Transitional Year

Competitiveness: Low

Transitional Year programs are well rounded internship year or PGY-1 programs that allow residents to sample rounds in different specialties to help them make a well informed decision about which specialty to complete training in. Residents are able to participate in both surgical and internal medicine rotations, as well as many other varieties of rotations that are different for every program. Transitional Year completion also allows residents to qualify for the many Advanced specialties which require the completion of a PGY-1 year prior to starting the program. Some examples of Advanced specialties are: Anesthesiology, Neurology, Dermatology, Radiology, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. When applying to Transitional Year programs, it’s good to have your future professional goals outlined for five and ten years in advance to show programs you are highly motivated.

ENTER YOUR CREDENTIALS Customize your Transitional Year program list

IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2018:

  • No data for 2018

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2018:

  • None

Specialty Factors

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 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).

The Top 5 Most Important Transitional Year Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (93%)
  2. USMLE Step 2 CK score (81%)
  3. Personal Statement (74%)
  4. MSPE (70%)
  5. Grades in required clerkships (67%), Any failed attempt in USMLE (67%), Personal prior knowledge of applicant (67%), Evidence of professionalism and ethics (67%), Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) membership (67%), Passing USMLE Step 2 CS (67%), Consistency of grades (67%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Flagged by NRMP (4.9)
  2. Any failed attempt in USMLE (4.8)
  3. Evidence of professionalism and ethics (4.7)
  4. Passing USMLE Step 2 CS (4.5)
  5. USMLE Step 1 score (4.4), MSPE (4.4), Perceived commitment to specialty (4.4), Perceived interest in program (4.4), Visa Status (4.4)

Fast Facts

  • All Transitional Year programs must have: 1 month in the ICU, 1 month ED, 1 month outpatient, and 2 months general medicine. Beyond that, programs vary
  • More reserved for US medical graduates, not as IMG friendly as Preliminary Internal Medicine or General Surgery
  • Fulfills prelim training for many specialties such as Radiology, Neurology, Anesthesiology, Ophthalmology, Radiation Oncology, or Dermatology
  • Transitional Year is one of the least understood specialties

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

131 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track
Participating Programs 17
Filled Programs 15
Positions Available 65
Filled Positions 63


  • None