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Explore Careers in Medicine

The Office of Medical Student Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education provide student mentorship in formats that are tailored to their individual needs and levels.

  • A key aspect of the COMPASS Program and a cornerstone of the career advising resources at NYMC-SOM is the House Advisory Deans Program. To learn more about this longitudinal program, click here.    

Please select the level you wish to explore and begin mapping you path to a successful career in medicine!

  1. As you begin medical school and become engrossed in classes and clinical work, it is important to evaluate what path you want your medical career to follow.  As daunting as this might seem, there are many resources to help you make the best decisions possible. In addition to the House Advisory Deans Program and the associated Class Meetings, the NYMC COMPASS Program offers a variety of resources for your explore your options.

    White Coat Ceremony

    To celebrate matriculation and the transition toward a healthcare career, NYMC hosts a White Coat Ceremony each year, with first-year medical students donning their white coats in the presence of their families and friends.

    Career Exploration

    Choosing the right medical specialty for you begins with understanding your personal and professional desires, needs, and goals. Deciding upon which medical specialty to pursue should only happen after you have had the opportunity to thoroughly research the potential fields in which you may be interested. A great place to start is the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Careers in Medicine (CiM) website.

    Each year, we introduce students to the AAMC’s CiM website during the Incoming Medical Student Transition Course. During this orientation, medical students can explore specialty/career information and other related resources. To log-in, simply use your AAMC log-in and password  from registering for the MCAT, submitting your primary application for medical school, etc.

    Student Organizations

    Participating in student organizations is a great way to meet friends, engage in fun and worthwhile activities, complement your academic work, and build leadership skills – all of which will benefit you throughout your career. Attend as many student interest group meetings as possible as doing so will expose you to new fields not on your radar. Most students make their final career decision in the latter half of the third year (some even in the first half of the fourth year), so don’t feel like you have to commit to any field right now.

    Where do you fit?

    Perhaps you have no idea where to start exploring, or even what types of specialties would appeal to you. Many students take personality tests to evaluate potential fields. A common one is the Jung Typology Test:

    This test could help you understand your personality better, and as you meet physicians from different fields and learn about the lifestyle and characteristics of various fields, assess if that specialty is right for you. The following list includes some similar resources to visit:

    Building your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    As you continue through your medical school journey here at NYMC SOM, it is important that you document your accomplishments and activities so when residency applications and job interviews come around, you are prepared. An effective CV helps you keep an up-to-date record of all your achievements and skills gained thus far and helps you distinguish yourself amongst other candidates.

    Opportunities in Research, Community Service Learning, and Shadowing

    NYMC students have long been encouraged to engage in research to hone their skills and make a regular practice of clinical investigation. Students frequently conduct research during the summer between the 1st and 2nd years, either at NYMC or at their undergraduate institution, if they return home for the summer.

    NYMC SOM Service Learning programs are designed to help students build new aptitudes through hands-on experiences at community sites. These opportunities foster collaboration with physicians and health care professionals and help students create a tangible, needs-based product.

    The experience of shadowing a physician provides students with a great way to explore different specialties in a clinical setting. You can get a better understanding of what a typical day is like and gain familiarity with the different medical environments. In addition to shadowing experiences available through through NYMC student organizations, reach out to the Medical Student Affairs leadership to explore available opportunities. They will help work with you and the House Advisory Deans, the NYMC SOM Department Chairs, and the NYMC Office of Development and Alumni Relations to get you onboarded appropriately.     

    Hopefully, these websites and resources have helped you to start navigating your path. Remember, you have plenty of time to consider your options, but it’s never too early to get started.

    Good luck and have fun!

  2. The second year of medical school is an opportunity to explore career and practice options while simultaneously learning about the foundations of disease during the M.D. program coursework and preparing for the USMLE Step One Examination. As you continue to navigate the numerous specialties and participate in the House Advisory Deans Program respective Class Meetings, and student interest groups meetings, you will start to narrow your interests, which will help in scheduling your clinical course work. 

    Career Fair

    NYMC students are invited to attend an on-campus specialty Career Fair each spring. Similar to an undergraduate “job fair”, attendings, residents, and fourth year students are invited to set up booths and share information about their respective fields while medical students have the opportunity to choose where to visit. The diversity of the representatives allows them to offer their unique perspectives to students. Additional information about the Career Fair, which is held in conjunction with NYMed Talks, will be shared with you by the Office of Medical Student Affairs.

    The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) 

    The USMLE is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the U.S. The exam assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. The USMLE Step 1 is a cumulative test of the preclinical period of medical school. The test is eight hours long, which includes seven 60-minute sections of 46 questions each for a total of 322 questions and a 45-minute break to be used between sections.

    NYMC medical students have consistently done well on this exam, taken after their preclinical course work. The Office of Medical Student Affairs, the Office of Academic Support, and your House Advisory Deans will guide you through this process, describing all you need to know, hosting workshops, such as the Step 1 Bootcamp, and providing online study resources

    Building your CV

    Continue to document your accomplishments and activities so when residency applications and job interviews come around, your CV is current and complete. Consider contacting the Office of Academic Support  for individual writing assistance with our trained staff. In addition, there are several resources on curriculum vitae preparation available through our Health Sciences Library.

    Online Resources for Career Exploration

  3. Once you have decided on a specialty, you need to begin gathering information. Some important resources include the ACGME and FREIDA. It’s important to talk to people who have just been through the process, those new interns who have scattered across the country or have remained at NYMC affiliated sites. They have a great deal to share with you since the Match is still fresh in their minds. The Office of Medical Student Affairs has a list of where all the students one year ahead of you went for residency. Of course, other residents and physicians are excellent resources as well. The more people you talk to, the more knowledge you will have to make decisions. In addition, it is always useful to discuss aspects of the residency application process with the Medical Student Affairs Deans, your House Advisory Dean, and other mentors.

    Transition to Clerkship and Student Clinician Ceremony

    ‌To optimally prepare students to enter clerkship training, all NYMC medical students are required to participate in a Transition to Clerkship Course.  This course facilitates the transition into the clinical realm with simulation‐based procedural skills training, communication skills training with standardized patients, and small and large group didactic sessions to review critical concepts in Professionalism, Teamwork Skills, Clinical Reasoning, and Health Systems. 

    The Student Clinician Ceremony celebrates a new chapter in the medical education of the third-year class—the clinical years.  The ceremony was created by Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) to provide guidance, information and support to medical students beginning their clerkships. 

    Clinical Rotations and Third Year Electives

    NYMC students enter their clinical rotation preferences in the OASIS lottery system when registering for MS3. In addition to required rotations, NYMC supports your career exploration through an electives program in the third year. You can use the MS3 elective to familiarize yourself with the scope of practice in a medical specialty, typically outside of required clerkships, or enroll in a research elective. 

    The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) 

    Once you complete your preclinical coursework, you will take the  USMLE examination. The Office of Medical Student Affairs, the Office of Academic Support, and your House Advisory Deans will guide you through this process, describing all you need to know, hosting workshops, such as the Step 1 Bootcamp, and providing online study resources

    Career Fair

    Each December, one of the third years’ required Class Meetings is a Career Fair/Residency Panel. In addition to learning more about medical specialties, students will revisit resources available through academic support, student mental health and wellness, and financial planning as part of their personal and professional development.

    Building your CV

    Continue to document your accomplishments and activities so when residency applications and job interviews come around, your CV is current and complete. Consider contacting the Office of Academic Support  for individual writing assistance with our trained staff. In addition, there are several resources on curriculum vitae preparation available through our Health Sciences Library.

  4. Is it really 4th year already? Hopefully you are well on your way to selecting a specialty to pursue. If you are still deciding between a couple, you’re not alone. Just focus those first few months and listen to your gut!

    Fourth Year Electives

    The fourth-year curriculum is organized into specialty tracks to allow students to align their program of study with an area of specialty interest. Check out the Senior Elective Catalog and work with mentors to strategically identify and schedule elective rotations. 

    Transition to Fourth Year

    The goal of the Transition to Fourth Year course is to prepare students for the increasing responsibility they will experience as fourth year medical students. Students will gain knowledge and skills related to working and collaborating on healthcare teams, giving and receiving patient handoffs effectively, preventing and evaluating medical errors, and evaluating and initiating management of a critically ill patient. Additional sessions focus on professional development, Step 2 preparation, and the residency application process.  

    Pathway to Match

    Review the Pathway to Match section of the website. It’s a brief overview of the residency application process and includes a timetable and resources specific to residency applications and interviewing..

    ACGME Milestones

    The ACGME Milestones by Specialty are available for review as you prepare to think about your transition from undergraduate medical education (UME) to graduate medical education (GME). The milestones describe performance levels that residents and fellows are expected to demonstrate for skills, knowledge, and behaviors in the six clinical competency domains.

    Transition to Residency

    The one‐week Transition to Residency program is an interactive “capstone” course that facilitates a student’s transition from medical school into specialized residency programs.  During this course, NYMC students are organized into specialty tracks and engage in simulation‐based procedural skills and hand‐off training, case‐based problem solving sessions, and group didactic sessions to review strategies to enhance professional development and preparedness for residency training.


    On this day of ceremony and festivities, NYMC graduating students are granted their degrees and, together, we celebrate their accomplishments. Visit our webpage to learn more about NYMC’s commencement ceremony, our honored traditions, and many awards.

    • AAMC Careers in Medicine: Careers in Medicine (CiM) is a career-planning program designed to help you choose a medical specialty and residency programs.
    • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education: Review the various medical specialty Program Requirements and Milestones to learn more about the residency experience and future scope of practice. 
    • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) – Choosing a Medical Specialty: This resource addresses several factors that will impact your decisions, such as professional values, residency, lifestyle, income, and the doctor-patient relationship.
    • American Board of Medical Specialties: The ABMS works in collaboration with 24 specialty Member Boards to maintain the standards for physician certification. Check out the recent publication, ABMS Guide to Medical Specialties.
    • American College of Physicians (ACP): The ACP is an international organization comprised of 159,000 internists, subspecialists, residents, fellows, and medical students. Their webpage includes several learning resources and career decision-making tools for medical students.
    • ERAS: Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) is a service that transmits applications, letters of recommendation (LoRs), Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPEs), medical school transcripts, USMLE transcripts, COMLEX transcripts, and other supporting credentials from you and your designated dean's office to program directors using the Internet.
    • Frieda: FREIDA Online is a database with over 8,700 graduate medical education programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, as well as over 200 combined specialty programs.
    • NRMP: The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) provides a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education (GME) in the United States.