Types of residency programs

What are the types of residency programs you can apply to through ERAS?

There are 5 types of programs available via the ERAS NRMP match:

  • Categorical Residency Programs
  • Advanced Residency Programs 
  • Preliminary Residency Programs
  • Transitional year Residency
  • Integrated Residency Programs
1- Categorical Residency Program means you do the whole training in one tract or block which will include the PGY-1 or internship as the first year. You will have to apply only to one spot via the match to get into this program. e.g. Categorical Internal Medicine and Categorical Neurology.

2- Advanced Residency Program means a program which starts as PGY-2. In this case you will need to match to a PGY-1 residency year at the same time. PGY-1 residency include Preliminary internal medicine, preliminary surgery and transitional year residency. Examples of advanced residency programs include advanced neurology and advanced radiology.

3- Preliminary Residency program means a program which is only 1 year, it means like an internship. It is done usually as a prerequisite for advanced programs. Also some people who have low scores and need hands on experience may apply to preliminary years positions extensively during the match so they can do this 1 year internship then apply again in the next match with stronger profile. There are two types of preliminary year residency: internal medicine and surgery.

4- Transitional year residency is also a PGY-1 only residency but the rotations are not concentrated to one specialty as in IM or surgery but include more electives and specialties. This type of residency is more competitive than the other prelims.

5- Integrated  Residency Programs (and Combined residency programs) as in case of plastic surgery where instead of doing first general surgery the applicant will go ahead directly into plastic surgery, you start from the beginning in an integrated plastic/general surgery. Our understanding is that ACGME will be eliminating the combined programs from existence by 2018. Combined program means the applicant finish general surgery residency first then move into plastic surgery residency. Other examples of integrated residencies include cardiothoracic surgery residency.