Student Affairs

Clerkship Phase

When considering a specialty, consider the competitiveness of the specialty and your competitiveness as an applicant. Assess your entire portfolio: Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), awards, USMLE scores, research and publications, dual degrees, and extracurricular activities.

Advising and Self-Assessment Tools

Year 3 students are required meet with their Societies mentor mid-year to discuss their career choice using the CiM Advising MS3’s Checklist (CiM > Advisors and Liaisons > Advising Students) as a guide. Documentation of this session is logged in the Societies Portfolio. Prior to the meeting, students and Societies mentors are sent resources to review regarding different specialties, including data from the AAMC and the NMRP about USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK scores, numbers of programs the successful students applied to and ranked, the number of research experiences, etc. Documentation of this session is logged in the Societies Portfolio. (Required)

Access to advising tools via the AAMC Careers in Medicine website is free to our students. You must follow the link from your email to sign in for the first time. If you haven’t already received this email, contact one of the UA COM – Tucson Careers in Medicine liaisons.

For students that are already certain of their career choices, they are encouraged to pick a specialty specific advisor. A specialty advisor can help you review your CV, personal statement, and assist the Office of Student Affairs, as well as your Societies mentor, in helping you through the residency process.  If you need help finding and/or connecting with a specialty advisor, please reach out to Dr. Siwik, Dr. Rappaport, your Societies mentor, or one of our Assistant Deans for Student Affairs, Drs. Rich Amini and Kathy Smith. Dr. Kevin Moynahan, Deputy Dean for Education is also an excellent resource and is happy to help.


Informational Interviewing: Sample Questions for Specialists

This AAMC resource compiles suggested questions to ask residents or practitioners in a specialty that you are considering.

Questions to Ask About Specialties

Suggested questions to ask specialists (and yourself) to help you determine what areas of medicine are good fits for your goals, interests, lifestyle and personality.

Year 3 Elective Requirement

In addition to the core clerkships, you have the opportunity to take a three-week Year 3 elective.

This allows students who are undecided about their medical specialty, to try it out. There are electives across all specialties that developed just for Year 3 students for this purpose. Note that some electives require the completion of a clerkship as a prerequisite.

See currently available electives in OASIS.

Year 3 Course Scheduling

Here are few scheduling tips for submitting your preferences in the lottery grid typically due early January.

  1. Rank all 16 choices because if you do not, your choices will be selected for you.
  2. If you are interested in emergency medicine (ED), consider enrolling in the ED elective (EMD 838). See Fourth Year Scheduling for more information on sub-internships.
    Scheduling Tip: Because this Year 3 ED elective is offered May through June, and the enrollment is maxed at five (5) students per elective, you will want to schedule your elective period to coincide with this timeframe.
  3. Students undecided about Pediatrics, who would like to do their 3rd year elective in Pediatrics, make sure that the Pediatrics clerkship is scheduled before your elective period. The Pediatric clerkship is a prerequisite for the Year 3 Pediatric elective.

An alternative to enrolling in a Year 3 elective is to select a surgical subspecialty, especially for those students who are assigned the Year 3 elective period as one of the first rotations in Year 3. This satisfies a graduation requirement and does not require a prerequisite. Some students choose this option to allow more elective time in Year 4.