Internal Medicine Residency

Internal Medicine Residency Header

The Spectrum Health/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Internal Medicine Residency program is a three-year program accepting 12 positions per year. We provide a rich educational experience with a culturally diverse population. With over 670 beds, Butterworth Hospital is a Level I Trauma Center and a clinical leader in cardiovascular, cancer and neurosciences, among many others. The availability of higher level services provided at Spectrum Health, including heart, lung, and bone marrow transplant, has added to the exposure of these complex specialized patient populations to our resident physician and truly enhanced the educational experience we are able to offer. Spectrum Health has been awarded primary stroke center and heart failure certifications and has won the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.

From the Program Director 

Welcome to the Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Internal Medicine Residency Program. I’m so glad you decided to stop by our website and learn more about our awesome program! Let me tell you why I think it’s an amazing place to learn and grow and why you should be here.

 Our residents primarily train at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Since 1873, Butterworth Hospital has been growing and building a reputation of excellence in care, diagnostics, treatment, prevention and education. It is the flagship hospital for the Spectrum Health Medical Center, which includes Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and Spectrum Health Cancer Center at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion.

The brilliance of our “Medical Mile” allows our residents to practice medicine in world-class facilities. Spectrum Health and Grand Rapids has more than 100 years of investing in graduate medical education. As medicine has evolved, so has our residencies. We are proud to have produced some of the best primary care and hospitalist physicians, in addition to having prepared the many others who have gone on to fellowship training in various internal medicine subspecialties.

While our hospitals and clinics are second to none, we boast the most about our community attending physicians and the passion they have for resident education! We have high expectations of our residents and with the guidance of our faculty and staff, our residents always rise to the occasion. We place a strong emphasis on education over service. Our general medicine units and ICUs are staffed with attending physicians 24/7. All of our teaching services are closely supervised by in-house attending physicians. There is always someone to look to and to learn from, making ours a nonmalignant learning environment that fosters mentorship and camaraderie. Simply put, we make good doctors!

We invite you to learn more about our community here in West Michigan. It’s a beautiful place to live and Michigan’s second largest populated city. Whether you enjoy walking along the river-side taking in the view of the rapids, watching minor league sporting events such as baseball, basketball or hockey, attending big-ticket artist concerts, taking in a Broadway play, the symphony, or perusing downtown for museums and good eateries, there’s something here for you.  So, check us out! We hope to see you soon!

TaLawnda L. Bragg, MD, FACP
Program Director,  Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Internal Medicine Residency
Internal Medicine Hospitalist, Spectrum Health West Michigan

Program Aims
  1. Develop individual learning plans that provide foundational education in general internal medicine that will prepare residents for diverse clinical and academic settings including hospitalist medicine, primary care medicine and subspecialty care
  2. Engage our residents in scholarship, patient safety and quality improvement to instill the values of innovative lifelong learning
  3. Empower our physicians as clinical instructors, developing effective teachers of peers and undergraduate medical students
  4. Create leaders of multidisciplinary teams
  5. Foster resident and faculty camaraderie, address the importance of physician wellness and teach our residents resiliency skills
  • Noon report (three per week) – Conducted by chief resident and a key faculty member, interesting cases or admissions from the teaching services are presented to discuss clinical presentations, differential diagnoses, diagnostic dilemmas, appropriate interventions and therapeutics.
  • Formal resident patient handoffs – Occurs twice a day to ensure the upmost quality and safety with transitioning care to covering residents.
  • Teaching rounds (daily) – Each inpatient team, led by one faculty member, spend one to two hours discussing patients on the service with an emphasis placed on bedside teaching.
  • Grand Rounds – Weekly
  • Mortality chart review, safety cases and readmission root cause analysis – A regularly occurring conference built on our noon report and didactic sessions. The emphasis is on proving safe, timely and effective care, rooting in the six core ACGME competencies.
  • Morbidity and mortality (one per block) – Formal presentation by senior level residents at grand rounds.
  • Continuity clinic lecture daily in clinic – Each week, residents are provided reading material addressing multiple aspects of outpatient/ambulatory care medicine which include non-medicine subject matters such as ethics, billing, coding, running a practice, and more. Prior to each clinic, the reading material is discussed with a key faculty member(s) who staff the afternoon clinics.
  • Core curriculum lectures (weekly) – The core curriculum is given as a three hour lecture block each Friday. This is protected time free of clinical duties for the education of our residents. All disciplines within the field of medicine are presented by community subspecialists to prepare our residents for board certification in internal medicine.
  • Journal club/evidence-based medicine reviews (one-two per block) – Upper level residents select peer-reviewed journal articles that are critically reviewed by house staff.
  • Procedure skills lab (two per year) – This two to three hour session gives residents the opportunity to hone procedure skills such as intubations, thoracentesis, central access, and more. In addition, mock codes are performed each block.
Manageable and realistic resident research opportunities
The internal medicine program strongly supports resident research, and many of our faculty are very involved in clinical research. Part of this support comes from the scholarly activity support team, which offers biostatistics consultation and poster preparation. 

Residents develop a research project during their residency training and can present at numerous meetings. Residents will be expected to submit their work for presentation at an institutional Research Day. Some have even been submitted for publication! Financial support can be requested not only from our internal medicine program, but also the scholarly activity support team.
All applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service. Applications will be evaluated on an individual basis and applicants granted an interview as space allows.
  • We require three letters of recommendation; one clinical letter of recommendation from an internal medicine faculty and one Department of Medicine summary letter of evaluation, the final letter of recommendation can be from clinical faculty or a scholarly project mentor
  • We prefer passing scores on the first attempt on both USMLE Step 1 and Step 2
  • MD applicants: Results for Step 2 must be available to be considered for ranking
  • DO applicants: We prefer USMLE Steps 1 and 2 but will accept COMLEX 1 and 2
  • We prefer applicants who have graduated medical school within the past two years
  • All applicants must possess U.S. work authorization or be eligible for J-1 status

For more information about our program, contact the internal medicine residency program coordinators.

All visiting medical student applications must be submitted through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program. For more information on visiting medical student opportunities, visit our Visiting Learner page.
Applying to Residencies with ERAS®
For the 2022 ERAS® cycle, our program will be participating in the supplemental ERAS application offered through the AAMC's ERAS program. Applicants will be required to complete the MyERAS application, and participation in the supplemental ERAS application is optional.

The additional information will help our program staff learn more about applicants’ medical education journey, including more meaningful information about work, volunteer, and research experiences, and help us better identify applicants who fit our program environment and mission.

This supplemental ERAS application will be delivered on a survey platform outside the MyERAS application and must be completed between September 1 and September 30.
Bookmark the supplemental ERAS application section of the AAMC website to find the latest information, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources.
Innovate. Inspire. Impact.

We are proud of the relationships our physicians have built with patients and families. Through inspiring stories, Health Beat provides an editorial platform to bring patients and physicians together, sharing information on innovative care and personal journeys. Read about our innovative care and the brave families who inspire us.

Forging a New Path 


We Were Lucky

Click here to read the answers to frequently asked questions about our residency program.
The internal medicine residency program holds a half-day retreat in September. This a great opportunity for residents to enjoy fun team-building activities and take time to get to know the new interns. 
2018-IM-retreat-photo  2018-IM-retreat
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.

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    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 consider 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. Learn more.

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    Get to know our residents

    Our residents are a diverse group from a variety of backgrounds with unique experiences and interests. We look forward to getting to know you as well!


Many of our alumni have moved on to subspecialty fellowship training, see where they've gone.