Career development is a four-year process of self-assessment, career exploration, career-decision making, and implementation. To assist students in this process, we have excellent resources, including counselors, career seminars, faculty advisors, student interest groups, and a helpful support staff. Our ultimate goal is to help you start down a successful career path in medicine.
Planning your career, and getting the residency position that you want is an active, extracurricular process. The key to success is to start early in terms of self assessment and career exploration. When it comes time to make your final career decision and apply for residency, you will have a lot of guidance and help.
The Office of Medical Student Education invites you to stop by our office if you have any questions or want to meet with someone to discuss your career plans.
During your first two years of medical school, you'll assess your interests and your skill development. You'll get more immersed in the various specialties your third year.
Recommendations for your M1 and M2 years include:
- Make a career development counseling appointment with your class counselor. More about counseling →
- Review the AAMC Careers in Medicine website, including the self-assessment tools. You'll need your AAMC username and password to access the site. This is the same login you used for the AMCAS application and the MCAT. If you have trouble accessing the site, contact Denise Brennan.
- Attend sessions in the Career Seminar Series. These are 1-hour lunch seminars that introduce students to the medical disciplines. You'll hear talks and participate in Q&A with department chairs, faculty, community physicians, and resident physicians.
- Arrange a mentoring or shadowing experience with clinical faculty. Get list of contact for shadowing or mentoring opportunities.
- Look for a medical student interest group in the areas you're interested in.
What's the Difference Between Mentoring and Shadowing?
Mentoring and shadowing experiences, as well as being invigorating as clinical exposure, are a valuable part of career exploration.
Shadowing is an opportunity for a medical student to observe a physician as he or she practices, observing what a "typical day" looks like in that disicpline. You may set up a shadowing experience as a single day, or as an ongoing engagement.
Mentoring is a more involved process where a physician develops a relationship with the medical student through repeated meetings, and provides an opportunity for career exploration and career counseling.
In your third year, you'll get an in-depth exposure to many of the medical disciplines during your clinical clerkship.
You'll also receive mentoring from clinical faculty serving as Faculty Career Advisors. These are faculty chosen by their departments who receive special training in this role.
Midway through your M3 year, you'll be paired with a Faculty Career Advisor who will provide general career counseling, as well as in-depth advice specific to their own discipline.
Your faculty advisor is often your most valuable resource during the residency application process. Your advisor may also provide letters of recommendation for your application.
The Career Development Program in the Office of Medical Student Education will also provide support and logistical help as you go through the residency application and match process.
As a medical student, you'll be able to attend advice sessions on:
- Preparing for the residency match process.
- Preparing a CV and personal statement for the residency application.
- Interviewing for residency, including mock interview practice with faculty.
- Preparing the residency rank list.
OMSE also provides personalized counseling through an "at risk" program for students who may have a more difficult time matching.
For the very few students who do not have a successful match, OMSE helps with the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).
The match process culminates in a Match Day celebration, where students and faculty gather to read the results of the Match List at the North Campus Research Complex.