Frequently Asked Questions

Procedure
Will I receive excellent clinical training at the University of Iowa?

YES!. While we have traditionally been known as a research institution, we are a full service clinical division of Pediatric Cardiology. We have busy catheterization and electrophysiology, transplant, and echocardiography services. We are utilizing cutting edge techniques and technology including percutaneous placement of pulmonary valves, advanced arrhythmia mapping and ablation techniques, 3D echocardiography, and ventricular assist devices.

Do you have a congenital cardiac surgical team?

YES! Dr. Peter Gruber and Dr. Joseph Turek are trained in congenital heart surgery and perform all of the congenital cardiac procedures at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

How will I identify a research mentor and project?

During the first research elective, fellows are encouraged to meet with several clinical and basic science investigators who have ongoing projects that match their own interests. Should a fellow enter the program with a strong background in research or an identified project, a mentor with similar interests will be identified. A strong mentor-fellow relationship is imperative to success in research!

Will I have protected time to perform a research project and meet board eligibility requirements?

Research blocks are protected time! There are no clinical call duties during the week. It is requested that fellows attend their weekly half day outpatient clinic and educational conferences. All other activities should be dedicated to research.

What is the call schedule?

Weekday “after hours” call is covered by the fellow assigned to clinical service 4 nights of the week. Cross coverage relief one night per week is typically performed by the fellow in the cath lab. Research and echo months are typically call free during the week. Weekend call is split evenly amongst the fellows.

Where is Iowa City?

Iowa City is 220 miles directly west of Chicago on Interstate 80. It's also within a 4-5 hour drive to Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Omaha, Kansas City and St. Louis. It has the cultural, educational, social and political opportunities of a bigger city with the values and ambiance of a midwestern town. Its clean, safe, nothing is farther than a 15 minute car ride, it has a great city bus system (with bike racks!), wonderful parks, sports, schools and even sailing. Those who have lived here and left, frequently return because what they were looking for was in their own back yard. But we're not the only ones who think Iowa City is great:

  • The 2011-2012 Best Doctors® database recognized 96 physicians from UI Children's Hospital
  • UI Children's Hospital ranked in all 10 specialties: orthopedics, nephrology, pulmonology, neonatology, cardiology and heart surgery, urology, gastroenterology, cancer, neurology and neurosurgery and diabetes and endocrinology. (U.S. News & World Report 2011-2012 Best Children's Hospitals)
  • No. 3 out of 75 mid-size cities for volunteer rate ("Volunteering in America," Corporation for National & Community Service, June 2011)
  • No. 13 "Best Small Places for business and Careers" (Forbes, April 2011)
  • No. 9 out of 179 on best performing small cities list ("Milken Institute," October 2010)
  • "Healthiest Town in the United States" (Men's Journal, February 2010)
  • "Top Towns for Jobs" (MSN CareerBuilder, January 2010)
  • Ranked as one of America's Top 100 Adventure Cities (National Geographic Adventure, October 2009)
  • No. 5 "Best Places to Begin a Career," Metros Under 500,000 (Forbes Magazine, July 2009)
  • No. 13 "Top College Towns for Jobs" (Forbes Magazine, May 2009)
  • No. 5 best-educated city under 250,000 (USA Today, August 2009)
How ethnically diverse are the patients?

Like a lot of university towns, we have a large international community. Growing cultural diversity is another reason Iowa City is an interesting place to live. Diversity is embraced and celebrated with city and university events, festivals, clubs and programs. The University works hard to recruit and retain minorities with its affirmative action policies. About 13% of Iowa Citians are non-white as are almost 13% of the patients seen in our pediatric clinic.

What’s the weather like in Iowa City?

It depends on what you like. Our weather was a lot better than the East Coast this year! For about two weeks every winter it's very cold and windy and for two weeks every summer it's really hot and humid. The rest of the time it's pretty nice. We have a lot of sunny days even in winter-166 per year. Our average snowfall is 28", average rainfall is 35", average temperature in the summer is 72.6 and in the winter, 23.7. We consider our weather character building.

What is there to do in Iowa City when you're not working?

There are 15 different festivals and art fairs, plus concerts and race events. There are many music venues, sports events and neighborhood street fairs and garden walks. We also have a really big mall and several smaller ones, 41 parks, 9 golf courses, 6 public tennis courts, 6 public pools, some lakes and a reservoir with trails, camping & boating. There are bike trails, some famous bookstores, a ton of galleries and excellent museums. There are half a dozen or more performing arts venues including Hancher Auditorium. There's always something going on. Find more information from the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

What's Iowa City like for kids and families?

There's ice skating, bowling, organized sports, 50 public parks, miniature golf, a great public library, a toy library, fun centers, swimming pools and 3 beaches, 9 museums including a children's museum, dance companies and public recreation centers that feature many activities for kids and families at little or no cost. We also have 20 movie screens and 50-licensed daycare providers. The Iowa City schools are perennially ranked among the top schools in the nation. Iowa City is unique in the facilities and services available for individuals with disabilities. Many families who have a family member with a disability are reluctant to leave Iowa City because they cannot duplicate those services in another location.

Are there any job opportunities for my spouse/significant other?

Yes, in March 2011, Iowa City had an average of 3% unemployment. Also check out The University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.

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