Career Development

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, 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.

From the beginning of medical school, you'll assess your interests and your skill development. You'll get more immersed in the various specialties in the clinical trunk and Branches..

Recommendations in the Scientific Trunk 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 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. These sessions are videotaped for you to reference in the future
  • 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.
  • Contact your House Counselor for an individualized appointment.

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 discipline. 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 Clinical Trunk and Branches, you'll get an in-depth exposure to many of the medical disciplines during your clinical clerkship.

The Career Development Office has the following events to assist you on the path to choosing a career:

  • Career Selection
  • Dual Degree Information Session
  • Career Selection and the Residency Application
  • Preparing your Residency Application
  • Drop In with key administrators such as our Residency Resource Staff (NRMP School Administrator and ERAS Coordinator), House Counselors, and Learning Specialist, along with the four OMSE Assistant Deans and our Associate Dean for Medical Student Education:
  • Interviewing and Program Evaluation
  • Matching and Ranking

 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. 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.

As a reminder, Online videos of the Career Seminar series - 1-hour seminars led by department chairs, faculty, community physicians, and resident physicians.  These seminars entail a career overview presented by key members of each department, followed by student Q&A.  These videos are available to University of Michigan students and faculty members.

Career development assistance within the Office of Medical Student Education will also provide support and logistical help as you go through the residency application and match process.


UMMS Residency Career Information: In addition to outside resources, this site has OMSE resources and department specific resources.  It offers a comprehensive summary of the specified discipline including a basic description of the specialty, typical practice patterns, residency training duration,number of programs and number of residents nationally, opportunities for fellowship or subspecialty training, type of match, and overall level of competitiveness.  Students are given the faculty contact information for each specialty, as well as links to student interest groups

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 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.