Program Highlights From Our Chief Residents

2023-24 Chief Residents
Tyler Schmidt, MD, Academic Chief; Mikenzy Fassel, MD, Scheduling Chief; Kaancan Deniz, MD, Administrative Chief

You will work and make friends with people from across the world

Diversity is one of the main strengths of our program. You will get to work with people from all over the world who have been raised and trained in completely different academic environments, which provides new perspectives on learning. Also, potlucks are more fun when you get to try foods from different cultures! 

Great quality of life with an excellent cost of living

Can’t beat Midwest prices! Housing options are extremely affordable here. Most residents rent either apartments or houses, however some have bought houses here as well. Typically dining out will not burn a hole in your pocket wherever you go, and we have a variety of grocery stores which range from our vegan friendly co-op to eclectic Trader Joe’s, to the more budget-friendly Aldi. And, importantly, what’s traffic? ;) 

Diverse food options

You will have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options (including a vegan restaurant if you’re feeling fancy). There are options for authentic Asian, Mexican, and Indian foods, to name a few. We also pride ourselves on our strong boba game.  

UNESCO City of Literature with various arts and culture offerings

Iowa City has been named a UNESCO City of Literature and is known for its Writer’s Workshop and writing groups. We strongly recommend checking out our literary walk and book festival.  

Iowa City also has an extensive amount of artistic and cultural fare, including the newly-opened Stanley Museum of Art. There are annual art and jazz festivals, and so much more. 

Family and dog friendly

With affordable housing and countless affordable daycare centers, it’s an exceptional place to raise a family with great support from our residency program. The Iowa City school district is consistently ranked among the top schools in Iowa for those with school-aged children. For those of you with furry children, there are many dog daycares, walking trails and dog parks in the area. 

Summer and fall are beautiful

The Midwest is not all winter!! Our spring and summer are beautiful and offer perfect pool weather if that is something you enjoy. Going apple picking at Wilson’s Orchard followed by dinner at the Rapid Creek Cidery with a flight of different flavored ciders is a fall tradition. The nearby Amana Colonies are another great option for their Oktoberfest and various food, festival, and art offerings. And for those who enjoy snow, there are many groomed cross country skiing trails as well as downhill skiing resorts for an easy day trip.  

Call money and a gym inside the hospital

Our program keeps us well fed with additional funds for food. We get a yearly allowance which can be used in almost all the cafeterias in the hospital. We have multiple options for coffee, including a 24-hour cafeteria. Dining options range from the budget-friendly Fountain Cafe to the more formal sit-down Atrium dining room with the best salads you have ever had (we say that with 100% certainty).  

Outdoor activities

Resident favorites include going to the farmer’s marketshiking trails, visiting picturesque towns like Galena, biking, sitting outside in quaint bars downtown for happy hour, boating on Coralville Lake, visiting the Iowa State Fair, exploring Maquoketa Caves


Rooting on the Hawkeyes during fall Saturdays is a long tradition in Iowa City, and over 100,000 people will come to Iowa City to cheer on the team and participate in tailgating festivities. The tailgating scene is always ranked among the top tailgating spots in the country for college football, so it’s a great way to get your mind off medicine. It also helps that the Hawkeyes are consistently good and were in the Big Ten Championship Game this past year (we don’t need to talk about the result of that game). Iowa Football also has strong ties to the hospital, and over the past few years a new tradition has started where the fans in the stadium will wave to the kids in the children’s hospital after the first quarter of the game. It’s a moving experience for everyone on either side of the “Kinnick Wave.”