5 Best Internal Medicine Residency Programs (Key Info & Data)

Internal medicine is a varied medical specialty, encouraged by its $227,118 average salary and its 3-year training program.

Focused on dealing with the prevention and diagnosis of disease, it’s also an important one.

The best internal medicine residency programs offer those interested in the specialty the greatest training possible in the field and boast some of the finest physicians on earth as alumni. But they are competitive; there are only 450 primary and 1850 preliminary spots available in the US!

In addition to residency programs, it is worth mentioning that there are services available to assist nursing students in their academic journey, particularly in the field of medicine, especially in providing invaluable support to those studying nursing.

This article takes a look at the top 6 programs in the country (as ranked by the US News Best Grad Schools Report 2022 – and with important match data from Reddit), taking a deep dive into what’s offered by each and what you can expect if you’re lucky enough to match.

We’ve also included key info on facts/stats for each program (where publicized) too.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

Before you dive into our article on the best internal medicine residency programs, make sure you take a look at our Best Residency Programs page to get all the critical info on other specialty offerings.

1. University of California – San Francisco

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:63/62/56
PGY1 Annual Salary:$64,362

The UCSF Categorical Training Program is home to more than 180 residents across the UCSF Primary Care Internal Medicine Track, the ZSFG Primary Care Track, and the Molecular Medicine Pathway.

Through experiences at various training sites in San Francisco, residents are exposed to a broad range of patients and receive rich clinical experience.

In addition to mastering the skills and attitudes needed to be an outstanding general internist, trainees are encouraged to pursue customized educational pathways. In smaller groups within the program, residents maximize the time spent with fellow residents and expert faculty who share similar interests.

Rotations in the intern year include General Medicine Wards, Emergency Department, and ICU. The program lets PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents select the content of at least 12 months of training based upon their specific interests.

During their junior and senior years, residents alternate one month of inpatient or emergency department experience with one month of ambulatory, elective, or research experience. Residents are encouraged to engage in a research or scholarly activity and may dedicate up to three months for research over the last two years of residency.

You can learn more about UCSF’s Family Medicine residency in the video below…


2. Harvard University

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:84/62/52
PGY1 Annual Salary:$68,000

The Internal Medicine Residency Training Program at Massachusetts General Hospital offers rigorous three-year programs such as the Primary Care Program and the Categorical Program. Residents in the Categorical Program learn fundamental skills that build on themselves the following year.

The intern year focuses on the basics of patient evaluation and management. Inpatient, ambulatory, and elective rotations are complemented by learning experiences such as simulation, didactics, and mentoring.

Junior residents supervise patient care and provide education for interns and medical students. They also acquire advanced clinical skills in the cardiology and medical intensive care units. And they lead inpatient teams on the Bigelow-Flex Service and learn the core principles of leadership.

Senior residents spend an increasing amount of time teaching junior residents, interns, and medical students. The PGY-3 year focuses on hospital-wide leadership roles, including the intensive care and oncology units. Seniors can pursue research opportunities during elective time.

Residents engaged in the Primary Care Track spend half of their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years in an ambulatory setting. Primary care residents select a location on the Mass General campus or at a community health center for their primary care continuity practice. And in addition to the Internal Medicine Residency core curriculum, primary care residents have enhanced learning opportunities in ambulatory medicine.

Learn more about Mass General’s residency programs in the video below…


  • Name: Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Location: Boston, MA 02114
  • Program director: Jatin Vyas
  • Contact: 617-643-0596/mghimresidency@partners.org
  • Website: massgeneral.org/residency

3. Johns Hopkins University

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:48/44/42
PGY1 Annual Salary:$57,160

Johns Hopkins University has two internal medicine residency programs: the Osler Medical Residency, and the Bayview Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Osler was the country’s first residency program. And now, it provides three years of comprehensive training in general internal medicine, with a wide variety of experiences in acute and ambulatory medicine. The Johns Hopkins Medical hospital complex in East Baltimore comprises more than a dozen centers with 226 different clinical services.

The overall structure alternates six weeks of inpatient rotations and two weeks of outpatient rotations. During the PGY-1 year, interns develop superior clinical skills. Junior residents explore subspecialty medicine, investigation, and clinical leadership in the PGY-2 year. And the PGY-3 year leads senior residents to become leaders and educators.

The second residency training program, Johns Hopkins Bayview, is infused with the philosophy that “medicine is a public trust.” In this medium-size program, each trainee receives individual attention and focused mentorship.

Bayview’s residency program offers both a categorical and a primary care track. The primary care program provides a more extensive and varied outpatient continuity experience and primary care curriculum.

The PGY-1 experience is identical for each track, and all residents work on inpatient rotations and in their continuity clinic. Then, while categorical residents have considerable elective time tailored to their career objectives, primary care residents spend much of their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years in ambulatory practice.

You can find out more info on John Hopkins internal medicine program in the video below…


4. University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:61/50/43
PGY1 Annual Salary:$62,000

The internal medicine residency program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is affiliated with the nation’s oldest school of medicine. The educational campus, hospitals, and continuity clinics are all within walking distance, in the heart of University City, in Philadelphia.

The program provides a solid training experience with exposure to a diverse patient population and a strong research institution. While providing ways to individualize the curriculum to best serve each resident, the program embraces teamwork. Residents themselves can be counted on to promote a supportive and collaborative atmosphere.

With the 6+2 block schedule, interns and categorical residents alternate six consecutive weeks on inpatient services and two weeks in the ambulatory setting. In addition to increasing camaraderie in the four cohorts within each class, the regular breaks from intense inpatient rotations help reduce fatigue and burnout.

As part of their outpatient training, residents provide chronic, acute, and transitions of care for a panel of patients. During this continuity practice experience, residents learn critical ambulatory medicine skills serving as primary care physicians for these patients.

All residents must engage in a scholarly project, such as clinical science research, case reports, or community service activities. And residents are encouraged to publish their work and present it at national meetings sponsored by the Department of Medicine.

Check out the video below for more on Penn’s graduate medical education training…


5. Duke University

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:53/43/43
PGY1 Annual Salary:$59,184

The Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program offers a three-year categorical program with comprehensive clinical training in Internal Medicine. Residents work mainly at Duke University Hospital, Durham VA Medical Center, Duke Regional Hospital, and several clinic sites.

The 4+2 model followed during the intern and Junior Assistant Residency (JAR) years typically schedules four weeks of inpatient rotation followed by two weeks of ambulatory or consultative medicine. In the Senior Assistant Residency (SAR) year, the schedule is modified to accommodate special elective rotations that are 6 to 8 weeks long.

During the ambulatory weeks, interns work in their continuity clinic or other specialty clinics at Duke. They also learn the basics of ultrasound at the Durham VA. Residents then learn to lead a ward team during their JAR year (PGY-2). They’re expected to grow in independence managing patients on the night medicine rotations. They gain additional experience in ICU medicine and begin to define a career path. In the final SAR year (PGY-3), residents participate in specialty experiences and differentiate further along their chosen career path.

Graduates are comfortable diagnosing and managing patients with unusual clinical problems. They deliver state-of-the-art patient-centered health care in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Having learned the key aspects of preventive medicine, they recognize the psychosocial aspects of disease.

Take a look at the video below for more on Duke’s program…


Internal Medicine Residency Rankings

Ranking IM residency programs based on prestige is a tricky task. The programs above, however, based on research, consistently show up among students and the Reddit community as some of the best. Outside of Doximity’s residency rankings, however, it’s a fairly subjective matter which is best.

To get more intrinsic data I recommend using Reddit’s IM spreadsheet. There are also useful links to the Discord communities for hopeful internal medicine residents there too.

How Do General Internal Medicine Residency Programs Work?

Training in internal medicine involves completing four years of graduate medical education first before moving on to dedicated internal medicine residency programs.

Internal medicine programs are shorter in training length, usually 3 years in length.

The specialty is considered to be one of the less competitive in the US. The average USMLE Step 1 score of individuals matching into the specialty is 235, while the average USMLE Step 2CK score is 248.

The averaged matched U.S. applicant has over 7 volunteer and 3 work experiences, with over 3 research experiences and 6 abstracts, presentations, or publications.

After residency training, internists usually go on to subspecialize (picking up board certification via the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine) in areas like critical care, cardiology, pulmonology, rheumatology, endocrinology and geriatric medicine.

How Many Internal Medicine Residency Programs Are There?

There are over 400 internal medicine residency programs accredited by the ACGME.

The examples above are considered the finest offered among those programs in the US and are ranked on criteria via peer assessment, residency director assessment, student selectivity, the mean MCAT score for the institution, the mean GPA of its matriculants, faculty resources, research activity and more.

The exact methodology is detailed in the U.S. News Best Medical Schools Rankings pages

How to Get Accepted Into a Top Internal Medicine Residency Program

Gaining admission into the top residency programs involves submitting a competitive application via ERAS, The Electronic Residency Application Service.

This is a centralized online application service that you’ll need to use in order to “match” into the programs above.

Most programs begin reading applications over the first couple of weeks of autumn/fall and invite applicants to interview in the weeks following.

Generally, general surgery residency program applications include the following:

  • A completed ERAS application
  • Personal statement/s
  • Supplemental statement/s (where requested)
  • Letters of recommendation from internists (usually following the SLOR format)
  • A full, official medical school transcript
  • Your USMLE Step 1/COMLEX transcripts
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

Selection criteria are specific for each program but commonly applicants are scored on a combination of grades, clinical and research experiences, special interests, and anything else internal medical departments/programs find relevant.

To be competitive, and stand a chance at matching into the best programs, you’re going to need great Step 1 and Step 2 scores, research experience, impressive extracurriculars, and a solid letter of recommendation.