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2018 Graduate with his mother

From Med School to Residency

The College of Medicine’s Road to Residency program encourages and supports students in their own career exploration and development. The journey begins in the first year of medical school as students are introduced to the specialties and practicing physicians in our learning communities.

The exploration continues through year two via intentional advising and student involvement in professionally focused interest groups and experiences. In the third year of medical school, the focus begins to sharpen on destinations. The broad array of specialty choices is narrowed to fit with students’ interests, skills and performance. The Road to Residency program works with faculty, staff, alumni and national organizations to provide students the very best navigation tools possible. We provide continual exposure to the many career options as we work to instill a sense of professionalism and commitment through mentorship and unwavering support.

Pre-Clinical Years

During the first two years of medical school the primary focus should be on doing well academically. Students should begin to consider the characteristics of specialties that are important to them. Here are some questions students should begin to ask themselves: Do I want to work with a particular patient population? Do I enjoy the relationship building and continuity of care aspects of medicine? To what extent do I want to be involved in problem-solving? Students’ exploration will also be well informed by the AAMC-Careers in Medicine Specialty Pages and participation in student interest groups.  

Clinical Years

Not surprising, it is the clinical clerkships that best help students navigate through the many choices and decide on a final specialty destination. Through these experiences, students are given real-time exposure to what it would be like to practice in particular fields. As students enter the clerkships year, they are given support and advice from peer advisors as well as clinical faculty. Class meetings and specialty department meetings will also help students in their quest to determine their best fit.

In the final year of medical school, students’ journeys come to an exciting end! Specialty specific guidance is provided throughout the residency application process. Students will be assisted as they put final touches on the curriculum vitaes, personal statements and program applications. The entire four (plus!) year expedition culminates in "The Match."

The Match

The Match is the final step in the residency application process. Students submit applications to residency programs via ERAS (Electronic Residency Application System). Once applications are submitted, interview invitations are extended, and following the interviews, students will "rank" programs at which they’d like to work. At the same time, programs rank students they’d like to accept, and the lists are analyzed using a computer algorithm. The result of this process is "The Match".