The transitional year provides a well-balanced specialty of multiple clinical disciplines designed to facilitate the choice of and preparation for a specific specialty, including specialties requiring a year of fundamental clinical education as a prerequisite. Transitional year programs also provide clinical education for those medical school graduates planning to serve in public health organizations or on active duty in the military as general medical officers or primary flight/undersea medicine physicians, or those who desire or need one year of fundamental clinical education before entering administrative medicine or non-clinical research.
Every specialty has unique factors they want each candidate to have in their residency application. NRMP conducts regular Program Director surveys to identify which parts of the residency application are most important in differing specialties. Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to cite factors they used to select candidates for interviews. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).