MS1 Class Information – October 21, 2021

Autumn MS1 Class Meeting 

When: Friday, October 22, 2021: 5:00-6:00 pm Alaska, 6:00-7:00 pm Pacific, 7:00-8:00 pm Mountain 


Who should attend: All MS1 Students 

Framework for Approaching Extracurricular Involvement in the First Year

Below are Career Advising’s recommendations to help you approach your extracurricular involvement during Foundations Phase.

  1. It is important to prioritize your academic work this Autumn, so don’t overcommit to  extracurriculars.
  2. During Foundations you will have time to get involved in approx. 3-4 extracurriculars which will include leadership. Be clear on your goals for involvement and choose your activities based on your interests and values. We recommend taking the AAMC Careers in Medicine self-assessments starting with the PVIPS and the MSPI to guide you.
  3. Quality, longitudinal engagements are more important than being over-involved in many short-term opportunities. Residency Program Directors want to know that you can balance extracurriculars and demonstrate leadership while performing well academically, so where you can, you want your CV to demonstrate commitments over time. Quality leadership roles are more important than quantity of hours.
  4. Interest groups can be a great way to make professional connections with faculty, residents and attendings, learn helpful skills for clerkships, and explore career options.
  5. Review the NRMP Charting Outcomes in the Match and the NRMP Program Director Survey for specialty specific data on extracurriculars.

Read on for specific advice on ways to get involved and build your professional network during medical school.

Specialty/Interest Groups: Specialty interest groups are an excellent way to learn about specialties and subspecialties, (lifestyle, practice settings, patient populations etc.) and develop relationships with residents, attendings and program directors which can result in opportunities to learn more through shadowing and informational interviews. Interest groups such as wilderness medicine and the business of medicine provide opportunities to explore specific areas of medicine and build professional connections.

Service Learning: Community engagement is an integral part of your medical education. Think about the patient and community populations and areas of medicine that are important to you and what you want to learn more about, e.g., health policy, working with underserved populations, youth mentoring etc.

Leadership: Demonstrated leadership is of high importance to residencies. Students may end up writing about an area of leadership in their Personal Statement and are often asked about this area in interviews. Try to develop leadership roles where in areas that are of interest to you.

Research: Research is essential if you are interested in any of the most competitive specialties. See Foundations Year 1 Autumn on the career planning timeline for the list of these specialties. For other specialties, research or a lot of research is not as important. If you want to make your residency application more well-rounded, meet your future professional goals or current interests, learn a new skill, or have another way to connect with faculty or mentors, research could also make sense for you.

Career Advising Student Advisory Board – Tip of the Month  

We hope you’re adjusting well to medical school! You’ve probably heard about our school’s summer Triple III requirement. If you’re interested in a competitive specialty (e.g., dermatology), it will be helpful if your project is within this field. However, many residency programs look positively on research projects even if they are not in the specialty you end up applying into as it shows dedication and can build valuable skills. Research not your jam? No worries! Lots of specialties don’t need it. Rural Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP), Scholarship of Integration (SOI) or another community experience can be very useful to your career goals. Undecided on your specialty? This is super common, don’t worry! You can start exploring specialties with interest group events and through the Career Advising Video Library. 

Written by Career Advising Student Advisory Board member, Shanelle Briggs and reviewed by a second BIPOC Board member, L’Oreal Kennedy. 

In case you missed it:  

Use this link to access last week’s Student Newsletter (10-14-21).