There are so many things to consider when trying to decide on the best residency program for you. Internal medicine is broad, and there are many residency programs that offer a variety of options for specialized training. You want to make a well-researched, well-informed decision but might feel overwhelmed by the wealth of information out there about different residency programs.
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Doximity, the leading social network for medical professionals, has recently released their Residency Navigator. More than 100,000 verified doctors submitted nominations, ratings, and reviews, providing medical students with the information they need to choose the best residency program. The Residency Navigator includes 4,700 residency programs across 28 specialties.
We have taken all of this into consideration and curated an updated list of the 10 best residency programs in the US based on their reputation and reviews. We have also included some valuable information and tips about each residency’s admissions process, application requirements, and things to keep in mind as you choose the best residency program for you.
The Mayo Clinic is the oldest and largest GME (Graduate Medical Education) training program in the nation. It is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country, with the US News & World Report ranking it the #1 best hospital in 2020-2021. With 95% of Mayo Clinic GME training programs surpassing the national average board passage rates, this institution regularly produces some of the best physicians in the world.
The Mayo Clinic offers a 3-year residency program where residents train in a supportive, collaborative, and diverse environment that offers the highest standards in medical care. Their curriculum focuses on clinical, longitudinal, and tertiary care. It is a highly competitive program and highly prestigious, so let’s go over some key information about admissions, the application process, and benefits.
The Mayo Clinic upholds high standards of conduct and prioritizes applicants who possess strong, well-rounded abilities, characteristics, and soft skills. These include flexibility in learning and functioning in various settings, critical thinking, emotional maturity, including demonstrative empathy, physical and mental stamina, and the ability to exercise sound judgment.
Medical, surgical, and dental residencies and fellowships are open to US citizens, permanent US immigrants, and international applicants. Review all general admissions requirements to ensure eligibility.
First, review Mayo Clinics GME’s:
You will need to complete your application using the appropriate third-party application service. Each residency program outlines application instructions, including which application service to use and all deadlines. Be mindful and make sure you use the correct application service for your program.
Successful candidates must submit supporting materials and documents with their applications such as their curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, copy of your diploma from medical, graduate, or dental school, Dean’s letter, official final transcripts, official exam transcripts (USMLE, LMCC, COMLEX, NBOME, FMGEMS, FLEX, or NBME), two letters of recommendation, valid ECFMG certificate if you graduated from a medical school outside of the US or Canada, and completion certificates from prior residency or fellowship training programs.
We recommend that applicants stay up-to-date with the application process and refer to Mayo Clinic’s complete and comprehensive instructions, tips, and guidance regarding application materials.
Mayo Clinic stipends, benefits, perks, and insurance packages are available to those appointed to programs at least one year in length.
Some benefits include vacation, medical leave, parental leave, free parking and bus shuttles, and meal subsidies. Insurance packages include comprehensive medical care, dental assistance, and voluntary life insurance.
Keep current with Mayo Clinic’s stipend and full list of benefits.
The UCSF Internal Medicine Residency is unique. Their commitment to leadership, diversity, and inclusion sets them apart. They utilize a holistic approach in reviewing applicants, promoting diversity in the physician workforce and a rich clinical experience.
UCSF focuses on training physicians to be leaders in medical care for underprivileged and impoverished patient populations. In the first year of residency, you can expect to learn how to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses.
The next two years are devoted to honing skills, becoming leaders in public health, medicine, and clinical practice, and focusing on a specialty. You can customize your education to fit the needs of your professional interests.
With an emphasis on global health, UCSF continually produces practitioners leading the way in public service.
Let’s highlight some key things to keep in mind for UCSF’s application process.
Applicants must electronically submit official medical school transcripts, Dean’s letter, a Department of Medicine Chair’s letter, two letters of recommendation, USMLE Board Scores (Part One), and a personal statement.
University of California San Francisco residency programs offer three tracks to internal medicine certification: one categorical (molecular medicine) and two primary care. Depending on your personal and professional interests, you can apply to any one of these tracks or all three. The two primary care tracks are recommended for applicants who strongly desire a generalist focus for their training and career.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with UCSF’s tracks and complete application requirements.
UCSF offers residents health and life insurance at no cost, vacation, parental leave, and a stipend.
Read about their full list of benefits which includes parenting FAQs and UCSF’s leave policy.
Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital boasts an excellent 4-year residency program that is overseen by attending physicians 24/7.
The Washington University Emergency Medicine department sponsors advanced fellowships in critical care medicine, EMS, pediatric emergency medicine, research, toxicology, and ultrasound.
Applicants should apply through the ERAS (Electronic Residency Applications Service). You must complete medical school training in good standing and be eligible for temporary licensing in the state of Missouri. Both USMLE scores (Steps One and Two) are required.
The following materials and supporting documents must be sent with your application: a recent photograph, official transcripts, Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), Dean’s letter, USMLE board scores (Step One and Step Two), and three letters of recommendation.
Please refer to Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s interview timeline, requirements, and procedures for prospective applicants.
Some benefits include vacation, medical and dental insurance coverage, state licensure if needed, new lab coats, free parking, membership to professional conferences and societies, meal plans, and more.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has produced some of the finest physicians and scientists since 1925. Their research portfolio is diverse and currently supported by over $316M of annual external research funding. Vanderbilt ranks #2 in NIH research funding among all Departments of Medicine in US medical schools.
Vanderbilt’s internal medicine research pathway requirements total 5 years of training. Subspecialty research pathway requirements total 6-7 years, depending on the subspecialty. Vanderbilt offers four different training tracks.
The categorical track provides training in internal medicine and subspecialties in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
This track is for applicants committed to a research career in academic medicine.
This track is offered to a limited number of qualified applicants as a preliminary internship for those who wish to take a single year of general medicine training to prepare for a career in another specialty.
This track combines internal medicine and pediatrics.
Applicants must use ERAS and submit their CV, personal statement, Dean’s letter, USMLE scores (Steps One and Two), letter of recommendation from the Chair of their Department of Medicine, and two additional letters of recommendation.
Learn more about Vanderbilt’s residency tracks, application requirements, and complete list of supplemental materials.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center offers competitive benefits and stipends. Comprehensive health insurance is offered at reduced rates for house staff. Perks include laundry, free scrubs, meal allowances, vacation, maternity and paternity leave, presenting research projects at conferences, and more.
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University has overhauled their curriculum to offer a well-rounded residency program that provides a range of clinical and research opportunities. Examples of the new curriculum include a team-oriented approach to patient care with interdisciplinary rounds, bedside teaching, conferences, and a push for new technology that emphasizes the future of medicine and medical technologies.
Prospective applicants should read more about available ACGME-accredited residency programs supported by McGaw Medical Center. Click on each link to familiarize yourself with the programs in your areas of interest as well as their training length.
You can browse each program’s orientation brochure like this one in internal medicine to get acquainted with life on campus. Applications must be submitted through ERAS only, and all residency programs list their respective requirements, procedures, and deadlines.
McGaw Medical Center provides medical insurance and ancillary coverage for medical, dental, vision, and flexible spending accounts. Residents also benefit from the EAP (Employee Assistance Program), which is a confidential counseling service.
Other benefits include vacation, family leave, 401(k), and more. Please review McGaw’s Benefits Guide for current information.
The University of Pennsylvania’s medical residency program uniquely offers training opportunities and electives that are forward-thinking and equip residents with invaluable skill sets. Some of these opportunities include mentoring, use of simulation technologies, intern wellness programs, and healthcare quality and leadership tracks. Please review all available GME programs and their residency length.
Prospective applicants should be mindful that prior US clinical experience is required, and observerships do not count as USCE.
You will need to use the ERAS and include your CV, personal statement, Dean’s letter, one letter of recommendation, official medical school transcripts, and USMLE scores (Steps One and Two) and/or COMLEX Level One and Level Two scores.
Be sure to follow all of Penn’s application requests.
Benefits are available to House Staff members of the Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. UPHS benefits are flexible and allow you to make individual choices based on your needs. Carefully review Penn’s stipend and benefits summary to make the best choice for you.
UT Southwestern’s mission is to foster excellence. Their residency program utilizes comprehensive, high-quality education to enable residents to become independent physicians and scholars that will lead the way in healthcare.
With approximately 1,400 residents and fellows, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is one of the largest sponsors of Graduate Medical Education in the US.
Be sure to brush up on program length and specific information about each residency program.
Prospective applicants should take a look at UT Southwestern’s preliminary application requirements to ensure eligibility for US and international applicants.
Most residency programs accept applications through ERAS, but check with the specific department first, as each program outlines its own requirements and deadlines. Be sure to follow each department’s application guidelines.
UT Southwestern offers wellness for GME trainees. They are committed to supporting mental health, addressing stressors in the workplace like burnout and mental fatigue, and offering services like counseling and implementing strategies for well-being. Please read more about the Wellness Center.
Additional benefits can be viewed in UT Southwestern’s GME policies.
The New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus) is prestigious and provides some of the best resident training in the country. The 3-year residency focuses on extensive inpatient and outpatient training experience, research opportunities, peer teaching, and career development.
During the first year, residents focus on inpatient and outpatient care in ward services, ICUs, and clinics. The next two years prioritize developing essential professional skill sets such as time management, supervisory skills, teaching peers, making primary management decisions, and preparing for life after completing your education.
You will want to familiarize yourself with New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University’s complete list of GME programs. Each program will outline exact procedures and guidelines, so you can select the residency that’s right for you.
NYP offers a flexible and competitive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance policies, short-term and long-term disability, retirement, financial planning services, legal services, and discounted pet insurance rates.
Be sure to review all available benefits and current stipends.
Massachusetts General Hospital is another great option for residents to receive intensive training in internal medicine.
Mass General is big on research, and residents are encouraged to involve themselves in research and scholarly projects. Mass General’s new Pathways rotation ensures that residents reach their professional development goals through intense mentoring and coaching.
Training programs include a 3-year categorical and primary care program, and a 1-year preliminary training program. Applications are processed through ERAS. There are multiple tracks available:
If you select this track through ERAS, you will only be considered for the PSP, and will not be eligible for interviews with the traditional categorical and primary care programs.
This track is only for applicants who are applying for the Harvard BWH-MGH Neurology Residency Program and would like to do their preliminary medicine year at Mass General. If you select this track through ERAS, you will only be considered for this track, and your application will not be reviewed by other programs.
This track is for applicants who want to complete their intern year and then move on to other specialties. If you select this track through ERAS, you will only be considered for this track, and your application will not be reviewed by other programs.
Please ensure that you examine Mass General’s comprehensive application requirements and carefully follow their instructions.
Residents are offered medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance at reduced rates. Malpractice insurance is covered by the hospital. There is subsidized parking and storage facilities for bicycles.
There are also additional perks such as a Wellness Center which prioritizes residents’ mental health and well-being, weekend and holiday meal cards, parental leave, and more.
Duke University’s residency program prides itself on receiving top marks for internal medicine training and is ranked #4 in the US News & World Report’s 2020 America’s Best Graduate Schools.
Duke’s welcoming and supportive atmosphere, as well as their residents’ sense of camaraderie, are reasons for their continued excellence in training some of the best doctors in the US.
Duke offers multiple training pathways and tracks:
This track has one year of interning and two additional years of training concluding with the Senior Assistance Residency year.
This track offers one year of preliminary training in internal medicine before you pursue specialties.
This track is for individuals who are experienced in biomedical research and are interested in research development and original clinical investigation.
This track is for individuals who wish to be academic leaders in global health to reduce global human suffering and promote health equity.
This track combines clinical practice with management. You will learn skills to become successful physician executives.
This track is for prospective applicants interested in health policy.
This track is for residents planning a career in primary care.
Applicants must apply through ERAS and submit USMLE scores (Step One), official school transcripts, personal statement, Dean’s letter, and three to four additional letters of recommendation.
Be aware of Duke’s complete requirements and deadlines.
Duke offers competitive benefits and perks. Medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance packages are subsidized. Other benefits include meal plans, parental leave, vacation, free on-site parking, a free on-site gym, and free counseling services for mental health and resident well-being.
We understand the significance of choosing the best residency program for you. This list of the 10 best residency programs in the US is a good place to narrow down your options and select a program that will foster your personal and professional interests.
Always consider your residency’s current application requirements, deadlines, and procedures. We wish you the best of luck as you move forward with your exciting career.