Frequently Asked Questions

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:

aerial view of iowa city 2011
Photo by University Relations Photography University of Iowa
  • The 2011-2012 Best Doctors® database recognized 315 physicians from UI Hospitals and Clinics, of which 13 psychiatrists were included
  • UI Hospitals and Clinics ranked in 9 specialties: cancer, gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, opthalmology and visual sciences, orthopedics and rehabilitation, otolaryngology, pulmonology, and urology (U.S. News & World Report 2012-2013 Best Hospitals)
  • UI Children's Hospital ranked in all 10 specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology (U.S. News & World Report 2012-2013 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.

What’s the weather like in Iowa City?

It depends on what you like. 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?
young girl swimming in pool

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 May 2012, Iowa City had an average of 3.6% unemployment, one of the lowest in the country. Fore more information, check out the University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.

What are the fellowship opportunities available?

We currently offer fellowship opportunities in child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, neuropsychiatric research, post-praumatic stress disorder, and neurobiology of schizophrenia. Approximately 50% of our residents participate in a fellowship opportunity of their interest.

Is this a family friendly program?

Yes, the residency is supportive of residents in their efforts to balance work with family life. We have several physician residents with young families and understand the stresses associated with attempting to find a balance. Women residents receive up to 6 weeks of paid maternity leave after delivery. Men get 5 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. The training program also has activities during the year where all family members are invited, i.e. NAMI picnic, pumpkin carving, BBQs.

Is there sufficient patient volume so that I can have multiple exposures to a variety of diseases?

With 2,200 annual inpatient admissions and 31,000 clinic visits, our residents have the opportunity to see plenty of patients with the most common psychiatric presentations as well as the most complicated. Our inpatient units include specialized areas for adults with eating disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and substance disorders. There are also specialized units for children and older adults. Residents see patients in various outpatient clinics, including the Adult Psychiatry Clinic, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, Women’s Wellness and Counseling Service, Huntington’s Disease Clinic, VA clinic, and Community Mental Health Clinic. Our department receives referrals for specialized services such as electroconvulsive therapy.

What's the call schedule like?

As a resident in our program, you will not be on call more than every fourth night. Junior residents (first and second years) are on call four to five times per month. Senior residents (third and fourth years) are on call two times per month. First and second year residents take primary call with a senior resident. Two junior residents work together during the evening and weekend days. The longest call is a 12-hour shift on weekends. As a senior you take home call as a backup along with covering Veterans Affairs Medical Center by phone in the evening.

Do you have a research project requirement for graduation?

No, we do not have a requirement to complete a research project. Although residents have plenty of opportunities to do research projects and there are options for a research elective.

What's Iowa got that other programs don't?
  • A diverse patient population including eating disorders unit, geriatric unit, medicine psychiatry unit, electroconvulsive service, women’s wellness clinic, chemical dependency clinic, VA clinic,  and Huntington’s Disease clinic
  • A collaborative environment with opportunities to work with departments across the institution
  • A highly intellectual community with premier arts events that are accessible to residents in terms of cost and location
  • An outstanding school system for children in grades K-12
  • A great training program and a high quality of life at an affordable price

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