CONTACT: C. LINDON LARSON
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9569; fax (319) 335-8034
Sioux City medical education project opens new phase in UI partnership
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Groundbreaking ceremonies usually symbolize beginnings.
But when the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation initiated work on a
training center in Sioux City June 4, the event marked continued partnership
as well as a new start.
For more than 20 years, the foundation has collaborated with Sioux City
hospitals and the University of Iowa College of Medicine to train physicians
and other health professionals. It is one of several such organizations
across Iowa that are formally affiliated with the UI.
"Regional programs like the Siouxland Foundation were established
in the 1970s to coordinate local medical residencies, continuing education
for physicians and other activities," says Roger Tracy, director of
the Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs at the UI College of
Medicine and a member of the Siouxland Foundation's board of directors.
"Most are incorporated entities with strong ties to local hospitals
and private medical practices."
The new 32,000-square-foot building will serve as headquarters for the
foundation and provide education and clinical facilities. Central to its
plan is a model medical office with 24 examination and treatment rooms.
Family medicine residents -- new physicians pursuing a three-year program
for certification in the specialty -- and foundation medical faculty will
staff the office, providing medical care to patients from the surrounding
area. The project is scheduled for completion next July.
The Sioux City-based foundation has a faculty of seven full-time family
physicians, a clinical pharmacist, a nurse practitioner and a family counselor.
However, much of its teaching is conducted by more than 100 area physicians
who teach residents and students at private medical offices and local hospitals
on a voluntary basis.
"Community physicians are integral to the success of our regional
medical education affiliates," Tracy says. "Thanks to their contributions,
we are able to provide Iowa with new generations of physicians who understand
the challenges and rewards of community medicine."
Other UI-affiliates are headquartered in Davenport, Des Moines, Mason
City and Waterloo. A Cedar Rapids affiliation is expected soon.
Though residency training in family medicine is a primary responsibility
for regional medical education organizations, they fulfill many other roles
With increased emphasis on community-based experience in the UI medical
curriculum, regional centers have become valuable partners in teaching
undergraduate medical students. They also provide training and practice
experience for pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and
other health professionals.
The Sioux City project will have long-term benefits for the area and
the state, Tracy says. "The center will help attract tomorrow's health
professional workforce. It is an investment in the future of the Siouxland
region," he explains. UI research shows that 60 percent of family
medicine residents who train in Iowa remain in the state to begin practice,
a quarter of them in the areas where they trained.