Career Development

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M1 M2 M3 M4

Career Development Counseling Appointment

An introduction to career development is given at the M1 Orientation. Starting around November of the M1 year, students are invited to set up a half-hour career counseling appointment with their class counselor who is assigned to their class. During this appointment students review their background and interests in medicine, skills, and lifestyle issues. They have the opportunity to use self-assessment tools from the AAMC MedCareers program, or the Glaxo-Wellcome Pathways program. They are asked about their plans for the M1-M2 summer, and a tentative plan for gaining career information and experiences is developed. Students who desire additional general career counseling from an experienced physician may schedule a meeting with Dr. Tamara Gay, the Assistant Dean for Student Services in the Office of Medical Student Education. A second career counseling appointment is held midway through the M2 year, with a similar format to the M1 meeting. The student reviews his/her experiences and impressions related to career choice, and has the opportunity to use the tools described above.

Career Seminars

This is a long-standing, well-received program of one hour luncheon sessions that introduces M1 and M2 students to the medical disciplines. Chairs, faculty, community physicians and resident physicians are invited to briefly describe their specialty and then answer questions from the students. The Career Seminar Series has proven to be an effective way to disseminate basic information about medical careers to pre-clinical medical students. Input is always welcome from the students and the Career Development Committee on ways to enhance the program each year.

Mentoring and Shadowing Experiences

Mentoring and shadowing experiences, as well as being invigorating as clinical exposure, are a valuable part of career exploration. First, to better define these entities, shadowing is an opportunity for a medical student to observe a physician as he/she practices — to understand what a "typical day" is in that discipline. A shadowing experience may be a one time or continuous experience, but the expectation for the physician does not include shadowing as an ongoing relationship with the student. 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 some amount of career counseling. Currently, a number of opportunities exist for medical students to have shadowing and mentoring experiences. Please refer to each specialty page for contact information.

Faculty Medical Career Advisor Program

Faculty advisors play an important role for most medical students in career decision-making. Medical school faculty are solicited to serve as Faculty Career Advisors (FCAs) and are assigned to students midway through the M3 year based on the student’s best guess as to their career specialty at that point. FCAs provide in depth career advising specific to their discipline and are often the student’s most valuable resource during residency application.

Career Counseling Activities

Students in the M3 and M4 years will have the opportunity to set up an appointment with their Class Counselor to use standardized tools as part of their career decision-making process. This includes the "skills, interests, values, critical factors" worksheets and other tools that are part of the MedCareers program. Most of these materials are web-based, and will be included in the Career Resources Web site.

Group sessions for students

OMSE also sponsors the following didactic or small group sessions for M3 and M4 students:

  • Senior Kick Off Day - general overview of residency matching process
  • Preparing for the Residency Match Process - an M3 Seminars in Medicine Session
  • How to Write a CV and Personal Statement - currently is given as part of the Seminars in Medicine
  • Interviewing Skills Sessions - held during the fall of M4 year as small group sessions for students interested in improving their interviewing skills. Students have the opportunity to go through a mock residency interview with a medical school faculty member, and be provided feedback on their interviewing skills

Preparing Residency Match List

The Rank Order List session is held in January of M4 year, a general session on the elements that go into making the final list. Career Counseling for At-Risk Students and the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) process (M4 YEAR) — the Assistant Dean and Class Counselors provide special assistance to those M4 students who may be at risk for not matching, either because of academic performance, personal problems, or the competitiveness of the specialty. The goal is to identify students early enough to make sure that they have a back-up plan, and to provide counseling that may enhance their chances for a successful match.

For students who do not match and have an opportunity to seek positions through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) process in order to secure a residency position, OMSE provides on-site counseling support and ensures that a Faculty Advisor is available to assist the student.

Match Day Festivities

The culmination of the M4 residency matching process is held at the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) and includes remarks and presentations by students and faculty and the reading of the match results.

Student/Faculty Medical Specialty Organizations

A number of departments at UM Medical School sponsor medical student interest groups (e.g. Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Surgery, Emergency Medicine), which serves as excellent career exploration for students. Some of these groups attract mainly M3 and M4 students. M1 and M2 student involvement is variable. As part of the Career Development Plan we would seek to identify and publicize on the Career Resource Web site, all medical student interest groups, and encourage interest groups to include M1 and M2 students in their activities. OMSE will also support the development of student run groups in areas that do not currently have an interest group.

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