Is the MSPI from AAMC's careers in medicine accurate?

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Fried Plantaris

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Mar 12, 2016
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Just took it for a second time and results were pretty close from a year ago, but still not in line with the specialties I had down on paper. Plus for some reason they don't even include ophtho.

I'd like to hear from residents or people applying this upcoming cycle. Did you find the tool predictive or in line with your choice?

PS I just became an M2
Feb 23, 2012
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My personal opinion: it's bogus. I look at it akin to taking "personality tests" which are mainly bogus. I'd rely on experiences you've sought out during M1, M2, and, most importantly M3 to guide you. Put yourself out there and explore things even if you don't think you'll be "that." You might be surprised. I'd have never thought of the specialty I'd be wanting to apply to years ago when I was an first year. You're in medical school, and I've always believed there is a smorgasbord of specialties available to you--and it's part of the beauty and privilege to go through M3 and discover which one is best for you.


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Feb 29, 2016
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I had never heard of it, but I just looked it up and it says:

Q. What are the 16 specialties the MSPI includes?

A. Many of the specialties that you can enter during the first two years of residency training are included:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Dermatology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pathology –Anatomic and Clinical
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology –Diagnostic
  • Surgery –General
  • Urology
So there are a lot of specialties that are not included.

If you're just starting 2nd year you're still missing the whole in-person experience. Maybe once you've had some experience in inpatient vs. outpatient settings, gotten a feel for the the OR, ICU, clinic, etc., you'll be able to contextualize the recommendations a little better. A lot of specialties are not at all like what premeds or M1-M2s (or even practicing physicians in another specialty) understand them to be.

They could also be totally inaccurate for you. It would be a mistake to trust these results over your own feelings, especially once you start spending time on those services. The only reason I can see to heed these recommendations are to consider something new that you hadn't thought of before, or to feel more confident in your choice if your own interests align with their results.