Internal Medicine Residency Program

Program Director's Welcome

Judy Blair-ElorteguiWelcome to the University of South Alabama’s Internal Medicine Residency Program! I have recently rejoined the faculty in the role of program director and can say I am happy to be home. I am a USA College of Medicine graduate and trained in the USA Med-Peds Residency Program. After residency, I spent 11 years on the faculty at USA including serving as the program director for the Med-Peds Program. I then spent 5 years working in private practice in the community before returning to USA in December 2016. Although I enjoyed my practice in the community, I missed the academic environment and working with residents and medical students.

When asked what the strength of our program is, it is an easy reply. The people we have at USA are absolutely what makes us special. We have an amazing faculty who are dedicated clinician educators. Our program size and structure allows a lot of hands on experience and graduated medical decision making undertaken with approachable, readily available attending support. The housestaff is truly a family that supports each other.

We are excited to see further enhancements to the CorePlus curriculum for the upcoming year. CorePlus provides residents with a solid foundation in General Internal Medicine while allowing opportunities to customize their education to meet special interests or career goals. When we surveyed our residents they preferred this option to being locked into a “track.” The program offers additional training in areas such as: Global Health, Procedural Medicine, Primary Care/Preventive Health, Medical Education and Quality Improvement/Patient Safety. There are several more areas being developed for the program including directed research.

I hope you will come see what the program and beautiful Mobile, Alabama have to offer.

Judy Blair-Elortegui, M.D.


▼   Overview

Internal medicine residents Our program is a medium-sized, University-based residency program that emphasizes a general internal medicine approach to patient care and teaching. The goal of our training program is to provide the knowledge and experience needed to practice internal medicine of the highest quality. This goal is accomplished by offering a broad range of experiences in general internal medicine and its subspecialties. Our program is designed to be flexible to enable one to prepare to enter practice as general internists or to enter subspecialty training. A four-year combined Medicine/Pediatrics program is also available.

The Department of Medicine offers three-year categorical positions, four-year combined Medicine/Pediatrics positions, and one-year preliminary positions. These programs are designed to prepare the resident to enter a primary care practice, academic medicine, fellowship training, or to enter a residency program which requires a preliminary year of training. Our training program is small and friendly, providing an atmosphere where housestaff and faculty interact at a level seldom experienced in larger programs.

▼   Educational Program

Educational Program The residency program utilizes a 4+2 block rotational system with an ultimate goal of providing a well-rounded education in Internal Medicine and preparing residents for a variety of career opportunities following training: Subspecialist, Primary Care Provider, Hospitalist, etc. Residents in the program have unique opportunities to individualize their education through the CorePlus program. This program allows residents to obtain unique skills to prepare them for their chosen career path or pursue special interests. Residents are also able to choose longitudinal electives as part of their ambulatory blocks. These electives provide distinct educational opportunities as well as opportunities to foster mentor relationships with faculty members.

Categorical Intern Schedule

  • 20 weeks In-Patient Wards
  • 4 weeks Emergency Medicine
  • 4 weeks Night Float (two 2-week blocks)
  • 12 weeks Ambulatory (Primary care continuity clinic sessions and other ambulatory care experiences such as clinic sessions with dermatology, sickle cell, gastroenterology, oncology, etc.)
  • 4 weeks Critical Care
  • 8 weeks Subspecialty Consultative services (typically Infectious Disease, Nephrology, and Cardiology)

Preliminary interns follow a similar schedule, but we do individualize those schedules to best prepare for future training.

Ward Schedule

The in-patient ward rotational schedule is designed around three basic principles: 1) patient safety 2) resident and medical student education 3) promotion of physician wellness. Our ward teams utilize a drip system for admissions allowing teams time for in-depth patient evaluation and education. There are 4 traditional wards teams consisting of one upper level resident and 2-3 interns, 1 hospitalist team consisting of 3-4 upper level residents, and 1 float team consisting of 1 upper level resident and 2 interns. The hospitalist team handles admissions from 6am-1pm to allow the traditional ward teams uninterrupted time for attending rounds, education and patient care. The float team drip admits patients overnight and handles second call issues for ward patients. The schedule maximizes continuity and minimizes transitions of care.

Typical Schedule

  • 6am or 7am check-in
  • Alternating day 4 or 6pm check-out (earlier weekend check-out for 4pm teams)
  • < 1 overnight call/4 week block (12 hour shift only) for interns, no overnights for upper level residents on wards
  • 1 day in 7 off
  • Protected time to attend educational activities

Lecture and Educational Conferences

  • Noon report with the Chairman weekly
  • Academic half day weekly
  • Grand Rounds weekly
  • Journal Club monthly
  • Morbidity and Mortality Conference monthly
  • Jeopardy with the Chief Resident monthly
  • Tumor Board monthly
  • Ambulatory half day weekly (for residents on ambulatory block only)
  • Other subspecialty conferences offered weekly/monthly
▼   Prospective Students

The University of South Alabama Internal Medicine Residency Program offers 3 residency training programs sponsored by USA Health University Hospital. Please review the content below to see our ACGME/NRMP/ERAS listed program names, corresponding ID numbers, and the types of tracks we offer. 

IM Categorical

ACGME ID: 1400111024

Training Track: 3 years

NRMP Number: 1852140C0

Program Name: USA Health University Hospital

City/State: Mobile, Alabama

IM Preliminary

ACGME ID: 1400111024

Training Track: 1 year

NRMP Number: 1852140P0

Program Name: USA Health University Hospital

City/State: Mobile, Alabama

Combined Med/Peds

ACGME ID: 7000132085

Training Track: 4 years

NRMP Number: 1852140C0

Program Name: USA Health University Hospital

City/State: Mobile, Alabama

How to Apply

Applications for a categorical or preliminary position will only be accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). We do not accept applications via FAX, email or postal services. A complete application includes:

  • ERAS Common Application Form
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Dean’s Letter (MSPE)
  • A minimum of three (3) Letters of Recommendation (NOTE: One LOR should be submitted from the applicant's Department of Medicine Chair) 
  • Personal Statement
  • Photograph (Required)
  • USMLE Transcripts or COMLEX Transcripts

ERAS applications are reviewed and invitations to interview will be extended via email to those selected. Step 1 score is required with submission of your initial application; Step 2 CS and CK scores are required prior to the deadline for submission of the rank list.

Requirements for International Medical Graduates

Candidates must pass Step 1 and Step 2 on first attempt with a minimum score of 219 prior to applying to the program. Other requirements include:

  • A minimum of 3 months of hands-on direct clinical experience in a US accredited teaching hospital. We will not interview candidates who have not obtained this required clinical experience. Observerships or externship without direct clinical responsibility for patients do not meet this criteria
  • Applicants from medical schools located outside the US and Canada must have graduated from medical school with in the last 5 years.
  • USMLE Step 3 is not required to apply
  • Fluent in spoken and written English
  • The applicant must be eligible for an ECFMG Certificate in order to apply.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation


  • All applicants who match with us are responsible for all visa fees.
  • For help with J1 visa sponsorship, please contact Maurice Chavarry, Immigration Coordinator. 
  • All matched applicants must obtain a valid visa prior to intern orientation (approximately the last week of June each year).
  • J1 Visa are accepted.
▼   Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in our Internal Medicine training program. The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which covers the mandatory criteria for our program. All Intern appointments are made in accordance with the rules of the NRMP. For further instruction, please review the MyERAS Documents page in the ERAS FAQ section.

General Questions

How can I apply to your program?
You must apply through ERAS.

Do you participate in the National Residency Matching Program?

Is US clinical experience a requirement?
Yes, you must have 3 months of clinical experience in a US or Canadian hospital with direct patient contact (observerships are not acceptable). You should have at least one reference letter from a US or Canadian physician who can verify your clinical experience and attest to the quality of your work.

Is there a cut off of years from graduation?
Yes, you should be within five years of graduation from medical school.

How many positions do you have available through the match?
We offer 14 Categorical Intern positions and 6 Preliminary positions each year.

What is the deadline for accepting applications?
The deadline for completed applications is December 15th.

How many letters of recommendation must I have?
You must have at least three (3) recommendation letters. Note: ERAS allows a maximum of four (4) LoRs to be assigned to a program.

What are your USMLE score requirements?
Applicants must pass USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt. Most of our applicants have USMLE step 1 and step 2 scores of 220 or higher. However, we do not specifically exclude applicants based on the USMLE score as we carefully consider the entire application and encourage all interested students to submit applications to our residency programs. USMLE step 3 is not required to apply.

What are your COMLEX score requirements?
They are the same as the USMLE score requirements. Applicants must pass COMLEX step 1 and step 2 on the first attempt.

International Medical Graduates

Do you take International Medical Graduates into your program?
Yes, we do.

Do I have to be ECFMG certified?
Yes, you must be ECFMG certified.

Do you sponsor or accept any visas?
Yes, we sponsor J1 visas. All applicants who match with us are responsible for all visa fees. All matched applicants must obtain a valid visa prior to intern orientation (approx. last week of June yearly). We encourage J1 visas for eligible matched applicants. We refer matched interns to the ECFMG website regarding all the necessary paperwork.

Do you sponsor H1-b visas?
No, we only sponsor J1 visas.

Does your institution accept an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?
Yes, we do.

What percentage of your current academic year housestaff are IMG's?

  • Internal Medicine - Categorical = 28%
  • Internal Medicine - Preliminary = 33%
  • Combined Medicine/Pediatrics = 11%
▼   Residency Training Verification

According to the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, the following fee structure applies to requests for postgraduate training verification:

  • $50.00 - Verification of training dates and/or program completion provided on our form, to be used for credentialing purposes only and issued in response to a request by a hospital or other agency with a valid authorization for release of information
  • $75.00 - Verification of training dates and program specifics on training including procedures and narratives on resident performance provided on institution or agency’s form with a valid authorization for release of information

Payment by check is to be made Payable To:

South Alabama Medical Science Foundation (SAMSF)

Mail to:

University of South Alabama Department of Internal Medicine
ATTN: Jessica Petro
2451 University Hospital Drive, Mastin 400-K
Mobile, AL 36617

Requests submitted without payment will not be processed. Requests are to be specific and must be accompanied by an authorization for release form. If you have questions you may contact the Internal Medicine Education office at (251) 471-7891 or email Jessica Petro at

▼   Contact Information

Department of Internal Medicine
University of South Alabama College of Medicine
2451 University Hospital Dr. 
Mastin Building, Suite 400-K
Mobile, AL 36617

Chairman's Office: (251) 471-7900
Residency Office: (251) 471-7891

Leah Musgrove, Program Coordinator III 

Jessica Petro, Program Coordinator I