Internal Medicine Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Reading Hospital’s Medicine Program over the Program at my Medical School?

  • Reading is one of the largest hospitals in Pennsylvania (the busiest Emergency Department in Pennsylvania). You will see an incredible array of patient problems, including the important “bread and butter” of clinical practice as well as the “once in a life-time” diagnoses. The University centers commonly suffer from many refractory or end-stage patients, and many community hospitals do not have the size and complexity to allow exposure to the unusual diseases. Furthermore, programs with large fellowship programs “siphon off” the most interesting cases to their fellows, leaving residents to get what’s left.
  • Many residents leave training prepared to manage inpatients but unskilled in efficient, evidence based ambulatory care or the ability to handle complex behavioral issues. Our residents have a very strong experience in this area as well, and feel comfortable in both the outpatient and inpatient arenas. They develop comfort in both the “clinic” and “private office” arenas.
  • Our program offers a flexibility to allow special experiences in areas such as Women’s Health and travel medicine and allows an emphasis in ambulatory or inpatient training.
  • Our full time faculty are paid to teach - at the University centers, the faculty are increasingly forced to generate patient revenue and “produce”—teaching becomes the distant third component of the triple threat.
  • We focus on preparing residents to be physically and emotionally healthy individuals—with ample opportunity and facilities to exercise and develop effective coping strategies for a potentially stressful lifestyle.
  • Our graduates are able to handle just about anything!

I’m not sure if I want to be a generalist or specialist. Will I reduce my options for the future if I train at Reading?

Our residents receive specialized attention and training to prepare them for any future position in medicine or its specialties. We are fortunate to attract residents whose performance compares well with the best graduates in the country.

  • Acceptances into fellowships have been outstanding.
  • Our Hospital has a combined Jefferson/Reading Cardiology Fellowship position, which will allow one candidate from our program each year to enter a Cardiology fellowship position, if he/she meets appropriate level of commitment and competence.
  • Our Hospital prioritizes Reading graduates for hospitalist positions, which offer outstanding quality of life and salary benefits. Half of our growing hospitalist service (currently 55) are graduates of our program.
  • The Reading Hospital Medical Group supports practitioners in general internal medicine. It provides outstanding quality of life and salary benefits for those graduates interested in office based or mixed office and inpatient practices. Loan repayment options exist.
  • Our institution is growing, and challenging opportunities for practicing internists are being developed in academic practice, in our new Post-Acute Rehabilitation Hospital, and many others.
  • Our residents have been chosen to enter training and practice opportunities throughout the country.
  • For those interested, we offer a federally-funded HRSA primary care track.

What is the atmosphere like at Reading?

The full-time faculty still love the science and practice of internal medicine and transmit their enthusiasm in daily interactions with residents. The environment is one of collaboration, where thinking out loud and admitting what you don’t know is appreciated as the first step in the pursuit of excellence. The effort to provide our patients the best science in a compassionate way is the central motivator, around which real learning occurs. Reading is a place where people get to know you and support you through a challenging time, one you will remember fondly for many years to come.

What could I expect of the Reading area?

Reading is conveniently located just 50 minutes from Philadelphia City Limits and two hours from New York City, yet it clearly maintains its small town charm. Downtown West Reading is dotted with boutiques, restaurants and coffee houses while major retail outlets are just a stone’s throw away. A plethora of affordable housing options are available, including hospital owned Delta Apartments at a subsidized rate. Reading has been relatively unaffected by the housing crunch experienced by other areas so purchasing a home is still a viable option for those who choose to do so. There are many exciting cultural, athletic and artistic venues to sample in the Reading. There’s so much happening that you can’t help but maintain an active lifestyle. Enjoy our museums or catch a show at the Center for the Perform Arts. If you wish, you can listen to some live cool Jazz while enjoying local cuisine. There is something for everyone whether you are a minor league baseball, basketball, football or hockey enthusiast or like to explore nature.

Do you consider international medical graduates for your internal medicine training program?

The Reading Hospital’s Internal Medicine training program seeks the highest qualified candidates, regardless of origin of medical training. Competitive candidates will have demonstrated outstanding performance during their medical school training, based upon transcripts and letters of recommendation. Successful completion of USMLE 1 and 2, with scores of at least 200, and successful completion of USMLE 2 Clinical are also required. Successful completion of the USMLE 3 exam supports the application, but is not required. Some clinical experience in the United States, or comparable medical system is highly preferred. At least one letter of recommendation, reflecting this experience, would also support the candidate’s application. Extra postgraduate learning experiences, including public health school training, is viewed positively, as is demonstration of significant skills in clinical or basic science research. Summary information describing the nature of the research experience should be transmitted in the personal statement and resume. A letter of support from the research supervisor, describing the applicant’s potential in clinical or basic science research is desirable. The Program seeks candidates with a strong interest in being part of a collaborative, humanistic academic environment.

The Hospital supports J-1 and H-1 Visas.

The Hospital does not have a graduation year cutoff in evaluating applicants.

Do you consider Osteopathic Medical Graduates for your Internal Medicine program?

The Reading Hospital Internal Medicine program seeks highly qualified candidates from colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Our program is dually certified through the AOA and the ABIM. The Internal Medicine Osteopathic Residency is fully integrated with ACGME and ACOI requirements. The minimum requirements for an interview include demonstrating outstanding performance during medical school training, successful completion (on first attempts) of USMLE 1 and 2 (minimum of 200) or COMLEX 1 and 2 (minimum 420).

You can also email us if you have a specific question that you would like us to answer.