In the early 1970’s, Waterloo was experiencing a shortage of family physicians. Through the efforts of the local hospitals, area physicians and community leaders, the Northeast Iowa Medical Education Foundation was founded in 1975 to develop a Family Medicine training program. The Family Medicine Residency Program is the branch of the Foundation which provides physicians with three years of additional training in the specialty of family medicine. During their training, resident physicians provide comprehensive health care under the supervision of board certified family medicine physicians. Upon graduation, these physicians provide a potential source of family physicians settling to practice in the community.
Dr. Charles A. Waterbury, a long-time Waterloo family physician, became the Foundation’s first program director in 1976. The Residency Program has grown from five resident physicians in 1978 to our current number of 18 and has graduated 216 family medicine physicians. Fifty three (60%) of the graduates are currently practicing in the Cedar Valley, and another 36 are practicing elsewhere in the state of Iowa. The other 127 are practicing in 29 states and 3 foreign countries.
Resident training takes place in the hospital setting, in private physician offices and in the Northeast Iowa Family Practice Center. During their three-year training program,
the physicians receive training in internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, pediatrics, emergency medicine, family medicine, community medicine, psychiatry and behavioral science, orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology and dermatology. In addition, they may use elective time to concentrate on specialties and sub-specialties of their choice.
The Northeast Iowa Family Practice Center serves as the base of training for the Northeast Iowa Residency Program. The Center’s environment is modeled after a private medical office. Resident and Faculty physicians offer a wide range of professional services to their patients, including in-house laboratory and x-ray, prenatal OB care, deliveries, and post-partum care, and in-house procedures such as colonoscopies, colposcopies, treadmill, bone density exams, and many others. (See Clinic Services) This community-based Residency Program allows residents to provide medical care in a similar environment to that which they might enter upon graduation from the Program.
During their three-year training period, resident physicians provide comprehensive medical care to a group of over 7,700 active patients at the Northeast Iowa Family Practice Center. Residents may consult with faculty physicians during patient visits. Patients requiring care in the hospital are seen by both resident and faculty physicians.
Area physicians are committed to the Northeast Iowa Family Medicine Residency Program. Nearly all private physicians in the area volunteer to teach the skills and procedures resident physicians will need in private practice.
Physicians selected to be residents in the Northeast Iowa Family Medicine Residency Program are all graduates of accredited medical schools. The Waterloo Program recruits medical school graduates of the highest caliber, taking into consideration personal characteristics, aptitude and academic achievements.
Graduates of the Northeast Iowa Family Medicine Residency Program are eligible to sit for the certification examination in the specialty of family medicine. This examination is administered by the American Board of Family Medicine, which is the specialty board that certifies family physicians.
The Residency Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which is composed of representatives of five national associations interested in medical education. These associations are the American Board of Medical Specialties, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. The ACGME accredits residency programs through their Residency Review Committees with each specialty having its own committee.
Educational activities of the Foundation include the Family Medicine Residency Program, undergraduate medical education, continuing medical education, and medical research. The Foundation is sponsored by Allen Memorial Hospital and Covenant Medical Center.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation includes five representatives each from Allen Memorial Hospital and Covenant Health System. Additional members include the Director of Community-Based Programs from the University of Iowa and the Northeast Iowa Family Medicine Residency Program Director.
The Foundation has a written contractual agreement with Allen Memorial Hospital and Covenant Medical Center to provide an approved graduate training program. In return, the hospitals jointly support the program and finance it with assistance from third-party reimbursement.
The Foundation and the participating hospitals have a written academic affiliation agreement with The University of Iowa College of Medicine.