Preliminary Program

The preliminary year provides residents with a solid foundation in internal medicine before specialization. We recognize that the preliminary interns have diverse interests, so we have added elective rotations to allow the interns to tailor their coursework to suit their needs and career goals.

These elective rotations may be taken in the Department of Medicine and in other departments at Duke. Interns may also consider research rotations for these electives.

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 – one rotation 
  • Subspecialty inpatient wards – four rotations, from Cardiology, Neurology, Nephrology, Oncology or Pulmonary
  • Intensive care unit – one rotation
  • Emergency Department – one rotation
  • Electives – 2.25 rotations

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.