Career Education Program

Career planning is a developmental process beginning the very first year of medical school and continuing on as a lifelong journey. Throughout medical school, a student is faced with many career planning choices and decisions.

Our mission is to provide career guidance and assist students in choosing a medical specialty providing meaning, purpose and passion as a practicing physician. The college has integrated a comprehensive four year career development program to assist students in making good career decisions and be successful in the match. The College of Human Medicine Career Education Program invests in its student’s professional growth throughout medial school to prepare and send them into rewarding medical careers.

  • Four-year comprehensive career education and development curriculum
  • Individualized career counseling
  • Large group presentations and small group workshops and discussion
  • Annual Career Day and Residency Career Fair for all third-year students
  • Career Resources
  • Career Advisory Board (CAB)
  • GreenNetworker – compilation of career development activities and programs for students
  • Coordination of Student Specialty Interest Groups
  • Consultation with College of Human Medicine mentors
  • National Residency Match Program (NRMP)
  • Works with Community Assistant Deans and Directors of Student Programs to insure compliance with rules and deadlines

Career Development Program Overview

  • Year One

    Year One

    Career planning begins with conducting an honest self-assessment which is the foundation to making all good career decisions. Creating a professional narrative begins with self exploration encompassing life experiences, values, interests and personality traits. It is not only the examination of skill and knowledge, but an introspective view of self giving the student an engraved path to a fulfilling specialty choice.

    Block I “Understanding Yourself” Course Overview and Objectives

    Previewing the CHM Career Development Program

    • Students are provided an overview of the MSU/CHM Career Development Program for years I through IV and are introduced to the MSU/CHM Career Counseling Services that are available to them.
    • Students receive their AAMC Careers in Medicine Access Codes & Handbook.
    • Students are shown how to access and utilize the AAMC Careers in Medicine Website.

    Understanding Work Values/Interests & Their Relationship to the Medical Specialities

    • Students explore the values that underlie every choice and every decision they make and how these values and choices provide meaning for the basis of their lives.
    • Students are shown how understanding their personal values will make it easier to choose a career that is consistent with their values.
    • Students are reminded there are no “right or wrong” answers when assessing values; rather they are shown that these values are reflective of their life experiences to this point in their lives.
    • Students identify specific physician work values they deem important to them as a priority in choosing a specialty.
    • Students learn that integrating their interests into their work will result in happiness in career choice.
    • Students will realize physicians in general have similar interests, but some variations occur among specialties.
    • Students learn that discovering their interest patterns now may shift over time and with new experiences (e.g. clinical, academic, leadership, community service, research).

    Interacting with Primary & Non‐Primary Care Specialty Panel

    • Students will have the opportunity to interact with physicians from various primary and non‐primary care specialties, who will provide an overview of their work and the professional issues they face in practice.

    Preparing a Professional CV & Exploring Summer Opportunities

    • Students will learn how to compose professional curriculum vitae.
    • Students will learn how to write a letter of interest for summer opportunities and research.
    • Students will review various summer opportunities (including research, study abroad, leadership, clinical experiences).

    Introducing Game.Set.Match. Residency Selection Model

    • Students will be introduced to “Game.Set.Match.”
    • Students will be introduced to the Match and various application processes.
    • Students will also attend a Debt Management Education Workshop on how to protect their credit in medical school.
  • Year Two

    Year Two

    The purpose of career exploration is to gain knowledge about the nature of work and characteristics of physicians in various specialties that match a student’s interests, values, skills and personality. Conducting thorough career research requires collecting information from various resources. Informative interviewing with specialists can provide insight into what professional and lifestyle issues physicians’ face in practice. Collecting quantitative salary and workforce data can help predict job growth and financial stability. Students begin assessing general practice versus sub-specialization. Reviewing website resources, journals, research articles, and obtaining information from medical organizations and associations are also part of the investigative process. Gaining knowledge about specialty interests can help a student elect which specialties appeal to him/her more than others.

    Block II “Exploring Options” Course Overview and Objectives

    Examining Physician Supply, Salaries & Workforce Trends

    • Students will understand the model of physician supply and demand in the workforce
    • Students will learn about average physician salaries by specialty and geographic location
    • Students will become familiar with physician shortage areas by specialty and geographic location

    Interacting with the Subspecialty Panel (Broadcast)

    • Students will have the opportunity to hear physicians from various subspecialties who will provide an overview of the work and professional issues they face in practice

    Taking the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

    • Administer, take and self score the MBTI
    Introduction to a Decision Making Model and Exploring Match Resources
    • Students will learn about different approaches to decision making (gathering facts/information, negatives, positives, emotion/feeling, and creative thinking)
    • Students are introduced to multiple online resources including AAMC specialty decision making assessments; match stats; residency resources, etc.

    Interpreting the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

    • Interpret the MBTI and attend the workshop entitled, “TYPECAST: Exploring Personality Differences in Medicine”
    • Students will interact with Department Chair panel as they talk about their specialty and what is required for matching into their discipline

    Exploring Debt Management Strategies for Loan Repayment

    • Students will learn about different loan repayment options
  • Year Three

    Year Three

    After conducting a thorough self-assessment and gaining knowledge of the specialties, students begin to narrow their specialty choice options. Integrating acquired knowledge and new clinical experiences help clarify how values, interests, personality and skills correlate with their desired specialties. Specialty choice decisions also require assessing preferences of what population of patients to care for; degree of care; desired location of practice; practice environment; controllable lifestyle issues; reimbursement for services rendered; and appraising levels of newly learned skills. Articulating these factors provides a baseline of residency options and provides direction for researching graduate medical education opportunities. Students begin preparations for interviewing with residency programs by refining their curriculum vitas, personal statement, obtaining strong letters of recommendation and continued academic success.

  • Year Four

    Year Four

    Where will tomorrow take you? After completing a comprehensive career assessment, students will be confident in their specialty choice meeting their personal and professional goals. In the final year of medical school, the medical student transforms into a competitive residency applicant and the main focus becomes securing a residency position. Applicants will put together an effective implementation plan for finalizing their application materials and hitting the interview trail. After months of preparation and interviewing, the time comes to decide where to continue medical education training over the next three to seven years. Making this life altering career decision requires ongoing thoughtful discussions with support persons as well as a trusted advisor. A final commitment will be solidified with a successful match into a graduate medical education program of the applicant’s desired choice. However, the destination does not end with residency. Career planning will continue throughout the professional lifecycle necessitating honest self-assessment; gaining knowledge about opportunities; making good decisions; and beginning a new commitment.

Career Counseling and Development

The following schedule was designed for students as a career support resource guide as they navigate through important career decisions in medical school.

  • Years 1 & 2

    Get Career Guidance and Support from the Career Coordinator and Faculty Mentors

    • Exploring specialty options and what sparks your interest.
    • How your interests, values, personality preferences, and skills correlate to physicians practicing in specific specialties.
    • MATCH statistics, USMLE scores, training requirements, by specialty.
    • Interpreting your AAMC Careers in Medicine Assessments results and how it relates to your specialty interests.
    • Preparing you to be competitive for residency now!
    • Exploring the value of leadership, international, clinical, and research activities to enhance your medical school experience and residency application.
    • Curriculum Vitae review and assistance with revision.
    • Journal, website, and library resources for your career development.
    • Obtain referrals for research support, academic advising, financial aid, and student health & wellness.
    • Explore current work trends, physician salaries, and physician shortage areas
    • Incorporating alternatives to traditional practice into your medical career
    • Connecting current students with CHM alumni
    All individual career counseling sessions are confidential
  • Years 3 & 4

    Our CHM Community Assistant Deans and Community Administrators address career planning in the core comps series and through small group interactions. 

    The clinical student may wish to meet with their Community Assistant Dean, Community Administrator or Community Faculty Mentor to receive individual assistance with:

    • Exploring your interests and providing guidance on how to choose a specialty.
    • Educating you about the MATCH application process and helping you stay on track.
    • Providing informative tips prior to interviewing with a residency program.
    • Debriefing you about your interviewing experiences and discussing how the residency program complements your professional and personal goals.
    • How debt load may influence specialty choice and provide an appropriate referral to meet with a CHM Financial Aid Office for counseling if needed.
    • Instruction on how to create and submit a Rank Order List and discuss your considering options with you.
    • Choosing electives to enhance your residency application and/or enrich your clinical experiences.
    • Guidance on how lifestyle considerations may influence your specialty choice.
    • Providing resources for self-assessment needs, reviewing residency programs, financial planning assistance, etc.
    • Reviewing your Curriculum Vitae and Personal Statement to enhance your residency application.
    • Guidance on how your strengths and talents compliment your specialty interests.
    • Assisting you in identifying areas for professional growth to help you become a stronger candidate for residency.
    • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (formally the Dean’s Letter)
    • How to appropriately request Letters of Recommendation for residency application.
    • Guidance on how to successfully transition into a residency program and address your concerns.

    It is recommended that clinical students seeking to meet individually with the Community Assistant Dean, Community Administrator or Community Faculty Mentor contact the administrative support staff offices to schedule an appointment.

    All individual career counseling sessions are confidential

Residency and Match Information

The National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) is an objective web-based system used to confidentially match applicants and residency programs. This program utilizes what is known as the “R3 System” allowing an applicant to register to match, rank residency programs and obtain results of match outcomes. Students must go to the National Residency Match Program website and complete the registration form online. All applicants must agree to the terms and conditions of the MATCH and pay a registration fee.

Approximately 95% of residency programs use the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) to fill positions. CHM applicants will apply for positions through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and register with the NRMP to match. Most programs participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), which transmits residency applications to program directors via the Internet. Applicants must register with both NRMP and ERAS to participate in the services of each. Please note: Registering with ERAS does not register applicants with the NRMP nor does registering with the NRMP register applicants for ERAS.