First and Second Year

During the first two years of education, residents receive training in psychiatry, medicine, and neurology. These experiences occur both in the inpatient and outpatient settings.

First Year


Approximately half of the first year is spent training on the inpatient psychiatry units. This occurs at both the University of Iowa Health Care Medical Center and the Iowa City VA Medical Center.
At UI Health Care Medical Center, the adult psychiatry units are organized by primary diagnosis: mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and geriatric psychiatry. We also have an inpatient child psychiatry unit with dedicated pediatric inpatient eating disorder beds. UIHC’s Crisis Stabilization Unit and work on-call provides residents with experience in the emergency psychiatry setting.

With a total of 86 adult psychiatric beds, 15 pediatric psychiatry beds, 15 medicine-psychiatry beds and 12 crisis stabilization beds, the University of Iowa provides residents with a diverse array of inpatient experiences. We also benefit from the use of large multidisciplinary treatment teams on all units, so residents will learn how to collaborate with social work, occupational therapy, dieticians, pharmacists, families, and others in the care of complex psychiatric patients.


Residents will spend one month on the inpatient neurology service. They spend an additional month in the outpatient neurology clinic. When rotating on neurology, residents are supervised by senior neurology residents and staff with an attending neurologist.

The University of Iowa provides many additional opportunities to gain exposure to neurology, via participation in ongoing research or clinical electives in the Huntington’s Disease Clinic or the neuropsychology clinic.

Internal Medicine-Psychiatry

The University of Iowa boasts one of the nation’s 16 combined internal medicine-psychiatry residency programs, and is one of the few such programs with its own inpatient medicine-psychiatry unit. Patients on this unit meet inpatient admission criteria for both medical and psychiatric illness, and this unit is where psychiatry interns will complete their required two months of inpatient medicine. This is a great place to learn about the medical sequelae of psychiatric complications such as NMS or complex overdoses. The unit is typically staffed by attending physicians who are board-certified in both specialties, or by a team of two attending physicians (one psychiatrist and one internal medicine physician).

Primary Care Clinic

An additional two months of the first year are spent training in outpatient medicine. Residents may choose between internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics. Residents who opt to participate in the rural medicine track will spend their primary care months at a rural family medicine clinic in Washington County, Iowa.

Second Year

Rotations through the general adult inpatient units continue in second year, and residents also begin their exposure to the psychiatric sub-specialties, including child and adolescent psychiatry, addiction medicine, and interventional psychiatry. Additionally, residents begin their outpatient experience with one half-day per week in the university psychiatry clinic, where they will provide medication management and can opt to begin providing psychotherapy as well if desired.

Interventional Psychiatry

The interventional psychiatry rotation provides residents with exposure to procedures such as ECT, TMS, esketamine, and deep brain stimulation.

Addiction Medicine

Residents will spend one month in a variety of settings which focus on addiction medicine. These include the Coralville VA’s dual diagnosis clinic and UIHC’s medication assisted treatment (MAT) clinic, as well as the university’s dual diagnosis and substance abuse partial hospitalization programs. Residents will gain experience in the treatment of substance use disorders along with comorbid psychiatric diagnoses.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

During two months of the second year, residents receive training in child and adolescent psychiatry in a combination of inpatient and outpatient settings. The University of Iowa Health Care Medical Center is home to a 15-bed child psychiatry unit and a large child psychiatry outpatient clinic. Additionally, residents who wish to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatric can continue their training in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency

Consult-Liaison Service

Residents complete at least one month of training on the consult-liaison service, which is staffed by a psychiatry attending and led by the consult fellow. Residents will evaluate a wide variety of psychiatric disturbances that among the medically ill. They will additionally gain experience consulting and collaborating with non-psychiatric colleagues. Residents return to the consult-liaison team as seniors to deepen their exposure to this area.