Physician Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Iowa

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in Iowa which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

What You Need to Know About Iowa as a Locum Tenens Physician?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in Iowa.

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Iowa: A Brief History

Iowa, known as the Hawkeye State, has a rich and fascinating history. In the late 1600s, French explorers like Marquette and Joliet documented Native American accounts of the region. Until the early 19th century, Iowa was exclusively occupied by Native Americans and a few European traders, with loose political control by France and Spain. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Iowa became part of the United States. However, uncontested U.S. control occurred only after the War of 1812 and a series of treaties that eliminated Indian claims on the state. Iowa was admitted to the union as the 29th state on December 28, 1846. Its gently rolling landscape extends westward from the Mississippi River, forming a bridge between eastern forests and western grasslands. Iowa is known for its rich history and agriculture, and is truly a hidden gem in the U.S.

What is there to do and see in Iowa?

  • Take a visit to Iowa City, Iowa and visit the University of Iowa, home of the Hawkeyes. This bustling college town is home to a vibrant nightlife, plenty of dining and entertainment, and also serves as the state’s capital. 
  • Located in Dyersville, Iowa, the Field of Dreams is a century-old Lansing family farm where baseball still ranks as a favorite pastime for all ages. Carved from a cornfield, this iconic baseball diamond became famous through the movie “Field of Dreams.” Tours of the inside of the Farm House, a retail store, and concessions stand await visitors. 
  • Found in Madrid, Iowa, the High Trestle Trail Bridge is a photogenic bridge that spans the Des Moines River. Walk or bike across this impressive structure and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding landscape.

How close is Iowa to other cities and states?

  • Des Moines, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska: Approximately 125 miles; around 2 to 2.5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Minneapolis, Minnesota: Roughly 240 miles; about 3.5 to 4 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Kansas City, Missouri: Around 190 miles; approximately 3 to 3.5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, Illinois: About 320 miles; approximately 4.5 to 5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to St. Louis, Missouri: Approximately 260 miles; around 4 to 4.5 hours by car.

Physician Scope of Practice In Iowa



What is the Scope of Practice for Physicians in Iowa?

In the state of Iowa, physicians enjoy full practice authority, signifying their autonomy and independent decision-making capabilities in the provision of healthcare services. This means that doctors in Iowa have the legal right to evaluate patients, prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, and perform medical procedures without the need for direct supervision or approval from other healthcare professionals. This autonomous practice authority is an essential component of a physician’s role, allowing them to make timely and informed decisions in the best interests of their patients. It also fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability among doctors, ensuring that they uphold high standards of medical care. By granting full practice authority to physicians, Iowa empowers them to provide comprehensive and patient-centered healthcare services, ultimately contributing to improved patient outcomes.

Can Physicians Sign Death Certificates in Iowa?

In Iowa, physicians can sign death certificates due to their medical expertise. They conduct exams, review medical history, and perform tests to certify the cause of death. Physicians ensure accurate and timely death certificates for legal and administrative purposes, assisting families in making informed decisions.

Does Iowa Recognize Physicians as Primary Care Providers? 

The role of physicians as primary care providers is formally recognized in Iowa by statutes and administrative codes, encompassing responsibilities, rights, and expectations for practicing primary care medicine. This recognition reflects Iowa’s commitment to accessible, high-quality healthcare.

Can Physicians Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Iowa?

Yes, physicians can prescribe schedule II drugs in Iowa. 

Do Physicians Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Iowa?

Iowa physicians qualify for medical staff membership in healthcare facilities if they meet requirements like residency and board certification. Applications are reviewed by the hospital’s medical staff committee and the governing board makes the final decision. Medical staff membership grants physicians the privilege to practice, participate in decision-making, and access resources.

Can Physicians Order Physical Therapy in Iowa?

In Iowa, physicians now have the authority to directly order physical therapy for their patients without the need for a referral, streamlining the process and improving access to care. Previously, patients had to obtain a referral, which could be time-consuming and result in long wait times. The new law enables quicker and easier access to physical therapy services, which are provided by highly trained professionals and can help patients recover from injuries, manage pain, and improve mobility and function. This positive development enhances healthcare in Iowa by reducing wait times, improving access, and potentially enhancing the quality of care.

Can Physicians Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Iowa?

Physicians in Iowa have the authority to certify disability for parking placards. The certification must include a detailed description of the applicant’s disability, functional limitations, and the need for special parking privileges. The disability parking placard allows individuals with disabilities to park in designated accessible parking spaces. The physician’s certification is a crucial step in ensuring that individuals with disabilities are granted these special parking privileges.

Can Physicians Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in Iowa? 

In Iowa, physicians play a crucial role in signing Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, which outline patients’ end-of-life care preferences. Physicians initiate the process, assess the patient’s condition and prognosis, and obtain informed consent. They document the patient’s preferences and medical orders on the POLST form, ensuring that patients’ wishes are accurately reflected. Physicians collaborate with other healthcare professionals to implement the POLST form and provide ongoing support to the patient and their family. 

Can Physicians Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Iowa?

In Iowa, physicians are authorized to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders based on the Iowa Code’s definition of a DNR order. The process involves assessing the patient’s condition, discussing the order with the patient or their legal representative, obtaining informed consent, and placing the order in the patient’s medical record. DNR orders are crucial for end-of-life care planning, allowing patients to make informed decisions and ensure their wishes are respected.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physicians in Iowa?

In Iowa, licensed physicians must complete 40 CME credit hours over a two-year licensure cycle to renew their practice licenses. Physicians fulfill CME requirements through various educational activities, such as attending conferences and workshops, enrolling in online courses, and reviewing medical literature. CME fosters continuous learning and professional development, promotes patient safety, and contributes to public trust in the medical profession. By fulfilling CME requirements, physicians in Iowa comply with state regulations and engage in a process of continuous self-improvement to provide high-quality, evidence-based patient care.

Find Your Next Physician Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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