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Overview of Career Development

Career Development: Phase 1 – Years 1 and 2

The first step in career development is to understand yourself.

  • Students who are intentional about finding the right specialty are more likely to be satisfied in their professional life.
  • Take the AAMC Careers in Medicine Self Assessments such as the Medical Specialty Preference Inventory and the Physician Values in Practice Scale

Research Identified Specialties

Make Connections

Meet with your Lead Advisor

  • Learn about the residency selection process and discuss competitiveness of specialties
    • Understand how performance in the basic sciences can predict board exam performance
  • Discuss available summer opportunities and what will be most beneficial to your overall goals
    • MedSTAR
      • Year-long clinical or translational research fellowship that supports up to four students in good standing at IUSM
    • AmeriCorps
      • Service-based program that offers opportunities at not-for-profits throughout Indiana

Develop your Professional CV

  • The residency application is broken into three specific types of experiences. Keep track of medical school activities and make sure to keep your CV up to date
    • Work
      • Clinical and teaching experience
      • Experiences for which you have received payment
    • Volunteer
      • Unpaid extracurriculars and committees
    • Research
      • Any research experience or project with which you have been involved

Build a Professional Social Image

  • Because many people use social media it is becoming a more common practice for future employers to review your online presence
  • It is expected that someone from the residency programs you apply to will review your social media
  • Take steps now to ensure your online identity is one you would like your future employer to see

Career Development: Phase 2

Phase 2 provides you the opportunity to rotate through various medical specialties. Regardless of your interests going into third year, start each rotation as if that will be the specialty to which you will apply.

Complete Reflections

  • Keep a living document on your computer to reflect on each rotation.
  • Consider questions such as:
    • Did this rotation provide me an adequate look of the day-to-day life of physicians practicing this specialty?
    • What did I like most about this specialty?
    • What did I like the least about this specialty?
    • Did I enjoy the patient population?
    • Did my interests and values “fit” the specialty?
    • What else do I need to know about this specialty?
  • Document any additional meaningful experiences from the rotation. These experiences or stories can be woven into your personal statement. Writing them down when they are fresh will make writing your statement easier.

Review summative comments from each rotation

  • These comments will be included in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • Any questions or concerns regarding content should be directed to the clerkship director
  • Your Lead Advisor can make grammatical changes and edit for flow, but cannot change the content of the comment

Register your ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) token

  • In the fall of your third year, the Registrar’s Office will be registering you for the ERAS. You will receive an email from the AAMC ERAS with a token to register for the system. While you will have limited access to the components of the ERAS application until fourth year, you will be able to have your letter writers upload any letters of reference that you receive in third year.

Once decided on a specialty request a career mentor

  • Consider discussing
    • Your individual competitiveness for the specialty
    • Electives for third year
    • Your experiences up to that point in your education and identify any gaps that you may need to fill with research/extracurriculars
    • Scheduling options for fourth year
    • Noteworthy characteristics for the MSPE
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement tips
    • Away rotations

Parallel Planning

  • Specialty parallel planning is suggested if you are considering a highly competitive specialty or if you are a less competitive candidate for your preferred specialty
  • Parallel planning is not choosing a backup specialty, but rather identifying a second specialty that you would be equally happy practicing, and applying to both to help ensure a successful match should you not match in your primary specialty
  • Discuss this option with your lead advisor and/or the Assistant Dean of Career Mentoring and Professional Development

Career Development: Phase 3

The residency application process begins early in Phase 3. Utilize your first couple of rotations to finalize your specialty decision, if needed.

Work with your Lead Advisor and assigned Medical Student Education Dean on your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

  • Discuss noteworthy characteristics
  • Review Phase 2 required clerkship summative comments
  • Discuss the required statement addressing remediation, leave of absence, or professionalism lapses (if required)
  • Discuss summary statement

Meet with your career mentor

  • Review fourth year schedule and discuss which rotations will provide the strongest letters of recommendation
  • Review application pieces
  • Discuss number/type of programs for applications
  • Discuss rank lists
  • Discuss interview process

Preparing for interviews

  • Sign up for Big Interview Medical and review lessons on interviewing for residency
  • Do practice sessions and record/save your answers
  • Send videos to advisors/friends/mentors for review

Maintain a list of interview numbers

  • Add interviews to a shared spreadsheet with your Lead Advisor or update them regularly
  • Students who are considered at risk of going unmatched based upon interview numbers will be recommended to meet with the Assistant Dean of Career Mentoring and Professional Development to prepare for the SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program) process.
    • For more information, please see the section dedicated to SOAP