beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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The  internship year emphasizes the care of patients in general inpatient medicine, intensive care medicine, oncology, cardiology, liver/kidney service, emergency medicine and ambulatory medicine utilizing both campuses and selected outside sites such as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and VA Medical Center.  

Working as part of a 2-4 physician team which includes an overseeing resident, attending staff and often medical students, interns gain experience in the management of patients with a broad range of medical diseases. Interns have primary responsibility for the care of all patients admitted to the medical ward service and are considered their patient’s primary inpatient doctor for the duration of the hospitalization.

Throughout intern year, interns maintain a longitudinal continuity clinic experience where they develop a panel of their own primary care patients. During most of the year, with the exception of intensive care rotations, interns will have clinic one half-day per week. Distributed throughout the year are four “ambulatory blocks” of two weeks duration. During this time, the interns are in their continuity clinic every afternoon and attend outpatient specific didactic lectures during the morning hours.

As members of the Harvard faculty, interns play an important role in teaching, both of their peers and of rotating medical students. While on the medical wards, interns provide daily clinical guidance and teaching to third and fourth year medical students. As part of the ambulatory care curriculum, interns will also have the opportunity to lead pre-clinic conferences. During the year, there are special intern-only educational activities including the twice-weekly Intern Report, monthly intern forum sessions and bi-annual 24-hour intern retreats.

One Year Preliminary Training in Internal Medicine 

Each year several internship positions are reserved for applicants desiring one year of rigorous internal medicine training (Preliminary year) prior to postgraduate training in another discipline. Preliminary and Categorical Interns share the same kind of rotation schedule and are exposed to training in the same areas. Preliminary interns may elect to have a continuity clinic experience but are not required to do so.

Intern Schedule

BIDMC’s Intern Year is organized as an innovative “4+2” schedule. This means that 4 week inpatient rotations are sandwiched between 2 weeks of non-call rotations such as ambulatory and elective. This format creates the ideal balance of intensity through the year and guarantees you’re never too far from a golden weekend. Our residents affectionately nicknamed our 4+2 system “AAWESOME” because it optimizes quality of life, education, and flexibility, and also because it’s a perfectly descriptive acronym...

  • Alternating
  • Ambulatory
  • Wards
  • Elective
  • Subspecialty


  • Optimize
  • Medical
  • Education

An example schedule is included below which includes 48 weeks of “4+2”. The other 4 weeks of the year are encompassed by holidays and an intensive orientation period where interns get accommodated to their continuity clinic.


Contact Information

Residency Training Program
Internal Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
West Campus, Deaconess Building, Suite 306
One Deaconess Road
Boston, MA 02215

Read more about our residents, educators, and other members of the BIDMC community in the Department of Medicine's Annual Reports