Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Faculty Focus: Jill Endres, MD

Date: Monday, November 4, 2019

Jill Endres, MDWhat is your hometown?

Ankeny, Iowa

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

Although I was not fond of doctors as a child, I have always enjoyed science and I knew I wanted a profession that involved helping people live healthier lives. I really became interested in medicine during college when I volunteered at the Free Medical Clinic and saw the tremendously positive impact of access to compassionate health care. Family medicine is a perfect fit for me because of its focus on the whole person in the context of their social environment, and its emphasis on prevention. I love the variety of patients and problems that I encounter on any given day in clinic and the ability to care for adults, children, and families as they grow. 

When did you join the University of Iowa faculty?

I moved back to Iowa City in 2002 after completing a faculty development fellowship/Master’s program in North Carolina.

How or why did you choose to join the faculty at the University of Iowa?

Iowa City has always felt like home to me. I love the sense of community and the cultural offerings are fantastic for a city this size. After working with them during medical school, I knew that the faculty in family medicine would be wonderful colleagues and mentors, and they certainly have been!

Is there a teacher or mentor who helped shape your career?

I am grateful to have had numerous mentors throughout my career. I was trained by many wonderful family physicians, including my rural Iowa preceptors in medical school (Dr. Kathleen Grauerholz and Dr. Larry Severidt) as well as my residency program director, Dr. Mark Knudson. They modeled excellent patient care, exceptional compassion, thoughtful communication, and zealous patient advocacy, while remaining devoted to their own families.  Equally important to my past mentors, though, are the many co-workers, friends, students, and patients who continue to teach and inspire me. 

How do you see your faculty role impacting medicine and/or science?

I don’t see my role as having a large impact, but I do hope to have a large collection of smaller impacts. I enjoy helping learners and patients achieve their goals, whether those be health-related, personal, professional, or balancing those. I encourage learners to appreciate the valuable role of relationships in caring for patients (and in life in general). One of my favorite things to do is to teach about nutrition and its impact on health and disease, and I hope that this helps learners feel more confident teaching their patients about this, too. 

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

Email! Information management has changed so much with transitions from paper patient charts to EMR, patient registries, etc. 

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

Live by the advice you give. 

In what ways are you engaged in professional activities outside the university?

I volunteer at the Free Medical Clinic, work with schools, and serve on the ABFM exam committee and leadership foundation board. 

What are some of your outside (personal) interests?

I love to be outdoors and active…biking, running, hiking, and watching my kids in their activities.  I also enjoy cooking, travel, and sharing time with my husband and our seven kids. 

Learn more about Jill Endres, MD.