Making a Difference, Here & Beyond
The community invests in Dell Med. In return, it’s our responsibility — one we take seriously — to be agents for change and to show real impact.
More Information
Creating a New Kind of Doctor
We recruit and train physician leaders as comfortable taking on systemic challenges in health as caring for individual patients.
Improving Care. Improving Health.
We’re here to make health — including health care — better. The end goal is a complete revolution in how people get and stay healthy.
Discovery to Impact — Faster
We reward creative thinking and encourage rapid experimentation, using collaborative programs to speed promising research to market.
More Information
Let’s Do Big Things Together
True health demands that the whole work in harmony, which is why we’re dedicated to partnership. Indeed, we can’t achieve our goals without it.
More Information
Meet Dell Med
We’re rethinking the role of academic medicine in improving health — and doing so with a unique focus on our community.
More Information
Make an Appointment Directory Give Faculty Students

Distinction Program for Care Transformation

Dell Medical School’s graduate medical education distinction program provides selected residents with a unique opportunity to engage in a non-traditional, mentored learning experience with interdisciplinary colleagues. Participants advance their leadership skills while exploring and discovering new possibilities in patient care and population health through design and innovation.

Program Structure

The distinction program consists of two required components and one optional component.

Residents begin the program as a single cohort with a foundation curriculum. The foundation offers coursework that is atypical to traditional graduate medical education training and within the domains of design thinking, value-based care, and leadership. Learning formats vary from face-to-face, interactive lectures and workshops to asynchronous online modules.

Distinction projects are individualized based on viability of each resident’s proposal and area of interest. Residents may design mentored projects working within the medical school on central institutional initiatives or within other colleges across the UT campus. Opportunities exist to develop value-based care proposals and group projects with medical students.

At their option, participants may apply for a certificate program where they will earn credits toward an advanced degree. Options to be explored are based on resident interest. For example, a distinction participant may opt to pursue a certificate in public health and earn credits toward an MPH.


Matriculation to the distinction program begins in June of the intern year starting with the foundation curriculum. This two-year program concludes in May of PGY-3 with the presentation of a distinction project at Dell Med’s Research Day. Time for participation in the program will be protected from primary training responsibilities, but will be limited so as not to require an extension of training.

Participating Specialties

The distinction program is initially available only to residents matching in General Surgery, Women’s Health (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.

Program Selection

Obstetrics and Gynecology, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics candidates are matched to the program through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Candidates must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) by selecting U Texas at Austin Dell Medical School; Austin, Texas; Specialty/Distinction. Interviews for the distinction program occur during the regular residency recruitment season.

Recruitment for General Surgery candidates occurs during the first half of PGY-1. A participant is selected from the pool of residents who have matched into this training program.