Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

About the Program


The University of Iowa Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship was accredited by the ACGME in 2013 and is affiliated with the University of Iowa Internal Medicine Residency, an ACGME-accredited training program.


  • The mission of our fellowship training program in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Iowa is to provide an academically and clinically rigorous training program. This includes the essential elements of hospice and palliative medicine as well as advanced training in clinical palliative medicine, research, and administration.
  • The focus of the program is to provide the trainee with clinical knowledge and judgment, professionalism, interpersonal skills, and abilities that will continue to mature throughout their career.
  • Fellows will train with Hospice and Palliative care interdisciplinary teams.   They will be exposed to a diverse patient population, gaining skills in comprehensive care of these patients in inpatient, outpatient and home settings.

A personal message from Dr. Yuya Hagiwara, Program Director

"The faculty and staff at the University of Iowa Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine would like to thank you for your interest in our program. The UI HPM Fellowship is a 1-year ACGME-accredited clinical fellowship within the Department of Internal Medicine.

Our fellows enjoy a comprehensive clinical training experience as the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is the only tertiary academic medical center in the state. In addition to our strong clinical training, we focus on preparing our fellows to become future leaders in the field of palliative care. Our program enables fellows to develop excellent clinical skills, while also preparing them to excel as educators and researchers.

Thanks to our partnership with the Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacy Residency Program offered by the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, our fellows work closely with a PGY2 Pain and Palliative Care pharmacy resident. Our fellows receive didactic training through conferences covering core HPM topics, journal clubs, ethics conferences, and case conferences lead by our interprofessional faculty. We also have multiple opportunities for our fellows to develop their skills as clinician-educators. We encourage fellow involvement in a scholarly project. Our research faculty provide mentoring on these projects throughout the year. Our past fellows have been successful in presenting their scholarly findings at national conferences. 

You will have the opportunity to join a team that is committed to supporting your educational experience. We are very proud of our graduates and their 100% board pass rate. It’s our sincere hope that you would consider joining our program as a fellow. Please contact any of us with questions about our program."

Yuya Hagiwara, MD
Program Director, Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship
Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine - General Internal Medicine
Carver College of Medicine
University of Iowa

Program Strengths

Experienced Interdisciplinary teams

The fellow works with interdisciplinary teams at multiple sites. The team members include:

  • Social worker
  • Music therapists
  • Chaplains
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Pharmacist
  • Physicians

Faculty diversity

Although Palliative Medicine is administratively housed in Internal Medicine, there are five medical specialties represented on our faculty: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Vascular Surgery, Psychiatry, and Family Medicine. In addition we are able to utilize the expertise of the palliative pharmacist, and staff with additional ethics training. Different points of view from team members promote creative thinking and problem solving as they encourage one another to share their different points of view.

Focus on Learning

Consults are provided throughout the medical center. In addition to goal clarification the consults may address symptom management; emotional, psychological or spiritual distress; decision-making and advance care planning; cessation of life-prolonging therapy, or potential hospice enrollment. On average the fellow takes 1-2 new patients daily and makes 3-5 follow up visits on patients seen at initial consultation.

Treat the Patient, Treat the system

In addition to providing care for patients, we expect fellows to “treat the system” by selecting one system-focused quality improvement project for the year. These projects have potential to enhance patient quality of care for many years.


Scheduled Didactic Learning

  1. Monthly Month in Review with faculty, one-on-one check-in, or other meeting
  2. Monthly “Let’s Talk Patient Safety” Conference
  3. Monthly Schwartz Center Rounds*
  4. Monthly Morbidity and Mortality Conference*
  5. Monthly Pediatric Palliative Care Conference
  6. Monthly Ethics Conference
  7. Monthly Palliative Care Journal Club
  8. Quarterly Grief Conference
  9. Three times/month Supportive & Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Conference
  10. Bimonthly Pharmacy Conference
  11. Monthly Case Presentation Conference (lead by fellow)

*Fellows can choose between Schwartz Center Rounds or the Morbidity and Mortality Conference on the second Tuesday of the month

Click to view a sample schedule:

PDF iconMonthlySchedule2019.pdf

Regional/National Conferences

  1. Virtual Conference NHPCO
  2. PalliTALK Annual Regional Communications Workshop
  3. UI Children's Hospital Pediatric Palliative Care Annual Conference
  4. ANnual Ethics in Healthcare Conference, University of Iowa


The palliative medicine fellowship program is one year – please see the adult and the pediatric palliative-emphasis fellowship rotation schedules below:

Click to view sample schedules:



Teaching Sites and Partners

We provide broad based clinical experience in hospice and palliative medicine at our teaching sites.

Iowa City: University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is the only combined academic and Level 1 Trauma institution in the state. UIHC serves a large geographical area, accepting patient transfers and referrals from across the state of Iowa and surrounding states. The resulting patient population is culturally, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse providing opportunities to see patients with a broad spectrum of serious illnesses.

UI Hospitals & Clinics and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital together deliver high quality care in collaboration with University of Iowa Physicians, the state’s largest multi-specialty medical and surgical group practice, composed of UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine faculty physicians. Working together as University of Iowa Health Care, these partners provide patient care, conduct biomedical research, and train the next generation of health professionals.

Iowa City Hospice: A not-for-profit hospice that began serving patients in 1983. It provides care to patients in Johnson County and 6 other surrounding Iowa counties. Average daily census is 100 patients. 115 volunteers contributed to patient care in 2018. The overriding goal of this experience is for the fellow to gain sufficient learning to be able to step into the role of a hospice medical director.


Interdisciplinary Fellowship Conference

Below is an example of the Department of Internal Medicine Common Curriculum Schedule. It is shared between Fellows from all divisions of the Department.

PDF icon2022-23 Fellows Conference Master Schedule.pdf

Fellows as Clinician Educators (FACE)

The Fellows as Clinician Educators (FACE) Program is designed to introduce future clinician-educators to a set of skills which may be of use in their career. The program presents concepts of educational design and research, lecture development, evaluation, observation and feedback. At the conclusion of the program, FACE participants are required to develop a teaching portfolio.

Learn more about FACE

How to Apply

Applications are only accepted through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS).

US residents should contact their Dean's Office or ERAS at https://students-residents.aamc.org/training-residency-fellowship/applying-fellowships-eras/.

International residents should contact the ECFMG at http://www.ecfmg.org/eras/index.html. An ECFMG certificate must accompany the ERAS application.
We require applicants to have completed an ACGME certified residency.

A complete ERAS application includes:

  • curriculum vitae
  • statement of the applicant's long-term career goal and field of interest
  • dean's letter
  • copies of ECFMG scores for Steps I, II, and III (if completed)
  • Notarized copies of applicant's transcripts for USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3
  • medical school transcript
  • An unmounted recent photograph of applicant must accompany application or be provided at time of interview

All applicants must also register with the
National Resident Matching Program (Phone: 202-828-0566).

Appointments are made on an annual basis, with a starting date of July 1. The stipend is dependent on years of training.

For more information:

Rodney Murphy
Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program
Department of Internal Medicine - C623 GH
The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine 
200 Hawkins Drive 
Iowa City, IA; 52242-1009 

Phone: 319-384-7098
Fax: 319-384-5660
Email: rodney-murphy@uiowa.edu

Board Certification

Medical specialty certification in the United States is a voluntary process which serves multiple purposes for the trainee and the public.


  • distinguishes a physician as someone with a distinct level of expertise;
  • provides more opportunities when applying for employment;
  • presents resources and tools by the ABMS;
  • represents a commitment to life-long improvement for providing the best patient care; and
  • elevates physicians into the ranks of doctors committed to the highest standards of healthcare.

For specific information about taking the HPM board exam, offered every two years, visit the AAHPM website.

Eligibility Criteria

Prerequisites are an MD or DO degree and completion of an ACGME-approved residency in one of eight specialties:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Child Neurology

Applicants can also be considered who have completed ACGME-approved residency in one of the following specialties:

  • Anesthesia
  • Emergency Medicine
  • OB/GYN
  • Radiology Oncology
  • Surgery
  • Psychiatry

Program Certification

The University of Iowa Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Training Program is certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). All fellowship trainees are required to be licensed by the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners.

Interview Information

Your interview day will begin with a welcome breakfast with the Supportive and Palliative Care Team and Dr. Yuya Hagiwara, Program Director. You will be provided with an overview of the program, followed by a tour of the UIHC. You will meet individually with faculty members, and possibly other members of the Palliative Care Team. Your itinerary will help maximize your understanding of what our program can offer.

Our People

The Team, 2019

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program
Team at work, Fall 2016

Katie Ries, Social Worker

Contact Us

Rodney Murphy
Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program
Department of Internal Medicine - C623 GH
The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine 
200 Hawkins Drive 
Iowa City, IA; 52242-1009
Phone: 319-384-7098
Email: rodney-murphy@uiowa.edu

Denise Floerchinger
​Internal Medicine Fellowship Program Administrator
Phone: 319-356-2732
Email: denise-floerchinger@uiowa.edu

Program Leadership


Yuya Hagiwara, MD
Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship
Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine

Email: yuya-hagiwara@uiowa.edu

W. David Clark, MD
Associate Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine

Email: w-david-clark@uiowa.edu

 David Clark on Palliative Medicine (video)


Rodney Murphy
Administrative Services Coordinator, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship ProgramPhone: 319-384-7098
Email: rodney-murphy@uiowa.edu


Timothy A. Thomsen, MD
Director, Supportive and Palliative Care Program 
Clinical Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine  Email: timothy-thomsen@uiowa.edu

Program Faculty

Rebecca Benson, MD, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics

W. David Clark, MD 
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Internal Medicine

Lorin Fisher, PharmD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science

Yuya Hagiwara, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Internal Medicine

Kashelle Lockman, PharmD, MA
Clinical Assistant Professor

Daniel Miller, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Internal Medicine

Ilonka Molano, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Internal Medicine

Abimbola Olayinka, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics

Carla Pies, ARNP
Nurse Practitioner
Department of Internal Medicine

James Ray, PharmD, CPE
Clinical Associate Professor
Departments of Pharmacy Practice and Science and Internal Medicine

Katie Ries, LMSW
Social Work Specialist

Timothy Thomsen, MD
Clinical Professor
Departments of Internal Medicine and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation

Michelle Weckmann, MD 
Clinical Associate Professor
Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry

Our Fellows

Current Fellows

Benny Chang
Benny Chang, MD
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
Residency: University of Iowa

Lauren Kirkpatrick, MD
Medical School: University of Iowa
Residency: University of Kentucky

Former Fellows


  • Elyse Brock, MD
  • Justin Buzick, MD


  • Mark Rostad, MD
  • John Wilde, DO


  • John Arce, MD
  • Daniel Miller, MD


  • Chad Glisch, MD
  • Katie Melton, DO


  • Charles Goldman, MD
  • Amy Keranen, MD


  • Susan Slycord, DO


  • Martin Bazelak, MD
  • Jabeen Taj, MD


  • Zachary Erekson, MD

Palliative Care Volunteers

Since 2009, the Palliative Care volunteers have been serving patients with serious illness. They form an integral part of the program in their visits to patients and families in addition to their sympathy card program for all the families of patients who die at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The volunteers offer many services to patients and families, including life review, hand photos, and simple presence. The UIHC volunteer program has funded palliative care projects regularly to enhance care to patients.

Chair, Department of Internal Medicine

Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD
Interim Chair and DEO, Department of Internal Medicine
Kate Daum Endowed Professor
Professor of Medicine – Cardiovascular Medicine
Professor of Radiation Oncology

Our Staff Speak

"It is my belief that the work that we do a a medical community should be for one primary purpose: the help every day the best it can possibly be for our patients and families. We partner with patients and families, striving towards achieving the fullness of life for every single patient no matter if we meet them on the first day of their life or on the last."
--Abimola Olayinka, MD

“Too often we hear the words ‘there is nothing else that can be done’. In my view there is always care to given, pharmacotherapy necessary to manage symptoms and suffering that demands our attention. This is the kind of care that we would all wish for ourselves and our loved ones."
-- James B. Ray, PharmD, CPE

“It is an honor to walk next to and support patients and families during a serious illness.  My work at the bedside deepens my sense of awe at the power of the human spirit”  
-- Mary Kay Kusner, MA, CC – Chaplain

“The help I received when my family was ill was priceless. My work here is a fulfilling way to pay it forward.”
-- Linda Steburg – Volunteer Coordinator