Advice for incoming M1 to prepare for choosing residency

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thetimehascome21

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Hello,

I would like to receive advice on what I can do to set myself up for the best success as an incoming M1 in regards to preparing for choosing a residency program to go into. Everyone says you’ll have plenty of time, but if you end up wanting to apply to something competitive, I imagine it’s best to have started preparing as early as first year.

What activities, programs, shadowing regimes, research involvement does everyone recommend beginning first year? In regards to step, I’m going to a school where we will take Step 2 before Step 1. Any additional considerations with that in mind would be appreciated? I just want to be as proactive as possible as someone considering CT or vascular surgery, but also interested in non surgical routes such as through IM.

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What activities, programs, shadowing regimes, research involvement does everyone recommend beginning first year?
So many threads on this. Other than maybe joining an interest group, you should be doing nothing until you get used to the study requirements and establish you are doing acceptably in coursework. There is no extracurricular that is worth sacrificing grades to do.
 
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How important is research for pursuing competitive specialties/top programs for residency?
 
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As @mrbreakfast said, coursework comes first. Something I wish someone framed for me when starting was that medical school, as far as residency applications are concerned, is a three year experience. Fourth year activities, while can be spoken about on interviews, do not make it on your ERAS application.

The first 1-3 months should be for squaring away a solid study technique and getting acclimated. After that I would start exploring careers of interest. Get shadowing, reading, watching videos, talking to residents, etc. Try to identify interests as the earlier you can focus the better. This is your life and career, so don't rush it, but start investing and reflecting early and continuously so you aren't making an arbitrary decision fourth year.

As far as extracurriculars, research provides the most tangible benefit. It can be clinical or bench, whatever fits your fancy, as long as it is productive. Expected productivity varies by residency and program. Integrated CT surgery (I6) programs require more dedicated research on average than integrated vascular programs. Again, depends on the institution. Both can still be reached through general surgery (with research years for CT) if you remain undecided or unmatched at an MS4.

Happy to answer any other questions.
 
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As @mrbreakfast said, coursework comes first. Something I wish someone framed for me when starting was that medical school, as far as residency applications are concerned, is a three year experience. Fourth year activities, while can be spoken about on interviews, do not make it on your ERAS application.

The first 1-3 months should be for squaring away a solid study technique and getting acclimated. After that I would start exploring careers of interest. Get shadowing, reading, watching videos, talking to residents, etc. Try to identify interests as the earlier you can focus the better. This is your life and career, so don't rush it, but start investing and reflecting early and continuously so you aren't making an arbitrary decision fourth year.

As far as extracurriculars, research provides the most tangible benefit. It can be clinical or bench, whatever fits your fancy, as long as it is productive. Expected productivity varies by residency and program. Integrated CT surgery (I6) programs require more dedicated research on average than integrated vascular programs. Again, depends on the institution. Both can still be reached through general surgery (with research years for CT) if you remain undecided or unmatched at an MS4.

Happy to answer any other questions.
Thank you so much for this
 
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