Description of Family Medicine Rotations


During this rotation residents will work with John Mehegan, MD, a cardiologist at Mercy Iowa City. This is a one-on-one experience that includes time working with patients on the unit (some are in need of critical care) as well as patients in the cardiac catheterization lab, emergency room, and Mehegan's private practice. Residents will see a wide range of problems including coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathies, and arrhythmias.

Chronic Disease Management

Chronic disease has become the dominant health problem in the United State, accounting for over 75 percent of health care spending. This rotation helps to prepare our residents to manage patients with chronic diseases. Residents will spend time in specialty clinics and learn different approaches to systematic care for chronic illnesses. For example, some clinics utilize a case manager, while others provide a multidisciplinary team approach to providing care. Residents become familiar with these clinical tools in order to incorporate them into their practice. Residents will also have the opportunity to develop skills in providing care to patients with severe and persistent mental illness through a million dollar grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration that our residency program received. This rotation occurs in a resident's first year and includes group didactics on chronic disease, wellness, and motivational interviewing.


Residents will spend two weeks in dermatology where they learn to identify common skin conditions and distinguish abnormal and serious presentations of dermatologic disorders. Residents gain knowledge of commonly seen skin diseases and treatments in the Family Medicine Clinic and attend dermatology didactic presentations.

Emergency Medicine

Residents rotate through the Emergency Treatment Center, a Level I trauma center, under the supervision of faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine. This rotation includes formal didactic presentations provided by faculty in Emergency Medicine as well as critical care lecture series given by faculty with joint appointments in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Residents participate in focus learning courses in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS), neonatal resuscitation, and advanced trauma life support (ATLS).

Family Medicine - Introduction

First year residents will have the opportunity to get to know the Family Medicine faculty and residents as well as obtain or renew skills during this one-month rotation. Residents practice casting in a workshop and pediatric intubation and IVs in the pediatric procedures lab. Residents also learn to use speech recognition software and the electronic medical record system. A high challenge ropes course is held at the end of the month with the goal of developing team-building skills, which are utilized throughout the training program. Past residents have found the experience enjoyable and a great time to connect with new colleagues.

Family Medicine - Inpatient

Family Medicine Unit admits patients of all ages with a wide variety of medical and surgical problems from the Family Medicine Clinic and referring physicians from University of Iowa Community Medical Services, which has several outpatient clinics in the surrounding area. Two junior residents, a senior resident, a senior medical student, and an attending faculty physician work as a team to care for patients on this unit. Two night float residents (one junior and one senior) provide overnight coverage during the week. One on-call resident provides coverage over the weekend. The team also provides medical consultation to other medical, surgical, and psychiatric units at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Family Medicine - Outpatient

Residents will spend time in the Family Medicine Clinic throughout their entire residency by participating in a weekly continuity of care clinic and several block rotations that serve as an opportunity for residents to function as busy family physicians in an outpatient setting on a daily basis. It is in this setting that residents develop their office medicine skills and provide care to patients who selected them as their family physician. Residents maintain responsibility for their patients' care throughout the three years of training, thereby acquiring the skills needed to deliver continuing and comprehensive care. Emphasis is placed on patient education and maintaining health as well as treating disease. They also spend time in the procedure clinic and the same-day access clinic.

Family Medicine - Float

Residents in this position will assume care of all inpatients (including newborns, children, and post-partum women) in the Family Medicine Unit for the evening and overnight hours during the week and after the inpatient team has rounded on the weekends. Residents work in pairs with a junior and senior resident for this two-week rotation.


Gynecological care is taught in the Family Medicine Clinic as well as the Gynecology Clinic. Residents participate in general gynecologic care and specialty gynecologic care such as premenstrual syndrome, vulvar-vaginal diseases, menopause, and ultrasound. Instruction in colposcopy, loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), intrauterine device (IUD) and Implanon, and endometrial biopsy is also provided by faculty in the Department of Family Medicine in the Family Medicine Clinic.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Residents care for critically ill infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with pediatric residents, neonatal nurse practitioners, and neonatologists. While on this service, residents are also called to the delivery room and operative room for all newborn resuscitations.

Newborn and Maternal Care

During this rotation residents work with obstetrics faculty in the Department of Family Medicine providing care to newborns, infants, and obstetric patients in the hospital setting. This is a one-on-one experience and resident will gain experience triaging obstetrics patients, resuscitating and evaluating newborns, first-assisting for cesarean sections, and performing procedures for newborn infants.


Residents participate in an obstetrics rotation at Trinity Regional Health System's campus in Moline, Illinois, which is 50 miles east of Iowa City. Supervised by board-certified obstetricians and midwives, residents learn the principles and techniques of prenatal care, management of labor and delivery, and postpartum care. The residents are provided an apartment and a car for transportation while on the this rotation.


Residents will spend two weeks in ophthalmology where they learn to identify common eye conditions and distinguish abnormal and serious presentations of eye disorders. Residents attend ophthalmology didactic presentations.

Orthopedics and Rheumatology

Orthopedics and Rheumatology rotations provide residents with a broad variety of acute and emergency musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses as well as chronic disorders. Taught by Orthopaedic and Rheumatology faculty, residents spend time in the orthopaedic and rheumatology outpatient setting, physical therapy, and casting room.


Residents will spend two weeks in otolaryngology where they learn to identify common head and neck conditions and distinguish abnormal and serious presentations of head and neck disorders. Residents attend otolaryngology didactic presentations.

Pediatrics - Inpatient

Residents work with the Pediatric Blue Team, an inpatient service that is made up of staff from different divisions in the Department of Pediatrics (General Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Pulmonology), to provide care to hospitalized pediatric patients.

Pediatrics - Outpatient

Residents participate in the general pediatric diagnostic clinic, pediatric growth clinic, and pediatric encopresis clinic. They also manage acute, walk-in pediatric patients of all ages. During this rotation, residents have the opportunity to work with faculty and residents in the Department of Pediatrics.

Sports Medicine

Focused training in sports medicine is taught under the supervision of primary care physicians with a certification of added qualification in sports medicine, faculty in the Department of Orthopedics, and certified athletic trainers in the areas of pre-participation assessment, injury prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation. Residents also provide care to patients in the Family Medicine Clinic with athletic and recreational injuries.


Training is provided in general surgery and subspecialty surgery with special emphasis on the diagnosis and management of surgical disorders, emergencies, and the appropriate and timely referral for specialized care. Residents rotate through the Surgery Consult Service under the supervision of faculty in the Department of Surgery to achieve competency in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of surgical problems typically encountered by family physicians. This experience includes both ambulatory and operating room experience.

Surgical Intensive Care Unit

The Surgical Intensive Care Unit is the major academic referral center for support of critically ill patients in Iowa. It is a closed unit and is medically directed and staffed by faculty members in the Departments of Anesthesia and Surgery. Residents provide care to patients with respiratory failure, sepsis, multi-system trauma, peri-operative complications, and acute neurological injuries as well as post-organ transplantation care.


Residents will spend two weeks in urology where they learn to identify common urological conditions and distinguish abnormal and serious presentations of urological disorders. Residents attend urology didactic presentations.