Why Iowa?

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Photo by University Relations Photography/University of Iowa

The University of Iowa's Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences has a tradition of excellence that has earned praise for outstanding teaching, research and patient care. Our Department is consistently rated among the top in the nations by U.S. News and by Ophthamology Times. 

As an academic medical center we have a three-point mission of education, research and patient care. The “academic difference” at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics begins with a belief that the very best health care as well as the very best medical training is delivered in a multi-faceted environment of care and compassion, of learning and discovery, of development and refinement. 

Fellowships at the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences provide extensive clinical and research experience. We graduate highly qualified & well-rounded clinicians, researchers and educators. 

We are committed to creating an environment in which you will succeed; our fellows complete our training program with confidence in their knowledge and abilities.

The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa has a unique, superlative teaching program.

We Have an Outstanding Faculty of Teachers, Healers, and Researchers

You'll have access to the world-class teachers, researchers, and facilities of the University's Carver College of Medicine and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), one of the nation’s largest public university teaching hospitals. Take a look our faculty profiles; these clinicians, researchers, and educators will be your trainers and colleagues.

Morning Rounds

Morning rounds are held Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. These are attended by all faculty, fellows, and residents and consist of patient presentations, seminars, and interesting discussions.

Residents, fellows, and faculty congregate in the Braley Auditorium for an informal, friendly, and often lively exchange of interesting patient cases. These daily rounds are the heart of the teaching program of this department and set it apart from every other ophthalmology department in the country. They are both educational and stimulating. Because of our broad patient referral base it is possible to conduct rounds on a daily basis without running out of interesting material to present. This referral base, which includes all of Iowa and the neighboring states of Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri, provides an extensive and formidable source for eye pathology from which everyone can learn. In the United States today, few training programs are afforded such a referral base.

We offer other venues for presentation of cases and clinical observations as well including on-call rounds, genetics rounds, service rounds, fluorescein conference, and clinical conferences.

Clinical Conference


The cases and discussions presented by Residents and Fellows at Grand Rounds are often further developed and published as case reports and tutorials on EyeRounds.org, a website of the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Each day, thousands of visitors from around the globe access these educational materials freely via the internet. While academic research and traditional publications remain a cornerstone of the academic experience at Iowa, we encourage the EyeRounds educational materials, which are internally peer-reviewed, as an adjunctive way for Residents and Fellows to share case reports, surgical videos, and discussions with the world.

Wynn Institute for Vision Research

The Wynn Institute for Vision Research (WIVR) was created to allow the University of Iowa to take a world-leading role in the eradication of human blindness through interdisciplinary research, education and clinical care.

Iowa Lions Eye Bank

The University of Iowa is the home of the only Eye Bank in the state. Established in 1955, the Iowa Lions Eye Bank was one of the first eye banks in the United States. 

Collegiality and Friendly Working / Living Environment

Of the many strengths that contribute to our program’s strong reputation, one of the greatest is its long history of collegiality and its friendly working and living environment. For many years the Department has enjoyed the reputation of being a pleasant and congenial place to work. We value this reputation because we believe that the best atmosphere for learning ophthalmology is one that is friendly and supportive.

 The University of Iowa, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and The Carver College of Medicine

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Photo by University Relations Photography/University of Iowa

The Carver College of Medicine is on the campus of the University of Iowa, one of the top ten public institutions for federally supported research. We have taken advantage of our proximity to scientists in multiple disciplines to weave together a research program that takes advantage of members of the faculties in Ophthalmology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Pediatrics, Neurology, and Genetics.

A First-Rate Hospital

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is one of "America's Best Hospitals" designated by U.S. News & World Report. We were the first hospital in the state of Iowa to be awarded the Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence (2004) and to be twice granted Magnet re-designation for four years (2008-2013).

We serve a large Midwest region for both primary care and specialized care. We are the state's highest level of referral for several specialties. This comprehensive nature assures that during your fellowship you will be exposed to a broad mix of patients and conditions.

Salary, Benefits, Schedules

Our fellows have a competitive stipend; couple that fact with the relatively modest cost of living in the Iowa City area, and UI Hospitals and Clinics compares very well to programs in large urban settings. Our work schedules include maternity leave benefits and meet national standards for time on duty and time off between shifts.

We Sweat the Details

Your work as a fellow will be demanding enough. With that in mind, our Graduate Medical Education Office has developed a suite of services to handle the details of employment, licensure, immigration, housing, even assistance for job placement of spouses and significant others. The dedicated professionals in our Graduate Medical Education office see to it that your time and effort are concentrated where they need to be--on your patients and on your career development.

And You'll Love This Part: Iowa City and Surrounding Communities

Quality of Life

Iowa City and surrounding communities get consistently high ratings from national indexes of great places to live. Affordable housing, outstanding schools, moderate cost of living, good shopping and entertainment, low crime, excellent transportation, and a mix of diverse cultures all make it a great choice, especially when you consider that much of it is available within easy walking or biking distance from our world-class hospital.

Being located on a Big Ten University campus creates a big plus for our fellows. The University is a lively place for cultural and recreational activities. It is a hub for high-level sports and offers the excellent libraries, museums, and cultural centers you'd expect from a Big Ten school. Iowa has the smallest enrollment among the public Big Ten schools, which translates into a campus that's easy to navigate and a surrounding community that supports everything we do for our students and trainees.