Career Advising

UVA School of Medicine Student Affairs career-advising-page graphic bannerCareer advising helps students understand how personal preferences, values and goals will affect career choices in medical and surgical specialties. Career advising also provides an opportunity to learn more about dual degree programs or opportunities for careers in non-clinical settings.

What is Career Advising?

The Career Advising Program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine is longitudinal and multifaceted to assure that students can obtain the information and experiences that they need to make a decision that will work for them.

Each student’s primary career advisor is initially their College Dean. After they have selected a specialty, a residency advisor in that specialty helps them navigate the application and Match process.

Differences in daily activities, types of patients seen, interactions with colleagues, lifestyle, and duration of training, among other issues, are essential for aspiring physicians to consider as they choose among the many options available.

Our Approach: Relatedness. Autonomy. Competence.

At the University of Virginia School of Medicine, we embrace self-determination theory*, which holds that individuals are most highly motivated to learn and to make positive and adaptive decisions when they are free to experience personal autonomy, continually developing competence, and ongoing connectedness with others.

Like our MD Curriculum, our career and personal advising efforts provide the kinds of experiences that foster self-determination. In one-on-one meetings as well as group activities, we encourage students to explore the world of medicine and to reflect on their experiences in order to enhance both professional growth and personal happiness.

What Does Career Advising Involve?

Career Advising at UVA School of Medicine is longitudinal and multifaceted, aligning closely with the Association of American Medical Colleges’ “Careers in Medicine” (CiM) program**.

The four components of the CiM approach to career decision-making are sequential but also iterative:
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Know Yourself

First, students are encouraged to focus on strengths, areas of commitment and drive, to “Know Yourself“.

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Know the Specialties

As students are exposed to curricular and extra-curricular topics in medicine, they are increasingly able to “Know the Specialties“.

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Choose a Specialty

Once students self-knowledge and interests have developed further, they are then ready to “Choose a Specialty“.

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Prepare for Residency

As deadlines and requirements for residency applications approach, students avail themselves of many resources to “Prepare for Residency“.

What Kinds of Activities Are Available?

Career Advising activities introduce career decision-making topics throughout all the Phases of the MD Curriculum, starting with Orientation:

Phase 1: Pre-Clerkships
  • Student-led career-exploration activity during Orientation
  • Cases in courses and small groups
  • Patient presentation
  • Careers in medicine
  • Specialty interest groups
  • Shadowing UVA faculty physicians
Phase 2: Clerkships
  • Transition Courses
  • Clerkships in hospital, ambulatory and community settings
  • Electives Orientation Meeting
  • Specialty Selection Advising Meeting with College Dean
  • Scheduled meetings with residency advisor in chosen specialty
Phase 3: Post Clerkships
  • Electives and required experiences
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Developing a program list for applications
  • Submitting the ERAS application
  • Interview
  • Alumni HOST Program
  • Develop NRMP Match list

Current Students: See important information on VMed

For current students: Access Residency Match Resources on VMed, to see information on Match Timeline, ERAS Application, Interviewing, NRMP, Special Match Programs, and Past Residency Placements.

For Additional Advice

In addition to the individual meetings noted above, students are welcome to contact their College Dean to discuss career options and opportunities as their questions arise. Email is the best way to arrange for a conversation.