About the Program

Emergency Room Training

We are convinced our people, our approach, our facilities, the ease of living in Iowa City, and our quality of training can all make a difference in your career.

We invite you to consider the advantages of choosing Iowa for your Emergency Medicine training.

Quick facts

  • 10 residents are accepted each year.
  • 30 total residents are ACGME approved for our training program.
  • The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Emergency Department (main training site) sees greater than 50,000 patients per year with a 35% percent admission rate with 5% admitted to an Intensive Care setting.
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center Emergency Department (community training site) sees greater than 50,000 patients per year with a 20% admission rate with 2% admitted to an Intensive Care setting.


  • All required Emergency Medicine and other required rotations are scheduled at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics or at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. St. Luke’s is an approximate 30 minute drive from the University of Iowa (25 miles).
  • Elective rotations can be scheduled at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, or in a number of other locations including internationally.
  • Our third year emergency medicine residents have the opportunity to serve as flight physicians in Iowa's 40-year-old Air and Mobile Critical Care Services Program. They response to the scene of motor vehicle accidents and other major traumas. They also participate in the interfacility transfer of patients with conditions such as intracranial hemorrhage, stroke, myocardial infarction, and sepsis. Flight physicians have the ability to perform procedures on flights as well as assist the flight crew with management of these critically ill patients.
  • Thanks to the dedicated work of Iowa Emergency Medicine faculty who have been working in Haiti for over a decade, our residents have the opportunity to participate in medical mission trips working with a well-established organization that has strong ties to the rural communities it serves.


Program accreditation

The Emergency Medicine residency at UI Hospitals & Clinics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Information specific to program requirements for an emergency medicine training program may be found at the ACGME’s Emergency Medicine Residency Review Committee (RRC).

Program Differentiators

Emergency Room Training

Advantages of our program

  • The University of Iowa Emergency Department is number one among academic centers for the shortest waiting times for patients and has strong customer service scores. We will teach you to provide rapid, efficient care to patients while maintaining kind and compassionate service.
  • Abundant clinical experience comes from our burgeoning patient census, and more than a fifth of our patients are pediatric.
  • University of Iowa is one of the top research institutions in the nation providing unparalleled resources. Our department has many ongoing clinical, basic science, and translational research projects.
  • Outstanding, nationally-recognized clinical faculty who have trained all over the country. Teachers who have recognized that University of Iowa is a very special place and have come here to help create a world-class teaching institution.
  • We have two dual-boarded emergency medicine and critical care faculty who divide their time evenly between the emergency department and the MICU and SNICU respectively. This allows us to offer our residents unparalleled critical care education, both in the department and during their ICU rotations.
  • We have a diverse faculty with diverse interests including critical care, ultrasound, simulation, sports medicine, international medicine, emergency medicine services, and others.
  • Our Emergency Department supports a full time clinical pharmacist who assists with patient care and is highly involved in our research programs. 
  • We have 24-hours a day of full social work support dedicated to the Emergency Department.
  • The use of ultrasound in the practice of Emergency Medicine is expanding exponentially. The University of Iowa Emergency Department recently purchased new, state of the art ultrasound equipment to assist our residents in learning this fundamental skill. The residency program also supports a full time director of the ultrasound curriculum. 


  • State-of-the-art, 60,000 square foot Emergency Department that contains 45 beds.
  • Only Level 1 trauma center and burn center in Iowa.
  • University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is a 711-bed hospital.  

Clinical experiences

  • The Emergency Medicine residents get a longitudinal EMS experience starting with RAGBRAI medical coverage as interns, followed by event medicine coverage at Iowa Hawkeyes football games, basketball games, and wrestling matches culminating in a month-long EMS month during the third year.
  • Our residents learn cutting-edge critical care through dedicated rotations in the Surgical and Neurosciences ICU, the Medical ICU, the Pediatric ICU, the Neonatal ICU, and the Burn Unit at a tertiary academic medical center. 
  • The opportunity to participate in an ACSME accredited Sports Medicine EMS fellowship at a Big 10 university.
  • Fellowships in EMS, Critical Care, Sports Medicine, Academics, Globa Health, Injury Prevention, Research, and Palliative Care.
  • Optional Wilderness Medicine course taught mainly in the mountains of Colorado by Iowa faculty.
  • Moonlighting available in surrounding community to eligible PGY-3 residents.
  • Medical simulation is used extensively within the residency training program. The residency has a full time simulation director who coordinates this area of the residency curriculum. Residents receive training using high-fidelity simulators to augment their clinical experience. 
  • The residency program has a close relationship with our partner community hospital in Cedar Rapids, with residents spending several months learning there. This allows residents to experience patient care not only in a large academic center, but also at a large community hospital.

Resident Representatives

  • EMRA Representative: David Ruehlmann, MD
    • EMRA Alternate: Nancy Mikati, MD
  • AAEM Representative: Kasia Marciniec, DO
  • ACEP Representative: Omar Shaban, MD
  • ACGME Nominee: Josh Bauer, MD
  • House Staff Council: Gigi Landal, MD
  • Program Evaluation Committee Members: Josh Bauer, MD/Nick Lind, MD/Nancy Mikati, MD/Omar Shaban, MD
  • Interdisciplinary Committee: Nick Lind, MD/Gigi Landal, MD

Iowa City

  • Iowa City is a highly intellectual community with premier arts events that are accessible to residents in terms of cost and location. 
  • We have an outstanding school system for children in grades K-12. 
  • A great training program and a high quality of life at an affordable price.


The University of Iowa Emergency Medicine Program encourages residents to tailor their own course of study, in order to best prepare themselves for their chosen career focus. Residents have the opportunity to choose electives and their academic project in areas that they have particular interest in. Some opportunities are listed below; we are always interested in developing more!

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

The Emergency Medicine residents get a longitudinal EMS experience starting with RAGBRAI medical coverage as interns, followed by event medicine coverage at Iowa Hawkeyes football games, basketball games, and wrestling matches culminating in a month-long EMS month during the third year. The Emergency Medicine residents also enjoy the opportunity to teach EMS students in the Emergency Medical Services Learning Resources Center (EMSLRC), which conducts EMT and paramedic classes as well as all of the merit badge courses. Finally, as part of a voluntary program, third-year Emergency Medicine residents in good standing can join UI Hospitals & Clinics AirCare as flight physicians where they will perform inter-facility and scene transports of critically ill neonates as well as pediatric and adult patients.

Wilderness Medicine

Several of the Emergency Medicine residents participate in a Wilderness Medicine course that is held every year. The course contains a didactic portion that covers the basics of wilderness medicine including patient evacuation and other pertinent topics. There are also skill labs sessions and a variety of class outings in the area. The course is culminated by a “class-trip” to experience the wilderness environment, in the past this has often been to Colorado.


The uses of ultrasound for diagnosis and management of patients in the Emergency Department is rapidly expanding. Department faculty are highly skilled at using ultrasound for a wide variety of indications in the Emergency Department. The department recently purchased state-of-the-art ultrasound machines. Additionally, a dedicated FAST machine is used to evaluate all trauma patients. Furthermore, a new ultrasound curriculum for all residents has recently been implemented. Several residents have dedicated elective time to further hone their ultrasonography skills.

Sports Medicine

Emergency departments care for a large number of patients with sports related injuries. Our department is no different. For residents who have a special interest in sports medicine, elective rotations are available. A formal sports medicine fellowship is also available to program graduates.

Critical Care Medicine

One of the goals of the residency program is to train residents to be capable of taking care of any patient with minimal or no back-up. Because of this goal the residency program places a particular focus on critical care medicine. The residents spend several months rotating through a variety of intensive care units at UI Hospitals & Clinics. A specific critical care curriculum has been designed and implemented into the weekly conference schedule. A critical care fellowship is currently in the planning stages.

International Medicine

Many of the program’s residents choose to spend time working internationally during their residency. Many of the program’s faculty members are also involved in medicine overseas. The program has a close relationship with the “Community Health Initiative” in Haiti, and residents and faculty make regular trips there. Residents have traveled to other locations including Israel, India, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Abu Dhabi, and others. Residents can work overseas for up to one month while still maintaining their full pay and benefits.

Rural Medicine

Iowa is predominantly a rural state, with much of the state lacking sufficient emergency medical care. Residents interested in providing care in rural communities have the opportunity to complete electives in medically underserved areas. Residents may also spend a portion of their EMS rotation with rural providers.


Residents have the opportunity to become involved by serving as the residency representative on the ACEP State Board of Directors and may attend ACEP’s leadership and advocacy conference. Residents also may attend the Iowa Medical Society House of Delegates. Other opportunities include serving as the Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association representative and/or House Staff Council representative.


As a PGY-I emergency medicine resident, you spend time both in the Emergency Department learning the basics of emergency medicine, and additionally spend time on a variety of other services to learn skills essential to the practice of emergency medicine.

Introduction to Emergency Medicine / Advanced Life Support

For every new resident, the first month of residency at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is spent together on an introduction to emergency medicine rotation called Advanced Life Support. During this month, interns spend most mornings in informative and interactive didactics, both in the lecture hall and in the simulation lab. They are also assigned to eight shifts in the Emergency Department to allow them to get to know the department, the faculty and nurses, and the way around the hospital.

This rotation is a great balance between getting accustomed to the hospital and life as a resident at UI Hospitals & Clinics, while still allowing for some free time to get settled into a new town and to get to know your co-interns. The best part: students and interns participate in a wilderness medicine race. At the end of the Advanced Life Saving month, first-year residents participate as medical support in the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) by riding along with the four ambulance crews. RAGBRAI is an annual event with 15,000-20,000 riders traveling from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River across the state over one week. It is a great time for learning field medicine, making independent treatment decisions, and getting to know our EMS colleagues.

Emergency Medicine

In the months in the department, interns work with a senior resident and faculty member with close supervision, gaining independence in practice at their own pace. Senior residents are assigned to go to any incoming trauma, but otherwise interns are encouraged to see any cases they want. Patient load in the department can be daunting at times, but it is stressed that the job of the interns is to learn, not to move patients through the department. Typically, if the senior residents are comfortable performing procedures and have reached their goal, the interns are then sought out to perform the procedures.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Residents spend one dedicated month seeing only pediatric patients in the Emergency Department. Residents work most often one-on-one with an attending, making this a great learning experience. Residents are exposed to many typical pediatric patients, but also complex ones being a tertiary referral center.

Residents can perform a number of different pediatric procedures, including:

  • Procedural sedation
  • Foreign body removal
  • Laceration repair
  • Lumbar punctures

During these months residents participate in pediatric traumas. There are also dedicated pediatric didactic sessions throughout this month.

Trauma Surgery

This rotation gives interns the experience of trauma from the point of view of the surgeons rather than the emergency medicine practitioners.

There are four interns on the service, and we they alternate responsibility for long and short call, as well as trauma evalustions/resuscitations. Interns can go to the OR if they want, or they can handle floor calls for polytrauma patients on the service. These calls include medication checks to wound care to pulling chest tubes and.or other bedside procedures. 

The patient population is typically split about equally between the SNICU and the floor, exposing the interns to a broad range of patient morbidity. They are also paged to the ED whenever a trauma is set to arrive. The emergency medicine interns participate in the trauma resuscitation along with surgery residents working in the emergency department. The hours are typical of a surgical service, running from 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays with shorter hours rounding on the weekends, but interns do get two full weekends off during the month-long rotation with no patient care responsibilities.

The weekly trauma conference is an excellent learning experience, and the topics presented frequently overlap with emergency medicine issues and practice. Interns also attend surgery grand rounds and M&Ms, which are also great for learning.

Orthopedic Surgery

Emergency medicine residents work as an integral part of the orthopedic trauma team. The block is split into two halves, giving the residents a well-rounded exposure to orthopedic emergencies.

During one half of the rotation, residents are members of the orthopedic trauma service. Residents are expected to attend daily morning conferences, which can be very educational. You carry the orthopedic pager and take calls on inpatients and Emergency Department consults during the day. When not busy with consults, you will work in the clinic. There are some operating room opportunities if you so desire.

During the other half of the rotation, residents work on the orthopedics night float team. This team is responsible for seeing all the orthopedics consultations, both in the Emergency Department, as well as inpatient units. Residents gain a broad exposure to not only traumatic orthopedic emergencies, but also infection, pediatric, joints, and spine cases. The most valuable experiences of the rotation include gaining experience casting, splinting, fracture and dislocation reductions, as well as fine tuning exam skills.


During the month on anesthesiology, interns are assigned to one operating room for the day. Usually they will be working with a certified registered nurse anesthetist, but at times they may be with an anesthesiology resident. Most often, emergency medicine interns can manage the airway while starting a case. First case starts at 7:15 a.m. or 8 a.m. and arriving 20-30 minutes before case start to get to know the patient is advised. There are no weekend duties on this rotation. This month is a great time to perform as many intubations as possible and to get to be an expert at bag-valve-masking patients.

Burn Surgery

During the two weeks on burn surgery, emergency medicine interns are in the role of an intern on any surgical team. The team consists of a junior resident, emergency medicine intern, and possibly another co-intern from another service. Rounding is dependent on staff and patient load and usually starts around 6:15 a.m. with first operating room cases starting at 7:15 a.m.

Interns are allowed and encouraged, if they choose, to split time with the other residents scrubbing in to surgery, and typically can do as much of the surgery as they desire. On the floors, time is spent managing patients and writing notes. No worries about not knowing all of burn management right off the bat: nursing staff is very knowledgeable and helpful and will direct you as needed. The exact day-to-day task performed is dependent on the junior surgery resident. This is a great month to help manage very sick patients and to get some time operating!

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Residents spend two weeks working with our cardiothoracic surgeons. The primary goal of this rotation is to give the emergency medicine residents an opportunity to place many chest tubes under the supervision of the cardiothoracic surgery staff. Residents also can learn a great deal about the management of thoracic disease including pneumothoraces, hemothoraces, aortic dissections, and others.

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

During this two-week rotation, our residents train in a variety of quality areas, including

  • Patient safety
  • Administration
  • Research
  • Education

Residents will obtain the Institute for Health Improvement (IHI) Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety. A billing and coding teaching session will take place with our lead coder to improve charting. Residents complete their human subjects training as required by the IRB to be better researchers. Residents will take the lead on one of the recommendations from the resident improvement committees to improve the overall education in our department. Seventy-two-hour patient returns to the emergency department will be analyzed for quality improvement.


During your PGY-II year, you not only spend more time in the Emergency Department, but you also take on a much higher degree of responsibility. You will act as the senior resident on your team, be responsible for responding to traumas, and care for multiple critically ill patients simultaneously.

PGY-II residents spend several months working in a variety of intensive care unit settings to hone their critical care skills. Additionally, residents have their first opportunity to rotate at our community hospital partner.

Emergency Medicine

For the senior resident (PGY-II and III) in emergency medicine, there continues to be graduated responsibility. The PGY-II resident learns the role of the senior by beginning to supervise medical students and interns while still maintaining excellent patient care. You are expected to see more patients than as an intern and learn to handle multiple complex patients simultaneously. Senior residents also respond to the level 1 trauma patients and care for these patients in conjunction with the trauma surgery team. The EM resident's primary role is the airway, but often helps with the primary and secondary survey and resuscitative efforts, including procedures outside of airway management.

Community Emergency Medicine

Rotating at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids is an excellent opportunity to experience emergency medicine in a community setting. Your role at St. Luke’s is to see patients under the supervision of your staff physician, just as you would during other emergency medicine rotations.

The Educational Highlights of This Rotation Include:

  • Large volume of pediatric and high acuity patients
  • High exposure to orthopedic emergencies
  • Mentorship relationships with community emergency medicine physicians
  • Independence practicing medicine without the presence of other sub-specialty residents

The rotation at St. Luke’s is certainly a favorite among residents and offers a great deal of educational and practical experience.

Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)

The team usually consists of an emergency medicine resident, internal medicine residents, and a critical care/pulmonary fellow. Call is every fifth day, where you are on with an Internal Medicine resident and the fellow. Expect to work from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-call days. You split taking admissions on non-call days with the other residents until 3 p.m., when the call team starts taking admissions.

There are teaching sessions on three weekday mornings. These teaching sessions cover most of the essentials of critical care and are invaluable.

Teaching Sessions Include:

  • Ventilator management
  • Vasoactive drugs
  • Medical resuscitations

Procedures/Critical Skills on This Rotation Include:

  • Intubations
  • Central lines
  • Arterial lines
  • Thoracenteses
  • Paracenteses
  • Ventilator management
  • Vasopressor management
  • Volume resuscitation

Surgical and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (SNICU)

While rotating in the SNICU, residents manage critically ill patients from the trauma service, general surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, cardiothoracic surgery, transplant surgery, and other surgical services.

Common Diagnoses Include:

  • Poly-trauma
  • Intracranial bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Septic shock
  • Hypovolemic shock
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Respiratory distress
  • Hypertensive emergency

Procedures/Critical Skills Learned and Performed Include:

  • Intubation 
  • Central lines
  • Arterial lines
  • Ventilator management
  • Tube thoracostomy
  • Vasopressor management
  • Volume resuscitation

The daily schedule generally involves arriving at 6 a.m., rounding with staff at 7 a.m., then procedures and daily work after rounds until sign out at 2 p.m.


While on the obstetrics rotation, emergency medicine residents work directly with an obstetrics and gynecology faculty managing patients in active labor and those past 20 weeks of gestation. This rotation is done at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.

Procedures/Critical Skills Learned and Performed:

  • Deliveries
  • Fetal heart monitoring
  • Rule-out active labor work-ups
  • Ob-gyn ultrasounds
  • Participating in neonatal resuscitations

The rotation utilizes a day float/night float system, so there are no call days. You also get weekends off.


As a PGY-III, residents have a high degree of responsibility and assume a real leadership role in the Emergency Department. They continue to respond to traumas and care for critically ill patients while taking on an increased teaching role. PGY-III residents often supervise and teach medical students, while at the same time assisting junior residents with patient care and procedures.

Emergency Medicine

For the senior resident (PGY-II & III) in emergency medicine, there continues to be graduated responsibility. The PGY-III resident is expected to be able to handle many patients at once with variable levels of acuity as well as jointly working with the faculty in managing the flow of the emergency department and learning to “run” the department.

This resident should be peripherally aware of what is going on throughout the department and be ready to lend a hand wherever it is needed. He or she also is expected to provide supervision to medical students and interns, as well as guidance for PGY-IIs.  While on all Emergency Medicine rotations, PGY-III residents are given the option of joining the UI Hospitals & Clinics AirCare as flight physicians, where they will perform inter-facility and scene transports of critically ill of all ages.

Community Emergency Medicine

Your role at St. Luke’s is to see patients under the supervision of your staff physician, just as you would during other emergency medicine rotations.

Educational Highlights of This Rotation Include:

  • High volume of pediatric and high acuity patients
  • Large amount of orthopedic emergencies
  • Mentorship relationships with community emergency medicine physicians
  • Independence practicing medicine without the presence of other sub-specialty residents

The rotation at St. Luke’s is certainly a favorite among residents and offers a great deal of educational and practical experience.

Surgical and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (SNICU)

While rotating in the SNICU, residents manage critically ill patients from the trauma service, general surgery, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, transplant surgery, and other surgical services.

Common Diagnoses Include:

  • Poly-trauma
  • Intracranial bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Septic shock
  • Hypovolemic shock
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Respiratory distress
  • Hypertensive emergency

Procedures/Critical Skills Learned and Performed Include:

  • Intubation (direct, glidescope, fiberoptic)
  • Central lines
  • Arterial lines
  • Ventilator management
  • Tube thoracostomy
  • Vasopressor management
  • Volume resuscitation

The daily schedule generally involves arriving at 6 a.m., rounding with staff at 7 a.m., procedures and daily work after rounds until sign out at 2 p.m.

Emergency Medical Services/Emergency Medicine Administration

In this month you will have the opportunity to ride, fly, and learn about becoming an EMS medical director. The rotation is comprised of flight shifts, ambulance rides, and Emergency Medical Services Learning Resources Center (EMSLRC) teaching shifts in the department with special attention focused on interaction with EMS crews. Individuals who don't wish to fly with AirCare will do more ambulance shifts.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to visit the 911 call center, fire station, and learn about disaster management and EMS research opportunities. You will have the opportunity to be on the front lines and see people in their homes and gain a better understanding of the limitations of ambulance crews. This is a great month with a lot of different experiences that will help to round out your training.


During the third, year residents have two months of elective/selective time to explore subspecialties of emergency medicine or other areas of interest. This allows residents to enhance knowledge within emergency medicine or focus on a particular skill set.

Options Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • Emergency department nursing
  • Dentistry
  • Ophthalmology
  • Palliative care
  • Sports medicine
  • International medicine
  • Social medicine
  • Advanced EMS
  • Teaching
  • Community medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacy
  • New born baby
  • Advanced ultrasound

Residents are allowed the flexibility to help create an elective with the assistance of faculty mentors. 

Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP)

The University of Iowa Department of Emergency Medicine Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP) integrates postgraduate clinical and research training to develop physician-scientists who will be future leaders in academic emergency medicine. The PSTP is a pathway within the Emergency Medicine Residency Program and combines graduate medical education with the rich collaborative research community at University of Iowa.

Learn more about this program.

Training at a Glance

Emergency Room Training

The emergency medicine (EM) training program at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is a three-year program and provides each resident physician with a diverse experience.

To view a synopsis of the training program, please PDF icondownload our block schedule.

Year 1 Block Schedule
  UI Hospitals & Clinics
Rotation 1 Intro to EM
Rotation 2 EM
Rotation 3 EM
Rotation 4 EM
Rotation 5

EM (2)
Pediatric EM (2)

Rotation 6 Ultrasound (1)
EM (1)
Pediatric EM (2)
Rotation 7 Anesthesia
Rotation 8 Sports Medicine (2)
EM Orthopedics (2)
Rotation 9 Trauma
Rotation 10 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) (2)
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery (2)
Rotation 11 Burns (2)
EM (2)
Rotation 12 EM
Rotation 13 Toxicology (2)
Quality Improvement (2)
  EM Weeks: 31
Year 2 Block Schedule
  UI Hospitals & Clinics St. Luke's
Rotation 1 EM  
Rotation 2 EM  
Rotation 3 EM  
Rotation 4 EM  
Rotation 5 EM  
Rotation 6   EM
Rotation 7   EM
Rotation 8   Obstetrics
Rotation 9 Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)  
Rotation 10

Surgical and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (SNICU)

Rotation 11 EM (2)
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) (2)
Rotation 12 Elective  
Rotation 13 Selective  
  EM Weeks: 30  
Year 3 Block Schedule
  UI Hospitals & Clinics St. Luke's
Rotation 1 EM  
Rotation 2 EM  
Rotation 3 EM  
Rotation 4 EM  
Rotation 5 EM  
Rotation 6 EM  
Rotation 7 EM  
Rotation 8 EM  
Rotation 9   EM
Rotation 10 EMS (2)
EM (2)
Rotation 11 SNICU  
Rotation 12 Elective  
Rotation 13 Elective  
  EM Weeks: 36  

Unless otherwise noted, each rotation is 4 weeks.

UI Hospitals & Clinics EM in second and third year will be comprised of both adult and pediatric EM shifts.

Total Number of EM Weeks: 97 Weeks of EM

Total Number of Weeks: 156

Percent Time in EM: 62%

PDF iconCompare our rotations with the national average.

Training Locations

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

  • Patient Volume: >50,000
  • Pediatrics represent 18% of total volume
  • Trauma represents 22% of total volume
  • >35% admission rate with >5% being admitted to an intensive care setting
  • Recently constructed, state of the art, 45 bed, 60,000 square foot Emergency Department
  • Newly constructed pediatric area
  • Level 1 Trauma Center
  • Comprehensive Stroke Center
  • Specialized trauma, ophthalmologic, dental, and psychiatric rooms
  • State-of-the-art ultrasound platforms in the ED
  • Advanced imaging modalities located within the department
  • Full time dedicated ED based emergency pharmacist support
  • Twenty-four hours per day dedicated ED social work support


St. Luke’s Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • Patient Volume: >50,000
  • Pediatrics represents 19% of total volume
  • Trauma patients represent 15% of total volume
  • 20% admission rate with 3% being admitted to an intensive care setting
  • Level III Trauma Center





Emergency Medicine conferenceThe residency supports five hours of weekly educational conference. This time is protected from clinical duty and all residents are expected to attend. An 18-month curriculum is in place that covers the “Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine.”

In addition to lectures, the residency incorporates case presentations and small group discussions into the usual content.  The Residency utilizes the "Foundations of Emergency Medicine" cases for interactive case discussion.  Additionally, there are routinely hands on sessions that include simulation cases (including annual SimWars), procedures labs, ultrasound, as well as mock-oral boards.

The residency supports asychronous learning through the utilization of ROSH Review question based learning as well as utilizing AliemU for online learning resources.

PDF icon22 10 Oct Conf.pdf

Topic: GLAAEM/Team Thursday/MSK
Topic Coordinators: D. Miller/Shekem/Obr/Hogrefe
Location: EM Auditorium, 0070 RCP (Elevator F to LL, left off elevator, left at first doorway, through double doors, left at first hallway)

Journal Club

Journal Club is held monthly at a faculty member’s home. The articles are selected by faculty members as well as residents. The objective of journal club is two-fold: to keep up to date on medical literature pertinent to the practice of emergency medicine and to learn the essentials of evidence-based medicine. Food is provided by the faculty host!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the fellowship opportunities available?

Currently, Sports Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medical Services, and Palliative Care are available. Associate Scholar Fellowships are available in Education, International Medicine, Social Emergency Medicine, Injury Prevention, and Research.

Where is Iowa City?

Iowa City is 220 miles directly west of Chicago on Interstate 80. It’s also within a 4-5 hour drive to Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Omaha, Kansas City and St. Louis. It has the cultural, educational, social, and political opportunities of a bigger city with the values and ambiance of a Midwestern town. It’s clean, safe, nothing is farther than a 15 minute car ride, it has a great city bus system (with bike racks!), wonderful parks, sports, schools, and even sailing. Those who have lived here and left frequently return because what they were looking for was in their own back yard. But we’re not the only ones who think Iowa City is great: 

What’s the weather like in Iowa City?

It depends on what you like. For about two weeks every winter it’s very cold and windy and for two weeks every summer it’s really hot and humid. The rest of the time it’s pretty nice. We have a lot of sunny days even in the winter – 166 per year. Our average snowfall is 28”, average rainfall is 35”, average temperature in the summer is 72.6 and in the winter, 23.7. We consider our weather character building.

What is there to do in Iowa City when you’re not working?

There are 15 different festivals and art fairs, plus concerts and race events. There are many music venues, sports events and neighborhood street fairs and garden walks. We also have a really big mall and several smaller ones, 41 parks, nine golf courses, six public tennis courts, six public pools, some lakes and a reservoir with trails, camping, and boating. There are bike trails, some famous bookstores, a ton of galleries and excellent museums. There are half a dozen or more performing arts venues including Hancher Auditorium. There's always something going on. Find more information from the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

What’s Iowa City like for kids and families?

There’s ice skating, bowling, organized sports, 50 public parks, miniature golf, a great public library, a toy library, fun centers, swimming pools and three beaches, nine museums including a children's museum, dance companies and public recreation centers that feature many activities for kids and families at little or no cost. We also have 20 movie screens and 50-licensed daycare providers. The Iowa City schools are perennially ranked among the top schools in the nation. Iowa City is unique in the facilities and services available for individuals with disabilities. Many families who have a family member with a disability are reluctant to leave Iowa City because they cannot duplicate those services in another location.

Are there any job opportunities for my spouse/significant other?

Iowa City has a high rate of employment. Check out The University of Iowa's Dual Career Network. 

Is it possible to do an international elective in your program?

Yes! Our residents have traveled to Haiti, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, and Tanzania to name a few.

Is this a family friendly program?

Yes! We love children and support residents in their efforts to balance work with family life. We have several dual physician resident and faculty families and understand the stresses. Women residents receive up to 6 weeks of paid maternity leave after delivery. Men get 5 working days off for paternity leave. The house staff health insurance policy provides full coverage for spouses and children. There are several childcare facilities near the hospital and one on-site. The training program also has activities during the year where all family members are invited. 

Is there sufficient patient volume so that I can have multiple exposures to a variety of diseases?

Currently, the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Emergency Department (ED) sees > 60,000 patients per year. Of these, approximately 82% are adults, and 18% pediatrics. Trauma patients represented approximately 22% of our patients, surgical non-trauma 8%, medical 58%, obstetric 5%, and psychiatric 8%. Of the patients seen in the ED, 30% are admitted to the hospital with approximately 4% being admitted to an intensive care unit.

Do you have a research project requirement for graduation?

Yes. Our program requires residents to complete a scholarly activity prior to graduation. We support this through a generous travel allowance to national meetings, a research curriculum, and an experienced research staff.  The scholarly activity requirements include: 

  • A thorough review of the scientific literature relevant to their topic
  • Generating a hypothesis research question
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Development of a publication-quality abstract or manuscript 
  • Presentation of findings at national, state, regional, or local meeting

If you have additional questions please contact our program coordinator at nicole-hansen@uiowa.edu

Learning Resources

Emergency Room TrainingSimulation and Procedure Labs

Simulation is a rapidly evolving area of medical education and plays an integral role in healthcare training. Use of simulation for training is uniquely suited to Emergency Medicine given the broad spectrum of illness and pathology encountered and the requirement for proficiency in numerous procedural skills. Management of critically ill patients, efficient use of treatment algorithms, and team leadership skills are only a few of the essential proficiencies that are taught and practiced using medical simulation.

Iowa has dedicated faculty with special expertise and focus on simulation education. The program uses a full family of Gaumard mannequins comprised of infant, child, and adult high fidelity mannequins to meet our diverse educational needs.  Case content offers learners the opportunity to encounter a broad variety of clinical scenarios including "bread and butter" emergency medicine cases as well as some specialty scenarios such as mass casualty incidents and skills training with social medicine topics. Faculty and residents will also particpate in and develop skills in strutured debriefing after all simulation scenarios.     

During the introduction month for PGY-I, a large amount of time is dedicated to medical, trauma, critical care, and procedural simulation to prepare residents to begin caring for patients in the Emergency Department. Throughout residency, simulation is used to reinforce concepts in patient care and teamwork.

Simulation faculty are continually working to expand the role of simulation for education. In addition to use of simulation during resident conference, the department also participates in in-situ scenarios that take place during clinical shifts and allows the emergency department team to practice together. Residents will also participate in a friendly annual SimWars competition.   

Residents with a special interest in simulation are encouraged to work with our simulation faculty to develop simulation-based modules and to conduct simulation or related research that would prepare them to pursue a career in simulation-based education after residency.

Procedure labs are incorporated throughout the residency to augment the procedural skills that residents attain during clinical practice. The residency uses several high and low fidelity “task-trainers” including “The Central Line Man System,” “The Trauma Man System,” and various airway trainers to practice common procedures such as central line placement, chest tube placement, defibrillation/cardioversion and cardiac pacing, paracentesis, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture and basic and advanced emergency airway management. The residents also participate in slit-lamp labs, ENT procedure labs, splinting workshops, and vascular access workshops on a regular basis. The department arranges a cadaver lab annually to practice less common procedures such as thoracotomy, lateral canthotomy, tranvenous pacemaker placement, cricothyrotomy, arthrocentesis, and airway device exchanges.   

Organizational Web Sites

Web Sites

The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) is the speciality society of board certified emergency medicine physicians, a democratic organization with over 6,500 members. AAEM believes every individual should have unencumbered access to quality emergency care provided by a specialist in emergency medicine. The Academy supports fair and equitable practice environments necessary to allow the specialist in emergency medicine to deliver the highest quality of patient care. Such an environment includes provisions for due process and the absence of restrictive covenants. 

The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) is one of 24 medical specialty certification boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. ABEM certifies emergency physicians who meet its educational, professional standing, and examination standards. ABEM certification is sought and earned by emergency physicians on a voluntary basis; ABEM is not a membership association. 

Founded in 1968, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) represents more than 28,000 emergency physicians, residents and medical students. Promoting the highest quality emergency care, ACEP is the leading advocate for emergency physicians and their patients, as well as provide CME resources, news, and leadership opportuniites. 

Emergency Medicine Residents' Association (EMRA) promotes excellence in patient care through the education and development of emerency medicine residency trained physicians. EMRA is the largest and oldest independent resident organization in the world. EMRA was founded in 1974 and today has a membership of more than 10,000 residents, medical students and alumni. 

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) is dedicated to the improvement of care of the acutely ill and injured patient by improving research and education. To achieve this mission, SAEM influences health policy through forums, publications, inter-organizational collaboration, policy development, and consultation services for physicians, teachers, researchers, and students. SAEM represents excellence and leadership in academic emergency medicine and its values include idealism and quality in all endeavors, nurturing and camaraderie and diversity among members, as well as creative and symbiotic interactions with other organizations.


Learn more about our related fellowships.

View all fellowships available at the University of Iowa.