Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Medical Student Training

The OBGyn clerkship is a required six-week core clerkship completed by all UI CCOM medical students during Phase II of the New Horizons curriculum. The majority of the students complete this clerkship at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC in Iowa City) while a small number choose to complete their OBGyn clerkship (among others) at the Broadlawns Medical Center (BMC) in Des Moines. The OBGyn clerkship curriculum at the UIHC site and the BMC site is equivalent (although not identical). Students at the BMC site have access to all online resources through Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and the OBGyn ICON course website.

During the OBGyn core clerkship, medical students are exposed to the specialty through inpatient and outpatient experiences, including (at the UIHC site) a weekly continuity clinic with an assigned provider in the department. Other non-clinical educational opportunities include a DEI seminar and quiz, sexual history communication session facilitated by faculty from the Department of OBGyn and CCOM standardized patients as well as a student-designed OR crash course. Physician Assistant (PA) students also rotate in our department for a one-month exposure to women's health. PA students and medical students are assigned to outpatient clinics and work alongside residents, fellows, faculty, and other inter-professional preceptors.

Department of OBGyn faculty members facilitate small groups in the preclinical curriculum. They also give didactic lectures during the preclinical curriculum and the OBGyn core clerkship. In addition to participation in didactic and clinical teaching for the core OBGyn clerkship, the majority of faculty members in the Department of OBGyn serve as mentors for medical student research projects, quality improvement initiatives, and distinction track projects.

For the advanced (Phase III), OBGyn-interested medical students, the department offers sub-internships in Gynecologic Oncology and High-Risk Obstetrics (Maternal-Fetal Medicine). There are also advanced electives in Uro-Gynecology, Family Planning, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), and Translational Science in Reproductive Health, among others. 

Clerkship Director: Sarah Shaffer, DO MME
Assistant Clerkship Director: Michael Haugsdal, MD
Clerkship Coordinator: Sally Fisher