Research and Scholarship

The goal of the University of Washington Internal Medicine Residency Program is to train leaders in internal medicine, regardless of whether they plan to work in basic or translational research, academic medicine, community practice, or healthcare administration. In pursuit of this goal, we expect all residents to engage in significant scholarly activity throughout their three years of training. Through this activity residents will gain an ability to critically analyze new information impacting patient care, an appreciation for the process of discovery in medicine and clarification of their own career path. To promote their career development, we offer the following two mechanisms for residents to gain research experience during the course of their training:

Research Elective

The goal of the Research Elective is for a resident to complete a significant scholarly project under the close mentorship of a faculty member. "Research" is defined broadly as hypothesis-driven investigation based on new or existing data, curriculum design and implementation, healthcare quality and value assessment, or significant health policy and advocacy work. Although these projects may lead to a publication, the only requirement of the program is for the resident to present an abstract of the project to colleagues and faculty at a scheduled teaching conference during the academic year in which the research was performed.

The duration of the Research Elective for Seattle-based residents (Seattle Categorical and Primary Care tracks) will be two contiguous months unless the resident is requesting a third month during the R3 year to complete work begun during the R2 year.

The Residency Program will prioritize applications for a Research Elective according to evidence of thought on the part of the resident, specifics of the research plan, and comments attesting to the feasibility of the project by the prospective mentor.

For further information on the selection of a mentor and project design for a Research Elective please see Setting Up Your Research Elective: Steps To An Optimal Projectrevised Nov 01, 2013.

The ABIM Research Pathway ("Fast-Tracking")

This Research Pathway is intended for trainees who seek academic careers as investigators in basic science or clinical research. While not designed as a way to get into fellowship sooner, we fully support residents who believe that this is the best training option for them. Training in the Research Pathway is not shorter and is often longer in duration than standard clinical training (i.e., a total of five years for General Internal Medicine and six or seven years for subspecialties). Residents who elect to participate in this pathway are not eligible for a Research Elective during the R2 year.

Since the Research Pathway only requires two years of full time clinical training in an accredited Internal Medicine residency program, the American Board of Internal Medicine emphasizes that the curriculum is not optimal preparation for a career in clinical practice. If trainees in the Research Pathway decide to change their career path from investigator to clinician, they must meet all of the requirements for the standard thirty-six month clinical pathway.

If you are interested in considering this option, you should contact Dr. Steinberg early during your R1 year. Official departmental letters of recommendation for fellowships will be written by one of the Internal Medicine Residency program staff. Throughout the fall, they will be available to meet with you to review your plans and to discuss your letters. They are also willing to help you identify appropriate faculty members in the subspecialty divisions with whom you can discuss support of your application.

Please note that Research Pathway slots are available for only 4 residents per year and you must notify the program of your intent by December 31st. For further information about this pathway please go to

Scholarship Directory

Connecting Faculty and Residents for Scholarship Projects revised Oct, 2012

Application Form

To request a Research Elective fill out and submit the UW Internal Medicine Residency Program Application for Research Elective form.

Note: Applications without mentor approval and comment will not be considered by the research application committee.

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