Link: University of Iowa

Information About

Alumni Interview

Elizabeth Loeb, M.D.


77BA, 82MD, 82MS, 85R (Family Practice)

What is your hometown?

Guthrie Center, Iowa

How/when did you become interested in science and medicine?

My best teacher in high school was my science and chemistry teacher, Mr. Stephen Patterson. My older sisters, Nancy and Catherine majored in science at U of Iowa before I did. Science and music were my passion in high school, but I did not want to listen to bad music as a band or vocal music teacher, so I went into science.

What interested you to pursue a career in medicine and medical education?

Dr Don Todd was my family doctor and a family friend. I greatly admired him. I wanted to make a difference and I figured that medical students had to be interested learners to get where they were at. Teaching motivated people was important to me.

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

I enjoyed my career in family medicine before I went into private practice. Glenys Williams influence me in the area of Family Medicine, as well as Charles Driscoll. My most impressive teacher in med school was Dr. Bedell. They taught me that you can reach people of all socioeconomic classes and intelligence backgrounds if you are thoughtful and take the time to communicate. I mentored med students (especially females) in family practice, but have moved on to spending my time in Rotary and am preparing to go to Xipotepec Mexico for the third time this weekend to try to make a difference to the poor and underserved down there. I hope to do more International Medicine when my children are out of college. Rotary has been good for me and I recommend that other doctors join it.

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

My sister, Nancy, graduated from University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 1979 and it was natural for me to follow in her steps. I have a total of 4 siblings who have received degrees and advanced degrees through University of Iowa Francie (BA, MA), James (BS in business), Catherine (BA Zoology), Nancy (BA, MD).

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

My experience as a resident and then a faculty member at UIHC gave me experience to feel comfortable as a member of the Iowa City community

Please describe your professional interests.

I volunteer at Free Medic Clinic, am Medical director at Iowa City Rehab and Care Center, and am interested in doing some international medical missions

What are some of your outside interests?

I play piano at St. Thomas More Catholic Church on Sundays, garden, exercise, sew, needlepoint, and hang out with my many pets. Attend Rotary every Tuesday

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

Try to do the best for each patient. Some patients (especially those who come in with anxiety) have a “hidden agenda”. If you do not address their “hidden agenda” (such as the event that caused the anxiety that motivated them to make the appointment), you do not heal them as fully as you might unless you tease out that hidden worry.

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

Paper work and preauthorization.

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

Paper work. I see more broken families and more mental illness due to our expectations of life and the way society functions.

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

Get involved with your community, as a community with good social supports and resources influences healthier families.

What do you see as "the future" of the medicine?

I think that we should have socialized medicine. Too many people cannot afford their care and meds and it is hard to practice two-tiered medicine. Also, people need to be partners with their doctors as a team and be more active in their own health. Many people make bad choices and expect doctors to bail them out. We cannot be a successful team unless they fulfill their part of our “contract”.


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