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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 18, 2003

Emergency Medicine Residency Program Receives Approval

University of Iowa President David Skorton announced yesterday during a meeting with the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, that University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids have received approval to begin training resident physicians in the specialty of emergency medicine.

"It is very rare for a new residency training program to receive approval the first time it applies for accreditation," Skorton said. "This achievement is the result of literally hundreds of people at St. Luke's and the University of Iowa working together as partners to benefit seriously ill and injured patients."

The approval comes from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The new emergency medicine residency program received provisional approval for a three-year period.

"There is such a critical need everywhere for specialists in emergency medicine," said Theodore E. Townsend, St. Luke's president and chief executive. "We compliment the leadership at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Carver College of Medicine for creating an innovative partnership between our community-based hospital and their major academic medical center, because this effort will improve access to health care for people locally and across the country."

"This is very good news for the people of Iowa," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, director and CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics. "We are pleased that the ACGME recognized the need to train specialists in emergency medicine who will serve all Iowans now and in the future."

"The residency program will allow us to train the next generation of emergency medicine physicians and that will greatly enhance our efforts to meet the needs for emergency medicine in rural areas," said Jean Robillard, M.D., dean of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

The Emergency Treatment Center and the Trauma Center at UI Hospitals and Clinics serves more than 30,000 patients a year. St. Luke's treats about 52,500 emergency cases annually. The Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons recently verified the Trauma Center at UI Hospitals and Clinics as a Level I trauma center.

"We are thrilled to be the primary training site for Iowa's first Emergency Medicine residency. This is a critical step in improving emergency care for all the citizens of Iowa," said Eric W. Dickson, M.D., newly appointed director of the Emergency Treatment Center at UI Hospitals and Clinics and director of the Program in Emergency Medicine at the UI Carver College of Medicine.

ACGME is a private professional organization responsible for the accreditation of nearly 7,800 residency education programs. Residency education is the period of clinical education in a medical specialty that follows graduation from medical school, and prepares physicians for the independent practice of medicine. The ACGME's volume of accredited programs makes it one of the largest private accrediting agencies in the country, if not the world.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,