Scripps Mercy Transitional Year Residency Program

Offering new physicians comprehensive training prior to specialization

Members of the Scripps Mercy Transitional Year Residency Program gather for a photo.

Offering new physicians comprehensive training prior to specialization

Scripps Mercy San Diego offers multiple competitive training programs for physicians entering their first post-graduate year after medical school. The three transitional year training tracks include: A broad-based Transitional Year Residency Program, a Transitional-Anesthesiology Residency Program co-managed by Scripps Mercy and University of California (UCSD) Anesthesia Residency, and a joint Transitional-Ophthalmology Residency program with University of California (UCSD) Ophthalmology Residency. 

All residents in our Transitional Year Programs work alongside the Scripps Mercy San Diego Categorical Internal Medicine Program, Family Medicine Program, Pharmacy Residency Program and Podiatric Program, complete with visiting residents and medical students. Our unique setting and structure offers a rich academic experience with an individualized, community feel.

Our transitional year programs allow physicians to build superior clinical skills that serve as a cornerstone for subspecialty training and careers. Together with attending physicians, our residents manage some of San Diego’s most ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient populations. 

Program highlights

The transitional year residency programs at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego offer a wide breadth of training within a nationally recognized health care system.

Message from the program director

Message from the program director

Our director explains what makes the Transitional Year Residency Programs at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego so rewarding.

Karen Jamison, MD

Karen Herbst Jamison, MD

From the program director, Karen Herbst Jamison, MD, FACP

Dear Residency Candidate, 

Welcome to Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego Transitional Year Program web page, which includes a Transitional Year Track, a Transitional-Anesthesia Track and a Transitional-Ophthalmology Track. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share some amazing insights into our program. Transitional Year residency training is an exciting and very important juncture in your medical career, and finding a program that is a great fit for you will hopefully translate to an educational experience that reinvigorates your excitement for your chosen field. 

Scripps Mercy Hospital has been serving the community for more than 130 years — longer than any other hospital in San Diego — and is known as the “hospital with heart.” We have won numerous national awards for both quality of care (e.g., America’s 100 Best Hospitals by Health Grades) and employee satisfaction (e.g., Top 50 Employers in the National Great Place to Work Survey).

Licensed for 750 beds, Scripps Mercy Hospital provides both primary and tertiary care to a highly diverse patient population. Our central location within San Diego and proximity to the United States-Mexico border allows us to serve a community with a broad range of backgrounds, lifestyles and health care needs. Our hospital serves as a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Primary Stroke Center with neuro-intervention capacity, a STEMI center, a new state-of-the-art cancer center (Prebys Cancer Center), and has one of the busiest emergency rooms in San Diego and a highly rated ICU with 24-hour intensivist support.

Scripps Mercy Hospital has sponsored multiple residency training programs since 1947, making us the oldest non-military program in San Diego County. Our Transitional Year Programs are accredited by the ACGME, and we have repeatedly earned its maximum cycle review length. The Transitional Year Program is sponsored by the Internal Medicine Program and they are highly integrated and supportive of each other. We strive to cultivate a culture of excellence, including evidence-based practice and high-value care with humanism and professionalism. We have a Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Program that is one of the first in the nation and one of the best in the country. We have exceptional didactics on all aspects of medicine, and have dedicated time to resident wellness and well-being.  

Scripps Mercy is affiliated with the University of California-San Diego Medical School, providing access for medical students to train under the supervision of our house staff and attendings. In addition to our 12 Transitional Year positions, we provide the Transitional Year/Anesthesia training for six physicians who have matched into UCSD’s Anesthesia Program for PGY-2.

Transitional Year residents, upon completion of our program, depart with a strong foundation of medical principles, allowing them to hone their skills in their chosen specialty. Even more importantly, they have learned how to provide excellent, compassionate care — known as the “Mercy Style of Care.”  

In addition to our Transitional Year Residency Programs, Scripps Mercy Hospital also offers:

  • ACGME-accredited residencies in Internal Medicine and Family Medicine
  • CPME-accredited residency in Podiatry
  • ASHP-accredited residency in Pharmacy 
  • Rotations for residents from UCSD, Kaiser Permanente, Naval Medical Center, Family Health Centers and San Ysidro Health Center
  • Sub-internship rotations on our Internal Medicine wards for visiting fourth-year medical students from across the country 

Please take a moment to learn more about why Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego is an excellent place to begin your transitional year training.  


Karen Herbst Jamison, MD, FACP

Program Director, Transitional Year Internship 

Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency

Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego

Training sites and rotations

The transitional year is designed to provide a broad clinical experience across medical and surgical services and subspecialties. We’re proud to offer a multitude of clinical rotations across a variety of settings.

Faculty and residents

We are committed to resident success and excellence in medical education. Our transitional year residents learn and work in a multidisciplinary setting alongside other physicians in training, experienced teaching attendings, subspecialists and researchers. Our teaching faculty come from institutions all over the country, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, UCSD and our very own Scripps Mercy.

Research opportunities

Our residents have access to a wide variety of research opportunities within the Scripps Network and beyond. As part of our individualized approach to training, we offer a dedicated one-month research elective which can be tailored to your interests. This elective allows residents the opportunity to continue research endeavors they may have started during medical school, to start new projects here with Scripps faculty, or in partnership with their categorical training program.

The Scripps Hub Academic Research Core (SHARC) team, funded by the Clinical Translational Science Award and Scripps Graduate Medical Education programs, supports residents with project navigation, biostatistical analyses and community engagement to promote Scripps trainee and investigator-initiated research.  

Through the support of our program, our faculty, the Melisa Reasner McGuire Health Sciences Library, and the SHARC team, our residents’ scholarly activity often results in significant publications and presentations at the national level. Visit our Database of Scholarly Publications for Mercy Authors.


Recent resident-led projects include:

  • Cardiovascular limited ultrasound examination (CLUE) using pocket-sized digital devices
  • Clinical trials of new cancer agents
  • Recognizing emerging complications of new cancer agents
  • Team training to enhance communication with families of patients in the ICU
  • Methamphetamine-induced cardiomyopathy 
  • Multiple infectious disease topics

Salary and benefits

The terms and conditions of resident training and employment are specified in the employment agreement (resident contract), including training obligations, stipend and benefits.

How to apply

The Scripps Mercy Hospital Residency Selection Committee reviews all applications for the Transitional Year Residency Program based on the following criteria:

  • Academic performance
  • Clinical performance
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Communication skills
  • Motivation and integrity
  • Professionalism