University of Iowa College of Medicine - Physician Scientist Training Pathway

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The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine is dedicated to fostering the development of physician-scientists. A flagship initiative of the College is the Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP), a program focused on training the next generation of leaders in medicine and science. Perhaps unique among such programs, the PSTP spans eight clinical departments and offers exceptional clinical and scientific training to physician-scientists in fields from dematology to radiation oncology[1]. The PSTP encourages applications from all trainees interested in a physician-scientist career.

University of Iowa Physician Scientist Training Pathway
Specialty Multidisciplinary
Hospital affiliation(s)
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; Iowa City VA Medical Center
Academic affiliation
University of Iowa
Director Joel Kline, MD
Director email
Associate director
David Stoltz, MD, PhD
Associate director email
Assistant director
Yatin Vyas, MBBS/MD
Assistant director email
Sasha Alexander, Executive Assistant
Administrator email
Program email
Location Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America
Website University of Iowa PSTP
Telephone (319) 384-4736
NRMP Number
Varies by discipline

Program Description

The PSTP at the University of Iowa is a multidisciplinary, structured training pathway to facilitate the launch of an academic medical career for aspiring physician-scientists. Eight departments formally participate in the PSTP[1]:

  • Dermatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiation Oncology

Other departments may participate, and interested applicants should contact the program directors of those departments as well as the PSTP program director to discuss their interest. The PSTP, regardless of department, is designed for applicants with a significant history of scientific research. While primarily designed for those trainees who have completed an MD and a PhD, a PhD is not required so long as the applicant demonstrates a history of outstanding basic or clinical research experience.

No trainee is the same as another, and the PSTP is customized to fit each trainee's career goals and specialty training interests. The PSTP features optimized, short-track residency training in those specialties (e.g. Internal Medicine, Pediatrics) that support this option. All trainees receive personalized career mentorship, enhanced flexibility in clinical rotations and research training, dedicated research time, and supplemental funds for salary enhancement and academic expenses. The length of time to train varies depending on the specialty.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is the primary tertiary referral center for the state of Iowa and portions of surrounding states, providing a broad range of clinical cases across all disciplines of medicine and representing an ideal training environment regardless of clinical discipline. The University ranks among the top 50 institutions by NIH funding[2][3] and is the recipient of over $500 million in total research funding from all sources[4]. The clinical departments at the University of Iowa include many physician-scientists of national renown on their faculty, and several are in the top 25 (pediatrics), top 40 (medicine, neurology, psychiatry) and top 50 (OB/Gyn) in terms of NIH funding nationwide[2]. Major research initiatives include programs studying cystic fibrosis, cancer, ophthalmology, and bioinformatics. Outside of the lab and clinic, Iowa City is consistently atop the lists of best places to live, with cultural activities (befitting a UNESCO City of Literature), sports, livability, and affordability rivaling any other college town[4].

The PSTP has strong support from the leadership of the College of Medicine[5] and is a symbol of the dedication of the University of Iowa to advancing the science of human health and of training the next generation of leaders in academic medicine. Nearly 30 trainees have completed the pathway, and many are members of the faculty at leading universities nationwide. A testament to the strength of the University of Iowa, many have chosen to continue their careers at the University of Iowa, including a number of NIH career development award recipients. With over 20 trainees currently in the program, the PSTP is one of the largest such enterprises in the country.

For the specifics of each department's involvement in the PSTP, please visit the website of the department or contact the PSTP Program Director and the Program Director of the residency or fellowship program of interest. A few departments will be briefly highlighted here.

Internal Medicine






Application Process

Each department has its own admissions procedures, and applicants should visit the websites of the participating departments[1] for full details. For all departments, applicants should apply to the categorical residency program of their choice. They should concurrently submit the PSTP application and send a current CV to The program prefers to interview applicants to Internal Medicine, Pathology, and Pediatrics on specific dates[6], and other departments may have preferred dates as well. However, the program may be flexible if these dates are not available. The interview process will take place over a single day, with an extended interview day featuring a chance to interact with potential research mentors at the university. Applicants able to attend one of the two preferred interview dates will be invited to have dinner at the home of the PSTP Program Director and meet current trainees in the PSTP as well as program faculty.

IM: 1203140C0

Short description of the application process, including information on the interview day(s), supplemental application (if any), and other specific information related to the research pathway application.

Program Information

Program Highlights

  • Length of Program: Normal Years; Research Track years (if different)
  • Number of protected research months:
  • Overall Size: Total Students; Students Per Year
  • Research Track Size: Total Students; Students Per Year
  • Separate NRMP Code for Research Pathway: Yes/No
  • Research Opportunities: (Department Only vs. Campus Wide)
  • Benefits:
  • Career Development Opportunities: Types of mentorship, grant writing/funding opportunities, Additional funds for conferences requiring travel, etc


  • Job Placement: (Percent in Academic/Private/Industry/Other)
  • Funding success: (K-awards, R-awards, F-awards, etc)

Program Tracks

If applicable list research tracks (ie Pathology has AP/CP, AP only, CP only)

Pertinent Fellowships

If applicable, please list clinical fellowships available at your institution that incorporate research as a core element of their training plan.

Contact Information


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 PSTP Participating Departments
  2. 2.0 2.1 BRIMR Research Funding Rankings
  3. Carver College of Medicine Research Facts
  4. 4.0 4.1 University of Iowa Rankings and Facts
  5. Vice President and Dean's Message on PSTP
  6. PSTP Admissions/Application