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:

  • The 2011-2012 Best Doctors® database recognized 96 physicians from UI Children's Hospital
  • UI Children's Hospital ranked in all 10 specialties: orthopedics, nephrology, pulmonology, neonatology, cardiology and heart surgery, urology, gastroenterology, cancer, neurology and neurosurgery and diabetes and endocrinology. (U.S. News & World Report 2011-2012 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)
Twirling Dancer
Photo by University Relations Photography University of Iowa
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 citizens are non-white as are almost 13% of the patients seen in our pediatric clinic.

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.

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?

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% unemployment. Also check out The University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.

Is it possible to do an international elective in your program?

Yes! Residents can do International Health Electives in PGY2 and/or PGY3.

What are the fellowship opportunities available?

We currently have 28 fellows training in our 10 accredited fellowship programs.

Do you have a freestanding children's hospital?

The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital is a state of the art pediatric facility integrated within the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. A hospital within a hospital, the U of I Children’s Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UIHC, which is consistently ranked as one of America's Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. As part of an internationally recognized university teaching hospital, we have access to diagnostic equipment and treatment modalities that are not found at many freestanding children's hospitals. Clinics that are part of the U of I Children’s Hospital are easily identified by the quilt logo.

Is this a family friendly program?

Yes! We love children and support residents in their efforts to balance work with family life. We have several dual physician resident and faculty families and understand the stresses. 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. the resident picnic.

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

With 4,000 annual inpatient pediatric admissions and 110,000 clinic visits you will see plenty of the most common illnesses and trauma that children experience and plenty of the "zebras" as well. Our clinical practice serves the general pediatric health care needs of the local community and the subspecialty needs of the region. Our department receives referrals for specialized services from neighboring states as well.

Patients are referred from across the nation for certain specialized pediatric treatments and services, such as bone marrow transplantation, pediatric cardiology, otolaryngology, neurosurgery and orthopedics. In addition, we conduct clinics in other cities and towns throughout Iowa. Our patients represent all pediatric age groups and all socioeconomic strata and they present with virtually all acute and chronic conditions.

What is the program's balance between primary and specialty care?

We seek to provide each resident physician with a sufficiently broad experience that he or she can choose wisely among all the pediatric options to pursue a career in the general practice of pediatrics, a subspecialty service career or an academic career. About half of our graduates go on to practice general pediatrics while the other half go on to fellowships in pediatric subspecialties or academic pediatrics.

Do you have a research project requirement for graduation?
Lab Testing
Photo by University Relations Photography University of Iowa

While we do not have a requirement to complete a research project, we do encourage residents to work on bench or clinical research projects along with our faculty. The Department of Pediatrics ranks 2nd in public institutions for NIH funding and we have 2 Howard Hughes research investigators in our department. Two of our residents have won the prestigious Society of Pediatric Research's Resident Research Awards in the past couple of years.

If you have additional questions please contact our program coordinator at peds-res@uiowa.edu

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