About the Program

The goal of this fellowship is to train physicians who have completed an ACGME-accredited residency in Neurology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Otolaryngology, Anesthesiology, or Family Medicine to become competent in the subspecialty of Sleep Medicine. Our fellows are expected to become proficient in the diagnosis and management of both adult and pediatric sleep disorders.

During the one-year fellowship, our fellows will acquire:

  • Skills in interviewing and examining patients with sleep disorders
  • Ability to formulate a focused differential diagnosis based on clinical presentation
  • Understanding of the appropriate utilization of procedures related to sleep assessment, including adult and pediatric polysomnogram, home sleep apnea testing, positive airway pressure titration, and multiple sleep latency testing
  • Ability to independently interpret sleep studies, including studies of medically complex patients
  • Exposure to a wide range of treatment options, including hypoglossal nerve stimulation, mandibular advancement devices, and formal cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i)
  • Opportunities in sleep-related research and quality improvement measures

Accreditation: After completing fellowship, fellows qualify to apply for certification through the American Board of Sleep Medicine Sleep Medicine Certification Program. This program is jointly developed by the ABIM, ABFM, ABP, ABPN, ABOto, and ABA (ABIM is responsible for administering the examination).

Educational Opportunities

In addition to clinical training, sleep fellows will participate in a variety of educational experiences to foster skills in teaching, leadership, and academic involvement.

Weekly conferences:

  • Polysomnogram Case Review
  • Sleep Medicine Didactic Conference

Monthly conferences:

  • Sleep Medicine Journal Club
  • Pulmonary/Sleep Conference

Fellows will regularly work with rotating medical students, residents, and fellows from other medical disciplines. They will also participate in education of future sleep technicians through the Kirkwood Community College program.

Research Opportunities

The Sleep Medicine division at the University of Iowa has active research programs. Fellows are encouraged to participate in clinical research projects under the guidance of an assigned mentor over the course of the fellowship.

Major areas of research:

  • Use of hypoglossal nerve stimulation in sleep apnea
  • Sleep and epilepsy
  • Sleep disordered breathing and oncology
  • Intrinsic defects in chemosensitivity during sleep
  • Sleep disordered breathing in children with craniofacial differences
  • REM behavior disorder and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Clinical imaging in sleep

Research Presentations at the 2022 Sleep Meeting

Rotations

Sample rotation scheduleWe strive to provide fellows a balanced educational experience that will successfully prepare them for independent clinical practice and board certification in Sleep Medicine.

In addition to core rotations in sleep clinics, fellows may request time for elective experiences in several sleep-related fields:

  • Adult pulmonary/neuromuscular clinic
  • Formal cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i)
  • Hypoglossal nerve stimulator placement with otolaryngology
  • Hospital dentistry
  • Pediatric otolaryngology

We will work to customize the fellow’s experience to align with their goals for future clinical practice after fellowship.

Fellows are given time to prepare for and take the required Sleep Medicine In-Training Exam (SMITE) in the spring.

Sleep Medicine Fellow Duties

  • Fellows participate in outpatient sleep clinics at two campuses: Iowa River Landing East (Coralville), and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City)
  • Fellows interpret polysomnograms and home sleep apnea tests guided by multidisciplinary faculty at the University of Iowa Sleep Disorders Center
  • Overnight call is shared by fellows, and involves answering calls from our sleep technicians regarding patient management during polysomnogram procedures (home call, no hospital admissions)
  • Fellows regularly present formal polysomnogram case reviews, journal club topics, and sleep didactic lectures

Additional fellow expectations:

  • Leadership in quality improvement project
  • Contribution to sleep-related clinical research project
  • Attendance and/or presentation at annual SLEEP meeting is encouraged