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 are expert diagnosticians who diagnose and treat a spectrum of acute and chronic illnesses, promote health and help prevent disease. They are also 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.

At a Glance


  • 3 years of residency
  • Categorical and advanced positions available

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


Cardiology1 year
Critical Care1-2 years
Endocrinology3 years
Gastroenterology3 years
Geriatrics & Nutrition2 years
Hermatology & Oncology3 years
Infectious Diseases2 years
Medical Genetics2-4 years
Renal2 years
Pulmonary2 years
Rheumatology2 years
Sports Medicine1 year


Median, Academic Salary$211,000
Median, Clinical Salary$229,000

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges

Training Requirements

Training consists of a minimum of three years of postgraduate education in an ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency training program. There were 396 internal medicine residency training programs accredited by the ACGME for 2014/15 that offered 6,770 categorical positions.

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





# Categorical/ Advanced positions available for U.S. Seniors6770652462775277
% U.S. Seniors matched*98%98%97%98%
# Unfilled Categorical/ Advanced Positions22593551
# Unmatched U.S. seniors78637855

Source: NRMP Match results for U.S. seniors applying in a single specialty. *Competitiveness is based upon the percentage of U.S. Seniors who ranked each specialty as their only choice.

WUSM Match Statistics

For a list of WUSM match statistics for the past several years, please visit Search for WUSM Statistics. (password protected)

Subspecialty/Fellowship TrainingSubspecialty/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 at the FREIDA website.

Visit AMA website »
Visit FREIDA website »

The Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) in the Department of Internal Medicine at Washington University is committed to training physician scientists and preparing them for successful careers in academic medicine. The program focuses on the period from the completion of the combined MD-PhD degree through the clinical and post-doctoral research training years, culminating in a full-time academic appointment.

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.

Washington University Resources

Faculty Contacts

Melvin Blanchard, MD362-8065
Amy Loden, MD362-8065
Geoffrey Cislo, MD362-8065
Tom De Fer, MD, FACP362-8050
Kathryn Diemer, MD362-6251
Megan Wren, MD362-8050
EP Barrette, MA, MDE362-8065
Emily Fondahn, MD747-0274

National Organizations