How to Apply

Application Process

All applications should be through the Application Service (ERAS). Software can be obtained from the Association of American Medical Colleges or the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

Information for Residency Applicants

Applicants for residency positions frequently have questions about the program that are not covered in the brochure or other material previously provided. We have prepared this document to anticipate and respond to the prevalent concerns of candidates to our residency program. By addressing these prior to the interview, our department faculty will be able to utilize the interview process to better become acquainted with individual applicants, appreciate the unique strengths each applicant may bring to the program, and discuss items of particular interest to applicants. Applicants are invited to review this before their interview.

Is There an Underlying Philosophy?

We are committed to the concept that the residency training program is an educational – not a service – experience. We expect our graduates to be caring, competent, ethical, and intellectually curious physicians with a passion for medicine and capable of either successfully continuing with fellowship training or entering medical practice. We achieve this by creating a rich, congenial, collegial educational environment with appropriate role models for our residents, by carrying out scholarly activities, and by representing and demanding clinical excellence.

We emphasize high standards of ethics and professionalism. We encourage questioning. We respect scholarship. We want our residents to truly enjoy their experience; learning is easier when it is fun. Read the reprints provided. Ours is a uniquely intimate and nurturing environment.

Our residency now has a thematic identity. We are extremely proud to have developed our special program on humanities and medicine and the national recognition this has received. This is described further subsequently.

What Do We Look for in Prospective Residents?

We seek individuals from any background with (i) adequate liberal arts and scientific educational preparation for a medical residency, (ii) appropriate humanistic attributes – empathy, compassion, maturity, concern, responsibility, and recognition that doctors care for the sick and that the sick never inconvenience the well, and (iii) intellectual curiosity and a commitment to develop a scholarly approach to clinical medicine. (iv) Modern medicine is a "team" activity. We therefore also seek people who understand this and are committed to fit well and work well within the residency; individual excellence is necessary but no longer sufficient to be a good resident or good doctor.

Is There a USMLE Score Cut off Used to Invite Applicants for Interviews?

We understand that the USME examinations score are just one of many attributes of a great applicant. Therefore, although we do not have a strict cut-off for granting interviews, we do believe that good scores on examinations reflect a strong medical knowledge base. In recent years our residents have averaged well above 90% on both parts of the USMLEs and very rarely have any of them had to take the CK or Cs exams more than one.

Do We Accept Applicants Who Need Visa Sponsorship?

Our goal is to choose outstanding residents who will excel in training and in all their endeavors after residency. For this reason, we consider all applications. We prefer residents who do not need visa sponsorship; however we do occasionally sponsor J1 visas for outstanding applicants. H1B visas are no longer sponsored by our institution.

What Do We Look for in Applicants to the Preliminary Year Program?

We seek the same highly motivated and successfully physicians for our preliminary year program as we do for our categorical program. We hope our preliminary residents wish to invest in a busy year learning about internal medicine, wish to belong to a cohesive program and department, and appreciate the value of teamwork (a distinctly more challenging and different experience than a transitional year, for example). Our preliminary year interns are truly interested in getting a strong foundation in internal medicine and do not see this as just another year before starting their real residency. Other than not having a continuity clinic experience, preliminary and categorical interns have identical schedules. At the end of the year, all interns will have had a broad and comprehensive experience internal medicine.

Do We Take International Medical Graduates?

Yes, our residents come from different regions of the United States and from around the globe. We are proud of our diversity and consider it one of our greatest strengths. Although once our interns “matriculate” to our program they are all the same – young men and women who are graduate physicians anxious to learn internal medicine and become good, caring physicians.

Are We in the Match?

We will be participating in the match for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Where Do Our Residents Come From?

Many come from the region (New York and New Jersey); we have had residents who grew up in local communities such as Livingston and Short Hills (NJ). Others come from a variety of other regions of the U.S. Many come from abroad-and represent a variety of cultures and nationalities. We welcome diversity among our residents, and consider this one of the strengths of our program.

What Do Our Graduates Do?

The department is committed to support our graduates, and this is evidenced by our success in placing our graduates into excellent fellowship and practice opportunities. Approximately 60% of our graduates have gone on to fellowships; the other 40% have chosen to practice general medicine. Those in the latter group have become primary care physicians, clinician educators and hospitalists. Many remain in the area as they have made connections in the community. Others have moved with the U.S and outside. Regardless of choice, all our graduates have found that their training has well prepared them for the next step in their careers.

Are Our Graduates Successful When Applying for Fellowships?

As noted above, approximately 60% of our residents have gone on to subspecialty fellowships in the past decade. Over 90% of residents applying for fellowship have been successful in securing positions compared with a national success rate of about 60%. This experience has been consistent for us. Our residents entered fellowships in virtually all medical subspecialties and have obtained positions at elite institutions such as the NIH, Hopkins, Harvard hospitals, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and Mount Sinai. All those entering fellowship programs performed well and many stayed in academic medicine. Successful resident applicants won awards, were chief residents, had advanced degrees, and participated on (NJACP) “challenge bowl” teams.

What Is the Commitment of CBMC to Education?

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center recognizes that education – transmission of knowledge to a new generation of physicians and development of new knowledge – is fundamental to its role as a major medical center in the region and in the nation. Indeed high quality clinical medicine and excellent medical education programs are inextricably linked and are complementary. In many respects a community hospital, such as ours, is uniquely able to provide clinical role models to residents, provide expert clinical teaching, and structure successful and innovative clinical programs. Those physicians who participate in the educational programs of the Department of Medicine are superb clinicians and dedicated teachers, and they do so because of their commitment to medical education and love of teaching. We are very proud of our programs, and of our clinicians who teach residents; we consider them equal to or stronger than any, regardless of setting.

What Is the Medical School Affiliation of the Department of Medicine?

We are a major affiliate of the Rutgers University-N.J. Medical School (Rutgers University-NJMS) and. We maintain strong but independent residencies in many specialties including internal medicine. We have enjoyed the opportunities to participate in the teaching of physical diagnosis to second-year medical students and provide rotations in medicine to third-year and fourth-year medical students. CBMC faculty has appointments at the medical school, and medical school faculty participates in selected educational activities at CBMC. This has been an important inter-relationship, as it facilitates maintaining an environment conducive to clinical scholarship at our institution.

We are also affiliated teaching hospital for the St. George’s University School of Medicine, a leading international center for medical education that has provided high-quality clinical education for more than twenty five years. The school now has over 5,500 graduates practicing medicine throughout the world. We have established a very successful and popular training program for the University’s third and fourth year medical students and our faculty have received formal appointments to the School of Medicine’s faculty.

How Can the Success of CBMC Residents Be Measured?

Our residency has been consistently and fully accredited. We received laudatory evaluation from American Board of Internal (ABIM) site visits. And we have been fully reaccredited with commendation and without citations by the Residency Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; our most recent accreditation was for an unprecedented 10 years, as we are a participant in the elite educational innovation program. Positions offered in the match are all filled by the upper echelon of candidates. Performance of our residents on American Board of Internal Medicine examinations (99% passed the last ten years) and annual in-training exams are considerably above national averages, we regularly win or compete as finalists the NJ Chapter of the American College of Physicians (knowledge-based) “Challenge Bowl”. Our graduates do very well. Many select practice opportunities in primary care/general internal medicine from excellent possibilities in our own or other communities. Other graduates are offered further training at other attractive programs. Recent graduates, for example, have obtained fellowship offers at the National Institutes of Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Penn, Cornell, Columbia, Michigan, Cleveland Clinic, Jefferson, Georgetown, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, UCLA, MCV, Rochester, and other medical centers; our recent preliminary interns have gone on to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston University, NYU, Albany, Vanderbilt, Mount Sinai, Einstein, Yale, Duke, Rutgers University, and other institutions. Ours is a program of established excellence.

How Are Our Residents Supervised?

Residents are carefully supervised by voluntary and full-time faculty and given those prerogatives and responsibilities commensurate with their abilities. In some instances, mature residents will be permitted a great deal of latitude in patient care decisions. Because ours is not an excessively large program (34 residents), there is a pleasant degree of intimacy within the department. Residents have ready access to our full-time faculty, as well as to voluntary staff, and our faculty knows the resident staff well. In today's medicine it would be unthinkable for residents to provide unsupervised care. It would be equally unacceptable for residents to provide care only as directed. We therefore carefully balance supervision and autonomy on our teaching services, titrating this to residents' level of training, abilities, willingness to accept responsibilities, and confidence (of residents and attending physicians).

How Are Our Residents Evaluated & Given Feedback?

Virtually every clinical activity during residency is formally evaluated and these evaluations are conveyed to residents. Residents’ care of inpatients, outpatients, conference attendance, conference discussions and presentation, grand rounds presentations, research and scholarship, professionalism, interactions with other health care team members, scores on monthly exams, scores on annual exams, ability to evaluate standardized patients, and results of clinical exams are but some of the evaluative tools employed. As ours is a small and intimate program, residents are quite aware of their performance. Residents meet with the program director at least twice annually to review all performance-related issues. Thus residents are rigorously and regularly evaluated and should be quite aware of how their performance is judged.

How Do Residents Interact?

Well. We cultivate attitudes of collegiality and mutual respect. This is facilitated by the modest size of our program which facilitates intimacy, mentoring, and nurturing. There are a number of social functions throughout the year. These range from “liver rounds” at certain local establishments after hours, to dinners with faculty, to an annual department awards/graduation dinner, to major institutionally-sponsored residents parties on several occasions during the year, to “Diwali” night. Be sure to talk to the residents about these.

What Kinds of Patients Will Residents See?

On the average, an intern is responsible for the care of 4-10 patients on a general medical service at any given time. The majority of these patients suffer from a combination of cardiologic, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, renal, neurologic, and infectious diseases. In addition, the interns will encounter patients with rheumatologic, hematologic, oncologic, and endocrinology diseases. We feel this represents an excellent inpatient medical experience.

What Is the Ambulatory Care Experience?

There are one-month, ambulatory “block” rotations for interns, Junior Assistant Residents (PGY 2s), and Senior Assistant Residents (PGY 3s). Assignments during the block rotations include outpatient gynecology, hypertension, endocrinology, ophthalmology, dermatology, neurology, gastroenterology, cardiology, nephrology, pulmonology, hematology/oncology, psychiatry, hospice, geriatrics, and others.

What Is the Outpatient Continuity Care Experience?

The Department has developed a model ambulatory care program. This does not detract from our commitment to excellence in subspecialty and inpatient medicine. However ambulatory care is increasingly the predominant setting for diagnosis and treatment in internal medicine and its sub specialties. The number of assigned inpatient months has been decreased to accommodate our expanded outpatient rotations. We believe the trend to do less in the hospital and more in the outpatient setting will only accelerate in the years ahead.

In October 1995 the Cooperman Barnabas Internal Medicine Faculty Practice opened on our campus across the street from the Medical Center. This is a new, state-of-the-art, 2,750 square foot facility which provides residents opportunities for a model experience in ambulatory care education. Pap smears, vaginal wet mounts, joint fluid analysis, soft tissue and joint injections, electrocardiography, urinalysis, spirometry, and geriatric assessment are supervised in the practice. Residents see their patients with faculty supervision, and faculty members supervise an on site practice that serves as a continuity clinic for residents.

In 2009 our Faculty Practice was recognized as a Level III Patient Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. We are very proud of this recognition as it reflects our commitment to delivering the highest level of care to our patients.

What Is the Emergency Medicine Experience?

The Emergency Medicine rotation is one month in the second year. During this rotation, they learn valuable triaging skills, the art of rapid patient assessment and procedures like intubation, lumbar puncture, suturing, and joint aspiration. Additionally, they have opportunities to evaluate trauma patients and those with orthopedic and gynecologic problems.

What Electives Are Available? Are They All at CBMC?

CBMC has the advantage of offering nearly all the medical services available, from interventional neurology and end bronchial ultrasound to renal transplantations and cutting edge radiation therapy. Thus our program offers a wide range of medical electives encompassing virtually any reasonable opportunity in medicine. CBMC offers all of the traditional medical subspecialty electives as well as others outside of medicine (radiology, pathology, psychiatry, office orthopedics, ENT, and others). In addition residents have spent time in non-clinical experiences such as research and medical administration.

Our residents may request selection of occasional electives at other institutions, as it is healthy for individuals in the program to benefit from experiences elsewhere. These will usually be at other medical centers in RWJBarnabas Health, the Rutgers University-NJMS, and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. We have a monthly exchange of PGY-1s with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, to offer our residents an experience at an urban institution. If there are particular experiences not offered through our system, residents are welcome to seek those at other academic institutions.

What Is the Involvement of Hospitalists in the Residency?

We now have two hospitalist groups who care for more than 50% of the medicine inpatients and provide most of the daily/monthly teaching on one of the inpatient teaching services. These hospitalists are here virtually full time and most have been members of our residency and/or faculty. Residency education has been entrusted to them because of the excellence of their clinical and pedagogic abilities, and because of the obvious attractive advantages of having most patients on specified teaching services under the care of attending physicians who are responsible not only for patient care but also the concomitant teaching.

How Do Residents Learn About Managed Care?

Largely in the context of caring for patients in the hospital and the continuity experience. We are not an "ivory tower" isolated from the exigencies of modern medicine. Our faculty and voluntary faculty practice and teach today's medicine. We supplement practical, supervised experiences with didactic conferences throughout the residency addressing topical issues, such as billing and coding, discharge planning, charting, dictating, to name but a few. Third-year residents now spend 1 month with those physicians at our medical center responsible for utilization, which is an enlightening and valuable experience. All residents will spend time in private offices too.

Is There a Board Review Course?

We believe that capable and motivated residents in a sound educational program will learn to be good doctors and have no difficulty documenting this in a quantifiable fashion. We want our residents to develop a consistently scholarly approach to clinical medicine and lifelong study patterns. However, we know too that passing internal medicine boards is important and that residents perform better on the exam when properly prepared. We have therefore incorporated into our overall educational program a board review-oriented, programmed reading conference with monthly tests that continue throughout the year. This conference emphasizes material of educational value in the context of residents learning to be good internists; it does not narrowly address test-taking skills. We believe this is a satisfactory balance of necessary and desirable educational objectives for our program. Our residents’ performances reflect this.

Are There Research Opportunities in the Program?

Yes. Indeed it is a requirement of our program that residents complete a scholarly project in order to graduate from our program. This “scholarly project” may consist of original research but may also be a case report, literature review, chart review, or other effort. For those residents who wish, an experience in laboratory research can be arranged; most elect to carry out a clinical scholarly project. Our department faculty serves as preceptors, guiding the residents appropriately through this effort. The purpose of this, of course, is to enable our residents to gain experience with scientific method and learn to develop critical analytical skills so that they may apply these abilities to clinical medicine. We are very proud of the considerable success that our residents have had with these efforts. For example, our residents have presented abstracts or papers to the meetings of the New Jersey Chapter of the American College of Physicians, to national meetings, to subspecialty meetings, have received several awards, and have published in well-regarded peer-reviewed journals. We invite residency applicants to examine our listings of resident and faculty publications in the department office. These reflect and document the excellence of our commitment to clinical scholarship. Our residents have published/presented over several hundred papers over the past years.

What About Fellowship Programs at CBMC?

We are actively (re-)developing these. We share fellowships in pulmonary-critical care and electrophysiology with our sister institution, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC). July 2007 heralded resumption of our Nephrology fellowship, also in conjunction with NBIMC. Others are expected to soon follow. We have subspecialty programs that have sponsored fellowships in the past and are prepared to do so again. Our institution has the resources and commitment to see a rich complement of fellowship programs in medicine.

Will There Be Any Changes in the Program in the near Future?

We are very pleased with and proud of our program as it is. However we are never satisfied or complacent and are committed to make our program still better. Each year our faculty and residents together critically review our program and identify opportunities for improvement. We surely do not intend to revamp or overhaul a successful program but rather improve next year’s program to be even better.

Is There Housing? What Amenities Are Available to Our Residents?

Safe and convenient housing is available to our residents across the street from our campus. This is one of many attractive aspects of our institution and our location. Consistent with our commitment to the residency being an education – not a service – experience, resident coverage of inpatients on the medical services is circumscribed as mandated by the Residency Review Committee and is facilitated by the constant availability of IV teams, phlebotomists, respiratory therapists, EKG and ECHO technicians, and other ancillary personnel.

Does The Faculty Support Residents Seeking Positions After Graduation?

Of course. How could we not? We are selfish in that we want to succeed; our success is defined by our residents' performance. We understand that. That is why we do what do. That is why we are so committed to developing and maintaining an environment where everyone has fun learning and caring for patients together, and does it as well as possible. That is why we are so committed to helping our residents flourish. That is why we expend so much effort talking with residents about life decisions, life after residency, practice situations, fellowships, preparing resumes, writing applications, conducting mock interviews, and otherwise supporting residents as they move into new phases of their careers.

We hope this information has provided some additional insights and perspectives about our program. We would enjoy hearing from you and wish you well.

Selection of Residents Entering Our Program in 2015

We only accept formal applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®). The selection committee will review applications and offer interviews to those candidates with strong academic backgrounds and varied clinical and non-clinical experiences. We wish to have residents who are knowledgeable, highly motivated, and caring physicians who are interested in receiving a well rounded clinical and didactic experience in internal medicine.