I'm going to be an M1 in a few days. I applied as a non-traditional student, and often felt that I was not as "with it" as some of the other premedical students. Basically, I didn't have my ducks in a row the way some students did simply due to lack of information.

Not wanting to repeat this mistake in 3 years, my question is this:

What advice can anyone give me for getting my choice of residency. As of now I don't know what field I want to go into. Assuming I decide that I would like to get a competetive match, what should I be doing. Of course I understand that grades and USMLE scores are very important, and that recommendations come 3rd year will be crucial, it's the other stuff that I would like to know about.

Thanks for your help.


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I would definitely not stress too much about it right now. (plenty of time for that later!).
Just study, keep your grades up, and keep your ears open for clinical learning opportunities. Find out what you are really interested in, and pursue that. Get involved in a few student groups, and keep yourself active.

Also visit http://match.medfools.com for more info on residency matching.



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Nice icon :)

Like kenfused said just study hard and get good recommendations.

Also, if you know the program you want to go to do a rotation there if you can.
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Winged Scapula

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It won't hurt either as the field of your choice becomes clearer to start investigating application procedures. You can be pretty busy during 3rd year, and it helps, in any spare time before application season you might have, to check out individual programs, get info, check on application procedures/requirements, etc (especially important if you end up in an "early match" specialty).

Like most things in life, key to success is not only doing well and being a nice person to be around (they get the best LORs), but being organized.


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Hi there,
I will add that you should investigate the specialty interest groups at your school. You can join several specialty interest groups if you are undecided as to what you want to do. These groups are usually run by upper medical students with advisors from the clinical department faculty who can steer you in the right direction when residency applicaiton times comes along.

I joined my Surgical residency interest group as a freshman and received tips about studying all through medical school. I also received mentoring from several of the surgeons on staff at university hospital with things like letters of recommendation and my personal statement as well as getting through the required clerkships during third year.

A couple of the surgery residents also came to meeting to talk about doing well during your surgery clerkship and good books to read for the pre-board exams. A couple of the upperclassmen helped us with getting ready for USMLE Step I and Step II.

Good luck with the rest of medical school.

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