Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

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Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver
College of Medicine
Type Flagship
Established 1870[1]
Dean Patricia Winokur
Academic staff
Students 1,123[3]
Location Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.

The Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine (CCOM, Carver) is the medical school of the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City, in the U.S. state of Iowa. The first medical college associated with the University of Iowa was founded in 1850, in the small town of Keokuk, but the current Iowa City program can trace its roots to 1870. The program became notable as the first co-educational medical school in the United States, and was one of 22 original members of the Association of American Medical Colleges in 1876.[1]

The College has a national reputation for excellence; in 2011, its primary care program was ranked 9th in the country, and its research program 26th by U.S. News & World Report.[2] The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where students train, also received positive marks from the report, ranking nationally in 13 specialties, including top ten rankings for orthopedics, ophthalmology and otolaryngology.[4]


The Iowa State Legislature approved plans for medical training on the main campus of the University of Iowa in 1868, and ten women were among the first class in 1870.[5] The first purpose-built university hospital did not open its doors until 1898, however, and the influential 1910 Flexner Report recommended the school either reform substantially or close its doors, calling it a "well-intentioned but feeble institution."[6] However, the report was optimistic as to Iowa's potential, seeing it "in position to duplicate the honorable record which the University of Michigan has, under similar circumstances, made at Ann Arbor."[6]

Over the next decade, Iowa responded to the report's challenges. The UI hospitals' clinical capacity was increased tenfold, from 50 to 500 beds, and in 1919, the legislature passed the Haskell-Klaus Act, which provided state-paid medical care to all poor children and adults. In 1922, the Rockefeller Foundation gave the University $2.25 million, with state matching funds, to build a new University Hospital on the west campus, where the modern hospital buildings remain today. Statewide ambulance service began in 1932, allowing all Iowans access to the UI hospitals.[5]

By the middle part of the 20th century, medical research at the University of Iowa began making an impact. In 1939, Iowa researchers developed modern blood banking and UI hospitals became the first in the world to develop a successful method of freezing human sperm, leading to a live birth in 1952. Other innovations from this period include the first human EEG recordings, first description of how blood is supplied to the prostate gland, the Ponseti Method of surgical treatment of clubfoot, and one of the world's first heart-lung machines.[7]

In 1998, the UI hospitals were certified as a Level I Trauma Center with pediatric commitment by the American College of Surgeons. In 2002, in recognition of $90 million in total contributions, the UI College of Medicine was renamed after Roy J. Carver and his widow, Lucille A. Carver.[5]


Student Body Profile[edit]

152 total:

  • In state (101)/ out of state (51)
  • 11 MSTP
  • 40% female (61)

GPA: total (3.74)/ 3.71 (science)/ 3.79 (nonscience)

MCAT (new): CARS (127)/ PSBB (128)/ CPBS (128)/ BBFL (128).[8]


Carver College of Medicine Departments[9]
Basic Science Departments
Clinical Departments


There are 879 faculty and more than 3,000 staff. The student body includes 583 medical students, 650 resident and fellow physicians, 200 associated medical science students, and 5,000 undergraduate students.

Medical School Curriculum[edit]

CCOM underwent a major change in their curriculum that went into effect in Aug 2014 for the Class of 2018. This involved shortening the preclinical curriculum to 18 months, and moving Step 1 to after completion of the core clinical rotations.


After an introductory semester in a Foundations Block, the curriculum is then composed of 3 distinct courses - mechanisms of health and disease (MOHD), medicine and society (MAS), and clinical and professional skills (CAPS). [10]

Grading for MAS and CAPS is pass/fail, but for Foundations/MOHD it is honors/near honors/pass/fail (not normalized).


Core rotations[edit]

The 48 weeks of required core rotations are composed of 4 separate blocks of 12 weeks each: ambulatory, inpatient, neurology/psychiatry, and selectives. [11][12]

The Ambulatory Practice Module (APM) includes outpatient internal medicine, family medicine, and community based primary care.

The inpatient block includes inpatient internal medicine, ObGyn, pediatrics, and surgery.

For psychiatry and neurology, students complete 4 weeks in each service and have 4 additional weeks to get ahead on selectives.

Finally, for selectives, students choose to complete 6 rotations of 2 weeks each in anesthesia, dermatology, lab med EKG, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, radiology, and urology.

Teaching affiliates[edit]

  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC)
  • Iowa City VA Hospital
  • Des Moines Medical Education Consortium (Broadlawns Medical Center, Blank Children's Hospital, Iowa Lutheran, Iowa Methodist)
  • Clinics throughout Iowa (mostly private)

Distinction tracks[edit]

CCOM offers multiple tracks to allow give students a structured way to explore additional interests above and beyond the traditional medical school curriculum. [13]


Recognizes completion of coursework, time spent working with a mentor, and teaching experiences.

Global Health[edit]

Involves an elective rotation abroad and learning about service, policy making, research and teaching.


Requires a substantial investment of time in a research project and either a publication or presentation.


Develops students' abilities in ethics, writing and humanities.

Healthcare Delivery[edit]

New as of 2016, with the Tippie College of Business as the major partner, completion of a series of courses in business allow for a better understanding of how to improve healthcare delivery.


Recognizes commitment to helping the underserved.

Other Programs[edit]


The CCOM Rural Iowa Scholars Program offers to help offset the costs of attendance in return for a commitment to serve as a primary care provider in rural Iowa.

Community Health Outreach[edit]

CHO is a 2 year elective with an emphasis on service learning. The course is organized and led by second year medical students, and combines classroom learning with experiences serving through local organizations. To complete the program, students must carry out a self-directed project with an underserved or vulnerable population.

Local partners include the local Ronald McDonald House, and Grow Johnson County. [14]

Introduction to Medical Education at Iowa[edit]

IMEI is a 6 week summer program for a cohort of ~20 pre-M1 students designed to allow students to adapt life in Iowa City and prepare for the rigors of medical school academics in the fall. The program has been running for ~20 years.

The program consists is primarily composed of selected sample of classes that students will encounter in the fall (covering biochemistry, anatomy, anatomy lab, genetics).

In 2016, there were also some social events included, such as a night out to watch the MLB minor league team play (Cedar Rapids Kernels), a progressive dinner, and an afternoon grill party at City Park.

In 2016, there was a stipend of ~$3000 offered to offset any costs incurred in participating.[15]


UI Carver College of Medicine received $228.1 million in external research funding in FY 2010.[16]

Centers within the Carver College of Medicine[edit]

  • Center on Aging
  • Center for Auditory Regeneration and Deafness
  • Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of 39 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation
  • Cardiovascular Research Center
  • Craniofacial Research Center
  • Cystic Fibrosis Research Center
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center
  • Center for Functional Genomics of Hypertension
  • Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis and Other Genetic Diseases
  • General Clinical Research Center
  • Huntington’s Disease Society of America Huntington’s Disease Center
  • Center for the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice
  • George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Center
  • Iowa Comprehensive Lung Imaging Center
  • Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration
  • Senator Paul D. Wellstone Cooperative Research Center
  • Specialized Center of Research in Osteoarthritis
  • Helen C. Levitt Center for Viral Pathogenesis and Disease

Research programs[edit]

  • Program Project Grant on Atherosclerosis
  • Bacterial Respiratory Pathogens Research Unit
  • Cancer and Aging Program
  • Cerebral Vascular Biology Program Project Grant
  • Program in Gene Discovery
  • Research Program in Genetics of Prematurity
  • Inflammation Program
  • Pain Research Program
  • NIH Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°39′37″N 91°32′54″W / 41.660168°N 91.548364°W / 41.660168; -91.548364