Musculoskeletal Radiology Fellowship

About the Program

The Musculoskeletal Fellowship Program currently offers a 1-year non-accredited fellowship which aims to develop outstanding well-rounded subspecialists in musculoskeletal radiology. We typically accept four fellows each year. Fellows have gone on to successful careers in private practice as well as to further fellowships and faculty positions.  

Didactic Education:

  • Daily teaching case conference, a unique feature to our training program–this provides excellent opportunity for our fellows to teach the radiology residents.
  • Biweekly sports imaging conference–we perform imaging and image-guided procedures for the Iowa Hawkeye sports teams.
  • Well-run, educational tumor boards consisting of a bi-monthly Sarcoma Tumor Board and a bi-monthly Multiple Myeloma Tumor Board
  • Biweekly ultrasound lectures and hands-on ultrasound training
  • Departmental participation in the annual RSNA meeting and funding for fellows to present their work at conferences

Hands-On Clinical Experience on State-of-the-Art Equipment:

  • Procedural training including arthrograms, spine biopsies, facet injections, epidural steroid injections, nerve root blocks, CT, and ultrasound-guided injections and musculoskeletal biopsies
  • Our section is embedded in the Orthopedic Department, currently ranked #14 by U.S. News and World Report. Our friendly, professional relationship with the orthopedic department leads to easy collaboration and improved patient care. Fellows can learn what the orthopedists are looking for in our reports and how to improve the value of our contributions. 
  • Busy tumor service currently with three orthopedic oncologists and a large catchment area
  • Extensive training in pediatric orthopedics–our section interprets imaging and performs image-guided procedures of orthopedic disease in both inpatients and outpatients of University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.  
  • High-volume MRI service including two 3 Tesla scanners, particularly useful for small joint imaging.

Graduate Medical Education in Radiology at Iowa

Medical Licensure

Residents must apply for a license to practice in Iowa from the Iowa Board of Medicine at least three months (but no more than six months) prior to the start date of training.  Residents are prohibited from practicing in the State of Iowa without proper licensure.  For more information, please visit the GME's Medical Licensure website.


Benefits, Stipends and Contracts

Benefits offered by University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics are competitive with other top training programs in the country.  Benefits include:

Stipends are also comparable to other top training programs in the country and in keeping with the cost of living in Iowa.

Contracts are issued to house staff each year until training concludes, and promotion at the end of each year is granted based on demonstrated clinical competence and professional growth.  House staff members who do not meet standards for promotion to the next level of training may require remedial action, as deemed appropriate by the Program Director.



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. Its 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:

  • No. 1 "Employment Destination for Young College Grads" - Small Metropolitan Cities (, 2019)
  • No. 3 "Top 20 Best US Cities for College Grads" (Business Insider, 2019)
  • No. 4 "Top 100 Best Places to Live" (, 2019)
  • UI Hospitals & Clinics ranked No. 15 in "America's Best Employers for Women" (Forbes, 2019) 
  • No. 9 out of "50 Best College Towns in America" (, 2019)
  • No. 4 "Top 100 Best Places to Live" (, 2018)
  • No. 1 "College Town in America" (, 2018)
  • Iowa No. 1 "Best States" (U.S. News & World Report, 2018)
  • University of Iowa No. 10 "Nation's 25 Safest Universities" (ADT, 2018)
  • No. 2 "Top 100 Places to Live" (, 2017)
  • Iowa City No. 9 Best Places to Live in Iowa (, 2017)
  • No. 2 "25 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs" (, 2017)
  • No. 4 for "21 Super Cool US Cities, Ranked" (Expedia Viewfinder Travel Blog, 2017)
  • No. 5 for "20 Best College Towns in America" (Business Insider, 2017)
  • In top 50 of "Best Cities for Entrepreneurs" (, 2016)
  • No. 5 "25 Healthiest Cities in America" (24/7 Wall St., 2016)
  • No. 9 "50 Best College Towns in America" (Best College Reviews, 2016)
  • Voted "Best in the Midwest" for "Best Places to Retire" (, 2016)
  • No. 9 "Top 100 Best Places to Live" (, 2016)
  • No. 8 "Top 30 Small Cities" (Area Development Magazine, June 2015)
  • No. 6 "The 10 Smartest Cities in America" (, January 2015)
  • No. 1 "Best Employment Destination Index for Smallest Metro Areas" (AIER, 2015)
  • No. 10 "Top 100 Best Places to Live" (, 2015)
  • No. 4 out of 20 "Top College Towns" (AIER, 2015)

How ethnically diverse are the patients?

Like a lot of university towns, we have a large international community. Growing cultural diversity is another reason Iowa City is an interesting place to live. Diversity is embraced and celebrated with city and university events, festivals, clubs and programs. We work hard to recruit and retain minorities with affirmative action policies. About 20% of Iowa Citians are non-white, which is reflected at about the same rate in our patients.

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 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, 9 golf courses, 6 public tennis courts, 6 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 3 beaches, 9 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?

Yes, as of May 2019, Iowa City had an average of 2.1% unemployment. Also, check out University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.

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

Yes. As one of only a few tertiary care hospitals in the region, the Department of Radiology at UI Hospitals & Clinics offers unique imaging services to a broad range of patients from both within and outside the state of Iowa.

Procedures performed in FY2018
Total 331,040
Breast Imaging 14,030
CT 51,408
MRI 31,875
Nuclear Medicine 6,380
PET 4,958
US 24,322
X-ray 187,186

What is the call like?

Fellows take General Call (reviewing plain films pre-dictated by on call resident) usually 1 weekday per month plus 1 weekend or holiday every 2-3 months. They will take MSK specialty call every 4 months, which includes emergency MSK procedures such as joint aspiration (usually 2-4 times per month) and reading emergency CT/MRI (5-10 cases, Friday night, weekend) the next morning on the weekend. MSK fellows are under direct supervision by the faculty member for the first 6 months and covered by the backup faculty member thereafter.  

Is there an opportunity to do research?

Yes, there are lots of opportunities to do research.

Do you sponsor visas?

Yes, we sponsor both J1 and H1 visas.

If you have additional questions please contact our program coordinator at

How to Apply


2024-25 has current openings please follow the process below and submit via email.

2025-26 Positions

Our program is all in for the NRMP Match 2024 to fill our 2025 - 2026.  Get further information on the application process regarding the NRMP match or additional information about radiology fellowships participating in the match. Applications will be accepted beginning November 1 and interviews will start January 8.

When the Match applications open, please complete this process:

  1. Completed UI Hospitals & Clinics application or common SSR application that can be e-mailed, mailed or faxed
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Personal statement that includes a summary of your training background, areas of particular strength and interest, and a brief description of how you would hope to utilize and apply your fellowship training
  4. Three letters of recommendation; letters should come from those persons familiar with your recent training and current professional activities. Please instruct reference individuals to email their letters of recommendation directly to the fellowship coordinator at the address listed below.
  5. Copy of your ECFMG certificate, if applicable
  6. Copies of USMLE steps 1, 2, and 3 transcripts

Please send all materials other than recommendations together in one email with the email subject line: 2024 MSK App-YourLastName.

Send to the email address below:

Howard O'Rourke, MD
c/o Megan Raitt
Department of Radiology
University of Iowa
Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: (319) 678-7215
Fax: (319) 384-8114

Criteria for Candidacy

Applicants are required to have completed the USMLE Steps 1, 2 and 3. Additionally, the applicant must have completed an ACGME accredited radiolgy residency in the United States and be eligible to obtain a permanent State of Iowa Medical License.  To find out if you qualify for a State of Iowa Medical License, please visit the Iowa Board of Medicine's website.

Our People

Radiology faculty, fellow, and resident physicians

Our people are the heart of our program.  At Iowa, you will be exposed to some of the best clinicians, researchers and teachers in our profession. Through formal mentoring programs as well as an open-door philosophy, we provide high-powered opportunities for you to learn career-long lessons from these dedicated professionals.  Our faculty and staff are committed to helping you achieve your training goals.

Program Director

Howard J. O'Rourke, portrait

Howard J. O'Rourke, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor
Director, Musculoskeletal Radiology Fellowship Program

Musculoskeletal Division Faculty