Frequently Asked Questions

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 Neonatology. We have very busy clinical services with a rich diversity of neonatal pathology. A wide range of patient conditions allows us to educate our trainees so they are ready for any clinical situation. Fellows completing our program are ready to excel in the highest level NICUs caring for the most critically ill infants.

What makes your NICU so special?

We have an incredible NICU team that works together to provide our patients with the highest level of care. We realize that dozens of people need to make thousands of good decisions for our babies to do so well. We respect our families and our co-workers and we appreciate the various roles that we all play in the outcome of each baby.

How will I identify a research mentor and project?

We realize that you may need help here and we take your research training very seriously. During the first few months of training, fellows usually 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.

How ethnically diverse are the patients?

Like many 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 City residents are non-white, as are almost 13% of the patients seen in our pediatric clinic.

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:

  • 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)
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.

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 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 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.

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