Careers in Medicine® (CiM) Timeline

Year 1

  • Orientation to Careers in Medicine
  • Seek out an advisor or mentor 

Understanding Yourself

Year 2

  • Continue self-assessment
  • Complete self-assessment exercises
  • Review completed Personal Profile with your advisor

Exploring Options 

  • Begin gathering basic information about specialties or interest through  CiM Specialty Pages , other online sites, and library research
  • Attend specialty panel and information group sessions provided by your school
  • Compare your self assessment information to the information you have gathered about specialties. Narrow down your interests to 3-4 top choices
  • Plan your third year schedule
  • Take USMLE Step 1 

Year 3

  • Begin clinical rotations - Record your reflections on the  Clinical Rotation Evaluation
  • Review the Charting Outcomes in the Match report to assess qualifications and competitiveness for different specialties
  • Conduct informational interviews and/or participate in preceptorships
  • Contact associations and specialty organizations

Choosing a Specialty

  • Meet with your advisor to discuss your top choices
  • Complete the  Specialty Indecision Scale    if you're having difficulty making a decision
  • Complete the  "Choosing Your Specialty" exercise

Year 4

Getting into Residency

  • Research residency training programs through AMA's FREIDA    or the AMA's Graduate Medical Education Directory (Green Book)
  • Rate your preferences using the Residency Preference Exercise
  • Begin reviewing and comparing residency programs
  • Register with ERAS and begin preparing residency applications (CV, letters of recommendation, personal statements, etc)
  • Register with the NRMP for the Main Residency Match
  • Register for early Match programs, if applicable
  • Complete applications and designate programs to which your materials will be submitted
  • Take USMLE Step 2
  • MSPE released November 1
  • Interview with residency programs
  • Rate programs using the Residency Preference Exercise
  • Early Match deadline early-mid January
  • Rank-order your selections for the NRMP Main Residency Match
  • Match Day - third Thursday in March