Skip to Content

About the Internal Medicine Residency Program at UPMC Mercy

Program Mission

The mission of the UPMC Mercy Internal Medicine Residency program is to prepare our graduates to be knowledgeable, capable, and compassionate physicians through wide-ranging training offered in a supportive working and learning environment.

Program Aims

  • Train clinically capable physicians from diverse backgrounds in a model of patient-centered care which prepares our graduates for all varieties of future clinical and educational settings.
  • Build a supportive working and learning environment that helps our physicians become skilled, caring, and independent professionals.
  • Instill professional development in our physicians that emphasizes leadership skills, role-modeling, scholarly achievement, and career advancement.
  • Foster a culture of well-being for our physicians which enables them to develop the empathy they need to treat all patients with dignity and respect.

About Our Program

Our vibrant Internal Medicine Residency Program is comprised of 63 total residents (21 in each class) and offers:

  • University faculty in all specialties and sub-specialties
  • Collaborative and collegial environment
  • Diverse patient population with high volume of complex cases
  • Opportunities to customize training based on resident interest and career plan
  • Funded opportunities to present at external conferences during all three years of training

We’re very proud of our residents' many publications and presentations at national meetings. Our residents have full opportunity to work with world-class faculty from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in a broad spectrum of activities, including basic science and clinical research. In 2022, the University of Pittsburgh was #11 in the US in NIH grant support, with nearly $279 million in grants toward 633 awards.

Procedure simulation and crisis-team training is available onsite in partnership with the Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER), a world-class multidisciplinary training and research facility. Additionally, all residents are offered training in the performance and interpretation of bedside ultrasound onsite with certified faculty.

All internal medicine residents undertake a clinical experience with Operation Safety Net, which is the nation’s first, targeted, full-time street medicine program to provide medical care to persons who are homeless. Operation Safety Net continues to set the standard for this unique field, offering not only access to health care but also giving hope and dignity to the population it serves.

The residents’ continuity clinic experience is once every five weeks, as the program has an X+Y, 4+1 schedule, with continuity clinic occurring in the Y week. During their continuity clinic experience, residents participate in a weight management clinic, gaining valuable experience in an area of medicine which is often given less training priority.

Residents also, as part of their continuity clinic experience, participate in a unique Critical Illness Recovery Clinic geared toward addressing the PTSD-like psychosocial issues that patients may experience from a prolonged ICU stay.

UPMC Mercy hosts many medical students throughout the academic year, giving residents the opportunity to teach future team members.

Our program selects PGY-3 chief residents yearly, with input into the selection provided by fellow residents.

Residents are supported by full ancillary staffing, and regularly participate in multidisciplinary rounds with clinical pharmacologists and case managers.

Our program values resident input in the programmatic decisions and changes we make. The following committees have faculty, administrative and resident representation:

  • Education Committee
  • Orientation Committee
  • Recruitment Committee
  • Research Committee
  • Scheduling Committee
  • Wellness Committee


  • Congratulations to Lori Balser, who in August 2023 was named UPMC’s Rookie Coordinator of the Year!
  • We were commended in 2022 by the (national) Review Committee for Internal Medicine for our demonstrated compliance with ACGME Program Requirements.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Ibrahim Ghobrial, associate program director, who was elected in 2021 to a four-year term as Governor of the Western Pennsylvania American College of Physicians!
  • We were recognized by the American College of Physicians in March 2021 as an “Elite Residency Program” for our support of our residents’ educational and professional development.
  • Congratulations to Leah Thompson, who in July 2020 was named UPMC’s Outstanding Coordinator of the Year!

Residency Benefits and Perks

Personal Time Off:
Residents receive 20 weekdays of vacation per academic year, and two absence days per year for illness or other circumstances of unplanned absence.

Residents receive a meal card with monies preloaded to use in the UPMC Mercy Cafeteria and in the 1847 Cafe.

Residents receive free parking on site. In addition, the Department of Medicine will assist in offsetting parking fees incurred during off-site experiences.

Residents are provided with UPMC health insurance (with basic dental and vision coverage). Enhanced dental and vision coverage is available for residents and their eligible dependents for an additional fee. Residents are provided with Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, Life Insurance, and Medical Malpractice insurance.

Educational Expenses:
Residents are eligible for up to $2,000 in reimbursement for educational expenses over their three years of training, subject to content approval by the program director.

Presentation and Conference Expenses:
Residents are encouraged to participate in external scholarly activity (e.g. presentation at a recognized medical conference of abstracts and posters pertaining to research). Related expenses may be reimbursed up to $1,500 per presentation, pending approval by the program director.

Board Preparation:
The Department of Medicine provides each PGY1 resident with the newest version of the MKSAP. Additionally, we offer Board review sessions twice per month during noon conference.

Lab Coats:
Residents receive two lab coats at the start of their PGY1 year. One additional coat is provided upon request in the first three months of each additional year of training.

Residents are provided with access to scrubs through the CINTAS system on site.

UPMC Perks:
The UPMC Perks program provides discounts on a variety of services, merchandise, and experiences offered exclusively to UPMC employees, such as:

  • Car insurance
  • Theme parks
  • Sporting events
  • National retailers

Fitness Facility:
Residents may utilize the fitness area on the 5th floor of the Mercy Professional Office Building at no cost. Additionally, residents have free access to the University of Pittsburgh Trees Hall fitness facilities.

In addition to the fitness areas, residents have full access to wellness resources such as the Resident and Fellow Assistance Program, Physicians for Physicians, UPMC Physician THRIVE, Chat with the Chiefs, and other offerings by the program based on resident needs and input.

Moonlighting is permitted with approval of the program director and after obtaining appropriate licensure.

Tuition Reimbursement:
The UPMC tuition assistance benefit is available up to a maximum of $5,000 per academic year. The benefit also provides a tuition assistance at the University of Pittsburgh for dependent children and spouses for first baccalaureate degree only at 50% up to $6,000 maximum/year for dependent children (must be full-time student) and up to $2,000 maximum/year for spouse (full or part-time student).

View more information about the Tuition Assistance Program for Dependents of Staff Members (PDF). 

UPMC ME Benefits and Stipends