Explore the Preliminary Program


The Internal Medicine Residency Preliminary Program provides residents bound for training in other specialties with broad and intensive exposure to internal medicine. One-year positions are offered each year for residents planning to enter other areas of residency training including anesthesia, dermatology, neurology, ophthalmology, radiology and radiation oncology.

Preliminary interns may complete their intern year at Mass General and then continue their training at Mass General and other institutions.

The Internal Medicine Residency Preliminary Program also collaborates with other departments at MGH to provide medicine experiences for interns matching directly into other programs, including:

  • Applicants to the Mass General Brigham Neurology Residency Program can complete their preliminary year in medicine by applying to the joint med-neuro preliminary program at Mass General. Please see the How to Apply page for more details about applying to this program
  • Residents entering the Adult Psychiatry Residency Program at Mass General and McLean Hospital spend a preliminary year on the medical services. The internship provides a thorough grounding in internal medicine as well as significant exposure to neurology and psychiatry. Please see the Psychiatry website for application details
  • Residents entering the Anesthesia Residency Program at Mass General participate in an integrated clinical base year (CBY) that provides opportunities to rotate on internal medicine rotations. Please see the Anesthesia website for application details

Program Structure

Interns completing a preliminary year form a substantial portion of the residency group and are fully integrated into the program, with curriculum similar to the categorical program. The only major difference is that there is no requirement for an outpatient continuity experience. However, longitudinal outpatient experiences can be arranged on an individual basis. There are 3.5 months of elective time for the interns in the one-year program.

Preliminary interns have access to and benefit from the same mentoring scaffolding as the categorical interns (first mentor, coach, chief residents, program director and assistant program directors), and are also connected with a faculty member in their chosen PGY-2 field.

While each preliminary intern’s schedule may vary, the following provides an overview of the core rotations for the year:

Preliminary Year

General Medicine (Bigelow-Flex) 6 months
Leukemia, Lymphoma Myeloma or Solid Onc
0.5-1 month
Medical Intensive Care Unit 0.5 month
Career Exploration
3.5 months
Back Up – Self Design 0.5 month
Vacation 1 month

**Schedule may vary based on PGY-2 program requirements

Application Process

All applications for the Preliminary Program are processed through the Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS). All interested applicants should select the Mass General Preliminary Program (NRMP #1261140P0) on their ERAS application. The deadline for applications is September 26, 2023 at midnight EST. All invitations to interview will be granted no later than November 30, 2023.

While multiple tracks are available within the Internal Medicine Residency Program, the Preliminary Track is for applicants looking to complete an intern year in medicine before moving on to other specialties. If you select this option in ERAS, you will only be considered for the Preliminary Program, regardless of what other options you select, and your application will not be reviewed by other programs. 

Full application details can be found here.