Transitional Year Residency

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We are excited that you are looking at our MAHEC Transitional Year Residency Program as a potential site for your future training. Our program is built around 40+ years of training family medicine providers and is supported by MAHEC’s commitment to other GME programs, including 30 yrs of Ob/Gyn training—and more recently Psychiatry, General Surgery, and Internal Medicine—along with many fellowship training experiences.

In joining the MAHEC Transitional Year Residency Program, you have the opportunity as residents to train at Mission Hospital, MAHEC clinics, and with community practices. We offer great experiences rotating through our Family Medicine clinics and Emergency departments in the Mission system. The inpatient experiences include Internal Medicine, Gynecology, ICU, General Surgery, and Pediatrics. Elective opportunities are offered in sports medicine, lifestyle medicine, substance use disorder, suboxone treatment, gender-affirming care, etc. This is a wonderful place for your foundational year. We have strong relationships with Anesthesiologists, Radiologists, Dermatologists, and Emergency Department Physicians who help guide our program.

Since starting with 8 residents in 2021-22, we have grown to now match 13 residents per year.

We created a program that will develop a strong foundation for your future specialty. We have also focused on cultivating a supportive environment that fosters your development and allows flexibility so that you can succeed in your personal and professional goals and enjoy your year in Asheville. The schedules and curricula are designed to provide you with the training that you need and ensure that you have time to focus on your well-being and your personal interests. You are a valued colleague—we will grow together as we learn how to balance professional commitment and personal growth.

It is an honor that you are considering training with us and we are excited to meet you. Come and explore the education we offer, the values we share, and how we can help you develop in your Transitional Year Residency.

Our Team

Melissa Hicks, MD Melissa Hicks, MD
Family Medicine
Transitional Year Residency Program Director

Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM
Family Medicine
Transitional Year Residency Program Assistant Director

Tealok Ray Tealok Ray
Transitional Year Residency Program Administrator

Our Commitment

MAHEC is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive place to work, learn, and receive care. We actively recruit physicians, staff, and students from underrepresented minorities, and we strive to implement policies and procedures that value and support diverse backgrounds and experiences. MAHEC does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, spiritual practice, geography, disability, or age.

Mission Statement

To provide foundational training in broad based patient care for physicians seeking ongoing specialty training. Providing such in a supportive, personal setting that encourages life-long learning, acknowledges individual contributions, fosters a collegial environment, and supports trainee well-being.

Values Statement

  • Excellence: We deliver quality activities and services that our customers and partners value.
  • Diversity: We promote equity and inclusivity.
  • Integrity: We act with fairness, transparency, and the highest level of ethics.
  • Collaboration: We value partnerships and support interprofessional approaches.
  • Improvement: We continuously innovate and improve our work.

Foundational Principles

  • Civility: We treat all people with respect and kindness, all the time.
  • Inclusivity: We value the contribution of people different than ourselves and the merits of an organization that reflects differences in our teams and our community.
  • Empowerment: We value engagement, commitment, and ownership of MAHEC’s mission, work, and budget.

Faculty and Resident Comments

What specialties have our residents matched into?

Anesthesiology Dermatology Emergency Medicine Internal Medicine Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Psychiatry Radiation Oncology Radiology (IR/DR) Surgery

What medical schools have our residents graduated from?

North Carolina

  • Wake Forest
  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • Duke
  • Campbell University

South Carolina

  • University of South Carolina - Columbia
  • University of South Carolina - Greenville
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus


  • University of Tennessee


  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • University of Virginia

West Virginia

  • Marshall University Joan C Edwards School of Medicine
  • Durke University


  • Emory


  • University of Missouri


  • Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine


  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Washington, D.C.

  • George Washington University


  • University of Kentucky


  • Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans


  • University of Central Florida College of Medicine
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas & Auburn Campus


  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn Campus

What programs do our residents go to after their year at MAHEC?

North Carolina

  • Wake Forest
  • UNC Chapel Hill

South Carolina

  • Medical University of South Carolina - Charleston


  • University of Tennessee


  • VCU Richmond
  • University of Virginia

West Virginia

  • West Virginia University


  • Emory
  • Hamilton Medical Center Program


  • University of Missouri – Columbia


  • University of Cincinnati
  • Ohio State University Hospital
  • University of Toledo


  • Geisinger Health System

New York

  • University of Rochester
  • Rochester General Hospital
  • Mt. Sinai Hospital


  • Stanford
  • UCLA
  • UC San Diego


  • Marianjoy Rehabilitation hospital (Northwestern)
  • Rush er


  • Garden City Hospital


  • Sunrise Nevada


  • Kansas State University

Our program provides comprehensive clinical training in both inpatient and outpatient medicine and is run through the department of Family Medicine. Electives are available in:

  • Dermatology
  • Neurology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Addiction Medicine
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Anesthesia
  • Lifestyle Medicine
  • Medical Spanish
  • Psychiatry

Residents rotate through the inpatient Gyn/Onc service, Internal Medicine service, ICU, Surgery, and Pediatrics. Outpatient all residents rotate through the Family Medicine clinic and the Emergency Department.


Residents PGY1

MAHEC Biltmore Campus


Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) was established in 1974 and serves a 16-county region in Western North Carolina. MAHEC is the largest Area Health Education Center in North Carolina and evolved to address national and state concerns with the supply, retention, and quality of healthcare professionals. MAHEC’s approach to caring for patients is based on an advanced care team model.

Mission Hospital


Mission Hospital is licensed for 815 beds. The emergency department has 100,000 patient visits per year, the level II trauma center admits 3,400 patients per year, and the helicopter transports more than 1,000 patients per year. Mission Children’s Hospital includes 130 beds with 60 board certified pediatric subspecialists providing care in 23 different specialties.

Mission Hospital surgery services includes eight critical care certified acute care surgeons, 11 subspecialty surgeons, two pediatric surgeons, and five vascular surgeons that provide the entire spectrum of patient care and surgical procedures. At more than 35,000 surgical procedures each year, Mission Hospital is the busiest surgical hospital in North Carolina.

Campus and Facility Tours

Tour of the Simulation Center

Tour of Mission Hospital

Application Requirements

We invite you to apply to our program via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We will review your application and contact you if we wish to invite you for an interview. Typically, our interview season runs from mid-October through mid-December.

A complete ERAS application is required, including:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty who have directly supervised clinical performance
  • Medical school transcript(s)
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • USMLE, COMLEX, or Canadian licensing exam scores (Step 1 required, Step 2 preferred)
Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the residency program coordinators at

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs will select from among eligible applicants on the basis of residency program-related criteria such as their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity.

Minimum Requirements

An applicant must meet or exceed the following minimum qualification(s) to be eligible for selection and appointment to MAHEC’s GME residency programs:

  • Be a graduate of a medical school in the United States or Canada, accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME); or
  • Be a graduate of a college of osteopathic medicine in the United States, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA); or
  • Be a graduate of a non-LCME- or AOA-approved medical school who also meets one of the following additional qualifications:
    • holds a currently-valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment; or
    • holds a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a United States licensing jurisdiction in his or her current ACGME specialty/subspecialty program; or
    • has graduated from a medical school outside the United States and has completed a Fifth Pathway program provided by a LCME-accredited medical school.
  • Passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 or COMLEX 1 and 2 within three attempts, as required by the North Carolina Medical Board.
  • Be eligible for a NC resident training license.
  • Be eligible to work in the U.S. (citizen, permanent resident, eligible visa including J1). MAHEC does not sponsor H1B or other visas.

International Medical Graduates

Special laws and regulations apply to international medical graduates who wish to enter the United States to undertake graduate medical education. MAHEC's policies and procedures regarding graduates of international medical schools comply with federal and state laws and regulations and MAHEC's commitment to graduate medical education.

Graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada must have a currently valid certificate from ECFMG. Applicants must successfully pass both Step 1 (basic medical) and Step 2 (clinical knowledge and skills) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

While MAHEC does not sponsor a visa, the international medical graduate applicant must also possess a current/valid visa option or other status governed by the U.S. Immigration Regulations to participate in a GME program.

Finally, the North Carolina Medical Board requires that physicians who are graduates of schools that are not accredited by the LCME or the AOA (foreign medical schools) must be individually certified by ECFMG, have successfully completed at least three years of accredited graduate medical training, and have passed the USMLE or its equivalent to be eligible for application for full licensure. An international medical graduate must complete all other application requirements required by MAHEC and the GME program.

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