About the Program

Family medicine provider checks a patient's ear

Imagine what your career can hold with Iowa’s opportunities:

  • A “2+2” curriculum for improved continuity experience in your clinic and a chance to compartmentalize your learning
  • Full spectrum training with Inpatient, ICU and OB care, along with a large network of community clinics
  • Our own Family Medicine Inpatient service Family Medicine Maternal & Newborn service at our academic healthcare center
  • Collaboration with our Family Medicine-Psychiatry Residency, one of only six programs in the country
  • A commitment to serve underrepresented populations locally, around the country, and abroad
  • Formal training in team building and process management
  • Research conducted in a collaborative environment that ranks as one of the top nationally
  • Life in a right-sized city that will maximize your leisure time with fun and excitement
  • Support for the path of your choosing, with faculty dedicated to your success

Three years. No problem.

Put on your track shoes. We’re going to give you the most incredible three years of training you can imagine.

Year One

  • You’ll begin providing primary care for patients you’ll follow all three years.
  • You’ll be part of more complex care for hospitalized patients and emergency room cases.
  • Year One Goal: Supervising others and acting with a degree of independence.

Year Two

  • You’ll continue providing care for your clinic patients.
  • You’ll start to focus on areas that interest you most, through specific rotations. Learn more about the rotations.
  • You’ll have an opportunity to engage in scholarly activities, working out new processes and procedures in our care settings.
  • Year Two Goal: Identifying your career goals and objectives.

Year Three

  • Your care opportunities will reflect increasing patient responsibilities in both the clinic and specialty settings.
  • You’ll rotate to several specialty care areas within the hospital and devote much of your rotation time to your choice of focus area with elective time.
  • Year Three Goal: Demonstrating comprehensive medical judgment and competence. 

Full-spectrum Training

Physician with patient

At Iowa, you’ll care for patients in hospital intensive care settings, in busy emergency treatment areas, and in labor and delivery suites.

That’s in addition to the panel of patients you’ll care for during all three years of your residency in our Family Medicine Clinic.

We call it full-spectrum training—something you’ll only find at a center like Iowa, which values primary care as a foundation for comprehensive specialty care.

Part of your training may include specializing in a specific practice area. We offer “tracks” in geriatrics, sports medicine and global health. 

An Advisor’s Guidance

Each of our faculty members is committed to the success of our residents. Some have elected to serve as formal advisors, meeting regularly with residents and helping them balance the demands of residency, begin choosing a career path, and address the needs of life outside the hospital.

10 Things Our Residents Want You To Know

1. There is life outside the hospital

Family Medicine resident enjoys a ropes course

You’ll have time to call your own and a great place to enjoy that time.

Our focus is on success and creating a strong work-life balance. We back that up with support and encouragement for you to be a complete person.

2. Success is in your hands

You’ll receive the tools, opportunities, and the support to make a difference in the lives of the thousands of patients you’ll encounter at Iowa.

Iowa’s Family Medicine faculty want to see three things:

  • Let us know your passion so we can help you explore your interests, hone your skills, and prepare you for just about anything.
  • Ask the “what if” questions to help us push our field to change as the health care needs of our patients change.
  • Show us your teamwork ability so we can give you opportunities to lead, to follow, and to always be a valued member of our expert care teams.

3. Enjoy your residency interview experience

Sure, there’s pressure to compete for a handful of resident opportunities, but our interviewers want you to enjoy your interview day and your interactions with our residents and faculty.

The best advice from our selection committee: Relax and be yourself.

4. Iowa is a family-friendly program

Our family leave and health care benefits help you support a strong family while pursuing your residency training. Our program also holds family-oriented and partner-oriented activities throughout the year. Several childcare facilities are located close to the hospital and Iowa City public schools are among the state’s finest.

A group of residents enjoy a meal together

5. We’re excited about our "2 plus 2" curriculum

Our curriculum has you complete two weeks of an outpatient rotation with an emphasis on your continuity clinic followed by two weeks of an inpatient rotation uninterrupted by any continuity clinic obligations.

You get the benefit of more continuity in the clinic and a chance to compartmentalize your experience in some longer, manageable stretches.

It’s a classic example of our department really tailoring the program to meet residents’ needs.

6. Your rotation days won’t be spent traveling from facility to facility

Residents talking together in a lecture setting

One of the benefits of our comprehensive facilities is that most of your work will take place on our centralized campus.

Oh sure, you’ll also experience day-long sessions at our community clinics, but clinic and rotation schedules are put together to optimize  travel during the day as you go from one training point to another.

Add to that some minimal traffic in Iowa City compared to metropolitan areas, and you can see why we can take transportation off the “residency hassle list.”

7. Iowa is more diverse than you might think

Iowa’s educational, job, and cultural opportunities attract individuals from around the globe. As a large referral health center, we care for individuals from many backgrounds.

One indication of our diversity is how we fulfill clinical requests each year for medical translators in nearly 50 different languages.

Regardless of your background, you are going to find an accepting and supportive community in Iowa City.

8. It’s not like Grey’s Anatomy

Residency at Iowa is intense but without all the drama.

The Iowa Family Medicine faculty are warm and engaging people who check their egos at the door and are genuinely committed to their patients and their trainees.

They are going to push you, but they’re going to work on having you succeed.

9. Don’t be frightened by doing research

Resident stands at a research board

Actually, we call it scholarly activity, and the formal work you’ll do is a natural part of your clinical experience.

Most of the projects undertaken by residents are aimed at improving care delivery through quality improvement activities—experience that translates well for any post-residency opportunity.

10. You will be prepared for your next step after residency

Because of its solid foundations and many-sided opportunities for focused training, Iowa’s program is tailored to your individual interests.  We will prepare you with a full spectrum residency training to ensure you have the skills to do what you want when you graduate.

Next steps for our residents include entry into private practice, hospitalist work, formal training in fellowships (both at Iowa and elsewhere), and invitations to be part of Iowa’s own faculty.


Family Medicine Curriculum

Two doctors walk down a hall together


PDF iconResidency Curriculum



Residents will spend two weeks working with attending cardiologists on the inpatient consult service in which our residents are the first contact for patients with a variety of cardiovascular diseases, including arrhythmias, acute coronary syndromes, and acutely decompensated heart failure. During the two-week outpatient cardiology experience, residents will see a wide range of problems in outpatient cardiology clinics, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathies, and arrhythmias. Residents participate in cardiac procedures, such as stress testing and echocardiogram interpretation.

Chronic Disease Management

Chronic disease has become the dominant health problem in the United States, accounting for more than 75 percent of health care spending. This rotation helps to prepare our residents to manage patients with chronic diseases. Residents will spend time in specialty clinics and learn different approaches to systematic care for chronic illnesses. For example, some clinics utilize a case manager while others provide a multidisciplinary team approach to providing care. Residents become familiar with these clinical tools in order to incorporate them into their practice. This rotation occurs both in the first and second year of residency in a group to include didactics on chronic disease, wellness, and motivational interviewing.

Community Medicine

Family physicians are called to care for the communities in which they live and to apply the biopsychosocial model to their patients. Our community medicine curriculum is integrated into the chronic disease management rotation. Residents learn how communities affect patients, patients engage with their communities, and physicians incorporate knowledge of communities in the care of patients. Residents participate in community service activities, visit community agencies, and learn about social determinants of health.


Residents will spend two weeks in dermatology clinics where they learn to identify common skin conditions and distinguish atypical and serious presentations of dermatologic disorders. Residents gain knowledge of commonly seen skin diseases and treatments in the Family Medicine Clinic and attend dermatology didactic presentations.


We offer residents unparalleled opportunities for elective rotations. Sixteen weeks are available for second- and third-year residents to tailor their educational experience to their future practice needs. Residents may choose from many community- and academic-oriented electives, covering every specialty. International electives are available, as are regional and national off-site rotations. Many residents choose to create their own electives.

Emergency Medicine

Residents rotate through the Emergency Department, a Level I trauma center, supervised by faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine, for a total of six weeks during residency. Residents spend an additional four-weeks in the pediatric emergency department, focusing exclusively on the care of children with emergent conditions. This rotation includes formal didactic presentations provided by faculty in Emergency Medicine as well as critical care lecture series given by faculty with joint appointments in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Residents participate in focus learning courses in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS), and neonatal resuscitation (NRP). If they choose, residents may complete advanced trauma life support (ATLS) as well.

Family Medicine - Introduction

In this four-week orientation, first-year residents will have the opportunity to get to know the Family Medicine faculty and residents as well as obtain or renew skills. Residents will practice casting and suturing in workshops and pediatric intubation and IV placement in the pediatric procedure lab. Residents also learn to use speech recognition software and the electronic medical record system. A high challenge ropes course is held at the end of the month with the goal of developing team-building skills, which are utilized throughout the training program. Past residents have found the experience enjoyable and a great time to connect with new colleagues.

Family Medicine - Inpatient

Our Family Medicine Inpatient Service admits patients of our medical home from all different ages and with a wide variety of medical and surgical problems. Two junior residents, a senior resident, a senior medical student, a physician assistant, and an attending faculty physician work as a team to care for patients on this unit. Two night-float residents (one junior and one senior) provide overnight coverage during the week. Two on-call residents provide coverage over the weekend. The team also provides medical consultation to other medical, surgical, and psychiatric units at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Family Medicine - Outpatient

Residents will spend time in the Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) throughout their entire residency by participating in a regular continuity of care clinic and several block rotations. The FMC experience provides an opportunity for residents to function as family physicians in a busy outpatient setting, developing continuity with their patients. It is in this setting that residents hone their office medicine skills and provide care within a medical home. Residents maintain responsibility for their patients' care throughout the three years of training, thereby acquiring the skills needed to deliver continuing and comprehensive care. Emphasis is placed on patient education and maintaining health as well as treating disease. They also spend time in the procedure clinic (where they do treadmill stress tests, dermatologic procedures, vasectomies, and more) and the same-day access clinic (where residents care for our patients with urgent problems). Residents receive support to care for their patients and improve their care from team members including social workers, pharmacists, nursing staff, and faculty physicians.

Family Medicine - Night Float

Residents on this rotation will assume care of all inpatients (including newborns, children, and post-partum women) on the Family Medicine Inpatient Service for the evening and overnight hours Sunday through Friday. Residents work in pairs with a junior and senior resident for this two-week rotation.


Residents spend two weeks each year working in our Geriatric Assessment clinic with Family Physicians who have their CAQ in Geriatrics.  Residents will work with an interdisciplinary team of nurses, pharmacists, physicians, fellows and social workers who specialize in geriatric care with a focus on health promotion along with prevention and treatment of disease and disability later in life.  


Residents enhance their gynecological care while practicing in the Family Medicine Clinic in addition to the Women’s Health Clinic rotation for four weeks, which is staffed by faculty members in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Residents participate in general gynecologic care including premenstrual syndrome, vulvar-vaginal diseases, menopause, and ultrasound. Instruction in colposcopy, intrauterine device (IUD) placement, Nexplanon implantation, and endometrial biopsy is also provided by faculty in the Department of Family Medicine in the Family Medicine Clinic.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Residents care for critically ill infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with pediatric residents, neonatal nurse practitioners, and neonatologists. During this rotation, residents also are called to the delivery room and operative room for newborn resuscitations.

Newborn and Maternal Care

Residents work with Family Medicine Obstetrical faculty providing care to newborns, infants, and obstetric patients in the hospital setting. Working one-on-one with their attending physician, residents gain experience triaging obstetrics patients, performing deliveries, resuscitating and evaluating newborns, assisting for cesarean sections, and performing procedures for newborn infants. Residents complete the Advanced Life Support for Obstetrics (ALSO) course at the end of their first year.  


Residents spend four weeks rotating with the UIHC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology on Labor & Delivery for this obstetrical rotation. Supervised by board-certified faculty obstetricians and midwives, residents learn the principles and techniques of antenatal care, management of labor and delivery, and postpartum care. 


Residents spend two weeks in the rheumatology clinic where they care for patients with acute and chronic rheumatologic diseases, including various kinds of arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, etc. Residents have the opportunity to perform office-based rheumatologic procedures, such as arthrocentesis and joint injections.

Pediatrics - Inpatient

Residents work with the Pediatric Blue Team or Green Team for this four-week rotation. Patients on these inpatient teams have a variety of diseases, and residents are supervised by staff from different divisions in the Department of Pediatrics (General Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Pulmonology, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatric Nephrology) to provide care to hospitalized pediatric patients.

Pediatrics - Outpatient

In the first year of residency, residents participate in the general pediatric acute care clinic. During this rotation, residents have the opportunity to work with faculty and residents in the Department of Pediatrics. Additionally, in the third year of residency, residents spend four weeks working in pediatric subspecialty clinics (gastroenterology, developmental diseases, general pediatrics).

Practice Management

This longitudinal curriculum encompasses leadership, career development, patient safety, and preparation for practice. Residents spend time shadowing all members of the healthcare team to learn their roles. The curriculum also includes the use of modules focused on improving healthcare systems.


During this two-week rotation, residents work with faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry to provide consultation services for hospitalized patients with acute and chronic mental health needs. Residents also rotate on the Crisis Stabilization Unit, as well as the outpatient Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) clinic. Residents gain skills in diagnosing and treating delirium, dementia, depression, psychosis, substance use disorders, and other mental health disorders.

Sports Medicine

Residents spend 2 weeks each year at our Sports Medicine Clinics to receive focused training in sports medicine is taught under the supervision of primary care physicians with a certification of added qualification in sports medicine, faculty in the Department of Orthopedics, and certified athletic trainers in the areas of pre-participation assessment, injury prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation. Residents have the opportunity to perform office-based orthopedic procedures, such as arthrocentesis and joint injections. Residents also provide care to patients in the Family Medicine Clinic with athletic and recreational injuries.


Training is provided in general surgery and subspecialty surgery with special emphasis on the diagnosis and management of surgical disorders, emergencies, and the appropriate and timely referral for specialized care. Residents rotate through the Emergency General Surgery Service for 2 weeks under the supervision of faculty in the Department of Surgery to achieve competency in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of surgical problems typically encountered by family physicians. Residents spend an additional 2 weeks rotating in ambulatory surgery clinics.

Surgical Intensive Care Unit

The Surgical Intensive Care Unit is the major academic referral center for support of critically ill patients in Iowa. It is a closed unit that is medically directed and staffed by faculty members in the Departments of Anesthesia and Surgery. Residents on this 2-week rotation provide care to patients with respiratory failure, sepsis, multi-system trauma, peri-operative

Our Facilities

UI Hospitals and Clinics

We are a 811-bed hospital, admitting more than 37,000 patients in 2018 for in-patient, hospital care. On any given day at UI Hospitals and Clinics more than 9,000 employees, students, and volunteers collaborate to provide safe, quality health care to our patients.

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital

UI Children's Hospital

Facilities designed especially for children and their families have been a hallmark of UI Hospitals and Clinics over the past century. The state-of-the-art, 371,600-square-foot UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital facility adjacent to UI Hospitals and Clinics opened in February 2017. The 11-level structure offers 190 beds, an increase from the 164 beds in the former UI Children's Hospital. There are also eight pediatric operating rooms as well as features that focus on the needs of patients and their families.

Off-Campus Locations

UI Health Care – Iowa River Landing-East

UI Health Care – Iowa River Landing-East offers families comprehensive care, including newborn and well-child checks, well-woman checks, geriatrics, and care for adults with medical conditions. The clinic also has an on-site optical shop and pharmacy. UI Health Care – Iowa River Landing-East is located in Coralville and offers a patient-friendly and easily accessible environment for their patients and residents of the community.

UI Health Care - River Crossing

UI Health Care - River Crossing offers families comprehensive care, including newborn and well-child checks, well-woman checks, obstetrics, and care for adults with medical conditions. The clinic also has an on-site optical shop and pharmacy. Because UI Health Care - River Crossing is located in Riverside, a rural community little over 10 miles south of Iowa City, residents have the opportunity to train in rural health care without being too far from the amenities of Iowa City.

UI Health Care - Scott Boulevard

UI Health Care – Scott Boulevard offers families comprehensive care, including newborn and well-child checks, well-woman checks, obstetrics, and care for adults with medical conditions. The clinic also has an on-site optical shop and pharmacy. UI Health Care - Southeast is located in Iowa City and offers a patient-friendly and easily accessible environment for their patients and residents of the community.

UI Health Care - North Liberty

UI Health Care – North Liberty offers families comprehensive care, including newborn and well-child checks, well-woman checks, obstetrics, and care for adults with medical conditions. The family medicine clinic shares space with a UI pediatrics clinic. UI Health Care – North Liberty is located just outside of Iowa City in North Liberty and offers a patient-friendly and easily accessible environment for their patients and residents of this growing suburban community.

UI Health Care - Cedar Rapids

UI Health Care – Cedar Rapids offers families comprehensive care, including newborn and well-child checks, well-woman checks, and care for adults with medical conditions. The family medicine clinic also shares clinic space with UI pediatrics, dermatoloty, OB/GYN, and surgery clinics. UI Health Care – Cedar Rapids is located in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids and offers a patient-friendly and easily accessible environment for their patients and residents of this urban community.

UI Health Care - Muscatine

UI Health Care – Muscatine offers families comprehensive care, including newborn and well-child checks, well-woman checks, obstetrics, and care for adults with medical conditions. UI Health Care – Muscatine is located along the Mississippi River in Muscatine and offers a patient-friendly and easily accessible environment for their patients and residents of this underserved rural community.

Iowa City Free Medical Clinic

The Iowa City Free Medical Clinic is a non-profit organization that provides health care services to patients in Iowa City and the surrounding community who would not otherwise have access to care. The clinic's four distinct services include general medical care, chronic medical care, dental care, and eye care. The clinic also has an on-site pharmacy that can fill prescriptions written by its physicians.

Our Program Aims

Aims of the University of Iowa Family Medicine Residency Program

These principles drive our educational mission.

We seek to:

  • Train residents to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to a broad range of patients for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.
  • Develop physicians capable of achieving the triple aim: better patient care, improved population health, and lower health care costs.
  • Provide the breadth of family medicine training to practice in any setting—rural or urban; multi-specialty or solo practice; inpatient, outpatient, obstetrics, pediatrics, urgent/emergent care; academic or private practice.
  • Be recognized nationally for family medicine resident education.
  • Develop the next generation of family medicine leaders.

Vision Statement for Family Medicine

Our Program's Vision

Our residency is an educational community that prepares learners to be competent family physicians ready for excellence in patient care, leadership, service to others, and lifelong learning.

As a community, we work and learn through providing medical care to individuals and families of all ages and walks of life in collaboration with other health care team members at our academic health center and in the community, making appropriate use of innovative technologies and models of care delivery.

The residency seeks to bring forth the strengths of each resident through a rich and varied set of experiences and ongoing faculty mentoring.

—Statement adopted September 2012

Benefits and Livability

Family Medicine Benefits

In addition to benefits provided by University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the Family Medicine department extends the following benefits to its residents:

  • One week conference leave during second and third year
  • One week for Practice Search Leave (final year of training)
  • A laptop and power mic are provided during training
  • Meal allowance
  • Book and conference funds of up to $2,250 for the duration of residency
  • Individual workspace and study carrel (located in Residents’ Room)
  • Mid-winter retreat for resident group
  • Iowa resident physician license application fee
  • Iowa permanent medical license application fee
  • American Academy of Family Physicians resident dues
  • American Board of Family Medicine certification exam registration fee
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support Course
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program
  • Advanced Life Support for Obstetrics Course
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support Course (for those interested)

Wellness, Support, and Social Activities

Social activities for residents, faculty, and staff take place throughout the year.

Residency picnic - The picnic is held in early July at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area for incoming residents and their families to meet with faculty and staff from the Family Medicine department and clinic.

Residency picnic photo

Kickball - A friendly competition between faculty and residents held yearly. Faculty traditionally win!

Kickball team photo

Holiday party - A holiday party is scheduled each December for the Family Medicine Department and clinics including faculty, residents, staff, and their families.

Graduation - A graduation ceremony and dinner take place in June to honor the graduating residents and fellows. This evening is one of celebration and farewell. It represents an opportunity for each of us to congratulate the graduating residents for their dedication and hard work as well as to express our thanks for their efforts on behalf of our patients and the program.

Graduation photo

Retreat - A mid-year resident retreat takes place out of town and is intended to give residents and their families an opportunity to relax and socialize. A brief program includes class meetings and presentations by speakers centered around management of health systems, teaching and wellness. All residents are released from service and call responsibilities during their retreat and faculty members cover the Family Medicine Services.

Retreat photo

Wellness & support groups - The groups meet every four weeks during the lunch hour and are led by residents and faculty. Most importantly, our residents enjoy spending time with one another and organizing social activities.

Wellness and support group photo

Discover Iowa

If your vision of residency includes giving up your personal life, think again. Iowa City will raise your sense of adventure and provide you with some of the best times of your life.


Beyond Your Residency

Our three-year accredited residency will prepare you for any of a number of future careers: small town family practice in rural Iowa, research and education in an academic medical center, leadership within the discipline of family medicine, and more.

Our residents find rewarding opportunities available to them, within UI Health Care, in all parts of the country, and in exciting places globally.