Internal Medicine Residency Match

internal medicine residency match

Internal Medicine Residency Match

Learning about the specialty

Internal medicine is a specialty in which all medical students rotate during the third year of medical school. If you suspect internal medicine might interest you, we recommend trying to schedule this core internal medicine rotation as early in the third year as possible. Since many medical students often have choices about where to rotate, we suggest completing this rotation at the student’s home or primary institution as opposed to an affiliate hospital. By the same token, it is important to schedule your internal medicine sub-internship early in the fourth year and also at your medical school’s most prestigious hospital/site.

Internal medicine residency starts in the PGY1 year and is three years in total. Many internal medicine residents, however, do further subspecialty training. The top internal medicine programs are very competitive so it is important to understand what your target programs will be. The vast majority of U.S. allopathic seniors match in internal medicine, but, the specialty remains competitive for international and osteopathic applicants.

Internal medicine match and what criteria are most important to match in internal medicine_

Internal Medicine Match

What criteria are most important to match in internal medicine?

Understanding what criteria are most important to internal medicine program directors and admissions committees will allow you to position yourself as well as possible to match in the specialty. It is important to know how competitive you are for internal medicine by reviewing data published by the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). This data includes the 2018 Program Director’s Survey and Charting Outcomes in the Match for all three applicant types (allopathic students, osteopathic student and international students). By summarizing this data, together with our own knowledge of what makes a successful applicant, we will outline what you should do to match!

Internal Medicine Residency Match

Internal Medicine Residency Match

In 2018, there were a total of 7,916 internal medicine positions offered in the NRMP match and a total of 10,032 applicants for those positions.

Internal Medicine Elective/Audition Rotations

Interestingly, internal medicine is not a specialty that whole heartedly recommends audition rotations. In 2018, only 51% of program directors surveyed felt this was an important factor when deciding whom to interview. However, there may be some program directors at more competitive programs who recommend audition electives as a way to gain exposure to another institution, prove yourself on another “turf” and to have letters of reference from somewhere other than your home institution. Where to complete audition electives will largely depend on your competitiveness as an applicant and geographic preferences. Ideally, audition electives should be completed by October of the application year. For internal medicine in particular, it is important to discuss the possibility of doing audition rotations with an advisor or mentor from your home medical school. For most medical students, away rotations are not necessary regardless of where you hope to match. Internal medicine is a specialty that relies heavily on USMLE/COMLEX scores and the MSPE when deciding who to interview and rank.

Internal Medicine Letters of Reference

Letters of reference from academic internal medicine physicians with whom you have worked directly are the most important letters in your profile. If possible, strong letters of reference from leaders within an academic internal medicine department, such as a chair, program director, or clerkship director will also bolster your overall candidacy. If you have done any internal medicine or subspecialty research, a letter of reference from the principal investigator with whom you worked is equally valuable. We recommend a minimum of two letters from academic internal medicine physicians, but, if it’s possible to obtain three or four letters of reference from academic internal medicine faculty, that is considered ideal.

Anesthesiology Residency and Anesthesia Residency and Internal Medicine Residency Match Statistics

Internal Medicine Residency Match Statistics

Allopathic US Senior Medical Students:

Cumulatively, 10,032 applicants applied for 7,916 internal medicine residency positions in 2018. Of those 10,032 applicants, 3,406 were U.S. senior medical students. A mere 73 U.S. senior internal medicine applicants did not match in to internal medicine residencies last year. Therefore, 2.1% of allopathic U.S. senior internal medicine applicants did not match making internal medicine one of the least competitive specialties based on the data. Keep in mind, however, that the most desirable internal medicine programs are extremely competitive.

This is the data for those U.S. senior medical students who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 12.6
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.0
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 233
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 246
  • Mean number of research experiences: 3.1
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 5.1
  • Mean number of work experiences: 2.9
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 6.8
  • Percentage who are AOA members: 16.7
  • Percentage who graduated from one of the 40 U.S. medical schools with the highest NIH funding: 33.6
  • Percentage who have Ph.D. degree: 4.9
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 17.6
Anesthesia Residency Match

Osteopathic Medical Students

Cumulatively, 10,032 applicants applied for 7,916 internal medicine residency positions in 2018. There were 894 osteopathic applicants. Of those, 830 matched. Therefore, 93% of osteopathic medical student internal medicine applicants matched in internal medicine.

The data for those osteopathic students who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 9.8
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.1
  • Mean COMLEX-USA Level 1 score: 554
  • Mean COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE score: 588
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 226
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 CK score: 239
  • Mean number of research experiences: 1.7
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 2.2
  • Mean number of work experiences: 2.9
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 6.3
  • Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 0.6
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 18.7

 

Internal medicine is one of the less competitive specialties for osteopathic medicine students. However, this is because there are huge number of internal medicine programs in the country and the competitiveness for each program varies. It is important to be honest about your competitiveness and to apply to programs that historically have matched osteopathic medical students. Keep in mind that osteopathic medical students can also apply to AOA-approved internal medicine residencies if they are also accredited by the ACGME. As more osteopathic programs are ACGME approved, the matching rates of osteopathic students could shift.

United States International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data

United States International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data

Cumulatively, 10,032 applicants applied for 7,916 internal medicine residency positions in 2018. There were 1,876 U.S. IMGs who applied for internal medicine. A total of 1,028 matched. Therefore, 55% of U.S. IMG internal medicine applicants matched.

Below is the data for those US IMG applicants who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 7.3
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.5
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 222
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 232
  • Mean number of research experiences: 1.7
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 4.0
  • Mean number of work experiences: 5.0
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 5.0
  • Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 0.7
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 20.9

Because approximately half of all U.S. IMG applicants to internal medicine match successfully, we suggest applying as broadly as possible and being honest about how competitive you are. When reviewing Doximity residency rankings on Doximity Residency Navigator, pay attention to “feeder” schools for each program.

IMG Internal Medicine Match and Non-US International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data

IMG Internal Medicine Match

Non-US International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data:

Cumulatively, 10,032 applicants applied for 7,916 internal medicine residency positions in 2018. A total of 3,635 non-US IMGs applied and 2,042 matched. Therefore, a total of 56% of non-US IMG internal medicine applicants matched in internal medicine.

Below is the data for those non-US IMG applicants who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 6.4
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.3
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 234
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 240
  • Mean number of research experiences: 2.3
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 5.9
  • Mean number of work experiences: 5.4
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 3.6
  • Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 3.3
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 21.1

Because approximately half of all non-U.S. IMG applicants to internal medicine match successfully, we suggest applying as broadly as possible and being honest about how competitive you are. When reviewing Doximity residency rankings on Doximity Residency Navigator, pay attention to “feeder” schools for each program.

Internal Medicine Residency Match 2019

Internal Medicine Residency Match 2019

Internal Medicine Residency Interview: Who is invited?

Based on the 2018 Program Director’s Survey published by the NRMP, there are many factors that are important in deciding whom to invite for an internal medicine residency interview. What is most interesting about internal medicine is that standardized test scores and the MSPE are considered the most important factors with regards to who receives an interview invitation. Below are the factors considered most important in selecting applicants to interview:

  1. Any failed attempt in USMLE/COMLEX

There is no question that a USMLE/COMLEX failure is a deal breaker for many programs. However, in our experience, this is “easier” to overcome if you are a US allopathic student. The 2018 Program Director’s Survey indicated that 66% of programs rarely consider an applicant with a Step 1 failure and 23% never consider an applicant with a Step 1 failure.

2) USMLE Step 1/COMLEX Level 1 score and Step 2 CK/COMLEX Level 2 CE Score

It is a fact of life that your performance on Step 1 or COMLEX 1 will impact the likelihood that your application is “screened in” and that you will be invited for an interview. Many programs automatically screen out applications if the Step/COMLEX 1 score falls below a certain threshold. The 2018 Program Director’s Survey indicated that 70% of internal medicine programs have a “target score” they like to see applicants earn on Step 1. The average number for that cutoff is 215. By the same token, some programs automatically grant interviews for students with scores above a certain threshold. That threshold varies but is typically 235 or higher for Step 1. Keep in mind that not all programs offer automatic interviews. If you don’t do as well on Step 1 as you would have liked, take Step 2 CK early in the fourth year and do as well as you can!

 

Your score on Step 2 CK/COMLEX Level 2 CE Score is also very important in internal medicine for program directors when deciding whom to interview. Therefore we suggest that most applicants take this exam early in the fourth year. 51% of programs indicate they use a target Step 2 CK score and for programs that like to see target scores, that number is 215 (on average). Similarly, Step 2 CK scores above 235 will earn automatic interviews at some programs.

Your score on Step 3 (if you have already graduated from medical school) really doesn’t influence much as 96% of programs don’t use this score.

3) Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE/Dean’s Letter)

The specialty of internal medicine pays close attention to your MSPE. This means your “class rank/quartile” is important as are the narrative evaluations listed in your MSPE.

4) Evidence of Professionalism and Ethics

You might ask how your professionalism and ethics might be assessed based on your written application. Program directors glean information about your personal characteristics and traits from your internal medicine personal statement, ERAS written application, and letters of reference. This is why it is important to compose your personal statement and ERAS work, research, and volunteer experience entries thoughtfully. It is empowering to know that the outcome of your application season is, in part, within your control at this stage of the process.

5) Grades in clerkship in internal medicine rotations, personal statement, class ranking and quartile, internal medicine letters of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation from academic internal medicine physicians who know you well are of the utmost importance and was considered one of the most important factors in deciding whom to interview. By the same token, grades in internal medicine rotations and required clerkships will influence your chances of gettin an interview. The personal statement is also valuable to those program directors surveyed.

Internal Medicine Residency Application

Internal Medicine Residency Application

When should you apply?

51% of programs extend internal medicine interviews in October. Therefore, it is important to send your ERAS application in early!

Now, assuming you are selected for an interview, what factors influence how (and if) you are ranked?

Here’s the list:

  • Interactions with faculty during interview and visit
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Interactions with housestaff during interview and visit
  • USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 score
  • USMLE/COMLEX Step 2 score
  • MSPE

As you can see, after the interview, it is your “interview performance,” interpersonal qualities, and how you are perceived by anyone and everyone you meet that will influence how you are ranked (and even if you are ranked) the most. This is why, no matter how strong an applicant you are, it is important to be comfortable with the interview process. It is also valuable to know yourself; are you an introvert or more of an extrovert? What types of social situations make you comfortable or uncomfortable? During residency interviews you will be meeting many new people and having numerous conversations with strangers. Be prepared!

Even after the interview, internal medicine still considers your USMLE/COMLEX scores and MSPE as key factors in deciding how you will be ranked.

Top Internal Medicine Residency Programs 2018-2019 and 2019 match day

What if you don’t match or you feel you need personalized help?

Applicants often feel lost, confused and overwhelmed by the residency application process. This is where MedEdits can help. We have helped hundreds of applicants match successfully. Whether you need a fourth year planning strategy, help with your personal statement, interview help, or any other guidance related to the residency match, we will make sure you are positioned as well as possible to match well on 2019 match day.

Looking for an Internal Medicine Residency program?

Check out our state by state list below.

Top Internal Medicine Residency Programs 2018-2019

OPTI West/West Anaheim Medical Center Program
Kern Medical Center Program
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California Program
San Joaquin General Hospital Program
St. Agnes Medical Center (Fresno) Program
University of California (San Francisco)/Fresno Program
OPTI West/Hemet Valley Medical Center Program
Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital Program
Loma Linda University Health Education Consortium Program
OPTI West/College Medical Center Long Beach Program
St Mary Medical Center Program
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Los Angeles) Program
Olive View/UCLA Medical Center Program
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine/UCLA Medical Center Program
University of Southern California/LAC+USC Medical Center Program
White Memorial Medical Center Program
University of California Riverside School of Medicine Program
Alameda Health System-Highland Hospital Program
Kaiser Permanente Northern California (Oakland) Program
University of California (Irvine) Program
Desert Regional Medical Center Program
Huntington Memorial Hospital Program
Eisenhower Medical Center Program
Riverside Community Hospital/University of California Riverside School of Medicine Program
University of California Davis Health Program
Scripps Mercy Hospital Program
University of California (San Diego) Medical Center Program
California Pacific Medical Center Program
Kaiser Permanente Northern California (San Francisco) Program
St Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center Program
University of California (San Francisco) Program
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Program
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Preliminary Program
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Program
Kaiser Permanente Northern California (Santa Clara) Program
Stanford Health Care-Sponsored Stanford University Program
Los Angeles County-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Program
OPTI West/Community Memorial Hospital Program
University of Miami/JFK Medical Center Palm Beach Regional GME Consortium Program
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center Program
Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Program
HCA West Florida GME Consortium/Blake Medical Center Program
Manatee Memorial Hospital Program
HCA West Florida GME Consortium/Brandon Regional Hospital Program
HCA West Florida GME Consortium/Oak Hill Hospital Program
Broward Health Medical Center Program
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Holy Cross Hospital Program
University of Central Florida/HCA GME Consortium (Gainesville) Program
University of Florida Program
Palmetto General Hospital Program
HCA West Florida GME Consortium/Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point Program
HCA West Florida GME Consortium/Citrus Memorial Hospital Program
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science (Jacksonville) Program
University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville Program
HCA West Florida GME Consortium/Largo Medical Center Program
Jackson Memorial Hospital/Jackson Health System Program
Kendall Regional Medical Center Program
Mount Sinai Medical Center of Florida Program
NCH Healthcare System Program
University of Central Florida/HCA GME Consortium (Ocala) Program
Orange Park Medical Center Program
Florida Hospital Medical Center Program
Orlando Health Program
University of Central Florida/HCA GME Consortium Program
Memorial Healthcare System (Hollywood, Florida) Program
University of Florida College of Medicine (Pensacola) Program
Florida State University College of Medicine (Sarasota) Program
Larkin Community Hospital Program
HCA West Florida GME Consortium/Northside Hospital Program
Florida State University College of Medicine (Tallahassee) Program
University of South Florida Morsani Program
Cleveland Clinic (Florida) Program
Rocky Mountain Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institution (RMOPTI)/Bingham Memorial Hospital Program
University of Washington [Boise] Program
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center Program
University of Kansas School of Medicine Program
Research Medical Center/Overland Park Regional Medical Center Program
University of Kansas (Wichita) Program
University of Michigan Health System Program
Henry Ford Macomb Hospital Program
Detroit Medical Center Corporation (Huron Valley-Sinai) Program
Beaumont Health (Dearborn) Program
Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University (Sinai Grace) Program
Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University Program
Detroit Wayne County Health Authority (Authority Health) GME Consortium Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University Program
St John Hospital and Medical Center Program
Michigan State University Program
Beaumont Health (Farmington Hills) Program
Hurley Medical Center/Michigan State University Program
McLaren-Flint/Michigan State University Program
Garden City Hospital Program
Genesys Regional Medical Center Program
Mercy Health Grand Rapids Program
Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Program
Henry Ford Allegiance Health Program
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine Program Osteopathic Recognized!
McLaren Healthcare Corporation Program
St Mary Mercy Hospital Program
McLaren Oakland (Macomb) Program
Mercy Health Program Osteopathic Recognized!
McLaren Oakland Program
St Joseph Mercy-Oakland Program
Wayne State University School of Medicine Program
Beaumont Health (Royal Oak) Program
Central Michigan University College of Medicine Program
Providence-Providence Park Hospital/MSUCHM Program
Lakeland Health Program
Beaumont Health (Trenton) Program
Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Metro Health University of Michigan Health (Metro Health) Program
St Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Program
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Bronx) Program
Jacobi Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine Program
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center Program
Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Moses and Weiler Campuses) Program
Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Wakefield Campus) Program
St Barnabas Hospital Program
Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center Program
Brooklyn Hospital Center Program
Coney Island Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Family Health Center at NYU Langone Program
Interfaith Medical Center Program
Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center Program
Maimonides Medical Center Program
New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital Program
SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn Program
Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center Program
Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Program
University at Buffalo (Catholic Health System–Sisters of Charity) Program
University at Buffalo Program
Bassett Medical Center Program
Nassau University Medical Center Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Elmhurst) Program
Arnot Ogden Medical Center Program Osteopathic Recognized!
St John’s Episcopal Hospital-South Shore Program
Flushing Hospital Medical Center Program
New York-Presbyterian/Queens Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Forest Hills Hospital Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Queens Hospital Center) Program
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Program
United Health Services Hospitals Program Osteopathic Recognized!
NYCOMEC Program
NYU Winthrop Hospital Program
Montefiore – Mount Vernon Hospital Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Program
Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New Rochelle) Program
Harlem Hospital Center Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Beth Israel) Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center Program
New York Medical College (Metropolitan) Program
New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus) Program
New York Presbyterian Hospital (Cornell Campus) Program
New York University School of Medicine Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Lenox Hill Hospital Program
South Nassau Communities Hospital Program
Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Mather Hospital Program
Rochester General Hospital Program
Rochester Regional Health/Unity Hospital (Rochester) Program
University of Rochester Program
Stony Brook Medicine/Southampton Hospital Program
Richmond University Medical Center Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Staten Island University Hospital Preliminary Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Staten Island University Hospital Program
Stony Brook Medicine/University Hospital Program
SUNY Upstate Medical University Program
Westchester Medical Center Program
Samaritan Medical Center Program
St. John’s Riverside Hospital Program
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Program
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Program Osteopathic Recognized!
University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine (Tulsa) Program
Abington Memorial Hospital Program
Lehigh Valley Health Network/University of South Florida College of Medicine Program
St Luke’s Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Geisinger Health System Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Mercy Catholic Medical Center Program
Suburban Community Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Easton Hospital Program
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Program
UPMC Pinnacle Hospitals Program
Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center Program
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center Program
St. Mary Medical Center Program
UPMC Pinnacle Lititz Program Osteopathic Recognized!
UPMC Medical Education (McKeesport Hospital) Program
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network Preliminary Program
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network Program
Drexel University College of Medicine/Hahnemann University Hospital Program
Jefferson Health Northeast Program
Nazareth Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System Program
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University/TJUH Program
Temple University Hospital Program
University of Pennsylvania Health System Program
Allegheny Health Network Medical Education Consortium (AGH) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
UPMC Medical Education (Mercy) Program
UPMC Medical Education Program
Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Program
Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Program
Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Program
Crozer-Chester Medical Center Program
Reading Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Main Line Health System/Lankenau Medical Center Program
York Hospital Program
Universidad Central del Caribe Program
Ramon Betances Hospital-Mayaguez Medical Center/Ponce School of Medicine Consortium Program
Damas Hospital Program
Hospital Episcopal San Lucas/Ponce School of Medicine Program
San Juan City Hospital Program
Hospital de la Concepcion Program
University of Puerto Rico Program
VA Caribbean Healthcare System Program
Trios Health Program
Skagit Regional Health Program
University of Washington Program
Virginia Mason Medical Center Program
Spokane Teaching Health Center Program

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