How Do You Choose the Best Training Program For You?

When our medical students ask us what to look for in a training program, we offer a few objective parameters, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research rank of the department which tends to reflect the depth and breadth of the faculty research as well as the caliber of medical schools residents come from. In addition, the places residents go after completing their training, and the competitiveness of residents for fellowships is a reflection of how the training program is regarded in the academic medicine community. We would invite applicants to compare our National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) residency match lists and our fellowship match list to our peer Midwestern academic programs.

Learning Environment Benefits

The most important factor, however, is the learning environment of the program, which is best determined by speaking with current residents. At the end of the day, what matters most is finding the perfect fit - identifying a training program that allows a trainee to thrive and pursue his or her long-term career goals.

Quality of Program Rankings

There are no validated systems for ranking Internal Medicine Residency programs. In 2013 the U.S. News & World Report attempted to rank Internal Medicine Residency programs, but their methodology was heavily based upon the overall name recognition of the institution and most Internal Medicine program directors do not view this as a valid method of ranking programs. Now Doximity (owned by U.S. News) is attempting a ranking system that is highly reliant on programs lobbying faculty to "vote" for their program. Like a number of academic programs, we have opted not to participate in the Doximity rankings. A number of residency program director groups (IM and EM among others) have come out with a policy of not participating in Doximity rankings.

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