UVa School of Medicine

Vital Signs


Types of Residency Programs


  1. Categorical Program - complete residency including 1st year (PGY-1) of postgraduate training in the discipline. All primary care & some specialty programs are of this type.


  2. Incomplete initial programs:
    • Transitional Program - 1st postgraduate year training which includes experience in more than one clinical discipline.
    • Preliminary Track in Medicine or Surgery - 1st (occasionally 1st & 2nd) year training without commitment for additional years of training in the program.

      Transitional & Preliminary programs may be used to provide broad clinical experience required for entry into specialty training or for the initial training of graduates who have not selected a clinical discipline. 

  3. Advanced Student Program - begins at 2nd year (PGY-2) of postgraduate training or later, but appointment is received during the 4th year of medical school. A separate appointment for the initial postgraduate year(s) of training must be obtained.


  4. Program for Physicians Only (Advanced Resident Program) - begins at 2nd year (PGY-2) of postgraduate training or later, but application for appointment is made after medical school graduation.



Obtaining Residency Appointments

  1. National Resident Matching Program (NRMP); "The Match" - a program to allow applicants for residency positions, & institutions offering those positions, to rank their preferences confidentially at a uniform date. This matches applicants to the programs ranked highest on their listing provided those programs offer them a position. Almost all positions in primary care disciplines, pathology, & general surgery as well as many in the medical, surgical & support specialties are offered in this program. Both 1st year & advanced programs are included. Provisions are made for the matching of couples to the same institution or geographic area.


  2. Advanced Specialty Matching Programs - positions in child neurology, neurological surgery, & ophthalmology are offered in programs administered by the San Francisco Matching Program. The American Urological Association conducts a matching program for positions in that specialty.


  3. Military Programs - because the U.S. Air Force, Army & Navy do not participate in the residency matching programs, students with military obligations must apply directly to their branch of service. They should also enroll in the NRMP since the number of applicants may exceed the number of available positions in the military programs.


  4. "Outside of the Match" - a few programs do not participate in any matching program and arrange appointments directly with applicants.


  5. ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) - a service which transmits residency applications, letters of recommendation, Dean's Letters, transcripts, and other supporting credentials from medical schools to residency program directors using the Internet.


  6. Some programs may employ a variety of patterns for appointing residents:
    • Categorical or complete - NRMP 
    • PGY-1 in NRMP
      a. PGY-2 appointment in NRMP advanced student program
      b. PGY-2 appointment in advanced specialty match (before NRMP) or outside the Match
      c. PGY-2 appointment in the Fall of PGY-1 year in the NRMP advanced resident program or outside the Match



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