Welcome to your final year of medical school! In addition to applying for residency, now is the time to complete a Family Medicine Sub-Internship and other family medicine electives. For information on scheduling a sub-I and electives, please see our page on 3rd year.
Why a Family Medicine Sub-I?
There are many reasons to do a sub-I in family medicine and a recent survey of program directors in the UW Family Medicine Residency Network indicated a vast majority of them viewed a sub-I in family medicine as necessary to be a competitive applicant into their residency. The timing of your sub-I is important and should reflect your main reasons for completing the experience.
Help you decide on Family Medicine
Some students are still deciding on what specialty is best for them. A sub-I in various specialties can often help them determine what they want to go into. If you are in this category it is best to do a sub-I early in fourth year so you have time to decide on a specialty and complete your ERAS application.
Students sometimes want to gain further experience in family medicine before starting residency. This can be especially true for gaining further inpatient experience. If this is the reason you want to complete a sub-I, you could do it anytime during the academic year, although, it may be more useful to complete it towards the end of fourth year so the knowledge you gain is still fresh in your mind when you start residency.
Get Letters of Recommendation
Competitive applicants to family medicine residencies have strong letters of recommendation from family medicine physicians. Some students complete a sub-I to get a letter from the family physicians they worked with during the sub-I. If this is your main goal for the sub-I, you will need to complete it VERY EARLY in your fourth year as letters of recommendation are typically due very early in the fall.
Investigate a Program
If there is a specific residency program you are considering applying for, completing a sub-I is a wonderful way to find out more about the program to see if it really fits you well. In addition to learning about the program, the people in the program will learn about you and remember you in the application and interview process.