School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Year One

As you begin your medical education, it is important to begin to explore which path you want your medical career to follow. There are many resources available to assist you in making the best, most informed decision.


Career Planning Goals in Year 1:

1)   Adjust to medical school curriculum
2)   Meet with your Class Counselor
3)   Complete Self-Assessment resources on the Careers in Medicine Website

4)   Participate in the School of Medicine's Mentoring Program in Year 1 & Year 2
5)   Join Specialty Interest Groups to explore fields of medicine you are considering
6)   Attend the Medical Specialty Lunch Series in Year 1 & Year 2
7)   Set up observerships with faculty members in the specialties you are considering
8)   Convert your resume into a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
9)   Make the most of your summer break by participating in externships, research and taking a vacation

Academic Success

The most important factor that will drive your competitiveness for any specialty is your academic and clinical performance. Any student interested in improving their academic performance can meet with their class counselor and with the Assistant Dean of Basic Science Education, Dr. Matt Jackson

Exploring Medical Specialties

In order to choose the correct specialty, it is important to thoroughly research and experience potential fields you are interested in.

During Year I Orientation, you are given a brief introduction to the AAMC’s Careers in Medicine (CIM) website. This will be followed by a Careers in Medicine workshop in the fall. If you do not have access, send an email to the AAMC Careers in Medicine Liaison, Ms. Kathleen Connors at to request one. Access the CIM website here.

You will find an abundance of information related to medical specialties on the CIM website. There is information regarding Understanding Yourself, Exploring Options, Choosing a Specialty, Getting into Residency, specific Specialty Pages and your Personal Profile which is a compilation of your responses to the self-assessment exercises.

Students should complete the self-assessments found under the Understanding Yourself dropbox found on the CIM website during Year 1 and Year 2. The results of the Medical Specialty Indecision Scale, the Medical Specialty Preference Inventory, the Physician Values in Practice Inventory and the Personality Type & Learning Style assessments will provide you with important feedback to guide your decision making process. Practicing physicians have completed most of these, so through an algorithm, the CiM website will provide you feedback based on your individual characteristics. The website will suggest several specialty options for you to consider. If you are interested in completing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at no charge, your counselor can refer you to main campus.  Students are advised to take the Careers in Medicine self-assessments again in Year 3 after completing 2 or 3 clerkships.  These results can be compared with your earlier results which are stored in your Personal Profile.

Here are some other resources you can use in helping to decide which areas you are most interested in:

Specialty Interest Groups

Another important resource available for students are our Specialty Interest Groups. Through these groups, students are able to network with faculty practicing in the fields you are considering. There will be faculty presentations at meetings which are an excellent opportunity to set up intensive shadowing experiences for the fields you are considering. For more information about Specialty Interest Groups.

Medical Specialty Lunches

The Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Alumni Affairs sponsors the Medical Specialty Lunch series, which is another opportunity to meet faculty and hear about their experiences.   Student are encouraged to attend as many of these lunches as possible during Year 1 and Year 2 to become knowledgeable about various specialties and network with faculty who can provide information, as well as shadowing and research opportunities.


We encourage all students to participate in the School of Medicine's Mentoring Program.  The WSU-SOM Mentoring Program is designed to provide medical students with a multi-layered system of support that provides academic, career and personal guidance and advocates for the professional development of each individual.  Select physicians act as mentors for students throughout their four years of medical school. These mentors meet 3-4 times a year with their mentees and are available for one on one meetings.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

It is also important to document your accomplishments and activities during your medical education. You should convert your resume into a Curriculum Vitae (CV) as soon as possible.
You will find 5 CV samples in the Getting into a Residency dropbox on the Careers in Medicine website.  Samples are also available on the Career Advisory and Mentoring Committee of the Student Senate website.

Additionally, the Career Advisory Committee and the Office of Student Affairs organize an annual CV workshop with faculty members. Get your CV in order now and update it annually so that when Year I Summer Opportunities, research and job opportunities, and the residency application process come around, you are prepared with an up-to-date CV.

Summer Break

Looking ahead to the break between Year I and Year II is very important. The time off allows you to participate in Summer Externships through the Southeast Michigan Center for Medical Education (SEMCME) as well as getting involved in research that could help to enhance your residency application. In all cases you are encouraged to take time off for vacation, since you will not have another such opportunity until Year IV. View more information on Summer Opportunities.