Career Advising for Medical Students

A fulfilling career is among the keys to a successful life.  The Carver College of Medicine offers you many opportunities to explore and understand how to achieve your maximum career potential. We encourage you to take advantage of as many of these resources as you can.  

Each opportunity is categorized according to its intended goal:

  • Icon for Decision Making a decision about which specialty you will love 
  • Icon denoting strategy Crafting a strategy that maximizes success in achieving your chosen specialty
  • Icon denoting process Understanding the process needed to become a resident physician. 

Click one of the options in the columns below to learn more about that career advising opportunity:

Deans Curricular Med Student Counseling Center Learning Communities College of Medicine Registrar Writing and Humanities Program
Individual counseling Early Clinical Experiences Career workshops NEST Groups Electronic Residency Application Service Personal Statements and Curriculum Vitae
  Away rotations Career Life Planning Elective Match Panels Letters of Recommendations Personal-Professional Compass
  Advanced clerkships Shadowing Residency Fairs Couples Matching  
    Specialty Choice Conversations Individual counseling    
    Mock Residency Interviews Medical Student Performance Evaluation    
    Clinical Faculty Advice      


Meet with a Dean

Individual Counseling

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Any time | Optional | Contact Jess Dlask
Your deans are more than happy to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your academic progress, offer advice, and help you plot a career path.  Such meetings are available any time on request.

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In the Curriculum

Early Clinical Experiences

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M1, Fall semester M2 | Required | Contact Megan McDowell
Right away you’ll be exposed to patients in outpatient clinics at UIHC and the surrounding communities.  You’ll be paired with experienced clinicians so that you may begin learning about clinical communication, patient populations, medical specialties, and the roles of members of the healthcare team.  In the fall of the M2 year, you’ll continue by shadowing senior medical students in the inpatient setting to prepare you for working in the clinical environment.  

Away Rotations

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Fall semester M4 | Optional | Contact Marcia Hopp
There are several reasons to do away rotations; for instance, you may want to use them as extended interviews or auditions at a location to which you might want to apply for residency.  

Advanced Elective and Selective Clerkships

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M4 | Required | Contact Marcia Hopp
Advanced clerkships allow you to understand the roles of the subspecialties within clinical medicine.  Some you'll be required to select from a list of possibilities; others are elective, although a certain number of semester hours are required to graduate.

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Medical Student Counseling Center

Read this for more information on career advising services through the MSCC.

Career Counseling Workshops

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Throughout | Optional | Contact Sandy Tomas
These workshops are designed to help you explore specialty choice options and to prepare for the NRMP residency match.

Career Life Planning Elective

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Spring semesters M1, M2, M3 | Optional | Contact Sandy Tomas
Through class discussions and activities, you will learn about selecting a specialty and preparing for a successful match.

Shadowing

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Throughout | Optional | Contact Sandy Tomas
The Medical Student Counseling Center can assist with identifying physicians interested in providing you with shadowing experiences.

Specialty Choice Conversations

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Spring semesters M1, M2, M3, M4 | Optional | Contact Sandy Tomas
These individual counseling discussions can help you to clarify your goals and motivations for considering various career options.

Mock Residency Interviews

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Fall semester M4 | Optional | Contact Sandy Tomas
You can participate in mock interviews throughout interview season. These 30-45 minute sessions are designed to simulate a residency interview.  Each session offers both interview practice and feedback.  

Clinical Faculty Advice

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Any time | Optional | Contact Sandy Tomas
The MSCC can put you in touch with clinical faculty who have expressed an interest in meeting with students to discuss their work.  Such meetings can develop into fruitful mentoring relationships.

MSCC-Curated Resources

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Any time | Optional | Contact Sandy Tomas
The MSCC has curated a list of websites that you will find helpful in directing your efforts in defining a career path.

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Learning Communities

NEST Groups

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Throughout | Required | Contact Megan McDowell
Beginning at orientation, you will be placed in a  small groups of students from within the same community and class. Your NEST group will meet each semester in a meeting facilitated by the community faculty director to discuss transitions, wellness, challenges, and career opportunities.

Match Panels

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Spring semester | Optional | Contact Megan McDowell
After M4 students have obtained their residency matches, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from them about the process, how they made their decisions, and the pitfalls they encountered. Match panels take place both in the Learning Communities and in specialty interest groups.

Residency Fairs

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Spring semester | Optional | Contact Megan McDowell
Yet another opportunity to explore residency programs, especially those offered in Iowa.

Individual Counseling

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Any time | Optional | Contact your Community Faculty Director
Your community’s faculty directors are always happy to discuss your career plans, or help connect you to faculty at UIHC. You will also meet with your community faculty director for career advising during the process of creating the Medical Student Performance Evaluation at the end of your third year/beginning of your fourth year.

Medical Student Performance Evaluation

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Late M3/Early M4 | Required | Contact Dave Etler
The Medical Student Performance Evaluation summarizes your performance in medical school.  It is created in the months before you begin interviewing for residency programs.  During the process you will also meet with your community faculty director or a dean for career advising during the process of writing the MSPE.

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College of Medicine Registrar

The Registrar's Office can help you understand the process of obtaining a residency match, especially the items below.  Start here for a list of things to think about, including links to outside resources.

Electronic Residency Application Service

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Fall semester M4 | Required | Contact Annette Griffin
ERAS is the system by which medical students apply for residency. Some specialties don’t use ERAS, but most do.

Letter of Recommendation

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Fall semester M4 | Required | Contact Annette Griffin
When you apply for residency programs, letters of recommendation written by faculty in your specialty are submitted electronically through the Letters of Recommendation Program, or LORP.  

Couples matching

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Fall and Spring semester M4 | Optional | Contact Annette Griffin
If you are in a committed relationship with another student seeking a residency match, it is often desirable to end up in the same city for residency.  The process of obtaining such a match as a couple requires special attention.

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The Writing and Humanities Program

Personal Statements and CVs

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Summer of M3, Fall of M4 | Optional | Contact Jason Lewis
Every student must write a compelling personal statement and have a curriculum vitae to apply to a residency program. Getting started early, as well as seeking help, is very important.

Personal-Professional Compass

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Throughout | Optional | Contact Jason Lewis or Lauris Kaldjian
This program works to help you understand, articulate, and integrate your personal and professional values and goals as you navigate your way through the four years of medical school.

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