About the Program

Iowa is an American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) certified Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program.

Schedule

Typical 3-year Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training:

Inpatient Training

We have two inpatient services, one devoted to oncology/bone marrow transplantation and a second one for hematology. First year fellows have 44 weeks of inpatient training, second year fellows have 7 weeks and third year fellows have 6 weeks of inpatient training.

Outpatient Training

We have a busy outpatient clinic including new and returning patients with hemoglobinopathies, thromboses, hemophilia, immunodeficiencies, leukemias, solid tumors and brain tumors.  We have a long term follow up clinic for cancer survivors and several multi-disciplinary clinics.  All fellows conduct a weekly half day outpatient continuity clinic with an assigned attending physician throughout all three years of fellowship.

Electives

We have ample opportunities for electives in Cytogenetics, Hematology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hematopathology, Palliative Care, Radiation Oncology, Research, Surgical Pathology, and Transfusion Medicine.  Elective time in additional fields related to Pediatric Hematology/Oncology can be scheduled in consultation with the fellowship director.

Research

Each first year fellow works with their Scholarly Oversight Committee to choose a scholarly project that will be the focus of their second and third year training.  Iowa is a renowned medical research university with outstanding clinical, translational, and basic science research.  Fellows form a research mentoring team who will help them design and complete a scholarly project to complete requirements for American Board of Pediatrics subspecialty eligibility.

Vacation

Each fellow is allowed three weeks of vacation per year.

Clinical Rotations

The Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology offers a full range of therapies including bone marrow transplant, thrombosis, bone marrow failure, cancer predisposition, survivorship, and inpatient/outpatient general hematology and oncology services. The division also conducts a number of comprehensive care clinics including hemophilia, hemoglobinopathy, and brain tumor.

Education/Conferences

Structured mentoring of fellows by research mentors and by Pediatric Hematology/Oncology staff enhances the training experience while monitoring career progress.

Our Fellow’s Weekly Department of Pediatrics Core Curriculum Seminar Series provides fellows with opportunities to:

  • Enhance professional development
  • Improve teaching skills
  • Develop written and oral presentation skills
  • Present their own research
  • Explore research options
  • Interact with faculty and other fellows
  • Learn about responsible conduct of research
  • Accelerate career development

Weekly Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Conference Series provides fellows with opportunities to:

  • Keep up-to-date on latest clinical standards-of-care
  • Learn to read and critique clinical and translational research papers
  • Understand interdisciplinary practice
  • Participate in Quality Improvement projects
  • Participate in didactic lectures based on The American Board of Pediatrics board specifications.

Tumor Board

  • Diagnose and stage new oncology patients
  • Learn to enroll patients in clinical trials
  • Learn to work in a multidisciplinary team by presenting cases.
  • Treat recurrent disease
  • Develop palliative care plans

Blood Club

  • Present new patients
  • Discuss latest research on bleeding and clotting disorders
  • Review testing procedures and interpretation
  • Meet with visiting professors
  • Work in a multidisciplinary team

Case Presentations and Morbidity/Mortality Conferences

  • Present a case with in depth discussion of diagnosis, genetics, and evidence based treatment options
  • Learn how to improve patient care
  • Identify areas of strength and weakness in patient care
  • Improve multidisciplinary coordination of care

Honors/Recognition

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in Iowa nationally ranked for pediatric care by U.S. News and World Report. Read June 15, 2021 press release.

  • 25 in Neonatology
  • 35 in Pediatric Orthopedics
  • 41 in Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • 42 in Pediatric Nephrology
  • 50 in Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery

The 13th annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the U.S. in 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery, and urology. 

​UI Stead Family Children's Hospital and the UI Stead Family Department of Pediatrics are recognized nationally for a number of achievements.

Pediatric researchers at the University of Iowa have a long history of breakthrough discoveries in both the clinical and laboratory setting. Meet members of our research team:

Opportunities for Fellows

Providing outstanding research training is a major objective of our program. Iowa is among the top departments of pediatrics in the U.S. in terms of NIH research funding, and the University of Iowa College of Medicine has strong basic science departments. Our College of Public Health is home to the SEER database and to the graduate program in Clinical and Translational Research. 

Our fellows may choose a clinical, translational, or basic research mentor from any department in the College of Medicine or College of Public Health. We have excellent opportunities for research training and experience both within the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and elsewhere in the Department of Pediatrics or in other clinical and basic science departments within the Colleges of Medicine and Public Health.

Our hematology/oncology trainees have been the recipients of both local and National Training Awards.

FAQ

Will I receive excellent clinical training at the University of Iowa?

Yes. While we have traditionally been known as a research institution we are a full service clinical division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, with a separate floor in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

How will I identify a research mentor and project?

University of Iowa is a very strong research institution with basic translational and clinical research.
During the first few months of fellowship, fellows are encouraged to meet with several clinical and basic science investigators who have ongoing projects that match their own interests. Should a fellow enter the program with a strong background in research or an identified project, a mentor with similar interests will be identified. A strong mentor-fellow relationship is imperative to success in research.

Will I have protected time to perform a research project and meet board eligibility requirements?

Research blocks are protected time. It is requested that fellows attend their weekly half day outpatient clinic and equational conferences. All other activities should be dedicated to research.

What is the call schedule?

First-year fellows cover 1-2 weekends per month, with a decreasing number of weekend calls each subsequent year. During all three years, fellows take one weeknight call each week. The second and third year fellows will concentrate on a scholarly project. Fellows will continue to attend their weekly half-day continuity clinic and educational conferences throughout all three years.

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 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 min 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.

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. The University works hard to recruit and retain minorities with its affirmative action policies. About 13% of Iowa citizens are non-white as are almost 13% of the patients seen in our pediatric clinic.

What's the weather like in Iowa City?

It depends on what you like. Our weather was a lot better than the East Coast this year! For about 2 weeks every winter it's very cold and windy and for 2 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 & 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. 

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, in March 2020, Iowa City had an average of 2.7% unemployment. Also check out The University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.

Do you have a freestanding children's hospital?

Yes. The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is a state of the art pediatric facility opened in 2017.

Quick Facts

  • Up to six fellows in our program and two fellows per year.

  • 80 to 90 new oncology patients are diagnosed each year.

  • There are now more the 400 patients with bleeding and clotting disorders.

  • We care for 150 patients with hemoglobinopathies.

  • Trainees manage their own patients in the outpatient clinic.

  • Trainees rotate weeknight call from home and rotate weekend call.

  • University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics ranks among U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Hospitals".

Where We Live

Iowa City - where we live

Iowa City, Iowa is not only home to the University of Iowa and Stead Family Children’s Hospital. This city of 76,290 people has been named to Livability’s Top 100 overall best places to live list in addition to Top 10 College Towns, Top 10 Best Cities for Book Lovers, and Top 10 Best Cities for Affordable Health Care.

Where we live - Clear Creek

Clear Creek: This is the commute to work for some and a great wellness activity for many others. The Clear Creek Trail is a paved trail for cyclists and pedestrians that spans a lengthy, beautifully wooded corridor along the Clear Creek, which travels along the southern edge of the communities of Tiffin and Coralville on the outskirts of Iowa City. The Clear Creek Trail also acts as an integral part of the Iowa City area trail network, with connections to multiple other trails in the regional system. American Bald Eagles fish the Iowa River and surrounding waterways in the winter adding to the year-round opportunities to experience the natural beauty of eastern Iowa.

Where we live - Old Capitol Building

Old Capitol Building: It is located downtown Iowa City, Iowa. It was once the main government building for the state of Iowa, and it now stands as the most prominent landmark at the center of the University of Iowa's campus. The building was depicted on the 1946 Iowa Centennial commemorative half dollar.

Get to see more of what Iowa City has to offer!

Where We Work

University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital - where we work

University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital 

Opened to patients in 2017, the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is the only comprehensive children’s hospital in the state of Iowa. This 14-floor, 563,250-square-foot, 190 bed facility provides our patients with a family-focused environment for healing with spacious rooms, increased natural light, and new state-of-the-art technology everywhere you look. The staff consists of more than 200 pediatric trained physicians, surgeons and dentists. In 2019, our hospital cared for over 80,000 children, adolescents and young adults from all 99 Iowa counties, 45 states and 20 countries outside the US. 

Where we work 11th floor view

Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

The 11th floor (second from the top) is dedicated to the inpatient and outpatient care of patients treated at the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The center includes our pioneering Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) program, the only pediatric BMT program in the state of Iowa. The inpatient unit has 18 large, private, HEPA filtered rooms with six dedicated to bone marrow transplant patients and one lead-lined room designed for patients receiving radiotherapeutics. The outpatient clinic features nineteen rooms; two dedicated for patient intake, eight for exams and nine for infusions (pictured above).

Iowa Wave - where we work

Iowa Wave

Called the greatest new tradition in college sports, the “Iowa wave” began during the first football season after the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital opened, built perched across the street from the Big Ten School’s Football Stadium. At the end of the first quarter the entire stadium, near 70,000 fans, players and officials turn to the hospital and show their support by waving to the children and their families on the inside. The Iowa wave is emblematic of the relationship between the Iowa community and its health care team. Support and encouragement through random act of kindness and recognition are a part of the culture. Talk to anyone who has experienced the Iowa wave and you will hear the power of such a simple gesture. It is hard to find a dry eye on either side of the glass.

 

UI Dance Marathon - where we work

University of Iowa Dance Marathon

This organization creates and sustains special projects to provide emotional and financial support and services for pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant patients and their families treated at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. They have also funded critical research and service needs of our patients. This student led organization has raised over 27 million dollars in its first twenty-five years and is one of the most successful in the country.