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School of Medicine

VCU School of Medicine

Welcome to VCU School of Medicine

Career Advising

Welcome to Career Advising

A four year longitudinal career advising program has been developed to assist students in determining their professional identity within medicine and assuring they successfully match into a residency program in their specialty of choice.  The longitudinal career advising program at VCU School of Medicine includes the following components:

M1 Year

Myers Briggs session during M1 Orientation - students learn more about their personality preferences related to their work in teams, learning styles, and specialty preference

Summer Planning session held in the fall that covers a basic overview of the residency match process including relative competitiveness of specialties within medicine, how to plan for the summer break including research and clinical shadowing opportunities

Student Affairs Website updated with research and clinical programs for students to consider for their summer break

Project H.E.A.R.T. (Healing with Empathy, Acceptance, Respect and Integrity) is the longitudinal advising program where students are divided into small groups that meet with a faculty member every few weeks during the first three years of medical school; several sessions are dedicated for students to complete self-assessment exercises on the AAMC Careers in Medicine website investigating their values, interests, and skills that may affect specialty decisions within medicine

M2 Year

Careers in Medicine Day

  • CV and Personal Statement workshops; students must turn in a CV for critique by a faculty member
  • Residency Match Algorithm session that provides students with a detailed look at the algorithm used by the National Resident Match Program (NRMP) to place applicants into residency programs
  • Financial Implications of Specialty Choices session where students investigate financial decisions that should be considered regarding loan repayment, specialty choices
  • Residency Program Director Panel discussion where students are informed of the factors program directors are looking when choosing successful applicants to their specialty

M3 Year

Specialty Decision session held during M3 Orientation focused on making specialty decisions using the Five Thinking Hats Model of making decisions

M4 Planning session held during the late fall providing students with detailed information about planning the M4 year, applying for away rotations, meeting with career specific advisors

Career Specific Advisors are assigned to students based on their specialty preferences to provide focused information on planning M4 year and applying to residency programs

M4 Year

ERAS/ NRMP Workshop where students meet in small groups to discuss completing the ERAS application including a review of writing an effective personal statement as well as the residency application timeline

Residency Interview session focused on planning interview schedules and tips for successfully interviewing at residency programs

Personal Statement reviews are performed by faculty members within the Office of Student Affairs

Mock interviews are offered to all students so they can practice and refine interview skills

Match Updates include a series of periodic emails sent to students with tips and reminders of upcoming deadlines to ensure applicants are on track for a successful match

Match Surveys are sent to students every 2-3 weeks during the residency match season to determine how many interview offers they are receiving to better identify students at risk for going unmatched; targeted information is provided to at-risk applicants to help them determine a strategy to successfully match into a residency program

Rank List Support is provided using open office hours to meet with students to discuss the creation of their rank lists

SOAP Support includes focused advising of students who are unmatched to guide them through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program where unmatched students are placed into unfilled residency programs