Transitional Year
Residency Program


to provide TY residents a broad-based, individualized training experience that lays a strong foundation of clinical knowledge, skills, and professional development to advance into the next years of their careers.

The Lakeland Regional Health Transitional Year Residency program is a one-year program providing residents with a well-rounded, personalized clinical training experience in multiple specialties. Graduates will develop clinical practices, professional skills, and individualized mentorship to prepare them to deliver outstanding, efficient medical care with compassion, integrity, and respect in whichever discipline they choose.

As one of the largest hospitals in Florida (864 beds) in a rapidly growing diverse population, the patient and pathology variety is unmatched. Our board-certified faculty are equally as diverse, and eager to teach and mentor in more than 35+ specialties. As a newly formed academic program, residents will receive direct hands-on experiences and access to a plethora of research opportunities without much competition from other trainees. We’re committed to providing a personalized experience for each TY resident both clinically, professionally, and personally.

Why Train at LRH?

  • Nestled between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is one of the fastest growing cities in Florida. For over 100 years, Lakeland Regional Health is known for providing patient-centered care to the diverse patient population of Polk County and the many international and domestic visitors of the surrounding Tampa/Orlando area. Our multinational, rural population exposes our trainees to a wide range of clinical cases and disease pathology – the perfect environment for a robust and uniquely well-rounded training experience to produce physicians with the ability to thrive in any setting.

  • We are committed to creating personalized training experiences for each Transitional Year Resident, in any desired discipline. As a new academic institution, there is little competition with other trainees. Our Transitional Year residents are guaranteed to receive direct, hands-on experiences to patient care and clinical procedures. All residents will be given access to the same opportunities and held to the same expectations as categorical residents.
  • Immediately after match day, residents will begin to develop a personalized training experience designed to provide them with the necessary clinical rotations, and professional development needed to advance to the next stage of their careers, whether it is in research, leadership, exam preparation, or reapplying to categorical residency programs.

  • Our board-certified faculty is just as diverse as our patient population, and have trained internationally in 35+ specialties.  They are the backbone to our focused and intense didactics curriculum centered around excellent and compassionate patient care. Transitional Year residents will be matched with trained mentors according to desired interests and professional needs who will foster a culture of inquiry and a drive for lifelong learning.

  • All Transitional Year residents will have access to our robust research team and scholarly activities running within our institution. Our faculty is prepared to mentor residents of all experience levels. Each Transitional Year resident is expected to participate in at least one scholarly activity during the program, and will present their work at Lakeland Regional Health’s annual Research Symposium. Our faculty is well published and frequently present at national conferences. Our residents will receive the preparation and resources needed to achieve similar accomplishments.

  • Residents will train in an organization that continuously serves as an international leader in patient care and quality improvement. Lakeland Regional Health’s long-standing reputation has earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status seven times since 2013, has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review.
  • Lakeland Regional health is in a community-based academic healthcare system with other medical residency programs, medical students, pharmacy, nursing and chaplain residency programs.


Rotation blocks are 4 weeks long. Can be modified to meet your personal training needs.

General Internal Medicine – 4 blocks

Night Float – 1 block (split in two 2-week rotations)

Medical Intensive Care Unit – 1 block

Emergency Medicine – 2 blocks

General Surgery – 1 block

Ambulatory Urgent Care – 1 block

Ambulatory Family Medicine – 1 block

Electives – 2 blocks

4 weeks vacation

No 24-Hour call

Transitional Year residents will have the ability to personalize and create new experiences based on career goals.

  • Radiology
  • Neurology
  • Dermatology
  • Palliative Care
  • Rheumatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pulmonology
  • Cardiology
  • Infectious Disease
  • ENT
  • Heme/Onc
  • Nephrology
  • Urology
  • Anesthesia


  • Residents will follow the didactics curriculum of the categorical residency program they are rotating on. This includes all seminars, workshops, and simulation lab experiences.
  • Please visit the following residency program websites to learn more about their didactics curriculum. 

  • All residents are required to take USMLE Step 3/COMLEX exam. Exam preparation is embedded within the didactics curriculum.
  • Every resident will receive reimbursement for exam registration and non-vacation, protected time off to sit for the exam.
  • Residents also receive a stipend for Continuing Medical Education expenses.

  • Each resident will be paired with trained mentors to meet all individual needs, whether it is within a specific clinical area of interest, or within a specific scholarly interest (i.e. clinical trials, quality improvement, community outreach).
  • Didactics will be provided to help residents of all experience levels to succeed in scholarly academic medicine.
  • Seminars and one-on-one sessions will be held to help unmatched residents prepare for recruitment into another residency programs.

Program Leadership

melissa rusli md

Melissa Rusli, MD

Transitional Year
Residency Program Director

Core Faculty

amon arch

Arch Amon,
Internal Medicine

Jesse Santos

Jesse De Los Santos,
Emergency Medicine

derek hansen

Derek Hansen,
Internal Medicine Intensivist

Fahmida Keya

Fahmida Keya,
Internal Medicine

sowsan rasheid md

Sowsan Rasheid,
General Surgery

Teaching Faculty


Zachary Boucher,
General Surgery


Jesse Dubey,
Emergency Medicine

laura fox

Laura Fox,
Internal Medicine

vivian loveday-laghi

Vivian Loveday,
Internal Medicine


Tony Moon,
Family Medicine


Ben Sandoval,
Internal Medicine


Dhruv Panchal,
Internal Medicine


Lakeland Regional Health offers a competitive benefits package. Click here to view the benefits package provided to LRH team members.

Beyond our standard tuition reimbursement program, retirement plans, paid time off and a comprehensive health and benefit plan, we also offer the following extended benefits for residents of our Graduate Medical Education Program:

  • Meal subsidy for on-call residents
  • Educational stipend for professional development
  • LRH GME Fitness Center
  • Expenses coverage and protected time off for USMLE Step 3/COMLEX 3

About Lakeland

  • Lakeland, the largest city in Polk County, has kept its small-town personality over the years and yet continues to become a vibrant and growing city. Conveniently located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakelanders have many ways to celebrate the climate, culture and opportunities available both in the local area and throughout Central Florida. World-class shopping, major sports franchises and entertainment venues in Tampa and Orlando and beaches on both the east and west coasts of Florida are all a quick drive away.
  • Voted as the #5 Safest city to move to by US News. 25 Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023 | U.S. News Best Places (

How to Apply

We will be recruiting 18 PGY1 transitional year residents for the 2023-2024 academic year. Applicants must submit a complete application via ERAS. Residents will be chosen through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

NRMP program code: 2323999P0

Required Supporting Documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Medical School Transcript
  • Personal Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation


We are excited to welcome all candidates to apply for our Graduate Medical Education programs. However, please note that applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visas at this time. Thank you for understanding.

Contact Us

XXXX – Transitional Year Program Administrator

863-687-1100 Ext. 2771

or email us