Transitional year

Doctor listening to a young patient's breathing

The Spectrum Health/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Transitional Year Residency is a one-year training experience that allows resident physicians to fulfill the clinical prerequisite for specialty training. Residents receive broad-based general medicine and surgery training in both inpatient and ambulatory settings. Our program has been designed to provide a diversified core curriculum which allows the resident to learn responsibility for the primary management of patients with a wide variety of pathological conditions. Recognizing that individuals entering the program may desire exposure to areas not included in the core curriculum, the program offers several elective rotations, which are tailored to meet the individual clinical needs and future interests of each resident.

From The Program Director

Dear applicants,

Thank you for visiting the transitional year residency website! As the program director, I sincerely appreciate your interest in our program.

The transitional year program has existed since 1984 and we have a long, rich history of training young, talented physicians in a variety of specialties including radiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, PM&R and other disciplines. The program is jointly sponsored by the internal medicine and emergency medicine residency programs.

Every year, we accept nine residents through ERAS. Three of these positions are set aside for residents enrolled through the Spectrum Health / Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Diagnostic Radiology Residency.

Transitional year residents work alongside residents of other ACGME accredited programs, including internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, general surgery and orthopedic surgery. Our residents integrate seamlessly with categorical residents from all the other programs that make up a component of their clinical training.

The core philosophy of our program is mutual learning, respect and kindness. We emphasize having a collegial and supportive environment that is rich in clinical experiences. This provides a foundation for both medical and lifelong learning. Establishing a work-life balance is valued and encouraged. There are many opportunities to maintain authenticity of mind, body and spirit. Additionally, Spectrum Health is taking steps to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and community.

We are proud of the experiences we offer to our residents and the success of our graduates. We invite you to explore the opportunities available here at Spectrum Health.

Best regards,
Sohail Qadir, MD
Transitional Year Program Director
Professor of Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine


Goals and Philosophies

  • Broad-based general medicine/surgery training in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings
  • Direct and primary clinical responsibilities on all services. Excellent balance between didactic education and clinical responsibility
  • Michigan State University clinical campus partnership allows our residents to build teaching skills as they mentor medical students

Program Aims

  • Strong foundation in fundamental clinical skills, residents work with core faculty and senior residents during their core rotations
  • Flexible curriculum, so the resident can tailor their training to their specialty specific needs
  • Provide residents with educational and clinical tools to successfully pass USMLE Step 3 or COMLEX Level 3 exam
  • Provide residents exposure to multi-disciplinary team-based approaches to patient care within different patient populations and backgrounds
  • Advance understanding of research, patient quality and safety initiatives, and community engagement

Program Highlights

  • Customize, flexible curriculum with choice of four to five electives, including research
  • Hands on experience, integrated technology, collegial environment and structured didactics
  • Quarterly Journal Club
  • Monthly half-day core curriculum/wellness time


The program has been designed to provide a diversified core curriculum which allows the resident to learn responsibility for the primary management of patients with a wide variety of pathological conditions.

The curriculum requires 28 weeks of training in disciplines which provide fundamental clinical skills. Residents participate in the evaluations and management of all types and acuity levels of patients under direct supervision of senior residents and faculty. We offer selected tracks focusing on specialty training:


Residents assume the same responsibilities as categorical residents on respective services. Transitional residents are required to participate fully in the departmental conferences and teaching activities for each service on which they rotate. Faculty and senior residents provide supervision and teaching for the transitional residents. Every third week of the block, the residents are required to participate and attend well-structured TY specific core conferences.


For research endeavors, the scholarly activity support team can assist you. The scholarly activity support team also offers biostatistics consultation, and poster preparation. Residents will be expected to submit their work for presentation at an annual institutional Research Day. The research activities are supported by the Spectrum Health Research Department and by Dr. Diaz (TY Research Director).

Application Requirements

The general guidelines for applying to our transitional year program are as follows:

1. Applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service only.

  • Applications are accepted until the first week of November
  • Interview dates are from the last week of October to the first week of January
  • Applicants must have passed Step 1 and Step 2
  • We require three letters of recommendation and a Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letter from medical school
  • Applicants must qualify to receive a limited medical license from the State of Michigan

2. International medical graduates

  • Applicants should have graduated from medical school no more than three years from the start of the program
  • All applicants must possess U.S. work authorization or be eligible for J-1 status
  • Applicants must have passed Step 1 and Step 2
  • Applicants must have a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates certificate prior to the start of the program

For more information on our program, contact Lily Nielson, program coordinator.

Salary and Benefits

Spectrum Health provides a comprehensive and very competitive benefits package for our residents, staff and their families. In addition, our program provides educational monies to support your ongoing education. Download our salary and benefits document to learn more.

Overhead view of Medical Mile in Grand Rapids

West Michigan - A Great Place to Call Home

As the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids is an amazing place to work, live, play and explore. This vibrant city is known for some of the best festivals in the world, like ArtPrize, and is only a short 45 minute drive to Lake Michigan. The city has been recognized by numerous sources, including The New York Times, where Grand Rapids was ranked as one of the 52 Places to Go. Additionally, Thrillist considers Grand Rapids the best food city in the state of Michigan, and in 2018, Trulia chose Grand Rapids as the Hottest Real Estate Market to Watch in the country. Grand Rapids is a city with endless experiences for people of every age.

Program Director

Associate Program Director

Core Faculty

Class of 2022

Alwin David, MD
Alwin David, MD

Central Michigan University

Jeffrey Elliott, MD
Jeffrey Elliott, MD

Michigan State University

Salina Halliday, DO
Salina Halliday, DO

Michigan State University

Lindsey Kiiskila, MD
Lindsey Kiiskila, MD

Michigan State University

Terrance Li, MD
Terrance Li, MD

Western Michigan University

Nicholas Miller, MD
Nicholas Miller, MD

Michigan State University

Andrew Nguyen, MD
Andrew Nguyen, MD

Michigan State University

Richard Pearson, MD
Richard Pearson, MD

Louisiana State University

Jared Wagner, MD
Jared Wagner, MD

Michigan State University

Get to know our alumni!

Transitional year bios

Resident group photo

Ready to Apply?

Review the “Application Requirements” tab on the program page to learn more about the application process.