Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency

David Spaulding

The Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency program is designed to prepare you for a career either as a primary care physician or to provide you with a foundation for subspecialty training. We are a four-year program, accepting four residents annually. Upon completion, residents will be board-eligible in both internal medicine and pediatrics and well equipped to sit for board certifying examinations in each area.

Our program is ACGME accredited and our board pass rate is 95% on both the American Board of Internal Medicine and America Board of Pediatrics certifying examination. We offer residents robust training experience in both community and academic hospital settings, including complex/rare conditions.

From the Program Director

It's about you! Development and discovery are the fundamental forces behind the Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency program at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. We strive to create an educational atmosphere where medical knowledge is learned, patient management skills are honed, and discovery of your calling is revealed.

Our program began in 1985 in response to a desire of medical students to obtain a significant depth and breadth of training that would allow for a number of career options ranging from primary care to fellowship training. We found that many fourth-year medical students have not decided on a career path or change their plans in the first several years of residency. Therefore, we structured our curriculum to allow for broad exposure early in training, so that you can work with hospitalists, subspecialists as well as outpatient primary care med/peds physicians. The educational experience is also enhanced by the diverse populations we serve. The clinic population is a range of patients from Hispanic, African American and European descents. Residents also rotate through private med/peds offices in suburban practices.

Grand Rapids, Michigan has long been known as a family-friendly place to live. Activities abound. Cultural activities include: theater, symphony and ballet. Lake Michigan beaches are an average of 30-minutes away. My favorite is the 60-minute drive to the Breslin Center in East Lansing to watch Coach Izzo and the MSU Spartan basketball team - hopefully to another final four appearance.

It has been a pleasure for me to serve as the med/peds program director since 1991. Our residents come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have chosen a variety of careers including: primary care, hospitalist, fellowship training, international medicine, underserved urban medicine and missionary medicine. Ultimately, it is about you! Come take a closer look at us and let us help you discover who you are and what you can become.

Richard Switzer, MD
Program Director

Resident Retreat

Our residency is a tight-knit, warm and supportive community, fully integrated into our categorical programs. Each year we have a retreat that is the highlight of the year for the residents and their families. 

2019 Resident Retreat

Mission Work

Mission work is very important to Dr. Switzer, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics program director. Yearly, he goes on a trip to Guatemala and encourages residents to join. Additionally, Pediatrics attendings regularly go on trips to Haiti and residents are encouraged to set up any international rotations they are interested in. In the last year, Pediatrics and Med/Peds residents have done rotations in Jordan, Haiti, Guatemala, Malawi and Costa Rica. Here are some pictures from our Guatemala trip.

Dr. Switzer and residents on a mission trip in Guatemala

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you likely have lots of questions about our program and our hospital. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers. For more information, reach out to our program coordinator, Pam Hritzkowin.
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency program has a long-standing testimony to our commitment to academic excellence and achievement. Our residents are fully integrated both Internal Medicine and Pediatric programs, but have a unique identity as Med/Peds residents in the hospital.
  • One third of our program graduates have completed fellowships in subspecialties, such as adolescent medicine, infectious disease, rheumatology, adult and pediatric hematology/oncology, cardiology and more.
  • Our board pass is 95% on both certifying examinations
  • Spectrum Health has a highly reputable med/peds presence in the community
  • We offer robust training experience in both community and academic hospital settings, including world-class facilities and strong research support

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Curriculum
Sample schedule: Shaded areas represent Pediatric rotations and non-shaded areas represent Internal Medicine rotations. Electives are resident selected, based on area of interest.

Block 1 IM Floors Peds Heme/Onc Newborn Nursery Geriatrics
Block 2 Cardiology Inpatient Elective Peds Floor Senior* IM Floor Senior
Block 3 Medical ICU* Elective Peds Elective Peds Emergency**
Block 4 Newborn Nursery IM Floor Senior Medical ICU * Newborn Nursery
Block 5 Peds Floors IM Elective Outpatient Cardiology Peds Floor Senior*
Block 6 Peds Elective Pediatric ICU * Elective IM Elective
Block 7 IM Floors Adolescent Med IM Floor Senior IM Elective
Block 8 IM Elective Developmental/Behavioral Peds Elective IM Floor Senior
Block 9 IM Emergency * IM Elective Neonatal ICU IM Elective
Block 10 IM Elective IM Elective MP Acute Care Peds Elective
Block 11 Neonatal ICU Night Float*/IM Floor Senior Peds Emergency** Neonatal ICU
Block 12 Peds Elective IM Elective Elective MP Acute Care
Block 13 Peds Floors Night Float*/Swing Shift * Elective Peds Elective
(*rotations denote a block without outpatient clinic duties, ** IM clinic only)
  • MKSAP and PREP review sessions
  • Monthly med/peds lectures
  • Monthly journal clubs in both internal medicine and pediatrics programs
  • Weekly grand rounds in both internal medicine and pediatrics programs
  • Annual Research Day highlighting resident scholarly activities
  • Numerous monthly multispecialty boards such as lung cancer, tumor, pediatric neuroradiology
  • Teaching and supervision of Michigan State University medical students
  • Quality & safety committees for both hospitals
  • Morning report
  • Morbidity & mortality conferences
  • Procedure skills labs/sim labs

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.

Coming Full Circle, From Patient to Physician - Abigail Wenzlick, MD, IM/Peds resident, and Sharon Smith, MD, pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship core faculty, were recently highlighted in Spectrum Health HealthBeat.
We accept applications through ERAS only. The NRMP code for our program is 2077700CO. Application deadline for internship starting June 2022 is December 1, 2021.

Application Statement

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape for residency application, and removed travel barriers for interviewing.  As a result, programs expect to receive up-to twice as many applications than in a prior years, yet have limited resources for application review during a shortened review period.  We are concerned that overly broad application will limit our ability to give fair review to all, and will leave some applicants without opportunity at programs where they have genuine interest.  To mitigate this, we request that applicants consider limiting their applications to no more than 20 programs.  We also ask that applicants consider adding a paragraph to the end of their personal statement detailing their interest in our specific program - this is not mandatory, but may assist us in gauging applicant interest if the pool is large.  We are committed to working with our applicants to find the best match for you and for us, and request your partnership over the next few months to ensure the process is fair and successful for all.

If you have any questions about the program or the application process, contact our program coordinator, Pam Hritzkowin, at

Required application materials for US medical school graduates are as follows:
  • Three letters of recommendation in support of your application from faculty with whom you have worked
  • Dean's letter (MSPE) from your medical school
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Official medical school transcript(s)
  • Exam scores – 220 or higher on both Step I and II on first attempt
  • USMLE Step II exam scores must be received prior to rank deadline to be considered for ranking
  • DO applicants may submit COMPLEX scores in lieu of USMLE

Required application materials for international medical graduates are as follows:
  • Three letters of recommendation in support of your application from faculty with whom you have worked
  • Dean's letter (MSPE) from your medical school
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • ECFMG certification, including CSA exam results
  • USMLE Steps I and II – 220 or higher on Step I and Step II on first attempt
  • No failed scores on any USMLE Step exam
  • Six weeks of US clinical experience, an observership does not count toward this clinical requirement
  • All candidates must possess U.S. work authorization or be eligible for J-1 status

Visiting Learners

All visiting medical student applications must be submitted through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program. For more information on visiting medical student opportunities, please visit our Visiting Learner page.
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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