Transitional Year

Transitional Year

Welcome From the Program Director

Erik Riesenfeld, M.D.


Welcome to the Transitional Year Residency Program at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York.

This year provides a broad-based clinical experience in an atmosphere of high academic standards and personalized training. Since Bassett's earliest history in the 1920s, educating physicians has been a central force in the organization's evolution. Bassett's mission has always included education, patient care and research. The Transitional Year will provide a well-balanced clinical year in multiple disciplines. The program will prepare physicians for a specific specialty or facilitate the choice of a previously undecided upon career.

Graduates of the Transitional Year receive credit toward eligibility in: Psychiatry, Pathology, Anesthesiology, Ophthalmology, Physical Medicine, Radiation Oncology, Dermatology, and Radiology. With a careful choice of electives, graduates may also receive one-year credit for: Internal Medicine, Family Practice, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Neurology, Emergency Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology.


  • Under the guidance of our full-time faculty, you will be the physician responsible for the well-being of a wide range of patients
  • Training within a model progressive Healthcare System, serving 12,000 square miles and providing 850,000 outpatient visits per year
  • There is a 3:1 faculty-to-resident ratio
  • The flexibility to tailor a curriculum to satisfy individual needs
  • You will care for a wide spectrum of patients with varied pathology
  • By the end of the year, you can expect to have the competence and confidence of a well-rounded physician
  • The career track record following the Bassett Transitional Year is outstanding, whether or not you have a definite post-PGY-1 program
  • Longstanding affiliations with Columbia University, Albany, and Rochester
  • Third and fourth year medical student teaching, an outstanding library and other resources, and major research programs provide a university hospital atmosphere in a Columbia University-affiliated hospital
  • Residents undertake progressive autonomy and responsibility for patient care decision-making
  • Technical support services perform nearly all ancillary procedures which allows the resident to spend more time at the patients' bedside
  • Cooperstown and its surroundings provide a unique community in a beautiful rural area with diverse cultural and recreational opportunities

Why choose a Transitional Year at Bassett?

Bassett Healthcare Network

Located at the base of Otsego Lake, one of New York's most beautiful lakes, Bassett Medical Center is a unique rural health delivery network, nationally recognized as a model of integrated healthcare. The goals of the institution are threefold:

  • To provide primary and tertiary health care services to a widely dispersed population
  • To provide residents and medical students with experiential, hands-on management of patients and exposure to medical issues covering the full spectrum of contemporary medical care in an inquisitive and supportive setting
  • To further expand medical knowledge through the internationally-recognized Bassett Research Institute

Bassett provides care to a population of approximately 500,000 in the 8 county region and sees 850,000 visits annually. The catchment area served covers 12,000 square miles with 36 regional health centers within 100 miles of Cooperstown. By integrating these endeavors, our approach to caring is comprehensive and progressive.

Transitional Year Residency

NRMP# 1442999P0
Positions available: 8

The Transitional Year provides a well-balanced clinical year in multiple disciplines. The program is designed for physicians with a program for the PGY-2 year, a government service commitment, or uncertain career goals.

The year is designed to conform to the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). A written, competency-based curriculum defines the goals and objectives of every rotation. Applicants are encouraged to become familiar with these essentials and to discuss any points or questions with the Program Director, faculty, and housestaff. The core rotations of the curriculum require twenty-eight weeks on rotations with senior resident contact. These rotations are Inpatient Services for Medicine, Surgery and ICU. Four weeks are required on the ICU.  Eight (8) weeks are required on Medicine and 4 weeks are required on Surgery with the remaining time developed by the interests of the resident.

A typical (modifiable) Transitional Year includes:

  • 26 weeks – Inpatient Medicine (includes 2 weeks of Night Float) and Inpatient Surgery (each 4-week block may include a week as night intern) 
  • 4 weeks – Medical ICU
  • 4 weeks – Outpatient Clinic 
  • 4 weeks – Emergency Medicine 
  • 11 weeks – Elective rotations 
  • 3 weeks – Vacation

Modification of this schedule is achieved after Match day, depending on the needs of the resident. Available electives include various outpatient experiences, a variety of medical and surgical subspecialties and Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, or Psychiatry.

The flexibility of the curriculum allows the first-year resident to learn to be responsible for the primary management of the patients, which is the cornerstone of the teaching programs at Bassett Healthcare. The progress of each resident is monitored by the Program Director. The Transitional Year resident without a planned PGY-2 or beyond will be assisted by the Program Director to secure an appropriate program. Possibilities include top-flight programs around the country as well as Internal Medicine at Bassett Healthcare.


Residents are encouraged to participate in the E. Donnall Thomas Resident Research Program. This program is designed to facilitate projects both for the novice and the experienced clinical investigator. The facilities of the Bassett Research Institute are available for pursuit of a broad range of opportunities. Residents create their own projects or choose from a list of ongoing faculty projects, with topics that include epidemiology, clinical studies, basic science, outcomes research, public health and health policy.