Specialty advisors are essential advocates and experts who give students a glimpse into their specialty. They may provide information about the lifestyle, personal characteristics, the type of patient encounters, salary, residency requirements and characteristics of physicians in the specialty. Some specialty career advisors may also provide networking opportunities and information about meetings, associations and resources of interest to the specialty.
Important tools and resources for specialty career advisors
- Advising checklist for third year students – Utilize this resource from the AAMC’s Career in Medicine program for third year students in the process of refining their specialty options.
- Advising checklist for fourth year students – Utilize this resource from the AAMC’s Career in Medicine program to finalize your student’s career choice, plan for applying to residency programs and discuss residency program selection, interviews and ranking strategies.
- Charting Outcomes in the Match– This report explores the relationship between applicant characteristics and success in matching to the preferred specialty in the National Resident Matching Program for U.S. seniors and all others. Distributions for successful and unsuccessful applicants are reported for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Scores, number of programs on the rank order list, membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, number of publications, number of research experiences, and several other measures.
- Program Directors Survey – The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) conducted its biennial survey of the directors of all programs participating in the Main Residency Match. The primary purpose of the survey was to shed light on the factors that program directors use to (1) select applicants to interview and (2) rank applicants for the Match.
- Writing Letters of Recommendation
Additional resources for specialty career advisors
NRMP Main Residency Match
The NRMP Main Residency Match provides an impartial venue for matching applicants’ preferences for residency positions with program directors’ preferences for applicants. Each year approximately 16,000 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors and 15,000 graduates of osteopathic, Canadian or foreign medical schools compete for approximately 24,000 residency positions.
There are four categories of programs participating in the Main Residency Match:
- Categorical programs begin in the PGY-1 year and provide the training required for board certification in medical specialties.
- Advanced programs that begin in the PGY-2 year after a year of prerequisite training.
- Preliminary or one-year programs beginning the PGY-1 year and provide prerequisite training for advanced programs.
- Physician programs are reserved for physicians who have had prior graduate medical education. Physician programs are not available to senior U.S. medical students.
Electronic Residency Application Service (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 applicants and their designated dean’s office to program directors. ERAS consists of MyERAS, Dean’s Office Workstation (DWS), Program Director’s Workstation (PDWS), and ERAS PostOffice.