Internal Medicine Residency Training Programs
While the decision to pursue medicine as a career can be life-changing, the next step after medical school for those who want to be practicing clinicians is to choose an area in medicine to pursue and complete residency training. Medical students declare their desired focus area in the last year of medical school, which can vary from internal medicine, to orthopedics, to surgery, or others.
What is an internal medicine residency?
Internal medicine focuses on the acute and chronic medical care of adults whether it be prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Internal medicine residency is a training program that prepares a new physician for a career in internal medicine, ranging from a general internist, a subspecialist, a policy maker, a practitioner, an educator, or a researcher.
Why choose internal medicine residency?
Internal medicine encompasses numerous sub-specialties. Completing residency in internal medicine can prepare the trainee for a career in primary care medicine, or as a hospitalist. An internal medicine resident can also pursue fellowship opportunities in multiple subspecialties, including cardiovascular medicine, digestive diseases, endocrinology, general medicine, geriatrics, hematology, medical oncology, infectious diseases, nephrology, pulmonary and critical care medicine, sleep, rheumatology, allergy, immunology, HIV care, among other areas.
Yale’s Department of Internal Medicine offers four residency programs with numerous training tracks and areas of development within each one, which make the Yale programs unique.
- Primary Care Residency Program
- Traditional Residency Program
- Medicine/Pediatrics Program
- Yale-Waterbury Internal Medicine Residency
Most of our fellowship programs are supported by NIH training grants allowing us to support many of our fellows during their research training.
In conjunction with the department's residency training programs, there are other learning opportunities.
During a resident’s PGY-2 year, they can apply for a two-year training experience, called a Distinction Pathway, in the following areas:
- Medical Education (Clinician Educator Distinction)
- Global Health (Global Health & Equity Distinction)
- Research (Investigation Distinction)
- Quality Improvement (Quality Improvement & Physician Leadership Distinction)
- Diversity and Advocacy (Race, Bias, and Advocacy in Medicine)
Other learning opportunities include:
Is internal medicine residency harder than other residency programs?
Just like any career training, there are days that can be challenging. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) allows residency programs flexibility in defining the clinical education structure, but are required to “the 80-hour maximum weekly limit and to utilize flexibility in a manner that optimizes patient safety, resident education, and resident well-being,” says the organization in their ACGME Common Program Requirements (Residency).
How long is internal medicine residency?
Within internal medicine residency programs, there are different educational tracks, which will determine the length of one’s training experience. Residency programs last for three years, and a combined medicine/pediatrics residency program spans over four years. Additional training, such as a fellowship, can extend the preparation further.
Yale offers the Internal Medicine Physician Scientist Training Program (PTSP). This pathway represents a “short track” into fellowship training; residents in this pathway complete two rather than three clinical years of internal medicine residency, which is followed by their fellowship specialty training of their interest. Because this pathway often requires three years of research training during fellowship training, it shortens overall training by a year for those who plan to pursue intensive research training.
How long does it take to become an internal medicine doctor?
To become a board-certified internal medicine doctor, you must complete a residency program, which can vary in length. Plan for three years of residency training. Residents must also pass the American Board of Internal Medicine exam which tests your clinical knowledge in internal medicine.
Is internal medicine worth it?
When choosing a medical specialty, the value is up to the pursuant. There are many different areas of focus within medicine, so a medical student needs to evaluate what is their best next step in their career, and what specialty within medicine will fit their skills, desires, and personality best.