Internal Medicine Residency Program

Program Director's Welcome

Judy Blair-Elortegui

Welcome to the University of South Alabama’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. We are a medium sized, academic program in a vibrant, growing health system that offers robust learning opportunities in a positive, supportive environment. 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 offer an amazing opportunity for hands on experience and graduated medical decision making undertaken with approachable, readily available attending support. The house staff is truly a family that supports each other. Our house staff members are involved in both our program and health system as we develop innovative programming to meet the needs of our learners. Our graduates go on to a variety of careers in primary care, subspecialty medicine, and hospitalist medicine. We are proud of our graduates’ ability to confidently and competently enter fellowship or independent practice upon completion of the program.

On a personal note, 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 as the Internal Medicine Program Director. Although I enjoyed my practice in the community, I missed the academic environment and working with residents and medical students. It is wonderful to be “home” and be a part of all the exciting things happening at USA Health.

We are also fortunate to call Mobile, Alabama our home. Mobile is a beautiful, historic hidden gem of a city. Our city offers an excellent cost of living, growing economy, abundant cultural and outdoor activities, and a great downtown restaurant scene that blends the best of our historic past and local agricultural resources. Best of all, we are less than an hour from the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches.

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.

▼   Mission and Aims

In accordance with our sponsoring institution’s mission to “help people lead longer, better lives,” the principal goal of the University of South Alabama Internal Medicine Residency Program is to assure that our trainees acquire the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to independently and competently practice and provide consultative services in General Internal Medicine. Graduates will have a strong foundation in General Internal Medicine that will allow them to pursue a variety of career pathways within the specialty. Many of our graduates will continue to serve in our region which is historically medically underserved. In accordance with the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, our aim is to prove competency in the areas of Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Systems-Based Practice, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Professionalism, and Interpersonal and Communication Skills.

  1. Residents will acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health in a variety of roles within a health system, in a variety of healthcare settings and across a broad spectrum of clinical disorders.
  2. Residents will acquire the ability to manage patients using laboratory and imaging techniques appropriately and the ability to competently perform all procedures required by the ABIM using practices that are safe, scientifically based, effective, efficient, timely and cost effective.
  3. Residents will acquire the knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social behavioral sciences and the ability to apply this knowledge to patient care across a broad spectrum of clinical disorders.
  4. Residents will acquire the ability to demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value.
  5. Residents will acquire the ability to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their patient care practices based on constant self-evaluation and life-long learning.
  6. Residents will acquire the ability to identify strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one’s knowledge and expertise, set learning and improvement goals, identify and perform appropriate learning activities, and use information technology and evidence based medicine to optimize learning and participate in the education of patients, families, students, residents, and other healthcare professionals.
  7. Residents will demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles. Residents are expected to demonstrate compassion, integrity, and respect for others, a responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest, respect for patient privacy and autonomy, an accountability to patients, society and the profession, and sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation.
  8. Residents will demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals. Residents are expected to communicate effectively with patients, families, and the public across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, communicate effectively with physicians, other health professionals, and health related agencies, work effectively as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group, act in a consultative role to other physicians and health professionals, and maintain comprehensive, timely, and legible medical records.
▼   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 are able to choose longitudinal electives as part of their ambulatory blocks. These electives provide distinct educational opportunities, which allow residents to individualize their educational experience, as well as gain 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 7am-2pm 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

  • Check-in: 7am
  • Check-outs: 7pm every fourth day, 4pm other days (early weekend/holiday check-outs)
  • < 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 every six weeks
  • Morbidity and Mortality Conference every six weeks
  • Jeopardy with the Chief Resident every six weeks
  • Tumor Board every six weeks
  • 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

Visas

  • 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).
  • Only 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?
Yes.

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. Most of our applicants have COMPLEX step 1 and step 2 scores of 500 or higher. However, we do not specifically exclude applicants based on the COMPLEX score as we carefully consider the entire application and encourage all interested students to submit applications to our residency programs. COMPLEX step 3 is not required to apply.

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.

▼   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 jpetro@health.southalabama.edu.

▼   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
lmusgrove@health.southalabama.edu 

Jessica Petro, Program Coordinator I
jmcdaniel@health.southalabama.edu