Joint Internship

Our joint internship (PGY-1 year) is based on a strong relationship between the  internal medicine and ophthalmology departments. The joint internship is required for our interns.

This internship will include four-week rotations on the medicine service and three four-week rotations on ophthalmology. The interview for the internship will occur along with our ophthalmology residency interview.

As an intern on the ophthalmology service, you will learn basic examination skills and be ready to take care of most simple problems and triage complex eye problems. While on the ophthalmology service, you will have no call, thus allowing you to focus on study.

The intern year will be divided into thirteen 4-week rotations:

  • Two 4-week ophthalmology rotations at the Iowa City VA Medical Center, caring for patients in clinic.
  • One 4-week rotations on the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics comprehensive ophthalmology service, caring for patients in clinic, the emergency department, and the inpatient units. 
  • Two 4-week rotations focusing on medical imaging and emergency medicine.
  • Eight 4-week rotations on the medicine service, covering the wards at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and Veterans Affairs.  Two of the eight rotations will be outpatient ambulatory medicine rotations, 1 block of rheumatology and 1 block of either general ambulatory medicine or endocrinology, during these blocks there is no call, allowing further time for study.   The objective during these rotations will be to hone your basic medical skills, including the management of inpatients.
  • Three weeks of vacation over the year, two during medicine blocks and one during ophthalmology blocks

We believe there are many distinct advantages to our joint internship program:

  • Providing ophthalmology experience before taking any call, will make the transition to clinic and call responsibilities smoother and more effective.
  • Becoming an integrated member of our ophthalmology team early in your training.
  • Avoiding multiple interviews for other intern year positions, saving time, money and stress.
  • Monthly lunch lectures directed towards interns on basic, commonly encountered diagnoses in ophthalmology.
  • Moving only once during residency.
  • Gaining familiarity with the hospital, electronic medical record, and members of other services with whom you will be working throughout the remainder of your residency.
  • Having access to our structured wet lab and EyeSi surgical simulator.
  • Acquiring exposure to a broad range of available research projects that can be carried forward through your ophthalmology residency.

We are excited to offer this joint opportunity that we believe makes our program the best in the country. In the additional time in ophthalmology training, our residents will learn systems-based skills, have ample time for independent study, and learn basic ophthalmology exam and assessment skills which will put them far ahead by the time they begin their PGY-2 year.


For questions regarding our new combined internship feel free to contact our program staff or any of our current joint IM/Ophthalmology interns: