Transitional Year Residency

The Harnett Health Transitional Year Residency program is a one-year position that serves as a preliminary year preceding a chosen categorical residency. Residents who participate in Harnett Health’s Transitional Year program will work closely with Internal Medicine and Family Medicine residents as well as several community- and hospital-based attending physicians in various specialties.

  Program Director-Dr. Thanuja Puchakayla, MD

Dr. Puchakayala is a graduate of NTR University of Health Sciences, India. She obtained her medical degree from Kurnool Medical College and completed her residency at Brooklyn Hospital   Center affiliated with Cornell University. Dr. Puchakayala has 13 years of experience in Hospital Medicine.   She has been involved in graduate medical education for the past  5 years. She is currently working as a program director for the Transitional Year Residency Program. 

Dr. Puchakayala is a member of the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine. She resides in Cary with her husband and daughter. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her dog.

Associate Program Director-Dr. Evelyn Patrick, DO


Dr. Patrick is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. She obtained her medical degree from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine- Carolinas Campus (VCOM). She completed a Traditional Rotating Internship as well as an Internal Medicine Residency at Harnett Health System affiliated with Campbell University.

 Dr. Patrick was offered a position at Harnett Health in Hospitalist Medicine after finishing her residency program at this institution. She was a member of the first class of residents at Harnett Health System and has been involved in advancing the program during residency as well as serving as core faculty following residency. Dr. Patrick is currently serving in the role of Associate Program Director for the Transitional Year program. She has a passion for teaching residents and students and plans to continue pursuing career opportunities in graduate medical education.



We have received the following feedback from our transitional year graduates regarding our program:

  • Community-based program with great emphasis on resident wellness and diversity.
  • Great place for the first year of residency without getting too overwhelmed.
  • Small program, everyone getting to know everyone.
  • Wide variety and a broad spectrum of cases.
  • 1:1 attention from attendings / easy access to faculty.
  • Equal attention and opportunities as IM residents.
  • Good opportunities for procedures.
  • Opportunity to work alongside residents and Faculty of IM and Family Medicine.
  • Facilities to assist research and publications through Campbell University.

The Transitional Year curriculum is structured to provide residents with the fundamental knowledge and essential principles necessary to further training. To guarantee an optimal amount of training is given, each transitional year resident is required to complete: six months on inpatient internal medicine services, to include a month of nights, two months of emergency medicine, one month of cardiology, a month of ambulatory/quality improvement and two months of a chosen elective. Didactic sessions are coupled with the internal medicine residents and include morning report, noon conferences, journal club, M&M, and board review.

  • Applications accepted only through ERAS
  • Required documents:
    • CV
    • Personal statement
    • A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation
    • Dean’s letter
    • Transcripts
    • COMLEX/USMLE Transcript for Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 required (if applicable) for all applicants
  • Interviews offerings are based on academic performance, clinical skills, letters of recommendation, scholarship activity, and personal characteristics.
  • Must have graduated from accredited schools within the past two years.
  • COMLEX level 1 &2, USMLE Step 1, STEP 2CK and STEP 2CS must be passed prior to rank list submission (mid-February).
  • Candidates who had completed previous prelim/ TY program are not eligible