Faculty Spotlight – Amy Calhoun, MD

I am Clinical Assistant Professor and Medical Director of the Iowa Newborn Screening Program in the Division of Medical Genetics where I see patients in general genetics and metabolic clinic. I’ve worked here for two and a half years. I did my categorical pediatrics residency here and was a former chief resident in pediatrics.

I did my categorical genetics residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City is absolutely gorgeous. The University is perched on the side of the Wasatch mountain range, and I could see mountains out the window of my cheapo grad student apartment. It’s hard to explain how beautiful it is there.

My current job is my dream job. The Iowa Newborn Screening Program is one of the best in the world, and I’m honored to work with them. My colleagues in the Division of Medical Genetics are amazing and brilliant people and are also a lot of fun. Genetics is fast-paced and forward-looking. No two patients are anything alike and I learn many new things every day.

My husband Peter and I have been married for 15 years. We have three kids: Rachel (10), Elizabeth (7) and Clara (almost 5). My identical twin sister, Dr. Katie Larson Ode, is also on faculty in the Department of Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology.

I don’t have any major hobbies. I really like to read and prefer fantasy and sci-fi. I occasionally force myself to read some nonfiction. I enjoy spending time with my family. I sometimes attempt to keep my house sorta clean.

I don’t know if I have a favorite meal, but I love Italian food. My husband makes an amazing risotto. He also makes the best key lime pie I have ever had. My holiday favorite is my Aunt Nancy’s kringle, which is a Norwegian cookie/sweetbread that is basically butter sugar and flour.

My favorite sports team is the Minnesota Vikings. I also follow the Hawkeyes, of course. My husband is a huge Bears fan, so I see most of their games, too.

My favorite book is probably Beauty by Robin McKinley, followed extremely closely by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I also love Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I almost listed about 20 more, but I stopped myself. Favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast (the original animated version). I also love Monsters, Inc. and pretty much all of the other Pixar movies, except a Bug’s Life.

My parents’ hobby is amateur construction, so I have all sorts of random construction skills. I’ve laid hardwood floors, hung drywall, done cordwood masonry, framed walls, laid insulation, wired outlets and light fixtures, poured cement. I can remove tree stumps by hand and chop logs. I’ve dug and laid a gravel-pad style foundation. I cannot even tell you how much gravel, dirt, and sand I have shoveled in my lifetime.

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