Preliminary Year

The preliminary year interns are an integral part of our medicine residency. Here at Virginia Mason we offer five preliminary year positions. These are for residents who need an internal medicine year before entering their specialty of choice. This is in contrast to the transitional year, which also includes surgical rotations. Preliminary year residents share the same rotation requirements as categorical medicine residents except that they do not have a continuity clinic. They can choose from a wide range of electives often including their specialty of choice, which presents a unique networking opportunity for those who hope to return to the area.

Our preliminary year residents are given the same responsibilities as categorical interns including teaching medical students and presenting at conferences. They are also free to pursue research opportunities and quality improvement projects of interest. Each year, our preliminary year residents join the categorical residents at an overnight fall retreat, which is the beginning of many long lasting friendships.

Typical post-preliminary year residency plans for the last three years have been:


Dermatology: Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas at San Antonio
Ophthalmology: University of Washington, University of California, Los Angeles
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: University of Washington and Rutgers, New Jersey
Radiology: University of Washington


Dermatology: Kaiser Permanente – Los Angeles Medical Center, University of Utah, University of Washington and George Washington University
Anesthesiology: Virginia Mason


Dermatology: University of Washington
Ophthalmology: University of Washington
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: University of Washington
Radiology: Washington University in St. Louis