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Family Medicine Curriculum

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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