Frequently Asked Questions

What type of preventive medicine residency is at DSHS?

The DSHS residency is a Public Health and General Preventive Medicine residency. Our goal is to train the next generation of public health leaders. What that means is that we focus on the art and science of population-based public health. Of note, we are not an occupational medicine program or an aerospace medicine program. And we are not a path to primary care.

How many positions are available in the program every year?

Two PGY2 positions are available annually. As such, we have a total of 2 PGY2 and 2 PGY3 residents. DSHS does not offer an internship or observerships.

Can I mail or email my application materials?

No, all applicants must submit the required documents through ERAS. We will only review applications submitted through ERAS. Please do not submit email, fax or mail application materials.

When do interviews begin?

Normally, we begin interviews in October and attempt to complete interviews in December, although this will vary from year to year. We participate in the ACPM Standard Application Process match, which will occur this year in late January. 

When is the application deadline?

Texas Department of State Health Services will accept applications throughout the year until we fill. Priority is given to applications that are received by December 15th annually.

Is there an abridged training option if I'm already board certified in another specialty?

For more information on the Fellowship track, email 

What are the key elements that your program looks for in an application?

We look for candidates who have demonstrated an interest in population-based medicine and public health, who plan on practicing public health, who have performed well in medical school as demonstrated by their grades, deans letter and USMLE or COMLEX scores, and who has performed well in internship or residency. We also want individuals who are eager to learn, who have a strong work ethic, who are team players and who want to have a lot of fun while they learn and work.

We review the completed application package, USMLE scores, letters of recommendation, and clinical experience. The program director letter is critical. ECFMG certificates are required for applicants who did not graduate from a U.S. medical school and the medical school must be acceptable to the Texas Board of Medical examiners.

How many letters of recommendation are required?

We require the applicant to submit three (3) letters of recommendation that are no more than two years old. Letters must be submitted by the individual who wrote the letter. One letter must be written by the applicant’s current or previous residency program director. Faculty or other physicians who knows the applicant and can recommend him/her for the program from a professional perspective may submit recommendation letters. Letters from personal friends or observership proctors are discouraged.

What is the clinical training requirement to be eligible for the Residency program?

US Medical school graduates are required to have 12 months of ACGME approved clinical training before being eligible to begin our program.

Foreign medical school graduates must provide a certificate(s) of training completion as well as the name, and contact information of the Program Director of any Residency program completed.

What are your stipends and benefits?

Resident salaries are $60,000 a year for the two-year program. Residents are employees of the Texas Department of State Health Services. DSHS also provides:

  • Medical, Dental, Life Insurance. (2 month waiting period for activation)
  • Travel reimbursement for qualified in-state educational experiences,
  • Registration fees for educational conferences/courses.
  • In-state tuition reimbursement stipend for the MPH program or required graduate level courses.
  • Family Medical Leave and Employee Assistance Program.
  • Retirement contribution and other state employee benefits.

Do you offer contracts outside of the Match?

We currently do not participate in the NRMP match. We participate in the Standardized Acceptance Process (SAP) administered by the American College of Preventive Medicine. Applicants will need to sign up for the SAP at the ACPM website and will submit a rank order list through that site.

If I already have my MPH, does that mean my program will be shorter?

Residents who earned their MPH prior to residency are still required to train for two years within the program. Additional advanced courses may also be required to meet ACGME requirements or to enhance training based on grades in previous MPH coursework.

Residents who enter the program with an MPH will have the opportunity for more in-depth educational experience in public health due to their availability to engage in projects and events more readily than peers who will have restrictions due to class time commitments.

I do not have an MPH degree. Am I still eligible?

Yes, if a highly qualified applicant is lacking an MPH, he/she will need to gain admission to The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston - Austin campus prior to entrance into the residency. An MPH is required for successful completion of the residency. In addition, the ACGME requires specific coursework that must be completed.

Failure to gain acceptance to the MPH program will result in withdrawal of acceptance to the Residency Program.

Will I be required to pay tuition for the MPH program?

In most cases, no. The residency program will provide an in-state tuition reimbursement stipend for residents needing postgraduate courses in public health for graduation. Reimbursement is contingent on successful course completion with a grade of “B” or better. Courses must be required for the program and related to the resident’s individual learning plan. DSHS reimburses resident physicians in-state tuition for an MPH or required courses up to $15,000 over the 2-year residency program. DSHS does not reimburse tuition for any other degree program or for tuition exceeding the maximum allotment unless funds are available. In most years, depending on general revenue funds allocated to the residency program from the State Legislature, the program can pay out of state tuition. However, this is no guarantee.

Where can I complete my MPH degree?

Residents who wish for tuition reimbursement must complete the MPH program through the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston – Austin Campus.

Is Preventive Medicine Residency program accredited?

This program has full accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Where is the DSHS residency program located?

Austin is the headquarters for the DSHS Preventive Medicine Residency program. During the second year, residents will have the opportunity to take rotations in Austin and across the state. The residency program will reimburse costs associated with the travel under most situations.

Does DSHS sponsor visas?

We cannot sponsor visas.

Do you require a residency candidate to be ECFMG certified at the time of application?

Yes, all IMG applicants must be ECFMG certified at the time of the application submission.

How do I get more information?

If you have more questions, please send an email to