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Rotations & Schedules

I was impressed with the support the residents had in achieving their goals, and I was blown away by their Cardiology match list. Northwestern is a program that does not limit my growth — whether I want to become a General internist or sub-specialize — I know that I always have access to the resources I need to excel."


 Year 1

The first year is focused on training interns in the fundamentals of inpatient medicine.

First-year residents are exposed to a diverse, urban population of patients with a broad mix of complex disease. Interns will rotate through general medicine, sub-specialty training within oncology, cardiology, and hepatology, as well as several of our intensive care units. Patient volumes and teams are structured to provide adequate support with an emphasis on learning. Call schedules vary from rotation to rotation but in general call occurs once every four to six days during day time hours. We have a night float system in place for all rotations that residents rotate through. The outpatient experience includes a continuity clinic and two ambulatory blocks to initiate interns in ambulatory medicine. Three weeks of vacation are given during elective and night float months.

Sample Resident Schedule, Year 1

2 NMH Wards
3 Cardiology Consults, Night Float
4 Oncology Blue Service and NMFF Outpatient Clinic
5 Cardiology Service and VA Outpatient Department
6 Hepatology Service
7 Pulmonary Consults, Night Float
8 VA Wards
9 VA Wards
10 NMH Wards
11 ID Consults, Night Float
12 Oncology Red Service
13 CCU

 Years 2 & 3

During the second and third years, each resident assumes the responsibility of functioning as the supervising physician on the general medicine, subspecialty and critical care rotations.

Outpatient time is significantly increased, with greater emphasis on continuity of care. In addition, there are numerous elective rotations to provide broad exposure and personalize training. Four weeks of vacation are given during elective months.

Sample Resident Schedule, Year 2

1 Endocrine Consults
2 NMH Wards
3 Jesse Brown VA Critical Care Unit
4 Research
5 Research
6 Hepatology
7 Rheumatology Consults, Night Float
9 Allergy Consults, MICU Night Float
10 NMH Wards
11 VA Wards
12 Outpatient GI


Sample Resident Schedule, Year 3

1 Benign Hematology Consults
2 Hematology/
Oncology Service
3 NMH Wards
5 Nephrology Outpatient
6 Geriatrics, Neurology, Palliative Care Consults
7 Research
9 Nephrology Consults
10 ID Consults
11 Procedure Elective 
12 NMH Wards
13 Cardiology Service


Morning report is held every weekday for residents and interns at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the VA. Systems and quality education (including M&M and root-cause analysis conferences) are incorporated into morning report. Our residents participate in various interactive educational conferences. Procedural skills such as central line placement and physical exam skills are taught in a collegial, hands-on atmosphere. Innovative conferences include small-group sessions on social determinants of health, professionalism and end of life discussions.

A question-based board review is held year-round and has proven effective at keeping Northwestern residents with one of the highest 10-year boards pass rates in the country. A journal club is held monthly with some of our core faculty. Medical Grand Rounds are held weekly. Traditionally, faculty members at Northwestern have enjoyed the opportunity to serve as advisers and are enthusiastic about this opportunity. Mentoring opportunities occur in the second residency year in which each resident is paired with a faculty mentor to prepare a talk regarding a clinical or research question. This lecture is presented to the department as part of the noon conference series.

Sample Daily Schedule







7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

Morning Report

Grand Rounds

Morning Report

Morning Report

Morning Report

8:30 - 11 a.m.

Teaching Rounds

Teaching Rounds

Teaching Rounds

Teaching Rounds

Teaching Rounds

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds

Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds

Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds

12 - 1 p.m.

Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

Resident Talks

Firm Conference



Various educational activities: team teaching, simulation, workshops, research