Curriculum Internal Medicine | UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

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The clinical curriculum of the internal medicine residency program is provided in a block format, as four weeks of an 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, thrice weekly Morning reports, and various other educational presentations throughout the year.