been the subject of many conversations.

Please describe your professional interests.

Recently, I have become quite fascinated with how nutrition should be used more in health prevention and cure. I am also learning more about alternative medicine and how I can incorporate that into my practice. This is why I have started a private Family Medicine practice with a focus on wellness. At my practice, a massage therapist is available for patients with chronic pain, headaches, or stress.

What are some of your outside interests?

I love being active in my community. I speak a lot at health fairs and at local churches. I also enjoy spending time with my children, Zari, 7, and Lauryn, 4 months.

Do you have an insight or philosophy that guides you in your professional work?

Practicing medicine is my ministry. This career has been God-given. Therefore, I don’t think of work just as a job. This is what I was called to do. I am convinced of it!

If you could change one thing about the practice or business of medicine, what would it be?

Physicians would not have to make decisions to stop seeing a certain group of people because their health plan had a low reimbursement rate.

What is the biggest change you’ve experienced in medicine since you were a student?

The incorporation of the electronic health record.

What one piece of advice would you give to today’s medical students?

Treat all people the same and use your God-given talents for good never evil!

What do you see as “the future” of medicine?

If we do not halt this current epidemic, we will have a society full of obese diabetics with hypertension. We must retrain our families and communities on the basics of good nutrition.

Contact

Medicine Alumni Society
medicine-alumni@uiowa.edu
Phone: 319-335-8886
Toll Free: 877-MEDIOWA
Fax: 319-384-1746