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Release: July 9, 1999

U.S. News ranks three UI Hospitals and Clinics medical specialties in top 10

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three medical specialties at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are considered among the top 10 in the United States and another seven specialties are in a group of the best 50, according to the 1999 annual survey of the nation’s best hospitals released by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

"We’re honored to again have the expertise of our physicians, nurses and support staff nationally recognized," said R. Edward Howell, director and CEO of the UI Hospitals and Clinics. "To have 10 of our medical specialties highly ranked underscores the wide breadth of high quality health care that Iowans have at their university hospital," he said.

Howell noted that only 13 hospitals -- including the UI Hospitals and Clinics -- placed three or more medical specialties in the top 10. "The consistency of these high rankings over several years puts us in very elite company," Howell said. "The entire state of Iowa should be very proud."

Howell was referring to the ranking of the hospital's department of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery, which was again ranked second by U.S. News & World Report. The department of ophthalmology and the visual sciences again ranked sixth in the magazine’s listings and the department of orthopaedic surgery retained its high ranking in eighth place. Seven other UI Hospitals and Clinics medical specialties ranked among the top 50 in their categories among U.S. hospitals. Neurology and neurosurgery is 12th, geriatrics 21st, rheumatology 27th, gastroenterology 31st, cancer services 32nd, endocrinology 37th and gynecology 48th.

Howell noted that the UI Hospitals and Clinics medical specialties cited for special excellence "align very well with the demographics and health needs of the state’s residents. It should be reassuring to Iowans to know that they don’t have to travel out of state to get health care for their special occupational or age-related needs."

The complex methodology used by U.S. News & World Report for computing the rankings includes a combination of reputation, mortality rate and other data, including the number of nurses providing patient care. Reputational data are secured from a nationwide survey of board certified physicians.

The UI Hospitals and Clinics was the only Iowa hospital included in the 1999 rankings of best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. The complete rankings are available on the World Wide Web at

U.S. News & World Report provides only one measure of the services available through UI Health Care, the partnership between the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the UI College of Medicine. In April 152 UI Hospitals and Clinics physicians were listed on the "Best Doctors in America" database -- half the total number of 'Best Doctors' in Iowa.

Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranks the College of Medicine among the top 30 graduate schools for medical education; the college's primary care and rural medicine programs ranks in the top 10. The college also received a Silver Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians for its efforts to produce graduates who enter the field of family practice.