School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Faculty Advising

A Faculty Advisor builds long term relationships with students and is an essential part of medical school. A Faculty Advisor role models, mentors, and advocates for students as they experience the challenges and triumphs of their medical education. Faculty Advisors are resources for professional role modeling and career advising to students. Faculty can give students valuable input into helping them prepare for their professional role as a physician. It is important that the student understand the demands on the life of a physician while they are planning their life’s work. Click here for a current list of WSU SOM Faculty Advisors.

Faculty can also provide students a glimpse into their profession. They can offer inspiration and clarification about the choice of a professional life in a discipline. Faculty advisors can assist students in meeting other faculty members and connect them with other resources. Faculty advisors can assist students in the process of self-assessment and clarification of personal goals which are essential to good career planning. Clinical faculty can play a vital role in the specifics of specialty selection, residency application, and may be a source of letters of recommendation and referrals. In addition, you must have your Year 4 schedule signed by a faculty advisor. Use this opportunity to ask questions about their specialty and develop a meaningful relationship.

Our Mentoring Program provides Year 1 & 2 students with a faculty mentor, a student mentor, and a peer group.  These groups have a large group meeting in the fall and spring of each year and 2 -3 small groups meetings during the academic year.

Self assessment is critical to making the best career decision.  People are happy and satisfied when they are allowed to use their fundamental, natural abilities.  Look at yourself honestly including gaging your own competitiveness.  Continue to ask yourself what you need to know to make your decision. Weigh each critical and specialty factor.  Make use of the many self assessment resources on the Careers in Medicine website.  Be open and flexible and challenge your preconceived ideas both about yourself and the specialty you’re considering. Participating in Specialty Interest Groups can allow you to learn about different specialties. You need to gather as much information as you can. Do not be afraid to ask advisors, mentors, faculty and even residents what they think. Use your family and friends and the people who know you best to help clarify your goals.

Some specialties recommend research experience while others do not. Talk to your faculty advisor about whether the specialty you are seeking requires research experience. All programs would look at research favorably but it may not enhance your residency application if you plan to join a community residency program in primary care. If you are interested in pursing research, consider participating in a Research Externship between your MS1 and 2 year. A list of those faculty interested in research mentoring can be found on the Student Affairs website.

The core rotations offer hands on clinical experience in the major specialties. Consider using your MS3 elective for exploration of a non-core specialty. During these hands on experiences you may discover a specialty is not what you previously thought or another is more appealing. Be open to every option. Don’t abandon a specialty based on one negative experience. Analyze each experience, whether good or bad, realistically.

You must consider your own competitiveness as well as the competitiveness of the specialty you are seeking. Highly competitive programs require strong clerkship grades and USMLE scores. DO NOT put off completing your USMLE 2 CS and CK requirements. WSU-SOM requires that CS is taken by November 1 and CK by December 31 on Year 4. You must assess yourself realistically and ask for honest feedback about your credentials from a faculty advisor. It might be painful to hear now but it is better than ending up unmatched on Match Day! For a comprehensive review of many specialties which explores every required component for a successful match is on the NRMP website and is called the Results & Data 2014 Main Residency Match report. Also review the SOM Match Data and 2014 Program Director Survey.

Information and advice from our faculty in various specialties can be found at the following link:  Residency Match Tips