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Internal Medicine Residency

Frequently Asked Questions

These are frequently asked questions about our training program. If you have other questions, please contact us at 410-328-2388. Thank you for your interest.

Susan D. Wolfsthal, M.D

Susan D. Wolfsthal, M.D.
Residency Program Director


What do your residents do after completing residency training?

There has been a shift over the past decade. In 1992, approximately 70% of our graduates entered subspecialty training with 30% entering primary care. There then was a dramatic increase in the number of residents entering primary care to a peak of 70% for 1996-98.  Since that time, there is an increasing number of residents entering subspecialties with about 70-80% entering fellowships over the past few years. Of those entering primary care or hospitalist medicine many stay in the Baltimore area. Some return home and set up a practice in other parts of the country, such as Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania - to name a few.

How successful are your residents in securing fellowship positions?

Our residents have been VERY successful in their pursuit of subspecialty training, securing positions at some of the best fellowship programs in the country. In the past few years, residents entering cardiology got fellowship positions at Miami, University of North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Southwestern, Vanderbilt and Maryland. Those entering GI, got fellowships at Jefferson, Cook County (Chicago) and the combined NIH/Maryland program. Heme-Onc was popular with residents matching at Duke, Northwestern, Ohio State and the NCI. In ID, residents matched at Washington University, North Carolina, Maryland, Cornell, GW, Beth Israel-Deaconess, Penn State and Washington Hospital Center. Those interested in rheumatology matched to Duke and Hopkins. Other fellowship matches include critical care (Stanford, NIH, Pittsburgh, Duke), hematology-critical care (NIH), endocrinology (Tufts, Maryland), nephrology (Maryland) and allergy-immunology (Henry Ford). Through a strong faculty support system and diverse research program, residents build a comprehensive CV. Many residents present their work at our regional ACP-ASIM meeting with several attending national meetings in their field. Since 1994, most residents have chosen fellowships in cardiology, GI, and pulmonary/critical care, with the remainder choosing infectious diseases, heme-onc, nephrology, endocrinology, allergy-immunology and other subspecialties. In addition, several have gone on to fellowships or academic positions in general internal medicine.

What is your board pass rate?

Our 3-year pass rate is 97%. Check out ABIM Pass Rates at the American Board of Internal Medicine to compare our 3-year pass rate against other training programs.

How do I apply to your residency program?

Full details on how to apply to our various programs are available on the Application Process page. We accept only ERAS applications for the categorical, preliminary, Med-Peds and IM-EM training programs.

What is the diversity of your residents?

We are very proud that our residents come from a variety of backgrounds and schools. The current first year class represents numerous medical schools from the mid-Atlantic, northeast, southeast, southwest and mid-west. Occasionally, we have residents from the Pacific Northwest and California as well. Approximately 25-30% of each class has graduates from the University of Maryland School of Medicine with 55% percent women. Ten percent of our residents are African-American, 30% are Asian-Pacific Islander and 5% are Hispanic.

What is your RRC accreditation status?

We have 5-year full accreditation from the RRC - their highest rating. In addition, all of our 12 subspecialty fellowships are fully accredited by the RRC.

Do you conform to all the RRC regulations regarding admissions, duty hours and working environment? Do you have all the curricular elements required by the RRC?

By being fully accredited, we confirm and abide by all RRC regulations. We enforce a strict 5 admission cap for first year residents, have a night and day float system, ensure adequate sleep and rest while on call, among many others. We have implemented an extensive night team and cross coverage system to ensure that all residents work less than 80 hours/week on average over the month, have 4 full days off each month, work no more than 30 continuous hours, and have 8-10 hours off between duty shifts. By moving the cut-off time for admissions to 7 PM, shifting weekend moonlighting hours, adding weekday moonlighting opportunities from 5-9 PM, and changing responsibilities for the Day Float, we have seen significant improvement in duty hours across the board. We track work hours monthly to ensure we are 100% compliant with all RRC Duty Hour Requirements. In addition, we ensure that all teams do not exceed their caps for individual and team patient census. Our Written Curriculum is competency-based, comprehensive and encompasses all elements required by the RRC. In addition, we have added several curricular items targeted at areas that we feel are important, such as women's health, palliative medicine, ethics and evidence based medicine.

Do you have a night and day float system?

We have the both night and day floats at University Hospital and the VA. Each night team comes on duty at 9 pm Sunday through Thursday nights, takes all admissions and does all cross coverage for the medical teams. Interns on-call these days take their last admission at 7 pm and can leave the hospital around 9 pm. Thus, interns and residents on floor teams only take in-house overnight call twice during a block. The Night Team presents their admissions to the team attending the following morning - thus ensuring continuity of care, accountability and educational value for their work. Both the University and VA Night Teams, implemented in July 2000 and December 2001, respectively, are wonderful additions to the residency program allowing our residents to be more rested, stay under the 80-hour workweek cap and attend more conferences. The day float system at University and the VA was implemented in July 2004. This resident starts their responsibilities at 1 PM and stays through 11 PM, assisting the post-call team, long-call team and ICU's as needed. The Day Float teams have a protected educational time to work on Journal Club, which they present as a group during this 2-week rotation. The Day Float also takes all the cross-cover calls starting at 5 PM. Again, the institutional support for adding these residents has greatly improved our ability to adhere to the RRC Duty Hour Requirements.

What kind of call system do you have?

Call is every 4th night on all services and in all hospitals, including all ICU's. In June 2003, we undertook a massive reorganization of the University general medicine inpatient services, converting them from individual call to a full team call system. Team call also exists for the general medicine services at the VA. These teams are covered by a University or VA Night Team so that residents may leave at 9 PM on their days on call Sundays through Thursdays. On the Infectious Disease Services (Med-ID Gold and Silver), the ICU's at University and the VA and in the Cancer Center residents take individual over-night call and leave by 1 PM post-call. At Mercy Medical Center, the residents take individual call and are relieved of duties at 9 PM by the Mercy Night Team. All these systems are fully compliant with the RRC Duty Hour Requirements.

What recent changes have you made in the curriculum?

Several exciting curricular items were implemented in the last few years -- including an evidence based medicine curriculum, a competency-based core curriculum in internal medicine, a weekly board review course and enhanced training in primary care. The CCU and PCU (telemetry) teams merged in July 2005 into 2 parallel teams -- the CCS and PCS teams -- who care for both CCU and telemetry patients. This new structure has greatly improved continuity of patient care and enhanced resident efficiency. The addition of the Night Teams and Day Floats at University and the VA have greatly benefited the residency program. We have also implemented several distance learning modules, which are web-based tutorials in key topics in internal medicine. The current modules are in Palliative Medicine and End-of-Life Care. Residents work through these modules at their own pace, reading the material and answering questions. In 2004, we morphed to 28 day rotations (13 /year) which gave residents a more evenly balanced schedule. Our newest program is the expanded 29-bed state-of-the-art MICU which opened in May 2006.

What else is new in the program?

We implemented an enhanced academic advisory and research system to allow residents to develop their research skills and secure the best fellowship positions. All of our conferences are listed on a Web-Based Calendar with slides and handouts available on-line at COnferences page for easy future reference. We are developing a compendium of key articles for several rotations. These form the foundation for primary source readings for the month. Lastly, we implemented a web-based evaluation system several years ago where residents have immediate access to their evaluations, log in their procedures and evaluate the faculty and their rotations.

How will I hear about whether I have been granted an interview?

You will receive all preliminary correspondence from our program via email - So check your email frequently. Once your ERAS application and supporting documents have been reviewed by the Program Director, you will either be granted an interview or your application will be placed on hold for a second review in 2-3 weeks. Once you have been granted an interview, you will receive an invitation via email with instructions to select an interview date. After you let us know your preferred interview dates by telephone, we will confirm. Information regarding the day's activities, hotel accommodations, directions and other items will be provided once your interview is confirmed or can be viewed at Interview, Travel and Hotel Information.

How can I find out about the status of my application?

Please call us at 410-328-2388 for any information about your application.

When is the best time to interview at the University of Maryland?

Any time is a good time for an interview. Applicants are given the same consideration for ranking whether they interview early or late in the recruitment season. 

What if I want to come back for a second look?

All applicants are encouraged to visit us again, particularly if their first visit was early in the interview season. Try to come on a day when we are not interviewing. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are good choices. Contact us at us at 410-328-2388 to set up a second visit appointment.

How many residents do you plan to recruit?

We are recruiting a similar number of residents as we have done in the past, including 25 categorical internal medicine, 4 Med-Peds, 2 Med-EM, and approximately 20 preliminary internal medicine interns. 

How many residents do you have in each track and year of training?

For 2008-2009, we have 142 residents in the Department of Medicine plus 4 full-time chief residents who have already completed their residency training - 2 University/VA chiefs, a Mercy chief and a primary care chief resident. We also have a chief resident in their final year of training in Med-Peds and IM-EM.  There are approximately 79 categorical, 16 Med-Peds, and 10 IM-EM residents, plus 37 preliminary interns (20.5 at University and 16.5 at Mercy Medical Center).  Since 24 residents are in combined training programs, the total FTE (full time equivalents) of residents in training is 130 residents. The following chart shows the number of residents in each year of the training program by track.

Track PGY-1 PGY-2 PGY-3 PGY-4 PGY-5 Total
Categorical Medicine 26 26 27 79
Med-Peds 4 4 4 4
Med-EM 2 2 2 2
(Mercy Medical Center)
TOTAL 69 32 33 6

How many chief residents do you have and what are their responsibilities?

We have 6 chief residents at the University of Maryland. Four of the chiefs have completed their training in internal medicine and are board eligible/certified and include 3 University-VA Chief Residents, a Primary Care Resident and the Mercy Chief Resident.  We have 2 chief residents in their final year of training in the Med-Peds and IM-EM programs. 

How many electives and call-free months do I get as a first year resident? How about vacation time?

All categorical interns have 5 blocks without call, including 2 electives, 1/2 month of ER, 1 month of Episodic Care, 1 month of Night Float, and 3 weeks of vacation. Preliminary interns have 4-5 non-call months, including 1-2 Night Float months, 2 electives, 1/2 month of VA episodic care and 3 weeks of vacation.

All upper level residents have 4 weeks of paid vacation per year.

We consider Night Team as a "non-call" rotation since you work 60 hours per week Sunday through Thursday nights and have 2 full weekends off. You have a 2 week block of vacation and another 1 week of vacation that is taken during one of your electives. Since interns start a week early on June 24th each year, they end their internship a week early and get an extra week of unpaid vacation at the end of June -- giving interns a total of 4 weeks off between June 24th and June 30th of the following year. All categorical and preliminary interns have 2 months of elective. Med-Peds and Med-EM residents each have one elective during their 6 months of internal medicine internship.

I am an applicant for the preliminary program in internal medicine. What are the differences between a preliminary and categorical internship?

The preliminary intern curriculum is nearly identical to the categorical medicine year. The only differences are that the preliminary residents do 1/2 month is the VA's Urgent Care and do not have an ER block. The 10 inpatient equivalents for preliminary interns consist of approximately 8-9 months of inpatient services (including 2-3 ICU months) plus 1-2 months of Day/Night Float. Preliminary interns have 4-5 non-call months, including 1-2 Day/Night Float months, 2 electives, and 3 weeks of vacation. Preliminary interns have 2 months of elective. Preliminary residents do not attend a weekly continuity medical clinic unless they plan to continue in internal medicine.

Do you give special consideration for those in the couples match or who a special connection to Baltimore?

Please let us know in writing that you are in the couples match, even if your significant other is applying to a field outside of medicine. We are very interested in recruiting qualified couples to the University of Maryland. We are also interested in knowing if you have special ties to the Baltimore area.

What physical changes have you made?

The Department has renovated the call rooms, making the facilities very attractive, quiet and safe. We have also renovated our team rooms for several of the services. In addition to our Departmental changes, there have been absolutely spectacular physical changes at UMMC, including the new Weinberg Building, with our incredible new MICU opened in 2006. The new outpatient center of the Greenebaum Cancer Center opened in June 2005 and provides state-of-the-art care for ambulatory patients.

What library facilities are available for the residents?

The new Health Sciences Library that opened in 1998 has over 2300 journals. Through the use of Up-to-Date, Ovid and Medline, residents have access to pertinent literature through enhanced searching capabilities in an evidence based medicine format. In addition, residents have 24/7 access to the Woodward Library at the VA where they can read hard copies of journals pertinent to internal medicine and use the copying machines.

What benefits do residents receive and what is the current salary?

In addition to routine health benefits, residents receive free parking, dinner and breakfast while on call, annual $100 book allowances and a $750 conference stipend in the senior year. For the current salary and additional information, please see Salary and Benefits

This page was last updated on: September 11, 2008.