There are several important factors to consider when seeking the best internal medicine residency program, and each of them will likely be based largely on the ultimate career choice of the applicant. While many aspiring students focus almost solely on the medical facility where they will complete their residency since it has critical implications for future employment, others tend to seek specialized training that provides a noticeable edge above their peers. Other factors that students face when seeking the best internal medicine residency program is the total amount of time involved before gaining certification, the hours each program requires of applicants, and the overall completion rate of the program.
One of the first questions that practitioners normally hear in an internal medicine interview is "Where did you complete your residency?" This does not happen by chance, because the chosen medical facility tells a great deal about the applicant in terms of what they learned and the philosophies behind the training. Studying at a modern hospital, for example, would show that the applicant completed an internal medicine residency program that took advantage of the latest technologies and medical procedures. The prestige of the medical facility is a critical factor in any raining program, and it should never be overlooked.
Specialized training is another large factor in choosing the best internal medicine residency program, especially for internists looking to work with the latest medical discoveries within their respective fields. A cancer treatment center, for example, would provide a professional invaluable experience that could not be easily obtained within a smaller hospital that treats a variety of patients. The same philosophy would apply to a cardiologist, hematologist, or a infectious disease expert; the highest levels of training would come from an institution that treats those types of cases daily.
Another consideration when searching for the best internal medicine residency program should be the amount of time required by the institution to become fully licensed. In some fields, this can vary between three and ten years. While the daily operations between a licensed internist and a resident may not vary a whole lot, the pay scales and advancement opportunities could be significant. Some hospital systems require very long hours from their residents as well, which is why some programs have much higher completion rates than others. A prospective resident seeking an internal medicine residency program should consider each of these factors before committing to a specific program since the length of his investment is so substantial.