Internal Medicine Residency Program - Des Moines

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Message from the Program Director

Schwiesow_Tyler MD_2017_DM_RGB.jpg Greetings and welcome! The University of Iowa – Des Moines Internal Medicine Residency Program is a community-based university-affiliated program with greater than 40 years of experience in training residents in the science and art of Internal Medicine. We foster academic rigor in a supportive, innovative, and collaborative learning and working environment. As a result, our residents develop broad-ranging skills that allow the pursuit of careers in locations throughout the United States, ranging from general Internal Medicine practice to subspecialty practice.

We offer ten categorical and two preliminary medicine positions each year. With training sites that have a spectrum of patient care experiences from primary to tertiary care, and a program size that allows for significant schedule customization, we are able to offer primary care, hospital medicine, and subspecialty medicine training tracks to help residents achieve their career goals. Historically, one-third of our residents choose to enter into subspecialty fellowship training, frequently obtaining positions in competitive specialties and at nationally recognized programs.

Our faculty consists of outstanding general Internists and subspecialists actively involved in one-on-one teaching and mentoring. Our residents also play a major role in education, mastering abilities necessary to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and growth of the knowledge and skills of students, residents, and faculty.

I trust that you will find the information on our site helpful. Please call, write, or email our office for more information. We look forward to helping you learn more about what our program has to offer.


Dr. Tyler Schwiesow
Program Director
University of Iowa - Des Moines Internal Medicine Residency Program
Iowa Methodist Medical Center
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

About Our Program

The University of Iowa - Des Moines Internal Medicine Residency Program at UnityPoint Health has provided superb clinical training since 1976. Our residents benefit from dedicated faculty and a wide variety of rotations in an environment that emphasizes both academic excellence and collegiality. Our graduates are well prepared to enter competitive fellowship programs or private practice as general internists or hospitalists.

  • Ten categorical and two preliminary year positions are offered in the match each year.
  • Our principal teaching hospital is Iowa Methodist Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma and academic medical center. Rotations will also occur at Methodist West Hospital.
  • Residents will see a diverse patient population as they rotate through our two additional teaching venues: Des Moines VA Medical Center and Broadlawns Medical Center, a county hospital.
  • Individual rotations (including international opportunities) are available on a case by case basis.
  • Superior clinician/educators provide 1:1 teaching and excellent supervision, while ensuring that the resident takes on increasing responsibilities and exercises meaningful autonomy.
  • Over 1/3 of residents enter fellowship, with a 96% match rate over the past 13 years.
Mission and Aims

Mission of Program

Provide an educational environment that will enable residents to acquire the medical knowledge, clinical and procedural skills, and professionalism necessary to practice independently as an internist in a variety of practice settings, and to have a solid foundation for potential subspecialty training.


  • Provide inpatient internal medicine and subspecialty training experiences, with supervised graduated autonomy, such that residents become proficient and confident in their practice.
  • Provide ambulatory medicine training necessary to effectively manage the spectrum of illness seen in an internal medicine practice and to support the health maintenance of an adult population.
  • Demonstrate and teach residents high-value care practices, and develop leadership skills in patient safety and quality improvement.
  • Provide ample clinical and scholarly activity opportunities, along with appropriate schedule flexibility, for educational experiences that support residents toward their professional goals.
  • Demonstrate and perpetuate collegial and supportive environments, with attention to resident and faculty emotional and physical well-being.
Outstanding Academics and Faculty

All rotations are taught by board certified faculty who participate in regular faculty development programs to further develop their supervision and teaching skills. The extensive formal education program covers a broad range of topics from general medicine and the internal medicine subspecialities. The curriculum also addresses topics from a variety of other disciplines.



Patient Care Responsibility

Residents work one-on-one with faculty during clinical rotations. Patients admitted to inpatient teaching services are always cared for by medical students and residents working with one teaching staff physician. Residents write all orders for patients assigned to their care.


Critical Care Training

Residents are required to maintain ACLS certification and demonstrate mastery of airway management, mechanical ventilator management and hemodynamic monitoring of critically ill patients. Residents can also obtain ATLS certification during residency training.

A number of program graduates have chosen a hospitalist career path after residency training and report that the hospital and critical care training they received prepared them well for this career path.


Ambulatory Internal Medicine

One of the highlights of our residency program is the General Internal Medicine teaching division and outstanding general internist teachers, role models and mentors. The continuity of care clinics in which our residents participate provide excellent exposure to a wide variety of ambulatory patient concerns and provide a wonderful opportunity to learn health prevention and health maintenance skills.


Internal Medicine Residency Program

Learn more about what life looks like for our residents!

Key Faculty

Curriculum Structure

The clinical curriculum is in a block format, as four weeks of inpatient rotations alternate with two weeks of ambulatory medicine throughout the first year of training. We believe that this approach allows us to teach more effectively the principles of inpatient and ambulatory medicine and reduces unnecessary handoffs and disruptions in care as residents learn the art and science of medicine. However, because we believe that we have an obligation to teach residents to balance competing clinical priorities as they prepare for life in practice or a fellowship, second- and third-year residents have a traditional schedule and attend continuity clinic once weekly on most clinical rotations throughout the year.

Outpatient Training
More than one-third of total training time is spent in a variety of outpatient settings. Each categorical resident participates in a continuity clinic experience that is embedded in the ambulatory blocks. This experience gives you an opportunity to see and care for a panel of patients with a variety of medical problems, covering both sexes and a wide spectrum of age and socioeconomic status.

Also included in the curriculum are additional separate rotations in ambulatory care medicine. These community-based ambulatory rotations allow residents to learn about all aspects of clinic operation, including: scheduling, charting, billing, insurance, medical record keeping and patient referrals.

Preceptors in rural settings are available to provide a different kind of general internal medicine training experience. You will also participate regularly in outpatient clinics during various subspecialty rotations.
Ambulatory Blocks
The ambulatory blocks that are part of our block scheduling provide an exceptional opportunity to learn and refine the principles and practice of ambulatory medicine. Without having to balance multiple competing clinical priorities, the first and second year resident can concentrate on the care of his or her panel of patients without distraction, and take advantage of the abundant learning opportunities that make up this experience. First year residents will have four continuity clinics each week of a two week ambulatory block. In addition, there will be an academic half-day each week, regularly scheduled time in the simulation lab to teach and evaluate critical skills, an adolescent experience, and outpatient gynecology, all regularly scheduled activities during this block. Second year residents will be able to incorporate many electives into this experience.
Our extensive formal education program is structured to cover a broad range of core internal medicine topics and important areas. We have daily noon lectures, weekly Grand Rounds, twice weekly Morning reports, and various other educational presentations throughout the year.
Procedural Skills

Residents will have the opportunity to learn the indications, contraindications, and complications of commonly performed procedures through engagement with source materials provided by the program. You will first learn and practice many of these invasive procedures in a simulation lab. Close bedside supervision by faculty physicians working one-on-one with you will help you master several procedures not ordinarily encompassed in all internal medicine residency programs.

Regularly Mastered Procedure Skills

  • Central venous line placement
  • Chest tube insertion
  • Arterial line insertion
  • Mechanical ventilator management
  • Thoracentesis
  • Paracentesis
  • Arthrocentesis
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Skin biopsy
  • Endotracheal intubation

There are tremendous opportunities for research available to residents in the program with excellent advisors and mentors to support and encourage those who elect to participate. Each year the program conducts a grand rounds devoted to "Research in Des Moines" where the results of research efforts for the prior year are highlighted. Information is also shared regarding new research opportunities available to residents in the upcoming year.

Residents and faculty publish and present results of this research at regional, national and even international scientific meetings. Several residents have initiated research projects during residency training that they will continue and take with them to their fellowship training site after graduation.

Research Resources

  • The Office of Clinical Research assist residents and faculty with clinical research studies.
  • The Iowa Oncology Research Association coordinates many clinical research projects studying prevention, screening and new treatments for cancer.
  • Hayden Smith, PhD, M.P.H., Research Coordinator, plays an active role assisting faculty and residents in the design, implementation and analysis of data in clinical research projects, as well as the final writing and submission of manuscripts.

In addition to the above resources, the Department of Research at Iowa Methodist Medical Center has strong ties with Drake University, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. Researchers from these three major universities may provide collaborative support when needed with such things as grant applications, research study design, statistics and writing manuscripts.

Preliminary Year

The University of Iowa - Des Moines Internal Medicine Residency program offers two one-year preliminary internal medicine positions designed to provide a solid year of internal medicine for those preparing to enter other specialties. The preliminary year provides exposure to diverse medical problems that provide a foundation for further training in a variety of different specialties. Note that the preliminary medicine residents have a traditional, not block, schedule.

If after completing the preliminary year, you choose to continue training in internal medicine, this preliminary year meets all requirements of the American Board of Internal Medicine for the first year of training. You would only need to complete two additional years of internal medicine residency training to meet board eligibility requirements.


  • Inpatient General Internal Medicine, IMMC, VAMC, BMC (16 weeks)
  • Inpatient Pulmonary Medicine, IMMC (4 weeks)
  • Inpatient Gastroenterology, IMMC (4 weeks)
  • ICU Medicine, IMMC (4 weeks)
  • Night Medicine (Mon-Fri) (2 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine, IMMC (4 weeks)
  • Ambulatory Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Electives (14 weeks)

Stipend and Benefits

The annual stipends for the respective levels are as follows (Effective Academic Year 2022-2023):
R1 - $65,985
R2 - $67,204
R3 - $69,038

Transition Allowance
$750 relocation allowance is given to all incoming residents
Health Insurance
Residents may choose from two health insurance plans that best suit their individual needs. Learn more about UnityPoint Health's benefits.

Life Insurance

The program provides group life insurance equal to the resident's annual stipend at no charge to the resident.

Resident Liability Coverage
General and professional liability coverage is provided for residents enrolled in the residency program through a combination of commercial insurance and self-insured retention. Coverages are no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $5,000,000 aggregate per policy year.

Short and Long-Term Disability Coverage
Short and long-term disability coverage is provided to residents. Short-term disability coverage (STD) is used when the resident is away from work for at least seven (7) days due to a non-work-related illness or injury. STD pays 60% of weekly earnings for a maximum of 26 weeks with no waiting period. Long-term disability insurance coverage ensures that residents will receive a minimum of 70% of their monthly salary if they are disabled due to illness or accident, on or off the job, following a 90-day qualifying period.

All residents receive 20 days of paid vacation per year.
Residents are allocated $800 per year that can be used to purchase textbooks, educational software or attend approved medical meetings.
  • Free Parking: All residents may park in a reserved area of the hospital parking facility at no charge.
  • Meal Stipends: A fixed monthly allowance is provided to residents for meals in the medical center cafeteria.
  • Paid Licensure: Fees for all licenses required by the residency program are paid by the program.
  • Lab Coats: Free lab coats are provided to all first-year residents.
  • Free Fitness Center on premises
  • Day care services on premises
  • Employee Assistance Center
  • Special Society Membership Benefit

Application Process

Residents are selected through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®), a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Applications to our residency programs are only accepted through ERAS.

Our selection process is based upon multiple factors, including general academic performance, clinical performance, letters of recommendation, personal qualities and achievements. The University of Iowa - Des Moines Internal Medicine Residency Program accepts applications from September through December.

  • J1 visas are sponsored, ECFMG certification is required to be considered for an interview
  • 6 months of US clinical experience strongly preferred (observerships do not count, must be hands on experience)

The selection committee reviews all material and interviews a select group of qualified applicants to fill the 10 categorical and 2 preliminary positions. Interviews will be conducted starting in October.


Applying to Residencies with ERAS®

Applications are only accepted through the Electronic Application Service (ERAS®), a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
ERAS Application

Current Residents

Our Graduates

The success of any training program is reflected by the success of its graduates. We are proud of our graduates' academic achievements and the standard of surgical care they provide their communities. Our program graduates have consistently maintained a high pass rate on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certifying examination.

Contact Us

Internal Medicine Residency Program
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
1415 Woodland Avenue
Suite 140
Des Moines, IA 50309

Katie Cook
Internal Medicine Residency Coordinator
(515) 241-6636

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