Iowa Alumni Magazine | April 2009 | People

Paul Rothman

By Staff IAM
PHOTO: SUSAN McCLELLEN

Paul Rothman believes that patient care is at the heart of medicine. As the new dean of the Carver College of Medicine, he encourages future doctors to think the same. “I hope students learn how to talk to patients and be empathetic,” he says. “Beyond numbers, medicine is about helping patients and their families through difficult times.”

Rothman, who previously headed UI internal medicine, has been a researcher, rheumatology expert, and clinical care doctor for more than 20 years. Despite his busy schedule, Rothman still teaches immunology to first-year medical students and makes himself more accessible to the college community through Facebook.

Although Rothman doesn’t watch much television, the New York City native prefers ER over other medical-themed shows. “My daughter loves House, but I can’t watch it,” he says. “It’s so medically inaccurate that it upsets me.”

FAVORITE RECENT BOOKS READ:

Ethan Canin’s America America and Marilynne Robinson’s Home.

FAVORITE AUTHORS:

New England writers William Kennedy and Richard Russo. “I’m from New York City, but I know the area and the people they write about.”

FAVORITE MAGAZINES:

Science and Nature.

FAVORITE MUSIC:

Classic rock. “My 15-year-old son plays rock guitar and he knows all the songs, so it’s fun to listen to him play.”

FAVORITE BAND:

Bluegrass group Nickel Creek. “A graduate student knew I listened to iTunes music in my office and gave me their albums.”

OTHER FAVORITE ARTISTS:

Jack Johnson, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, B-52s, John Mayer, Norah Jones, and Fiona Apple.

FAVORITE SONG:

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

FAVORITE ALBUM:

More Songs About Buildings and Food by the Talking Heads.

LAST CONCERT I SAW:

The UI’s Maia Quartet. “The quartet played music by Beethoven, and [UI otolaryngology professor] Bruce Gantz explained how Beethoven would have heard the pieces before and after he became deaf.”

FAVORITE MOVIES:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Blazing Saddles.

FAVORITE MUSICAL:

My Fair Lady. “I saw it as a kid in New York City with the original cast, including Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews.”

FAVORITE WEBSITES:

Local and national news sites, Facebook, and the Onion.