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GME > Residency Programs > Internal Medicine > About The Program
About Rush University

Mission And Objectives

The Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center offers the following training programs:

  • A three-year categorical program in Internal Medicine
  • A one-year preliminary program in Internal Medicine

Both of these programs are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The mission of these training programs is to allow each resident to fulfill his/her potential and have a successful career in whatever medical field he/she chooses to pursue. In addition to our educational mission, the Department of Medicine is committed to provide the highest quality of medical care to all patients. Our educational and patient care missions are inextricably linked. The foundation of this linkage is open communication among all members of the health care team.

Our program has many strengths. The most important of these assets are:

  • Outstanding clinical training in a broad range of clinical settings. Outpatient experiences occur at the Medical Center and throughout the metropolitan area. In addition to the parent hospital, there is an affiliation with the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. This training affiliation provides unparalleled clinical breadth and depth.
  • Outstanding relationships between faculty and staff. These relationships lead to a friendly and collegial, yet academically challenging environment.
  • Superb resident colleagues. The success of the hospital and all the training programs at Rush is directly related to our superior house officers.

 Patient Diversity

Rush University Medical Center sits in the center of the Illinois Medical District, on the near West Side of Chicago. Patients from the multiple ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as northern and western Illinois, northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin choose to come to Rush for treatment of their medical and surgical conditions. Pilsen, the Ukrainian and East Villages, the West Loop, Greek Town, Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods lie close to the Medical Center's doors.

Resident Responsibility

While rotating through the ward services, residents meet patients with whom they will form lasting bonds in the Rush University Internists resident continuity clinic. Rush University Internist hospitalists round with residents on the wards seven days a week. Each team draws from the collective knowledge and enthusiasm of residents, interns, sub-interns and medical students. Rush University Internist attendings encourage residents to assume full responsibility for patient care issues.

Teams also benefit from the collegial relationship with internal medicine attendings who practice in the adjacent Professional Building as well as thriving community branches. The majority of the practicing internal medicine attendings trained at Rush University Medical Center as students or residents; these attendings have a unique bond with the teams when they admit their patients.

Specialty Services

There are 19 sections within the Department of Internal Medicine. Residents have an opportunity to be exposed to and pursue careers in a wide array of medical subspecialties.

Critical Thinking Curriculum

During the ambulatory month, each resident participates in the critical thinking and evidence-based medicine curriculum. Residents develop data searching skills, learn diagnostic strategies and critically analyze and present journal articles.


The balance of our program is markedly in favor of education over service. During 36 months of training, the average house officer's curriculum will include 14 inpatient rotations (inclusive of intensive care units). Therefore, more than 50% of the overall clinical experiences are rotations where there is no evening call, and at most one day of weekend responsibility. Morning report, teaching rounds, noon conference, Chairman's rounds, Internal Medicine Grand Rounds and subspecialty grand rounds provide residents with opportunities to gain and share medical knowledge.

There is a board review course for all residents in their final year of training.

Job Descriptions


A first year house officer is responsible for the direct care of inpatients on the medical floor service. He/She must discuss each case with the attending of record or his/her designate on the day of admission and on a daily basis thereafter. He/She also teaches medical students and evaluates students and senior residents.

Senior Resident

A second- or third-year resident assigned to a medical floor supervises, teaches and evaluates the interns, sub-interns and medical students. He/She is the primary resource of the entire floor team for both academic and patient care-related issues.

Medical Student

Third-year Rush medical students have an eight week rotation in internal medicine. Four weeks of the rotation are spent on one of the general medical floors at Rush. Students are expected to take daytime call with the residents and to participate in patient care under the supervision of the housestaff. In addition, there are separate educational activities scheduled for third-year students.


Fourth-year medical students function in an intern's role under the direct supervision of a senior resident. All orders written by a sub-intern must be co-signed by a floor resident. In addition there are separate educational activities for sub-interns.

Chief Residents

The Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center at Chicago, Illinois is one of more than 400 U.S. internal medicine residency programs, 120 of which are university programs. Our program is one of the 20 largest. The four positions are highly competitive and require a commitment to an additional year of training at the PGY 4 level.

Chief Resident duties include:

  • Acting as a liason between residents and administration
  • Six weeks of attending internist on the RUI service
  • Teaching pathophysiology and general medicine lectures to medical students
  • Running morning report and other conferences
  • Participating in various hospital-wide committees
  • Participating in the interview screening process

Research Opportunities

Clinical research thrives at Rush. Residents receive sectional support to present research papers, abstracts and posters at regional and national meetings. Section directors, researchers and fellows seek out Rush residents for help on clinical and basic science research projects. We encourage residents to present posters, abstracts and papers at local and national conferences.

There are multiple scholarly pursuits available to our residents including both clinical and basic science research. While there is neither a national nor a departmental requirement for research, the opportunity is available to do a one month rotation committed to a research project. The month, usually taken during the second year, is call-free and enables residents to dedicate their time to pursue a project of their choosing. Residents either start a project of their own, under the guidance of a faculty mentor or join an ongoing project.

Many residents take advantage of this opportunity and then present their results at local and national conferences. This past year alone, our residents presented at national meetings including Digestive Diseases Week, American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, National Safety Week and American College of Cardiology.

Clinical Affiliates

John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County

The John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County serves as the safety net hospital for the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs in Cook County. It is located one block from our downtown campus. Rush internal medicine residents rotate on the HIV ward at Stroger Hospital for at least one month during their three years of training. This unit is run as two ward-type teams, which each consist of two interns and one senior resident. The teams are supervised by an infectious disease attending who rounds daily on all the patients. This rotation is a unique experience because of the significant number of HIV patients drawn to the hospital by the CORE Center. The CORE Center is a joint Rush/Stroger outpatient facility dedicated to providing comprehensive care to individuals and families affected by HIV and other infectious diseases.

Photo caption (Left to Right): Elizabeth Bolen, MD, Harpreet Singh, MD, Farida Migally, MD, John Butos, MD 

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