A Letter from the Program Chair

Andrea Swenson

Andrea Swenson, MD
Chair, Neurology Residency Program

Welcome to the Neurology Residency Program at the University of Iowa. Our program combines the stability of one of the country's oldest neurology departments and residency programs with exciting innovation and growth. We are facing an era of unprecedented progress in clinical neuroscience, and keeping pace with these rapid advances to successfully train new generations of neurologists requires a flexible and effective educational approach.

Our core focus is on preparing graduates for the independent practice of neurology through a clinical training experience that is both structured and flexible. Our residents experience the full gamut of inpatient, outpatient, and consultative neurologic care at two excellent teaching hospitals, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The complementary nature of these two centers exposes residents to a wide range of referral cases. Our services are designed to be educational − there are no private services or practices at Iowa, and all patients are considered potential "teaching cases". Multiple research opportunities, support, and mentorship exist for trainees planning academic careers.

Our residency is built on principles of teamwork and collegiality. From the outset residents are integrated into teaching services with medical students, other junior and senior residents, fellows, and faculty physicians. Supervision is graduated throughout the residency, and six months of elective time allow each resident to meet individual career goals. Upon graduation, our residents matriculate with top-choice jobs and compete for highly sought-after fellowships. Our graduates are known as leaders within their group or department as well as local and national societies. Many have gone on to lead major academic departments of neurology.

The appointment of George Richerson, MD, PhD, as the department's sixth chair on July 1, 2010 heralds a new era in Iowa Neurology. As a former long-time director of the Yale Neurology residency program and a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Dr. Richerson leads a plan of extensive faculty recruitment and clinical and research program development at Iowa. The coming years promise exciting positive changes for the residents. Among these include:

  • The initiation, beginning with the 2011 NRMP match, of the Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program, designed to promote the development of the next generation of academic neurologists.
  • Development of new rotations in electrophysiology and educational leadership.
  • Integration of the Child Neurology resident into the rotations and call schedule of the PG-2 year.

Our commitment to an outstanding, well-rounded clinical training experience for all residents remains as strong as ever.

In many ways Iowa City is a prototypical Midwestern university town full of music, recreation, intercollegiate sports, the arts, and fine dining. Beyond the norm, Iowa City is known as a town of high cultural value. The city has strong currents of literature, learning, friendliness, and community running through it. At the end of the day a short walk, bike ride, or drive home awaits, rather than a protracted urban commute. Our residents value their time outside the medical center.

Residency represents a time of amazing personal and professional growth, from the dependency of the medical student to the independence of the practitioner. We maintain strong ties with our graduates, and consider all our residents − present and past − members of the Iowa Neurology family. I hope you'll find that our residency is well designed to foster the knowledge, experiences and habits that lead to a life of learning, investigating, and practicing neurology. Thank you for checking us out. I hope you'll find much to like at Iowa!

Andrea Swenson, MD
Chair, Neurology Residency Program