Program Director

Alison Lynch

Welcome to the University of Iowa Family Medicine/Psychiatry Combined Residency Program! I'm glad you are interested in learning more about us. I am really proud of this program and our fantastic residents. If you are considering combined training in Family Medicine and Psychiatry, I encourage you to read on and find out what Iowa has to offer. I’m sure we’ll be a great fit for you!

Our program opened in 1998, and since then it has flourished. A critical element for our success is that both of our core departments remain steadfast in their support for combined training. At Iowa, we have broad patient care experiences and excellent training for residents in both specialties, and our residents get to work with many outstanding faculty physicians here. Education is a priority in both of our departments, and our residents get to fully participate in learning activities in both departments.

The program's most important asset, however, is its residents. We have been lucky to consistently recruit an outstanding group of people to train here. I often hear from others around the hospital about how terrific my residents are. They are smart, hard-working, great team players, and they are dedicated to providing excellent care to their patients. But, they are not just colleagues, they have built strong friendships with each other. Residents get together after work to socialize, and they participate in community and volunteer/service activities as a group. Combined training is a unique and challenging pursuit, and the residents value their connection to others who share similar career passions.

In addition to combined training in family medicine and psychiatry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics also offers combined training in internal medicine and psychiatry. Because we have two combined training programs, we have a relatively large community of combined training folks, with up to 10 residents in each combined training program and five faculty members who have completed combined training.

Combined training prepares physicians to practice simultaneously as family doctors and psychiatrists, and there are numerous ways to practice these specialties in combination. Our graduates are practicing in private practice and academic settings, hospital and clinical sites, research and teaching. Each graduate has followed their own path, creating a niche in the broad arena where mental and physical health overlap. All of our graduates are sought by numerous employers who recognize the value of having a combined-trained physician on their staff.

I love my job. Maintaining active practices in both family medicine and psychiatry keeps me really busy but is extremely satisfying. Sometimes physicians or other people who work in healthcare ask me whether I spend more of my time as a family doctor or as a psychiatrist. I tell them I am always both! Importantly, my patients never worry about that, they are just happy that they can discuss their healthcare concerns with me, whether it is about their mental health or physical health.

If you are considering a combined training program in family medicine and psychiatry, take a look at our program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. If you have questions, please contact either of our program coordinators, Stephanie Wainwright (psychiatry) or Lauren Vignes (family medicine), or you can email me directly at We can also connect you with some of our residents who are happy to talk with medical students about why they chose combined training at Iowa.

Alison C. Lynch, MD MS
Clinical Associate Professor
Program Director, Combined Family Medicine & Psychiatry Residency
Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine
University of Iowa Health Care