The Department of Surgery offers didactic instruction as well as clinical and other practical experiences for medical students. It also hosts a wide spectrum of clinical and scientific research.

The department also plays a primary instructional role in University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Perfusion Technology Program.

Student at a whiteboard with a scientific calculation visible.


The faculty's strengths center in pathophysiology and problems of severe burns, trauma, organ transplantation, surgical control of morbid obesity, surgical oncology, bowel disease, biliary tract disease, pediatric surgery, endocrine disease, plastic surgery, diseases of the esophagus, artificial organs, pediatric cardiac surgery, transplantation, and vascular surgery. Research also is under way in the sequence of mutations and in localization of genes predisposed to cancer.

Department of Surgery courses provide a unique combination of experience oriented toward patient care and understanding of surgery's place among a physician's skills. Surgery courses are open only to M.D. students and qualified students in associated health sciences.

Students develop an awareness of surgery's role in the treatment of disease. Emphasis is placed on general surgery, basic emergency surgery, trauma, oncology, burns, gastrointestinal and biliary tract disease, endocrine disease, pediatric surgery, transplantation, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and peripheral vascular surgery.

The majority of surgery courses involve patient-centered discussions and practical exercises interwoven with operating room experience. Lectures and conferences are scheduled regularly on specific topics.

The department offers independent study courses in selected surgery topics and clinical experiences; some are available to fourth-year M.D. students by arrangement with the faculty.

Abundant patient contact provides education in a wide variety of surgical diseases. The Department of Surgery provides training in the only burn unit in Iowa approved by the American College of Surgeons and in the Level I Trauma Center at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Laboratories provide equipment, space, and technical expertise to support teaching and a wide spectrum of clinical and scientific research. Projects are available in gastrointestinal surgery, surgical microbiology, peripheral vascular surgery, transplantation, wound healing, organ preservation, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, and surgical oncology.

The laboratories also are used for supervised teaching exercises in surgical technique for medical students and junior residents, and for refinement of technique for senior residents and faculty members.

Surgery Courses

SURG:8301 Clinical Surgery 6 s.h.

Experience as active member of surgical team; work on inpatient units, in clinics and operating room; assist in elective and emergency patient care.

SURG:8401 Advanced General Surgery 4 s.h.

Opportunity to strengthen clinical skills through experiences in the operating rooms, clinics, wards, and intensive care units of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

SURG:8402 Advanced Inpatient Subinternship in General Surgery 4 s.h.

Responsibility for management of selected surgical inpatients, on a surgical service. Prerequisites: SURG:8301.

SURG:8406 General Surgery, Des Moines, IA 4 s.h.

Care of general surgery patients in private hospital setting. Prerequisites: SURG:8301.

SURG:8407 Intensive Care Unit - Trauma, Iowa Methodist 4 s.h.

Subinternship on trauma service team; evaluation and management of critically ill patients in the emergency room, operating room, intensive care unit. Prerequisites: SURG:8301. Requirements: fourth-year M.D. enrollment.

SURG:8409 General Surgery, Davenport, IA 4 s.h.

Participation in diagnosis and management of general surgical patients under supervision of attending surgeons from Davenport Surgical Group, Genesis Medical Center. Prerequisites: SURG:8301. Requirements: fourth-year M.D. enrollment.

SURG:8411 Multidisciplinary Breast Elective 2,4 s.h.

Evaluation and management of benign and malignant breast diseases; focus on multidisciplinary nature of treatment of breast disease; for students who plan to pursue residency in general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, or other field with focus on women's health. Requirements: M.D. enrollment.

SURG:8419 Advanced Inpatient Subinternship in Plastic Surgery 4 s.h.

Exposure to a wide range of educational opportunities and to the complexity and diversity of health care in the plastic surgery setting related to policies, environment, cultural, socioeconomic, and financial considerations; provides experience in all areas of plastic surgery; for students with an interest in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Requirements: M.D. enrollment.

SURG:8460 Surgical Residency Preparation 4 s.h.

Preparation for surgical residency; focus on application of knowledge and skills accumulated through medical school to surgical patient care; development of an advanced understanding of preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care of patients, critical care knowledge, communication skills, and technical skills necessary for surgical specialties. Requirements: M.D. enrollment.

SURG:8497 Research in Surgery arr.

Medical research, clinical or laboratory projects; individual study.

SURG:8498 Surgery On Campus arr.

Surgery on campus; individually arranged. Prerequisites: SURG:8301.

SURG:8499 Surgery Off Campus arr.

Prerequisites: SURG:8301.