Internal Medicine Curriculum & Didactics 


The clinical curriculum of the internal medicine residency program is divided in four week blocks for a total of 13 blocks. Internal medicine residents spend a half a day weekly in the outpatient continuity clinic on most rotations. All rotations take place at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. 

First Year

24 weeks Inpatient Internal Medicine
4 weeks Geriatric Ambulatory Clinic
4 weeks Cardiology
4 weeks Community Health/Women's Health
4 weeks Emergency Medicine
4 weeks ICU/CCU
4 weeks Neurology
4 weeks Psychiatry

Second and Third Years

40-44 weeks Internal Medicine (Inpatient)
4 - 8 weeks Internal Medicine Ambulatory Clinic
12 weeks ICU/CCU
4 weeks Pulmonology
4 weeks Cardiology
4 weeks Endocrinology
4 weeks GI
4 weeks Hematology/Oncology
4 weeks Infectious Diseases
4 weeks Nephrology
4 weeks Rheumatology
12 weeks Electives*

*Available electives include: research, allergy, or additional time in subspecialty areas of interest. Residents are permitted to use one elective to "audition" at fellowship programs and/or future practice sites. 


Morning Report

Held on each weekday from 7-8 a.m. for residents on the inpatient teams.

Mortality & Morbidity

Mortality and Morbidity is a biweekly scheduled conference in which difficult medical problems and their complications are discussed by the residents and faculty. Each resident is required to document all cases in which they were involved in the prior month to include diagnosis, procedures, and complications (if any). Residents will be prepared to discuss each complication in detail with pertinent materials (x-rays, pathology, labs, etc). 


Internal Medicine residents have daily lectures over the lunch hour to meet the educational needs of the residents on a variety of topics.

The development of skills in critical appraisal of the medical literature is an important aspect of residency. All residents will be asked to participate in discussion of selected reports from the current literature. An important aspect of residency training and practice is to maintain an appreciation of contemporary knowledge and advances as they occur. This is achieved by attending meetings and conferences, review of the literature and daily discussion with colleagues. Every Friday afternoon there are lectures dedicated specifically for the Internal Medicine Residents.   Included in the Friday didactics are assigned readings from Internal Medicine Review text, a quiz, lecture and discussion, journal club, and a review of board questions.

Cardiology Conferences are coordinated with the Iowa Heart Center.

OMM Conferences occur with the faculty at Des Moines University.

Multidisciplinary Conferences

Mercy Medical Center offers a variety of conferences that are scheduled by the Medical Staff and Medical Education Offices and announced through the monthly calendar.

  • ACO Quality Conference
  • Cancer Conference
  • Gynecology Cancer Conference
  • Hematology Cancer Conference
  • Lung Cancer Conference
  • Neuroscience Conference
  • Neurology/Radiology/Neurosurgery (N/R/N)
  • Trauma Conference
  • Urology Cancer Conference 

Des Moines University

Simulation Laboratory

Residents participate in SIM lab as part of the orientation process. This session includes debriefing by faculty.

Standardized Patient Assessment Lab (SPAL)

Residents have the opportunity to have their patient interviewing and communication skills tested. Feedback is provided by program faculty.

OPTI Resident Education Days

Held two times per year (April and September) to include SIM Lab, Skills Lab, OMM and other professional development.

ACP In-Training Examination

This annual exam serves as an assessment tool and check point for residents in training. It provides Program Directors with data regarding each resident’s level of knowledge as compared to other internal medicine residents across the U.S.

Scholarly & Quality Improvement Projects

Residents are required to develop a research project/paper according to specifics guidelines set forth by the Residency Evaluation and Standards Committee (RESC) of the ACGME. Second year residents are required to participate in a Quality improvement project with a poster presentation at the annual Mercy Hospital QI & Research Showcase.


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1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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