Being a born and raised Texan, Iowa was never on my list of states I expected for my future. The match process is unlike securing a first job for most professions, and it can lead to unique twists in life. While I didn’t know it at the time, I am so grateful we matched to the UIHC. If you are not sure where to find Iowa City on a map, you are in for a surprise. Iowa City is a hidden gem for families!
The Iowa City area is the type of town where I am sure to run into someone I know everywhere I go. There is a great scene of local shops and cafes to explore. Throughout the summer and fall, countless festivals and community events fill up the calendar. Even the holiday season is sprinkled with magic to help ease us into the long Iowa winters (but even these are relatively mild). The school districts provide a great education, regardless of the elementary school to which you are zoned. The libraries in the area are unparalleled. The housing market is hot and provides options that are affordable.
Furthermore, you have the opportunity to join a community of other families enduring medical education. Iowa Medical Partners (IMP) is a group of the partners and spouses of medical and dental students, residents and fellows. We are an active group that provides many events each month including play groups, a children’s activity, an adults only event, a family event, a book club, and philanthropic events. Additionally, we have a private facebook group and an instagram account that provides a platform for members to connect. Whether you are looking for baby sitter recommendations, for date night suggestions, or for friends with whom to commiserate when your spouse is a captive of the hospital, IMP is here to help you thrive in your new home.
So you matched to UIHC… now what? Here is a little input about the surrounding neighboorhoods that you might decide to claim as home:
West Iowa City: Living in University Heights or west Iowa City (especially those living east of Mormon Trek Blvd) will place you the closest to the hospital and the football stadium. Many residents and fellows who live in this area walk or bike to work. The schools on the west side are great (we love Horn Elementary) and parks and trails like Willow Creek, Kiwanis and Clear Creek Trail are perfect for a run, a picnic or a play date. It's a quick drive from the west side to get out of town or to jump on the highway up to I-80. Traffic is light except on home football game days and Walmart and Aldi's are close while Hy-Vee and Trader Joe's are less than a 10 minute drive. – Allison Cascio, Entertainment Club Chair
East Iowa City: The East Side is between approximately two and four miles east of the hospital and about 15 minutes from the Coralville Mall and shopping area; 20 minutes from North Liberty. In this area, you tend to get a bit more house and yard for the price, with newer builds being more common than other neighborhoods, but we’re still very close to several parks and grocery store choices. We have two new University of Iowa clinic locations (Dodge Street and Scott Blvd) with some of IMP’s favorite providers. Some favorites in our area include Dodge Street Coffeehouse, Tot Time every weekday morning at Mercer Park gym, Music Together classes at Preucil, and the close proximity to the adorable towns of Solon and West Branch. Favorite restaurants over here include Blackstone, Wig and Pen East, 2 Dogs Pub, and Rapid Creek Cidery. Hopping down to the South Side of town is easy if you’re heading to Big Grove Iowa City, the new Starbucks, Hatchet Jack’s, and consignment shopping at Stuff Etc., Crowded Closet and Kidworks. – Molly Sherwood, Philanthropy Chair
Coralville: Coralville is a great location in the middle of the creative corridor. You are only minutes from the mall, Costco, Target, consignment stores and many grocery store options. The Iowa River Landing is located in Coralville which includes Trader Joes, great dining and shopping, and the IRL UIHC Clinic. Additionally, going to downtown Iowa City or North Liberty is very convenient. Driving to UIHC is approximately 15 minutes (which is mostly due to the 25 mile per hour speed limits); however, you may be able to live along the Research Park Cambus route and avoid driving all together (free to all!). The Coralville Library is one of my favorite weekly spots for storytimes. I also love the walking trails in our city and the community events throughout the year. I feel safe and connected living here. – Megan Pai, President
North Liberty: Many medical families choose to live in North Liberty. There are wonderful schools and neighborhoods filled with friends, and it is very geared towards families. There are many parks like Centennial, Quail Ridge, Beaver Kreek, and Penn Meadows, some fun local restaurants, and the best ice cream around is from a North Liberty joint, Heyn’s. We also have a pumpkin patch in our town that we go to almost daily in the fall, and there are many trails and easy access to both I-80 and 380, which makes going anywhere in the greater Iowa City area a breeze. There are a lot of fun events too, from storytime at the library to the big Barbecue and Blues festival that are all held locally. We love the community here! - Shannon Squires, Secretary
Looking for trusted recommendations? Our group’s sponsors can help you in finding and adjusting to your new home. Tundy Brady with Urban Acres can help you find your future home (even if you are unable to travel). Green State Credit Union can help you with local banking and securing a mortgage, including a Doc Loan. Bobby Scott with Partner Wealth is here to answer any questions related to your unique financial sitation. Nanci Kohl with State Farm can help you determine your insurance needs.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to IMP! You can join IMP here, and once you do, you can join our facebook group. Congratulations on your match!