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 clinical or research 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 they are provided resources for choosing their specialty. Students are encouraged to look at their own interests, attributes, lifestyles and other priorities and, with this information in mind, to 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 about 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 to 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 during subsequent years as they seek more advanced training or staff appointments in the communities in which they settle.

Graduate Medical Education

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

GME-Sponsored Programs

In 1997, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital joined together to oversee the quality of graduate medical education training programs at these institutions. All three of these institutions have long histories of successfully training outstanding residents and clinical fellows; this collaborative educational effort demonstrates their dedication to quality healthcare and supports thoughtful patient care in the St. Louis area.

The GME Consortium sponsors more than 99 training programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the organization that accredits sponsoring institutions and training programs across the United States. There are approximately 40 additional subspecialty fellowship programs that are either accredited by other national accrediting bodies or that are in emerging new areas of medicine not yet recognized by the specialty boards. The GME Consortium and all of its sponsored training programs are fully committed to providing a quality educational experience for residents, clinical fellows and other trainees

Residencies and Fellowships

Advanced medical training is integral to the quality of patient care in the United States. Residents are doctors who have completed their medical education and who are pursuing three to seven years of advanced medical training in a chosen specialty. Clinical fellows have completed their residencies and are boards-eligible in their primary specialty training; they are pursuing additional years of training in an advanced subspecialty area of medicine. Both roles allow trainees to progressively assume greater responsibility working with patients while learning from faculty who are highly qualified in their specialties.

Postdoctoral Training

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Associate or Scholar is a temporary training position designed to advance scientific research training and enhance professional skills. School of Medicine postdoctoral appointees conduct advanced research training with a faculty mentor and are supported by either research grants, individual fellowships or institutional training grants. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides resources and professional development programming for postdoctoral appointees across the university. Washington University is an institutional member of the National Postdoctoral Association. More information is available from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

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 as well as individual members of health care teams to provide opportunities for educational renewal and advancement to facilitate lifelong learning, the maintenance of professional competencies, and the 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 into 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 the development of faculty 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 they receive more than 110,000 hours of instruction. CME Online provides educational programs via the internet. Since it began in 2000, the CME online program has grown to include more than 150 hours of available CME credit.