School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Year Two

As you begin the second year of medical school, continue to research specialties that you are considering.  Your involvement in the Mentoring Program, Specialty Interest Groups, Medical Specialty Lunches, Summer Opportunities and Shadowing are all designed to help reduce your list of options and become more knowledgeable about various fields of medicine.


Career Planning Goals in Year 2:

1)   Adjust to the Year 2 curriculum and incorporate practice questions into your study plan
2)   Meet with your Class Counselor
3)   Meet with the Academic Skills Counselor to maximize your academic performance

4)   Continue to complete Self-Assessment resources on the Careers in Medicine Website
5)   Participate in the School of Medicine's Mentoring Program in Year 1 & Year 2
6)   Join Specialty Interest Groups to explore fields of medicine you are considering
7)   Attend the Medical Specialty Lunch Series in Year 1 & Year 2
8)   Set up observerships with faculty members in the specialties you are considering
9)   Update your Curriculum Vitae (CV)



The most important factor that will drive your competitiveness for any specialty is your academic and clinical performance. Performing well in Year 2 courses and posting an excellent score on USMLE Step 1 are important factors for a strong residency application. Meet with your class counselor & Dr. Matt Jackson, Assistant Dean of Basic Science Education.


During Year 2, you should finish up the Understanding Yourself exercises available on the CIM website.  The next phase in your career development is Exploring Options.  The CIM website offers several additional tools that you can use in your career choice decision process.  To access the CIM website:  AAMC Careers in Medicine


Many faculty advisors are available for you to consult with in regard to the various fields you may be exploring.  You will find them to be a wealth of information regarding the fields you are considering, how competitive you are for various specialties, as well as specific residency program information.  For a complete list of faculty advisors:  SOM Faculty Program Advisors


In the late winter of Year 2, you will participate in the Year 3 Clinical Campus Lottery.  Through this, you have the opportunity to enter your choices for which Clinical Campus you will be assigned to for all of the required Year 3 clerkships.  You will provide a list with your first choice through your last choice of our Clinical Campus partners.    In some cases, you will be re-assigned to another facility for Clerkship education not offered at your particular Clinical Campus.  Your will have 1 elective in Year 3 and this does not have to be done at your assigned clinical campus.  The Office of Records & Registration will send all the necessary details to you prior to the opening of the Year 3 Clinical Campus Lottery.


A few weeks after the Clinical Campus Lottery has been completed, you will participate in the Year 3 Clerkship Sequence Lottery.  There are 6 different possibilities for how your Year 3 courses will begin and progress through the year.  You will provide a list with your first choice through your last choice of the 6 different options.  Your choices should be driven by which specialties you are considering in order to maximize your exposure to those fields.  Consulting with your class counselor and faculty advisors can help you to rank your choices to your best advantage.  The Office of Records & Registration will send all the necessary details to you prior to the opening of the Year 3 Clerkship Sequence Lottery.


At the end of your Year 2 coursework you will have the opportunity to participate in two Comprehensive exams.  The Academic Skills Counselor will handle the registration process for both the Kaplan Diagnostic and the NBME Year 2 Comprehensive exams.  Both are designed to provide you with a good assessment of your current knowledge base and provide feedback that identifies both your strengths and weaknesses by subject and topic.  Your performance on these exams is a good basis for developing your final USMLE Step 1 study schedule.

USMLE Step 1

Year 2 students must sit for and pass the USMLE in order to be promoted to Year 3 of medical school.  The deadline for taking the exam is the Friday before Year 3 Orientation, usually the last Friday in June.

The School of Medicine offers a free Step 1 prep program, Prime Step 1 Prep, developed and led by 1 of our alumni, Dr. Courtney Moore.  This Step 1 Preparation Program for M2 students begins in October with an introductory session.  Led by our course director, Dr. Courtney Moore this session will review the nuts and bolts of the program, including curriculum design, time commitment, and the educational resources needed to optimize  Step 1 studies. Additionally, other exam logistics such as Step 1 registration and the structure of the exam will also be discussed. Students interested in attending must register through the Office of Academic and Student Programs.  Students who do not successfully pass Step 1 are allowed up to one year to post a passing score.  For additional information regarding the USMLE Step 1 exam: USMLE Website