Pre-Employment Requirements

Prior to beginning training as a new resident or fellow at SIU School of Medicine there are several requirements that must be completed. Each of the items below are a condition of employment and are stated in each contract. The items below MUST be completed before a resident/fellow can start:

  • Pre-Employment Screening by employing hospital
  • Background check by employing hospital
  • Employing hospital’s required computer-based learning (CBL) courses
  • Completed employment application/documents for employing hospital
  • Valid visa and/or work authorization documents for employing hospital
  • Valid Illinois Medical License
  • SIU School of Medicine required CBL courses
  • Signed contract
  • Passing USMLE/COMLEX scores
  • BLS/ACLS certification (Springfield based residents)

The employing hospital will send information about employment screening, work authorization documents, background checks, employment forms, benefits information and hospital online training requirements. 

Pre-employment screening

The employing hospital will require that a health questionnaire be completed. The trainee must comply with the hospital’s policies concerning tuberculosis screening and immunizations, including measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, COVID-19 vaccinations and proof of Chickenpox disease, positive titer or vaccination. This is required at the time of the initial pre-placement screening.

Drug testing

A urine drug screen will be part of the employing hospital's onboarding process. Even though marijuana is legal in Illinois and a number of other states, it remains illegal on a federal level.  The pre-matriculation drug test will include cannabinoids, and "failure" of the test will negate the incoming physician's contract. If an incoming physician is using medical marijuana (or any other controlled substance) under a doctor's supervision, it must be discussed with the employee health nurse before testing. The Physician shall not have the right to request a review of a failed test. 


All residents and fellows must hold either an Illinois Temporary Medical License or an Illinois Permanent Medical License. First year residents must apply for a temporary license. This process takes approximately 8-12 weeks. Information on how to complete the Illinois license application will be provided to all incoming trainees.

Application for permanent licensure can be made after successfully passing Step 3 and completing 24 months of clinical training, but is not required by SIU School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals. After securing a permanent license, a physician may apply for a state controlled substance number and federal DEA number.


All residents at SIU School of Medicine are required to pass Steps I and II of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA (COMLEX) before beginning training.  

Residents transferring from another program to a residency at PGY3 level or higher or any fellowship program at SIU School of Medicine are required to have passed USMLE or COMLEX Step III prior to beginning training.

Residents must pass USMLE or COMLEX Step III before progression to the PGY 3 year. Assistance in the application process is provided by the Office of Graduate Medical Education. To review this policy in its entirety, go to

Computer based online training

Each incoming resident and fellow is required by their employing hospital and the Office of Graduate Medical Education at SIU School of Medicine to complete online training modules. These modules must be successfully completed before training begins. Instructions on accessing these systems and completing these courses will be sent to each incoming resident/fellow by both SIUSOM and the employing hospital.  The online training courses are required to meet accreditation requirements for the ACGME and The Joint Commission.  Throughout training, completion of the hospital’s online courses is required annually. 

Mobile Device Requirements

SIU School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals in Springfield have implemented a paging system that is administered via an app on a personal mobile device. It is therefore a requirement that all incoming residents and fellows have a smart phone with a United States cellular service carrier prior to their start date of training. The service must be compatible with the IOS or Android Operating Systems as noted on the linked document, which is current as of August 2023.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (Springfield Based Residents)

Springfield Memorial and HSHS St. John’s Hospitals mandate that residents and fellows be certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and ACLS (PALS for Pediatrics). Both certifications must be maintained throughout residency regardless of specialty. The hospitals usually offer ACLS classes 1-2 weeks before orientation. It is a pre-requisite to have a current BLS card to take the ACLS (PALS) course. It is the responsibility of the resident/fellow to pay for initial BLS training, as it is considered to be a pre-employment requirement. The affiliated hospitals have agreed to pay for the initial ACLS (PALS) course if it is taken in one of the on-site classes in June.  Recertification is paid for by the employing hospital if completed through their training system.  The training program may also require that trainees are certified in Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) or Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). 

Electronic Medical/Health Records (EMR or EHR) Training (Springfield Based Residents)

Residents and fellows at SIU School of Medicine (Springfield) must be trained on utilization of the electronic medical records systems at  Springfield Memorial, HSHS St. John’s, and SIU Medicine. This entails three separate training sessions that will be scheduled by the program coordinator. Internal Medicine (including prelims), Psychiatry, and OBGYN trainees must complete this training prior to the institutional orientation day.  These sessions will take 2 - 3 days.