Goals & Objectives

green forest

SOM Year 1

During your first year as a medical student, we wish for you to explore the vast opportunities that exist in this amazing field that you have chosen. Keep an open mind and use the CiM assessments to focus in on your options during your time here at UTRGV.

  1. Visit with your faculty advisor, utilize them as a sounding board to bounce off ideas and discuss plans.
  2. Make sure you have done the Careers in Medicine:
    1. Medical Specialty Preference Inventory – (MSPI-R)
    2. Consider Personality Type testing (Meyers-Briggs) for further insight.
  3. Take the report results to your advisor for further discussion

Hit list to discuss with your advisor during your first year is here


Some things to discuss with your advisor during YEAR ONE

✔ Establish a rapport with your advisor

  • How can your advisor be of most help to you?
  • How often would you like to meet up with your advisor?

✔ Adjustment to medical school

  • How are you handling the work load?
  • Are you receiving the support you need academically and personally?

✔ Curricular Concerns

  • Discuss your performance thus far in medical school
  • Do you have questions about the curriculum?
  • Are you aware of resources?

✔ Background and Influences

  • How did you decide to become a physician?
  • What was the most influential factor in your decision?

✔ Specialty Choice

  • What is important to you in your future practice of medicine
  • What skills do you have that you would like to incorporate in to your career?
  • What are your interests?
  • What specialties are you drawn to?
  • What interests you about those specialties?
  • What do you know about your specialty options?

✔ Summer Plans

  • How would you like to spend the summer between your first and second years?
  • Do the specialties your considering require research or other experiences to be competitive?



Natural Scenery

SOM Year 2

During your second year, we want you to continue the self-assessment process and explore the various specialties. You may have already started doing research or begun clinical rotations on your own that may be helping you narrow your specialty options. During this year, we start to focus more on preparation for the USMLE Step 1 exam. Your advisors should continue to advise and guide you on your path.

  1. Routinely check in with your advisor to discuss career planning process
  2. Address any curricular or performance concerns
  3. Begin planning your third-year schedule
  4. Make sure you have done the Careers in Medicine:
    1. Physician Values in Practice Scale
    2. Physician Skills Inventory
    3. Personality Type (if not already completed)
    4. Medical Specialty Preference Inventory (if not already completed)
  5. Take you results to your advisor for further discussion

Hit list to discuss with your advisor during your second year is here

SOME THINGS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR ADVISOR DURING YEAR TWO

✔ Adjustment to second year curriculum

  • How are you handling the work load?
  • Are you receiving the support you need academically and personally?

✔ Curricular Concerns

  • How are you doing thus far in medical school?
  • Describe your preparation for the USMLE Step 1 Exam
  • What questions or concerns do you have about clinical rotations and scheduling your third year?

✔ Specialty Choice

  • What is important to you in your future practice of medicine?
  • What skills do you have that you would like to incorporate into your career?
  • What are your interests?
  • What specialties are you currently drawn to?
  • What interests you about those specialties?
  • What do you know about your specialty options?
  • What do you still need to know to make your decision?



sunset tree forest

SOM Year 3

Third year students are expected to integrate what you have learned about yourself with what you have learned about your specialty of interest.  We would like for you to reflect and think through what you are looking for in a specialty and a career, including which experiences have been a good (or bad) fit and what other experiences or information you need to start narrowing your specialty options. Utilize your advisement portfolio to keep track of your experiences. Our school also offers a career exploration elective during your third year. We can provide you with contacts in the specialties you are considering to help you gather more information and prepare for applying to residency.

  1. Begin Refining your specialty options
  2. Discuss preliminary preparations for residency application
  3. Discuss decision-making strategies
  4. Make sure you have done the Careers in Medicine:
    1. Residency Preference Exercise
    2. Specialty Indecision Scale
    3. Physician Values in Practice Scale (if not already completed)
    4. Physician Skills Inventory (if not already completed)
    5. Personality Type (if not already completed)
    6. Medical Specialty Preference Inventory (if not already completed)

Hit list to discuss with your advisor during your third year is here

SOME THINGS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR ADVISOR DURING YEAR THREE

✔ Adjustment to clinical curriculum

  • How are you handling the work load?
  • Are you receiving the support you need academically and personally?

✔ Curricular Concerns

  • Describe your performance so far in your clinical rotations
  • What feedback have you received on your clinical evaluations?
  • How would you like to arrange your fourth-year rotations?
  • Describe your preparation for USMLE Step 2 CK and CS

✔ Specialty Choice

  • What specialties are you currently interested in?
  • What rotations have you completed so far?
  • What have you liked/disliked about your rotations?
  • How do you feel about:
    • providing inpatient vs outpatient care?
    • working with different age ranges?
    • providing diagnostic-oriented care vs. performing procedures?
    • dealing with breadth vs depth of patient problems?
    • providing short term vs long term or continuous care?
    • Having direct vs indirect communication with patients?
    • Shift work vs non-shift work
    • Have your rotations confirmed your interests?
    • Have you explored your specialty interests outside of predominantly hospital based practices?
    • How competitive are you for the specialties you are considering?

✔ Exploring residency

  • Where are you considering applying for residency?
  • What factors are most important to you in considering where you’d like to complete your training?

✔ Decision-Making Strategy

  • What other information or experiences do you need that will help you narrow your options?
  • What barriers or concerns do you have or foresee about choosing your specialty?

✔ Preparing for residency application

  • How familiar are you with the MATCH process and timeline?
  • Have you requested letters of recommendation from faculty?
  • What is your parallel plan if you fail to match into your preferred program or specialty?



path to beach

SOM Year 4

During your fourth year, your focus shifts towards applying for residency, interviewing, and the Match.  You will discuss with your advisor your selection of specialty and the programs that you are targeting. We will help guide you if you are undecided to help elucidate the cause of your indecision and support your steps towards selecting a specialty.  We will also discuss back up options (parallel plan) should unexpected outcomes arise. We will help review your personal statements and practice though interview questions. Please check in with your advisor periodically throughout the application process to ensure a robust interview schedule and successful match.

  1. Refine and finalize your CV
  2. Consider which faculty will write a strong letter of recommendation
  3. Familiarize yourself with all MATCH deadlines
  4. Schedule smart for residency interviews
  5. Strategically construct a rank order list (utilize the PRISM app)

Hit list to discuss with your advisor during your fourth year is here

SOME THINGS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR ADVISOR DURING YEAR FOUR

✔ Curricular Concerns

  • What senior year rotations have you completed?
  • What electives have you completed?
  • Describe you performance so far in your clinical rotations?

✔ Specialty Choice

  • What factors are most important to you in choosing a specialty?
  • What specialty/ies are you considering?
  • How well do your qualifications match with specialty/ies you’re considering?
  • How confident are you in your specialty decision?
  • If you are undecided, what would help you to make a decision and how can we help?

✔ Selecting Programs

  • Where are you considering applying for residency?
  • What factors are most important to you in considering where you’d like to complete your training?
  • How may programs are you planning to apply to?

✔ Residency Application, Interviewing and the Match

  • Who have you requested letters of recommendation from?
  • Would you like for your advisor to review your personal statement? Have you had other people review your personal statement?
  • How prepared do you feel to interview? What questions do you have about the interview process?
  • What have you done to budget or ensure you have the financial resources for interview travel?
  • What programs have you interviewed for so far? How have you liked them?
  • How many programs do you plan to rank?

✔ Preparing for residency application

  • How familiar are you with the MATCH process and timeline?
  • Have you requested letters of recommendation from faculty?
  • What is your parallel plan if you fail to match into your preferred program or specialty?