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Frequently Asked Questions

Does your program accept Nurse Practitioners?

Beginning February 1, 2022 the program will transition to accepting PA applicants only for subsequent application cycles. The decision was based on the program's recent accreditation with ARC-PA and allows the program to stay consistent with requirements and language in the curriculum needed to meet the standards for accreditation. The University of Iowa Department of Emergency Medicine continues to believe in the value of standardized high quality training for all advanced practice providers to prepare them to work effectively in team-based emergency medicine care.

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. It’s 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:

  • University of Iowa Health Care was ranked as the number 5 employer in the Health Care industry category and number 14 over all. (Forbes Magazine 2017)
  • U.S. News & World Report: The national new magazine’s “America’s Best Hospitals” rankings for 2019-20 include two clinical specialties in the Top 10 – Ear, Nose and Throat (6th), Ophthalmology (6th) and four others in the top 50.
  • Iowa City named #2 best place to live (Livability.com 2017)
  • U.S. News & World Report: 2019-20 "Best Hospitals" ranked University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics #1 out of 125 hospitals in Iowa.
  • Iowa City was named the #3 best city to live in America (Outside Magazine 2015)


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 City residents 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 the 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.

Are there any job opportunities for my spouse/significant other?

Yes, in September 2017, Iowa City had an average of 2.4% unemployment.

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

Yes!  Past residents have done international electives in Africa, Mexico, Haiti, Indonesia, and Burma.

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. 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.

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

Currently, the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Emergency Department (ED) sees approximately 60,000 patients per year. Of these, approximately 82% are adults, and 18% pediatrics. Trauma patients represented approximately 22% of our patients, surgical non-trauma 8%, medical 58%, obstetric 5%, and psychiatric 8%. Of the patients seen in the ED, 35% are admitted to the hospital with approximately 6% being admitted to an intensive care unit. 

What's University of Iowa got that other programs don't have?

  • Highly integrated with a well established Emergency Medicine Physician Residency Program curriculum.
  • We have a diverse faculty with diverse interests including critical care, ultrasound, simulation, sports medicine, international medicine, emergency medicine services, toxicology, and others.
  • Our Emergency Department supports a full time clinical pharmacist that assists with patient care and is highly involved in our research programs.
  • We have 24-hours a day of full social work support dedicated to the Emergency Department.
  • The use of ultrasound in the practice of Emergency Medicine is expanding exponentially. The University of Iowa Emergency Department recently purchased new, state of the art ultrasound equipment to assist our residents in learning this fundamental skill. The residency program also supports a full time director of the ultrasound curriculum.
  • Medical simulation is used extensively within the residency training program. The residency has a full time simulation director who coordinates this area of the residency curriculum. Residents receive training using high-fidelity simulators to augment their clinical experience.  
  • Iowa City is a highly intellectual community with premier arts events that are accessible to residents in terms of cost and location.
  • We have an outstanding school system for children in grades K-12.
  • A great training program and a high quality of life at an affordable price.

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