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Planning for Residency

Residency Planning


The tools you need to get started

The key to making a good specialty decision is research and preparation. You will research the characteristics important to you and the specialties that meet those characteristics; it is this preparation that will help you unlock your specialty choice. By putting some thought and effort now into what you want to do in your future career as a physician, you'll find that achieving success will be less difficult.


Residency Timeline

What to Do During Pre-Clinical Years:

  • Begin to explore your unique personal values, interests, and skills
  • Attend special interest groups and specialty speaker presentations
  • Start to think about which medical specialty you might pursue
  • Prepare for and take COMLEX Level 1(opens in a new window) and discuss taking USMLE Step 1(opens in a new window) with the residency advising team and learning specialists

What to Do During Year Three:

What to Do During Year Three into Year Four:


Understanding Yourself - Choosing a skill to match your values, skills, and interests

People whose choice of careers matches their values, skills, and interests tend to be more satisfied and successful in their working lives. Self-assessment or understanding yourself is the process of gathering and understanding information about yourself. Ultimately, the knowledge you gain can help you get more out of your clerkship opportunities and allow you to present yourself more confidently in residency interviews.


Knowing and Exploring Your Options

Conducting thorough career research requires you to seek out information from a variety of sources. Your career exploration will be much more meaningful and useful if you compare your likes, dislikes, personality and values to a variety of specialties.

Use your clerkships as valuable sources of information; collect contact names and take every opportunity to interact with physicians and residents in the specialty areas you are considering. These individuals will provide you with valuable inside information. The human element always plays an integral role in the residency application and selection process!