Career Development

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Career Development Home

Welcome to the University of Michigan Medical School Career Development program Web site.

Our objective is to provide medical students with the information, resources, and experiences necessary to make good career decisions and to be successful in the residency match.

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 explore the Career Resources Web site, and to stop by our office if you have any questions or want to meet with someone to discuss your career plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Career Development?

Medical student career development, as defined by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Careers in Medicine program is a four-year process of self-assessment, career exploration, career decision-making and implementation. The University of Michigan Medical School has a long history of placing graduating medical students into residency training programs that match their career interests and needs. Our medical students are highly regarded and sought after as residency candidates.

The objective for career development at the University of Michigan Medical School is to provide medical students with the information, resources, and experiences necessary to make good career decisions and to be successful in the residency match.

Who will help me, and how do I contact them?

The program is directed by Tamara Gay, M.D. Assistant Dean for Student Services in the Office of Medical Student Education.  The Class Counselors, Eric Middleton and Amy Tschirhart are key components of the career development team. A Career Development Committee made up of Medical Student Education Deans, Counselors, and medical students helps to guide the program. Contact information for the Career Development team is provided under Contact Us.

What should I be doing, and when?

The Residency & Match Assistance section will give you a sequential view of the career development process. In general, these tasks fall under the categories of self-assessment, information gathering, exploring various medical fields, and then deciding what's right for you. We will help you assess your chances of getting into the field you've chosen. We have an excellent track record of matching students in their desired field and at outstanding residency programs.

M1 and M2 Years: The primary career development activities in the first two years of medical school involve self assessment and career exploration. Students are encouraged to have a Career Development Counseling Appointment with their Class Counselor Eric Middleton and Amy Tschirhart or 734-936-1513 to review their interests, skills, and personal characteristics that may have an affect on career choice. Students also become familiar with the Careers in Medicine program of the AAMC which has many self-assessment tools. Please enter your AAMC user name and password. This is the same login information used to access the AMCAS Application, MCAT, ERAS, etc. The website is: Click on New to Careers in Medicine? Create an account: If a student needs further assistance they should contact Denise Brennan  ( or at 734-763-6362.  The Career Seminar Series is a long-standing, well-received program of one hour luncheon sessions that introduce M1 and M2 students to the medical disciplines. Chairs, faculty, community physicians and resident physicians are invited to describe their specialty and then answer questions. A session on the

M1 and M2 students can arrange mentoring and shadowing experiences with clinical faculty members. A number of departments sponsor medical student interest groups, which serve as excellent forums for career exploration. Students can refer to the Career Development Web site the Medical Specialties

How do I choose my career and apply for residency??

M3 and M4 Years: Students get an in-depth exposure to many of the medical fields during the M3 clinical clerkships. Faculty Career Advisors (FCA's) play an important role for most medical students in career decision-making. Medical school clinical faculty members are selected by their departments to serve as FCA's, and receive special training and information. Midway through the M3 year students link with a FCA who will provide both general career counseling, as well as in-depth career advising specific to their discipline. FCA's are often the student's most valuable resource during residency application. Students receive letters of recommendation from their FCA and other faculty. M3 and M4 students also receive a great deal of support and logistical help from the Career Development Program in the OMSE (Office of Medical Student Education) as they make their way through the residency application and match process. OMSE sponsored sessions for the whole class include:

  • Introduction: Preparing for the Residency Match Process
  • Residency Application: How to Prepare a CV and Personal Statement
  • Residency Interviewing and Evaluation
  • Preparing the Residency Rank List

A Dean's Letter of support for residency application (also called the Medical Student Performance Evaluation) is written by one of the OMSE Dean's following a meeting with the student. An “At Risk” program provides personalized counseling for students who may have a more difficult time matching. Students match in January of the M4 year for Early Match specialties and in mid-March for the other medical fields. Match Day is usually the third Friday in March, and is the culmination of the M4 residency matching process. Festivities are held at the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) and include remarks and presentations by students and faculty and the reading of the match results. For the very few students who do not have a successful match, OMSE assists students in the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).

How does the University of Michigan Medical School do in the match?

Despite having a higher percentage of students who apply in the more difficult-to-match specialties, and who aim for the most competitive residencies, the UMMS residency match rate is higher than the national average. Student satisfaction with career counseling, support, faculty advising, and resources is also higher than the national averages.

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