Postgraduate residency training is essential preparation for the practice of medicine. Most School of Medicine graduates serve three or more years of residency training, and many will gain additional experience as postdoctoral fellows.

To aid students in obtaining desirable residency appointments, an active counseling program is maintained through the School of Medicine's Career Counseling office. Students in their preclinical years can participate in Career Counseling events, such as career talks hosted by individual specialties, and are provided resources for choosing their specialty. Students are encouraged to look at their own interests, attributes, lifestyle and other priorities and, with this information, begin to make decisions about the specialty best suited for them. In addition, students are encouraged to meet with clinical advisers and faculty members from a variety of specialty divisions at Washington University to learn more about the fields in which they are interested. The Career Counseling office maintains a website where students can find information regarding 20 residency specialties.

Throughout their final year in medical school, students are invited to interact closely with the Career Counseling office through individual meetings and instruction on how to plan for the residency application and interviewing process. The number of U.S. seniors applying in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) Match each year has been steadily increasing. The match process continues to be competitive, and students must make their choices with considerable care.

The School of Medicine maintains an active interest in its graduates and is pleased to assist them in subsequent years as they seek more advanced training or staff appointments in the communities in which they settle.

Postdoctoral Training

Those departments that offer postdoctoral fellowships individualize such educational activity up to a maximum of 36 months of academic time. Such fellowships lead integrally to certification by the appropriate specialty and/or subspecialty boards of the American Medical Association.

Endowed Scholarships & Fellowships

Please visit the Medical Alumni & Development Programs webpage for Endowed Scholarships & Fellowships.

Continuing Medical Education

The study of medicine is a lifelong process with continuing medical education being an integral component of the continuum. The School of Medicine has supported this learning endeavor through the operation of the Continuing Medical Education (CME) program, which has been fully accredited since 1973. In 2016, the program achieved accreditation by the Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education to provide credit not only for medicine, but for pharmacy and nursing continuing education activities as well. The program's mission is to collaborate with teams of health care professionals and/or individual members of the health care team to provide opportunities for educational renewal and advancement in order to facilitate lifelong learning, maintenance of professional competencies, and enhancement of knowledge and skills to improve performance, clinical care and patient outcomes.

Pursuant to this mission, the objectives of the CME program include the following:

  • Enable the acquisition of new knowledge and skills for the delivery of quality patient care
  • Translate the results of research to clinical diagnosis and treatment for health care practitioners
  • Apply educational approaches in support of continuous quality improvement and patient safety in health care delivery
  • Integrate clinical outcome measures into the educational process
  • Assist with adaptation to changing health care delivery environments
  • Support faculty development as postgraduate medical educators and leaders
  • Evaluate and refine educational activities
  • Support health care professionals in meeting state and specialty recertification and relicensure requirements

Each year the CME department awards credit for more than 160 symposia and more than 180 recurring academic rounds and conferences as well as videos, monographs, and self-directed learning. About 9,000 registrants participate in these activities annually and receive more than 110,000 hours of instruction. CME Online provides educational programs via the internet. Since starting in 2000, the CME online program has grown to include more than 250 hours of available CME credit.

Graduate Medical Education

Washington University School of Medicine has a number of Graduate Medical Education opportunities.