Internal Medicine Residency Program

The Vanderbilt Internal Medicine Residency Program provides rigorous training for future health care leaders who will improve the human condition through the practice of medicine

Our Internal Medicine Residency Program has been training distinguished physicians and scientists since 1925 and is among the top internal medicine programs in the country today.  

The Vanderbilt tradition fosters strong peer and faculty mentor relationships with emphasis on excellence in patient care, attention to detail, and a scholarly approach to clinical issues. The qualities we value most are intellectual curiosity, honesty, compassion, and genuine enthusiasm for learning and for sharing what has been learned.

The Department of Medicine and our Residency program uphold the university’s highest academic standards, emphasizing the values of patient care, discovery, diversity and inclusion, mentorship, and professionalism. Our program provides residents with exposure to a full array of experiences in all areas of internal medicine.  


The mission of our program is to provide academic rigor in a supportive environment and to train a diverse group of future leaders in academic medicine who will improve the human condition through the practice of medicine, education, research, and service. 

Residents cite their sense of camaraderie as one of our program's greatest strengths. We attract a diverse group of talented residents from around the world, and the unique environment at Vanderbilt facilitates the development of close friendships among the residents, the faculty, and their families.  

Collaborative, innovative training

Each year, our clinical faculty and trainees care for more than 500,000 outpatients and nearly 20,000 inpatients at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center University Hospital and the on-campus Nashville Veterans Affairs Hospital. As the leading provider of indigent care in Tennessee, our institution serves a diverse group of patients from all backgrounds, including those from underserved, urban, and rural communities. 

The Vanderbilt Department of Medicine has over 900 faculty affiliated with 13 traditional divisions and several interdisciplinary research centers. More than 150 residents and nearly 300 fellows and graduate students are currently training within the department.  

We always seek new ways to mentor young learners and to develop future leaders in medicine, which requires a collaborative and innovative faculty working in partnership with others. Optimism, measured success, and teamwork are remarkable strengths of our Vanderbilt faculty. 

Ally Steitz, MD, MEd
VU Inpatient Chief Resident

VUMC Resident Voices

"At VUMC, residents serve and learn alongside experts in a diverse spectrum of medical specialties.  These include general medicine, intensive care, transplant, and subspecialty teams. Thus, early on in their career, residents gain exposure to a wide variety of complex patients under the direct supervision of excellent clinical faculty focused on education.

The Department of Medicine’s pride continues to be its residents and house staff. Beyond excellent physicians, Vanderbilt residents are great humans, reflecting our culture of camaraderie within the Department of Medicine. Year after year, residents cite their fellow residents as the number one reason they were happy to have matched at Vanderbilt.

House Staff take pride in maintaining a constructive, supportive, educational, and collaborative atmosphere within the program. I am personally grateful to have had the opportunity to train here with so many amazing people. As such, we truly hope you consider our program in your search for a training home."

The Department of Medicine considers residency education to be a top priority. Unique features of our department include:

  •  A strong emphasis on bedside teaching. Attending rounds are conducted at the bedside daily on all our units.
  • To maximize exposure to a wide array of subspecialists and patients, residents rotate on dedicated inpatient subspecialty services in cardiology, geriatrics, heart failure, hematology, hepatology, infectious diseases, nephrology, oncology, and pulmonary medicine.
  • Significant growth of departmental non-teaching services ensures that the patients on the general medicine teaching services provide the best educational experience for house staff.
  • Multidisciplinary ICU rounds that emphasize a team approach to care of the critically ill.
  • Continued expansion of the primary care faculty (currently, there are approximately 100 clinical faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health) and organization of the ambulatory rotations in a "4 + 2 block" system for better teaching and an overall richer experience.
  • A bedside procedure service in which residents receive intensive formal procedural training and direct attending level procedural supervision.

Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 by a $1 million gift from Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt in order "to contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country." For the first 50 years of the university's existence, the School of Medicine occupied buildings in downtown Nashville. In 1925, under the leadership of Canby Robinson, a new hospital was built on the main campus and the modern School of Medicine was born. 

Since then, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine has gained national prominence in many areas. Two Vanderbilt faculty, Dr. Earl Sutherland (cyclic AMP) and Dr. Stanley Cohen (epidermal growth factor) have won the Nobel Prize in Medicine, and Vanderbilt scientists continue to excel in research. At the present time Vanderbilt University School of Medicine ranks 11th in the nation in total NIH research grants, and the total value of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's external support for competitive research grants totals $483 million. In addition, Vanderbilt's rate of growth in NIH grants has been among the fastest in the nation over the past several years. 

Eskind biomedical library

Eskind Biomedical Library

The Department of Medicine has had an equally illustrious history, beginning with its founding by chair Dr. Canby Robinson in 1925. Research in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt has led to major improvements in our understanding of disease, and currently the department ranks 3rd in the nation in NIH funding among Departments of Medicine. 

The first Chief Resident in Medicine in the new facility in 1925 was Dr. Tinsley Harrison, who would remain on the faculty until 1941. The outstanding clinical leadership begun by Dr. Harrison and others continues to this day in the Department of Medicine. This happens through an integrated medical campus including the Vanderbilt University Hospital, the adjacent Veterans Affairs Hospital, and the Vanderbilt Clinic, which sees approximately 1.5 million outpatient visits per year. 

To support the robust research programs at Vanderbilt, The Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library opened in 1994 adjacent to the main hospital and is home to state-of-the-art electronic information. House staff can access the library's databases remotely at any time.  

The library is also home to the Department of Medical Informatics, one of the most outstanding informatics programs in the nation. Through cooperation between informatics and clinical departments, chiefly the Department of Medicine, our informatics program has been a national leader in the use of electronic health records for clinical care and discovery. 

Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program:

Associate Directors: 

Program Leadership

John McPherson, MD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine


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