Integrated Residency Program eases transition to residency

October 5, 2022

The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency Program offers a one-year Integrated Residency (IR) Program for fourth-year medical students planning a primary care practice to better prepare them for their first year (intern year) of residency.

Established in 2021, students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marinex E. Heersink School of Medicine are eligible to apply for the IR in the spring of their third year. Selection priority is given to students from rural Alabama communities completing their third and fourth years of medical school at the UA College of Community Health Sciences, the School of Medicine’s Tuscaloosa Regional Campus, as part of either the Rural Medical Scholars Track or the Primary Care Track.

“We accepted three students last year and three students this year,” said Dr. Tamer Elsayed, director of the Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency. “They are a group of very smart young students this year. They are well-driven; they’ve had vigorous training in medical school and now they are going into comprehensive training in primary care practice.”

During their fourth year of medical school, each IR student is paired with a resident in the Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency and works 36 half days in a continuity clinic. The students take over that same patient panel when they start their first year of residency. IR students also must attend residency didactic education sessions. Each IR student is awarded a $20,000 scholarship in December of their fourth year of medical school.

“The program is a career preparation step to ease the students into the life of residency,” Elsayed said. “We would like to expand on the program in the next few years. I think it’s a very valuable program for students who are interested in family medicine and rural communities.”