Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Iowa City?
Iowa City is 220 miles directly west of Chicago on Interstate 80. It's also within a four to five 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:
  • 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)
  • UNESCO City of Literature (November 2008)
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 percent of Iowa Citians are non-white as are almost 13 percent of the patients seen in our clinics.
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, nine golf courses, six public tennis courts, six public pools, some lakes and a reservoir with trails, camping and 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. 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 three beaches, nine 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 July 2014, Iowa City had an average of three percent unemployment. Also check out The University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.
What are the fellowship opportunities available?
We have five accredited fellowship programs. The Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program is ACGME accredited. The Fellowship programs in Gynecologic Oncology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, combined Maternal Fetal Medicine/Clinical Genetics and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility are ABOG accredited. We currently have twelve fellows training in our accredited fellowship programs.
Is this a family friendly program?
Yes! We love children and support residents in their efforts to balance work with family life. Women residents receive up to six weeks of paid maternity leave after delivery. Men get five working days off for paternity leave. The house staff health insurance policy, provides full coverage for spouses and children. There are several childcare facilities near the hospital and one on-site.
Is there sufficient patient volume so that I can have multiple exposures to a variety of conditions?
The University of Iowa residency offers the surgical, obstetrical and subspecialty volume to become a well-trained private practitioner or to pursue a subspecialty fellowship. Our faculty physicians and nurse midwives delivered about 1,850 babies and saw more than 59,000 outpatient visits this year.
What is the program's balance between primary and specialty care?
The UI Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology provides consultation, comprehensive treatment planning, and a broad range of services for patients with normal and high-risk pregnancies and for gynecology, including oncology and reproductive endocrinology. Approximately 1,600 patients are delivered annually.
In keeping with the institution's tertiary care role, a large proportion represents complicated or high-risk conditions. The gynecologic oncology program is an integral unit of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa. Additional specialty areas include: genetics counseling, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, infertility, in-vitro fertilization, menopause, pelvic pain, premenstrual syndrome, prenatal diagnostics, reproductive care and sexual health.
What's the call schedule like?
Call is limited to Friday evening through Sunday. Evenings, Sunday – Thursday are night float with a junior/senior pair. While weekend call is in house with the following schedule, Friday, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 8 p.m. – 8 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. There is no home call.
Do you have a research project requirement for graduation?
To help ensure a meaningful and successful research experience, residents follow a research curriculum with set project deliverables over the course of their 4 years here. During the first year, residents choose a project and mentor and draft the background section of their paper. They present a brief overview of the project’s background, hypothesis, and aims to the department. The residents receive feedback from the faculty as well as a scholarly project committee. In the second year, residents draft their methods section and complete any necessary applications or training required for their work. During a brief department-wide presentation, the resident reviews the approach and methods that they are using. The residents again receive feedback from their scholarly project committee. In the third year, residents have protected time to perform their research. It is expected that residents will have their project completed by the end of their 3rd year and will have a draft of their completed paper. At a meeting with their scholarly project committee, the resident will present their project in its entirety and also receive feedback on their paper before the fall of their 4th year. Fourth year residents present their completed scholarly projects at the department’s annual postgraduate course. Residents are strongly encouraged to present their research at regional and national meetings as well as to submit their manuscript for publication. Additionally, didactic teaching is provided throughout residency in principles of research including project design, statistical analysis, manuscript preparation, presentation skills, translational research, and ethics.
What's Iowa got that other programs don't?
Ryan Program provides training in all aspects of uterine evacuation and contraception.
The Department has a dedicated residency coordinator, librarian, IT support staff, and statistician.
Iowa City is a highly intellectual community with premier arts events that are accessible to residents in terms of cost and location.
We have an outstanding school system for children in grades K-12.
A great training program and a high quality of life at an affordable price.

If you have additional questions please contact our program coordinator at