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Internal Medicine

Emergency Medicine



Overview of the Specialty

Internal medicine is a broad-based specialty encompassing the body's major organ systems. The general internist is a physician who provides care in the office and the hospital, managing both common and complex problems in adolescents, adults and the elderly. Internists diagnose and treat a spectrum of acute and chronic illnesses, promote health and help prevent disease. They are trained in the essentials of primary care which involves an understanding of disease prevention, wellness, substance abuse, mental health and effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system and reproductive organs.

Training Requirements

Training consists of a minimum of three years of postgraduate education in an ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency training program. There are 389 internal medicine programs offering more than 5,200 training positions available to U.S. seniors in 2012/2013.

Matching Program Information and Match Statistics

Internal medicine residency training programs participate in the NRMP. Match results through the NRMP and competitiveness information for residency training positions are summarized in the U.S. Match Statistics table below.

US Match Statistics 2013 2012 2011 2010
Competitiveness* Low Low Low Low
# Categorical/ Advanced positions available for U.S. Seniors 6277 5277 5121 4999
% U.S. Seniors matched* 97 98 97 97
# Unfilled Categorical/ Advanced Positions 35 51 56 52
# Unmatched U.S. seniors 78 55 89 86

Source: NRMP *Competitiveness is based on the percentage of U.S. seniors who match in each specialty.

Subspecialty/Fellowship Training

Subspecialty/fellowship training following completion of an internal medicine residency training program is available in a wide range of fields. Certifiable subspecialties include: cardiology, endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious diseases, medical oncology, nephrology, pulmonary disease and rheumatology. Added certificates of qualifications can be obtained in adolescent medicine, clinical cardiac electrophysiology, clinical and laboratory immunology, critical care medicine, geriatric medicine and sports medicine. Detailed information about the scope of these subspecialty training programs, number of positions offered and length of training is available in the GMED. Further information can be obtained from the American Medical Association and the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access page.
American Medical Association (AMA) 

Career Information

FREIDA physician workforce information for each specialty includes statistical information on the number of positions/programs for residency training, resident work hours, resident work environment and compensation, employment status upon completion of program and work environment for those entering practice in each specialty.



3 years of residency

Categorical positions available

These are minimum requirements. Some programs may have longer residencies.


Subspecialty Length
Cardiology 1 year
Critical Care 1-2 yrs
Endocrinology 3 years
Gastroenterology 3 years
Geriatric Medicine 2 years
Hermatology & Oncology 3 years
Infectious Disease 2 years
Medical Genetics 2-4 years
Renal 2 years
Pulmonary 2 years
Rheumatology 2 years
Sports Medicine 1 year


Median, Academic Salary $200,000
Median, Clinical Salary $216,000
Source: AAMC

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Page Info

Create Date: 12-23-2005

Last Modification: 01-27-2014

Source: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

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