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Glossary for program information

Accepting applications for training that begins ___ - ___

Information is provided about applications to the program for the next academic year, and for the academic year following. Academic years typically start in the summer and last for 12 months.

Accredited length

The number of years of training the program is accredited to offer by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Additional training or educational experiences

These include required additional training beyond the accredited length of the program, as well as additional experiences that the program offers, but are not required for completion of the program.

Affiliated with US government

Programs that are sponsored by or affiliated with federal agencies, i.e., Air Force, Army, Navy, Public Health Service, or sponsored by the VA.

Application dates

The deadline for applications for the next academic year, and the earliest date for which applications will be accepted by the program for the following year, as well as the deadline date.

Beeper call

Beeper or at-home call is on-call time spent away from the institution. Some residents and fellows only have beeper call.

Characteristics of trainees

If resident data are made available, percentages of residents who are female, male, USMD, DO and IMG are provided, averaged over 3 years of data.

Clinical site

See Institution.

COMLEX Level 1 and 2

COMLEX Level 1 and 2 scores may be required for interview consideration of DO applicants (graduates of osteopathic medical schools). Some programs may require DO applicants to take the USMLE Step 1 and 2 instead of the COMLEX.


Feature available to AMA members that allows users to save programs and add content to programs of interest.


Electronic Residency Application Service, by which medical students apply to residency programs through their medical schools; graduates of international medical schools apply through the ECFMG. See www.aamc.org/eras, and www.ecfmg.org/eras.


Graduate medical education, or medical education training taking place after graduation from medical school.

Graduate year

The year of training in accredited graduate medical education, which may or may not correspond with program year. A resident in the first year of training after medical school is a GY1 resident. For example, if a resident has completed training in Internal Medicine, and now is in the first year of a Nephrology programs, the resident would be in his/her 4th Graduate Year, and 1st Program Year.

Hospitalist track

Track or fellowship that provides special training for a career devoted largely to inpatient care.

IMG qualifications

Some programs do not wish to manage visa issues, and are only interested in applicants that have US citizenship or permanent residency. Other programs and institutions are able to accommodate residents on visas. It is always recommended to contact the program for clarification.


Residency and subspecialty programs must be sponsored by an institution. The sponsoring institution assumes the ultimate responsibility for the program and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. A participating institution is an institution in which residents rotate for a required experience. A clinical site is the institution that functions in many respects as the sponsoring institution in cases of substantial geographic separation from the sponsoring institution.

Last updated

The date for which all or part of the information appearing for the program was last loaded onto FREIDA Online.

Maximum consecutive hours on duty

The maximum number of consecutive hours a resident/fellow is allowed to be on duty by the program, generally in the hospital.

Military-based program

The majority of experience takes place in Army, Air Force, Navy, and Uniformed Services institutions.

Moonlighting allowed

Moonlighting is allowed by the program, beyond GY1.

Most taxing call schedule and frequency

This is the call schedule that places the resident/fellow in the hospital the most nights for the year. This particular schedule may be maintained for a short period of time, or could be for the entire year. Night float is not part of this call schedule.

My notes

Part of the Dashboard – in the My Notes section, users have several opportunities to add personal content to programs of interest, such as: ratings of programs based on research or personal observation, like cultural/personality fit, faculty teaching availability, community type; completing items regarding applying, being offered an interview, interview dates; rating a program overall; intentions to rank a program; and adding comments.

National Resident Matching Program

The NRMP matches medical students and residency programs to optimize the rank ordered choices of students and program directors. The NRMP also conducts matches for fellowship positions in more than 40 subspecialties, through its Specialties Matching Services. See www.nrmp.org.

Night float system

A rotation where residents only work during the nights (eg, 10pm-8am), with minimal or no day-time duties.


Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are patient or computer simulations that are used to provide standardized assessments of residents’ clinical skills.

Other matching program

Programs using an other matching program are primarily using the military match.

Other program setting

The majority of experience takes place in settings that are not university, community, or military based, such as in foundations, blood banks,reserach institutions, cancer centers, or private practices.

Participant institution

See Institution.

Part-time/shared positions

Some programs will allow two residents to "share" one position in the program, or allow the resident to progress through the program at a slower pace, or part-time.

Portfolio system

A portfolio is a collection of selected resident/fellow work packaged and organized for easy review and evaluation.

Preliminary positions

Positions for residents who are obtaining training required to enter another program or specialty. Preliminary positions are usually 1 year in length, and usually offered for Graduate Year 1. Internal medicine, surgery, and transitional year programs commonly offer preliminary positions.

Primary care track

Track or separate path solely devoted to primary care medicine.

Primary teaching site

The site that provides the single largest amount of clinical experience for the program.

Program details

Part of the Dashboard – users can add several items from each saved program’s detailed listing for comparisons between programs.

Program faculty

Provides a breakdown of physician, non-physician, full-time and part-time faculty, as well as a ratio of faculty to number of resident positions.

Program size

The number of resident/fellow positions the program is approved to have.

Program year

The year of training in the specialty.

Ratio of FTE faculty to positions

This ratio is calculated by adding the number of full-time paid physicians to one-half the number of part-time paid physicians, and dividing this sum by the number of positions in the program.

Required length

The accredited length of the program, plus any additional training that is required (not optional) by the program.

Requires previous GME

The program requires training in another specialty or in a preliminary positions prior to entry. Some programs require all residents to have had previous GME, some programs never require previous GME, some programs in special cases will require previous GME for some residents, and some programs may exempt a resident from the requirement.

Research rotation

Research experience rotation occurring while training in the program, not to be confused with a research track/non-accredited fellowship.

Research track/non-accredited fellowship

A non-accredited research or fellowship year beyond the accredited program length.

Rural track

Track or separate path solely devoted to rural primary care medicine.

San Francisco match

The San Francisco match provides a matching service for residency programs and fellowships, primarily surgical. See www.sfmatch.org.

Specialty in-service examination

This examination parallels the specialty’s board certification examination, and is typically used to provide feedback to the program on the resident’s progress.


See Institution.

Survey received

The date the AMA received the program survey which supplies much of the information about the program on FREIDA Online.

360 degree evaluation

An evaluation of the resident/fellow that is completed by attending faculty, peer residents/fellows, nurses and others that have worked with the trainee.

Twenty-four-hour off duty period

A full 24-hours released from program duties, including beeper or at-home call.

University-based program

The majority of experience takes place in a hospital that serves as a primary affiliate of the medical school.

USMLE Step 1 and Step 2

USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 scores may be required by some programs for interview consideration. Some programs post the minimum score they will accept.

Women's health track

Track or fellowship that provides special training in the area of women's health.