From graduate to advocate: Lyndsay Harshman, MD

A Hawkeye through and through, Lyndsay Harshman, MD, assistant professor in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, completed her undergraduate degree in psychology as well as her medical doctorate, residency, and fellowship at the University of Iowa.

And as an Iowa native, she has always looked for ways to give back to the community she loves.

For Harshman, giving back means getting involved

“During my time at the UI Carver College of Medicine, I served as student body president and went on to hold the same role at the Graduate College. My peers and I were heavily involved in advocating on behalf of graduate professionals and students,” says Harshman.

As she progressed through her career, Harshman found other ways to get involved, most recently partnering with the UI Center for Advancement to help organize a group of Carver College of Medicine young alumni.

“The idea for the GOLD (Graduates Of the Last Decade) program really came out of a desire to develop and strengthen relations between recent UI graduates and the university,” she says. “Our mission is to advocate for the interests and needs of recent graduates, advise UI Health Care’s Outreach and Engagement team on strategies to increase awareness and support from recent graduates, and encourage recent graduates to get involved.”

Isn’t afraid to dive in

As a pediatric nephrologist, Harshman strives for success every day. But, her desire to help others goes beyond healing. It also involves engagement, bringing patient care, and the goal of the GOLD program together.

“Growing up in a small town in southern Iowa, my town didn’t even have a pediatrician. I think that is partially what motivated me to pursue the career path that I’m on. I want to be able to help reach patients where they are, providing superior care across the state.”

Harshman sees GOLD as a way to enlist others in that same pursuit.

“The opportunities to participate in philanthropic, educational, and professional engagements are limitless,” she says. “I want other young alumni to know about the opportunities they have in our state. Ultimately, if we were to involve other disciplines in the GOLD program—for example, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, and business graduates—think about the network that opens up for our community.”

Through it all, Harshman’s can-do attitude still drives her stay involved.

“I think Iowans, whether you are a native or transplant, learn to have an attitude of getting things done. We dive in, we tackle the toughest challenges. And, we do it together.”

If you are a Carver College of Medicine graduate from the past 10 years who now works for UI Health Care, join Harshman at the GOLD Breakfast from 7 to 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, in the East Room (Elevator F, Level 8) to network with alumni co-workers and get involved.


  1. Lyndsay is a great example to others around her. She is fantastic with patients and families and always acts as a strong patient advocate. So lucky to work with her!

  2. Dr Harshman is a great patient/family advocate and is a superb team player! She always strives to make everyone feel very comfortable and welcomed. She is a great role model!

  3. Dr. Harshman is wonderful with her patients and their families. Her ability to communicate at a level in which they understand and are encouraged to ask questions, sets her apart. As a mother of one of her patients, I am forever thankful. As a nurse working with her patients, I am also forever thankful! Keep up the great work!

  4. Lyndsay is top-notch. I have first-hand experience watching her in action from her time as a medical student to student body president to residency to being supportive with the Physician Scientist Training Pathway trainees. Giving and caring for others have always been at the forefront of her drive and determination. Wrap that all into being a mother herself – wow…I have always been in awe of this super hero! You go girl.

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