Transition to Residency


The transition to residency can be a tough time.  Many of our residents are moving to Iowa City for the first time.  We make sure that our residents feel right at home as soon as possible with a robust orientation and a peer mentoring program that connects residents in order to facilitate inclusion from day 1.

Peer Mentoring program

Each incoming intern is paired with a senior resident prior to orientation.  The mentor match is based on several factors including hobbies and career interests.  As interns arrive to Iowa City, they are encouraged to meet with their mentors.   Mentors are available for any concerns that come up at any point in time throughout the year.  Mentors are happy to answer questions about housing, adjustment challenges, and resident life in general.  Over time, peer mentors become close colleagues who interns can rely on in and outside of the hospital.

Orientation focused on Strategies for Success

During orientation, the new interns get to know the chief residents, who will be the go-to people for any concern or question throughout the year.  The chief residents go over practical skills like how to hand-off patients to the night team, how to stay organized on the wards, how to use the University of Iowa’s online resources, and how to perform the common procedures in internal medicine, like central venous catheter placement, paracentesis, thoracentesis, and lumbar puncture.

Resident-to-Resident Epic Training

In 2021, residents initiated a resident-to-resident epic training in place of the generic epic training.  Residents teach practical skills and share SmartPhrases that help the interns hit the ground running on day one.

New resident Objective Structured Clinical Experience (OSCE)

During orientation, our residents participate in an Objective Structured Clinical Experience (OSCE).  The goal of this OSCE is to get interns back in the swing of seeing patients again and also gives us an opportunity to provide just-in-time feedback to residents on skills to develop even prior to their first experience on the wards.

We were one of the first programs to implement an OSCE during orientation and our pioneering work on the OSCE (Assessing Entrustable Professional Activities Using an Orientation OSCE: Identifying the Gaps - PubMed ( was cited by the ACGME when it recommended all US resident programs adopt this evaluation tool during orientation.

Learn more about our past OSCE sessions: Seven years, seven OSCEs