Residents divide their time evenly between Rush University Medical Center, one of the country’s premier university medical centers, and Stroger Hospital, a storied public hospital with a long tradition of educational training and caring for the underserved.
Located one block from each other, the two institutions’ clinical and academic experiences provide for exceptionally diverse and complementary training.
Our residents are skilled at preventive medicine, acute care, chronic care and critical care. Our program emphasizes the care of vulnerable and underserved populations.
Welcome From the Director
Our Internal Medicine Primary Care track academic program offers the unique opportunity to train both at Rush University Medical Center and Cook County Health.
Residents spend 50% of their time at each institution, thereby acquiring a broad skill set that will afford them the flexibility to work in different settings upon completion of their training.
At Cook County Health we are strongly committed to providing high quality, evidence-based care to diverse, underserved populations with dignity and respect. We hope to affect change by addressing the social determinants of health that will result in a more just and equal delivery of health care, which will ultimately affect the health of our society as a whole.
At Rush University Medical Center we work in a team-based environment at our state-of-the-art medical center. We strive to deliver excellent medical care through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships.
Both institutions offer a very collegial and diverse environment that fosters the development of clinical skills, as well as strong and enduring relationships with each other and our patients—our residents feel at home in both places.
The Internal Medicine Primary Care track focuses on providing trainees with the theoretical knowledge and practical tools that clinicians will need in order to succeed in maintaining and promoting the health of the population that we serve, for acute and chronic conditions, in the inpatient and outpatient settings.
Of the vast array of medical services available at Rush University Medical Center, the following are of particular interest as they enhance our house staff’s learning experience: transplant service (heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, and bone marrow), left ventricular assist devices placement, electrophysiology testing, and pacemakers and defibrillator implantation.
Among the most rewarding, gratifying and eye-opening experiences that our program has to offer are the electives and workshops especially geared to the primary care residents: addiction medicine, correctional medicine (housed at Cook County Jail), LGBTQ medicine, migrant health, survivors of torture and human trafficking, as well as global health and sports medicine.
In 2015, the Cook County – Rush Primary Care Internal Medicine program was one of only eight primary care residency programs in the U.S. awarded the Residency Training in Primary Care grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). With more than $973,000 in funding over five years, our program ensures the continued availability of these experiences that are unique to our program, including medical Spanish and Latino cultural competency training.
As a graduate of this program, I am highly enthusiastic about what we have to offer and I hope that our graduates continue to choose to stay at Cook County Health and Rush University Medical Center in order to serve the diverse community in and around Chicago. With a renewed emphasis on the importance of primary care on a national level, leadership at both institutions is strongly committed to support our efforts. We welcome you to explore our program, our institutions, and what the city of Chicago has to offer. I have no doubt that you will be impressed with what you see!
Irene Aluen Metzner, MD
Internal Medicine – Primary Care Track
Cook County Health
Caspian Kuma Folmsbee, MD
Associate Residency Director
Internal Medicine – Primary Care Track
Rush University Medical Center
Welcome to our Internal Medicine Primary Care Track Residency Program.
Please take a moment to review the below guidelines to facilitate your application process.
We only accept applications via ERAS, the Electronic Residency Application Service. When in the ERAS website, please look for the Primary Care Internal Medicine Program under John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital.
We start our interview season in October and continue until January.
It is preferred that your graduation date from medical school is within the last 3 years.
Applicants from international medical schools, please make sure to obtain your ECFMG certification before the submission of the NRMP match.
We sponsor H-1b visas. Successful completion of the USMLE Step III is part of the requirement for the H-1b visa, as well as securing a valid Illinois Temporary license in the State of Illinois.
Our selective Admissions Review Committee reviews each application on an individual basis. We receive over 1,000 applications each year for our program. Due to the vast number of applications, we may not always be able to respond to email and phone status requests. If an interview is to be granted, you will receive an email communication from our program.
Primary Care Blocks
The primary care block rotations are three, four-week clinical, didactic and research experiences that expand residents’ knowledge about primary care and improve residents’ ability to care for diverse populations. The clinical work revolves around two themes: the care of vulnerable populations (e.g. the homeless and patients with addictions) and non-medical specialties (e.g. ophthalmology, dermatology and orthopedics).
During the three Primary Care block rotations all Primary Care residents are assigned to outpatient electives to allow for a weekly half-day seminar series. Seminars focus on advanced topics in primary care covering outpatient medical, legal, and psychosocial issues that arise when caring for patients in the ambulatory setting.
Ambulatory Medicine Rotation
Caring for patients in the community is integral to the Primary Care Internal Medicine residency experience. Throughout their training, residents spend one-half day each week caring for patients in community-based health centers. Attending physicians affiliated with the Primary Care Internal Medicine residency program precept residents in clinic. Residents care for underserved patients and opportunities to care for Chicago’s Spanish-speaking communities are available.
PGY 2 and PGY 3 residents in good standing may add a second half-day of weekly clinic that will enhance their primary care training in addition to their weekly continuity clinic. Second and third-year residents may choose to see patients in a clinic caring for patients with HIV (Core Center), diabetes, heart failure, breast complaints, asthma or any of the other medical subspecialties. In addition, they may choose to add a second primary care clinic at Rush University Internists.
In the community setting, residents hone doctor-patient communication skills as they establish long-term relationships with patients. In addition, residents learn to diagnose and manage the full spectrum of ambulatory disorders, emphasize preventive health, and have the opportunity to learn about the community by participating in neighborhood programs.
Salary & Benefits
Salary (as of December 2015):
PGY 1: $48,962.56
PGY 2: $51,698.60
PGY 3: $54, 221.48
Moonlighting is available for eligible PGY2 & PGY3 residents.
Extra pay is $57.22/Hour
Shifts are 14 hours and available approximately 1-3 times monthly while on elective rotations.
28 days or four weeks of vacation is given to all housestaff, which can be taken in (2) two week increments or (1) four week block rotation.
Housestaff physicians shall be granted maternity and paternity leave to cover periods of pregnancy, newborn childcare, and/or newly adopted childcare.
Family & Medical Leave:
An eligible employee may take approved unpaid family and medical leave of up to twelve (12) weeks per rolling twelve (12) month period. For specifics you should contact your Departmental Administrator, the Department of Human Resources or Medical Education.
Complimentary parking is available to Primary Care Internal Medicine housestaff physicians at Rush University Medical Center.
Residents at Cook County Health are provided with a meal card which is loaded with $19/day. The card can be used at any time during cafeteria opening hours, every day of the week.
Counseling services are available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) of Cook County.
At the time of initial hire, housestaff physicians will be furnished up to four (4) lab coats free of charge. During their employment, replacements will be furnished free of charge when the condition of the lab coat so warrants.
At the time of initial hire, housestaff physicians will also be provided with one Rush lab coat free of charge, with laundry services available on site.
Covered at 100%.
Health and Disability Insurance:
The County provides health benefits to housestaff physicians and dependents. The County offers to the housestaff physician and his/her family the option of choosing a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organization PPO from those available and federally qualified in the Chicago area for this health coverage. Ordinary disability benefits will be provided in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Cook County Employees’ Annuity Benefit Fund.
All residents are eligible to participate in the County’s Dental HMO plan. There is no cost for this benefit.
All housestaff physicians shall be provided with life insurance in an amount equal to their annual salary at no cost to the housestaff physician.
The Cook County Hospital Housestaff Association (HSA) is the union representing interns, residents and fellows employed by the Hospital. It has existed as the housestaff physicians’ organization for many years and as a union since the early 1970s.
Primary Care Internal Medicine residents are required to complete:
3 inpatient wards at Stroger Hospital
3 inpatient wards at Rush University Medical Center
1 MICU month
Medical Spanish (if not yet proficient)