In addition to the categorical and preliminary training programs, four optional pathways are open to residents interested in specific areas of study.

Categorical Program

The majority of Duke's Internal Medicine Residents complete the categorical program, a three-year training period that starts with the Internship year and concludes with the Senior Assistant Residency year.

Preliminary Program

The preliminary year provides residents with a strong foundation in internal medicine before specialization. Preliminary interns are integrated into the program and enjoy the same responsibilities and opportunities as their categorical peers.

The preliminary year also differs from the Categorical Program Internship year by the addition of a rotation in the Emergency Department. There is no continuity clinic for preliminary interns.

The 12 rotations of the preliminary year are four weeks in duration and include: 

  • General medicine wards – three rotations
  • Ambulatory medicine – 4+2 block schedule, including specialty and urgent care clinics 
  • Subspecialty inpatient wards – four rotations, from Cardiology, Neurology, Malignant Hematology or Pulmonology
  • Intensive care unit – one rotation
  • Emergency Department – one rotation

The vacation schedule is like that for all other residents, with three weeks throughout the year and an added break either at Christmas or New Year's.

Research Pathways

The ABIM-approved Physician-Scientist Training Program is designed for individuals who have experience in biomedical research, are interested in research development, and wish to develop fundamental skills and expertise to conduct rigorous and original clinical investigation. Beginning in 2018, the Department of Medicine also offers the Duke R38 Research Pathway for residents committed to a career as a physician investigator. This NIH-funded, ABIM-approved opportunity includes a 4-year Internal Medicine residency that incorporates 18-months of protected time for research sponsored by an R38 Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) grant.

Global Health

The Global Health Pathway develops academic leaders in global health who work to reduce human suffering caused by health disparities.

Health Care Leadership

The Management and Leadership Pathway provides residents with the knowledge and skills essential to bridge clinical practice and management and become skillful and effective physician executives.