Frequently Asked Questions

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. 

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 Citians are non-white.

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. 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, in May 2012, Iowa City had an average of 3.6% unemployment, one of the lowest in the country. Fore more information, check out the University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.

What are the fellowship opportunities available?

Internal Medicine-Psychiatry graduates can and have entered into a variety of fellowship programs in either discipline. At present, the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa offers fellowship opportunities in nephrology, hematology-oncology, pulmonology-critical care, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, allergy-immunology, and sleep medicine. The Department of Psychiatry offers fellowship opportunities in geriatric psychiatry, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurobiology of schizophrenia, and neuropsychiatric research.

Is this a family friendly program?

Yes, the residency is supportive of residents in their efforts to balance work with family life. We have several physician residents with young families and understand the stresses associated with attempting to find a balance. Women residents receive up to six weeks of paid maternity leave after delivery. Men get five working days off for paternity leave. The house staff health insurance policy provides full coverage for spouses and children. There are also several childcare facilities near the hospital and one on-site.

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

Absolutely! University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is Iowa's only academic medical center, and as such, routinely receives the most difficult and complex cases from Omaha to Chicago and from Rochester to Kansas City and St. Louis.

What's the call schedule like?

Call schedules depend on a rotation's sponsor department and the seniority of the resident.

In the Department of Psychiatry, two junior residents (first and second years) and one senior (third and fourth years) resident are on call for any given shift, with the junior residents on in-house call and the senior resident on home call. Junior residents can expect four to five call shifts per month as a combination of short calls (5-hour shifts) and weekend calls (12-hour shifts). Senior residents can expect two to three home calls per month for the university.

In the Department of Internal Medicine, call is every fourth night in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Thanks to night inpatient teams, senior residents (second, third, fourth, and fifth years) can expect to take call only one to two weekends per year at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center while on ambulatory rotations.

Do you have a research project requirement for graduation?

While there are many opportunities for residents to get involved with research in both departments, there is no formal research requirement for graduation in either department. There is a requirement to complete a scholarly activity (which can be participation in a research project, book chapter, curriculum development, case report, teaching workshop/community education, or a independent quality improvement project). Other requirements include presenting an ACP clinical vignette, an R2 talk and a journal club.

What's Iowa got that other programs don't?

  • A collaborative environment with opportunities to work with departments across the institution
  • A highly intellectual community with premier arts events that are accessible to residents in terms of cost and location
  • An outstanding school system for children in grades K-12
  • A great training program and a high quality of life at an affordable price