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Internal Medicine Residency

Train in an award-winning education environment that received the 2016 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Baldwin Award, recognizing a respectful, supportive environment for medical education and patient care.

Our residents are trained to be efficient and cost-effective while being compassionate. The learning environment that our program provides affords opportunity for personal and professional development. We are taught to care for patients, learn responsibility and leadership in an excellent support system and progressively achieve independence as we get ready to graduate. Being a part of Gundersen's Internal Medicine Residency has been an honor and a blessing.

Gundersen's Internal Medicine Residency offers training in a state-of-the-art teaching Hospital and outstanding ABIM certification exam preparation with weekly board review sessions. We focus on teaching residents how to deliver high-quality patient care in a health system that values continuous improvement. Our program also provides exceptional hospitalist training; a flexible ambulatory track if you're interested in primary care; an extensive ambulatory specific didactic curriculum and dedicated ambulatory teaching staff; and a cutting-edge point-of-care ultrasound curriculum and simulation center.

As an Internal Medicine resident, you gain the inpatient and outpatient experience needed to smoothly transition to independent internal medicine or hospitalist practice as a competent physician upon graduation. The program also emphasizes diversity of training. Each year, several of our residents successfully obtain competitive fellowships. Over the past 10 years, graduates have earned fellowship positions in:

  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonary/critical care
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Infectious disease
  • Palliative care
  • Geriatrics
  • Rheumatology

We offer individualized career counseling from both our highly experienced residency administrative personnel and our institutional Recruiting Department. Gundersen is the designated western campus of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. University of Wisconsin medical students continuously rotate throughout our medical center. We also host many fourth-year students from around the United States for clerkships.

Our General Medicine, Cardiology and ICU teams consist of an attending, a senior resident, two interns and one or two medical students, creating a familiar academic environment.

Since 1970, Gundersen Medical Foundation has prided itself in providing the very best internal medicine education and training. Our program features a tailored curriculum to meet your educational goals. Personable and dedicated staff physicians prioritize your learning, offering a blend of autonomy and supervision to enhance your education. Gundersen stresses a culture of mutual respect among all employees, both in clinical and educational environments. This noteworthy characteristic served as the foundation of the ACGME Baldwin Award in 2016.

Gundersen has a long tradition of providing the highest quality graduate-level medical education. Your success as a physician is our goal as a program, and we work tirelessly to ensure excellence within our Internal Medicine Residency. We would love to hear any questions you have and welcome you to visit our institution.

Benefits information


Why do some people think university-based programs are the best places to do residency? Will I be able to get a fellowship and do research?

The most frequently cited reasons for choosing a university-based program include the ability to secure a fellowship and the opportunity to do valid research projects. While we can't speak for every community-based internal medicine program in the nation, these opportunities also exist at Gundersen Health System.

Our program is strong in general internal medicine, with traditionally between 30 to 40 percent of our graduates going on to complete a fellowship. Of those who apply, 96 percent successfully match into fellowship, and most of them get their top fellowship choice. For example, some of our residents have transitioned into fellowships at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dartmouth Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Iowa, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Indiana University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska and other fine medical centers.

Opportunities for clinical research abound at Gundersen, too. Our residents have published research in numerous medical journals. Many residents have presented at state and national meetings, and we have a tradition of doing extremely well at the annual American College of Physicians (ACP) Wisconsin Chapter resident competition. We have a full research support staff, including biostatisticians and media specialists, who are ready and willing to help you with your research project(s). Staff physicians are more than willing to form mentoring relationships with you in areas of research.

A full listing of fellowship placement over the past 15 years is available upon request.


Is your program academic enough?

Our academic focus is one of the very things that attracted several of our current residents to our program. We strongly emphasize evidence-based and cost-effective medicine, basing our patient care decisions on a critical review of literature. We do not make care decisions based on maintaining a status quo, and there is always proof behind our clinical choices. This approach permeates all our conferences, staff teaching sessions, "curbside consults" and bedside teaching.

During the Research/Quality Improvement Rotation in the first year there is an evidence-based medicine section that teaches basic concepts as they relate to research and patient care. These principles quickly become incorporated into your medical decision-making process. We have one to two formal teaching conferences each day and every staff member in the hospital is involved in medical education at some level.

Boards Preparation

Will I be well prepared for boards?

We have long-standing board-review curricula that helps us achieve board exam excellence. Our current 15-year ABIM certifying exam pass rate is more than 95 percent.

We have a weekly board review class for all our residents. We use both MKSAP and MedStudy curricula and emphasize in detail the key points each resident needs to know to achieve board exam excellence. Test taking strategy is also reviewed in detail.

The Internal Medicine In-Training Examination is administered to Internal Medicine residents at each PGY level. The results of this examination are used as a baseline to judge residents' progress in residency training, as well as to fine-tune their knowledge in preparation for the American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Exam. The results from this test are also used as an indicator for teaching staff in a continuing effort to modify our curricula, which ultimately enhances teaching.


Will I have enough autonomy?

Autonomy and supervision are two important aspects of a residency program. At Gundersen, staff provide an excellent blend of both. Autonomy is given in a graded fashion according to each resident's ability. Staff do not micromanage and are always eager and willing to hear your impression and patient care plan.

By the second year of residency, most residents have significant autonomy. The attending physician is always available in person or by phone if you have any questions. Thus, residents have appropriate responsibility and autonomy but always with the best supervision.

Opportunities for Procedures

Will I have the opportunity to do enough procedures?

Close bedside supervision by staff working one-on-one with residents and a range of elective rotations enable mastery of a number of procedures. For example, a resident may choose to take Office Gynecology to learn endometrial biopsy technique and cervical polyp removal, or they may take Office Procedures to learn to perform arthrocentesis and joint injections. There also is an elective procedure rotation available if a resident desires a large volume of a variety of procedures. With the development of our Point-of-Care Ultrasound curriculum over the past couple of years, we anticipate a significant increase in the volume of bedside procedures available to our Internal Medicine residents.

Residents have opportunity to master or gain significant experience with the following procedures:

  • Central venous line placement
  • Arterial line insertion
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • Mechanical ventilator management
  • Thoracentesis
  • Paracentesis
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Skin biopsy
  • Joint aspiration and injection

Critical Care Experience

How is your critical care experience?

Gundersen is a Level II Trauma Center. Our ICU functions as a closed unit, giving residents on their ICU rotation valuable experience in caring for a wide range of critically ill patients with myriad problems. We have an ICU rotation every year dedicated to intensive care medicine. As a result of the excellent training we offer in critical care, previous residents have gone on to do a fellowship in pulmonary critical care.

Medical Student Experience

Residents work closely with medical students in many inpatient and some outpatient rotations. Gundersen is the western academic campus of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Visiting medical students are also welcome.
For more information, please visit the GHS Medical Student page.

If you are a medical student and are interested in rotating through Gundersen, please contact:

Allyson Servais, Medical Student Program coordinator, [email protected] 

Nicole Aponte, Medical Student Program coordinator, [email protected] 

Living with a family

Program overview
Mission & Vision

To train the next generation of physician leaders who excel in independent practice by using up-to-date, evidence-based data to deliver high quality, safe, and financially responsible care with a multidisciplinary team approach. This is accomplished with progressive autonomy in a supportive environment that optimizes individual wellness, and supports diversity and inclusion, all while enriching the lives of patients.

Unique Features

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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