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Career Advising, Networking, Development & Opportunities

Embarking on your Doctor of Osteopathic (D.O.) Medicine journey? Dive into the Career Advisement, Networking, Development & Opportunities (CAN-DO) program, your comprehensive guide to navigating the next stage in your medical aspirations. 

During your M1 year you will learn and understand yourself. You’re more likely to be satisfied in your professional life if your career matches your interests, values, personality, and skills. In medicine, these characteristics can be reflected in your preferred practice setting(s), patient type(s), medical condition(s), colleagues, and tasks and activities.

To find your fit, first explore who you are and what you want for your life, then identify those career options that will support those goals. Use the Careers in Medicine Self-Assessments to better understand yourself and support your specialty choice.

Use the Careers in Medicine tools to assess the assessments:

  • Focus and prioritize all of your M1 courses.
  • Reach out to your Society faculty adviser and Medical Education if you're struggling with coursework.
  • Attend Review/Study Tables to get help from tutors.
  • Join specialty interest group(s) associated to explore different medical specialties.
  • Keep a log of all relevant activities and pertinent roles you hold during your M1 year. This information will be used when preparing your CV in the M3 year for your ERAS.
  • Meet with your career counseling adviser each semester.

During your M2 year you will explore your options. Everything you do and learn during medical school contributes to the total package you submit when applying for residency. However, it's not just the events that take place (e.g., a research project, a leave of absence), but how you handle them. No one expects you to be perfect — but residency programs do expect to see that you try hard, learn from your mistakes, are open to feedback, and strive to improve.

Maximize your experiences during medical school, learning and growing as much as possible. Use these strategies to strive for positive outcomes including personal and professional development as well as to successfully recover from and move past less than ideal situations. Continue to focus and priority all of your courses.

  • For Academic Advising, reach out to your Society Faculty Adviser and/or Medical Education (954) 262-1716.
  • Attend the Lottery Information Session to learn about the 3rd year clinical rotation process (View recording if you missed it, or need to review any of the questions).
  • Integrate board prep materials with coursework. Contact Medical Education for resource materials (954) 262-1716.
  • Explore the different specialties through Careers in Medicine (CiM), and participating group activities designed to help with specialty and career choices.
  • Participate in specialty interest group(s) associated with preferred medical specialties.
  • Seek out clinical and research opportunities by contacting Dr. Randall Gregg:
  • Earn a minimum score of 450 on COMSAE (pass COM 6990 course).
  • All Students in good academic standing are eligible to take the COMLEX Level 1.
  • Attend mandatory Track Day in January.


Now that you are in the M3 year, you've completed the Careers in Medicine assessments, researched specialty options, and narrowed your choices. It's time to bring it all together and make your decision. With all the information at your disposal, you'll need to devise strategies to prioritize your values, interests, and skills.

Competitiveness can also influence specialty choice, and some say education debt and potential salary influence your decision. Here's how to consider these other influences in choosing your specialty.

  • All students must have taken the COMLEX Level 1 at least one time by September 30 of their M3 year (please refer to the Student Handbook for additional information). 
  • Meet with M3 Career Adviser for specialty planning and decision after board scores.
  • Begin clinical rotations.
  • Develop relationship with Department Chairs for Department Chair Letters of Recommendation once you have chosen your specialty.
  • Complete the Residency Preference Exercise (RPE) through Careers in Medicine site.
  • Research desirable qualifications and competitiveness for specialties by using the CiM competitiveness tab under each specialty.
  • Prepare a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and include relevant information from Year 1 through Year 3.
  • Provide CV to Letter of Recommendation (LoR) writers.
  • Complete the Specialty Indecision Scale (SIS) Assessment in CiM if you are having a difficult time narrowing down your specialty choice or unsure of your competitiveness. This will help you uncover the reasons that you are unable to make a decision.
  • Schedule an appointment with your career counseling adviser if still having difficulty making a decision.
  • Attend COM Residency Fair in August. Watch recording if you were unable to attend or have questions.
  • Determine best timeframe to take the COMLEX Level 2 CE and select your test dates.
  • Write your Personal Statement for MSPE
    • Include pivotal moments; influential and motivational patient experiences; aspects of specialties you enjoy or find inspiring; personal strengths you bring to a specialty.
    • Think deeply about your specialty choices; research desirable qualifications and competitiveness.
  • Meet with Career Counseling Adviser, society faculty adviser, or mentor to review your Personal Statement. Start Early!!
  • Research residency positions and programs. Use the Careers in Medicine Prepare for Residency.
  • Attend presentation regarding applying for away rotations and begin scheduling for these rotations beginning August- December.
  • During Clinical rotations
    • Ask attending about his or her expectations of you and regularly ask for feedback (don’t wait for them to offer).
    • Let program directors know you are interested in the program.
    • Send a thank you after each rotation.
    • Don’t be shy and reserved; be memorable in a good way.
    • Find a trusted senior resident or physician to mentor you.
  • Complete M3 Clinical Rotations
  • Take COMLEX Level 2 CE. Most programs require that you take and pass before they interview or rank you. If you did not do well on the COMLEX Level 1, a good score on COMLEX Level 2 CE is even more important.
  • Be aware of applicable early match deadlines or the Military Match
  • Attend Come Home Day and Complete Activities.
  • Register with ERAS once token emails are sent.
  • Begin uploading documents
    • Profile Picture
    • CV
    • Personal Statements
  • Begin applying to residency programs. Know your deadlines.


You made it to your final year of Medical school.  Choosing a residency is a big decision, and one that creates stress and anxiety for many students. Your residency is important because it’s a time of tremendous growth both in your clinical knowledge base as well as your professional development. Much of what you learn will come from patients. So you must find a program where you are motivated to learn and study about your patients and can become an excellent, caring, humanistic physician, as well as feel happy in your work and home environments.

There’s no one perfect residency that’s the best fit for all students — the best program for you depends on your strengths, weaknesses, goals, and personality. You must systematically approach researching and considering residencies to find programs that fit your individual needs and eventually match to a program and feel relatively happy during your time there.

  • Pass COMLEX Level 2 CE and COMLEX Level 2 PE
  • Register for Match
  • Interview with residency programs (August – November of M4 year). This is a prime time to schedule “auditions” at top-choice programs.  Send follow up correspondence to appropriate individuals.
  • MSPE released on October 1st
  • Ranking Submission begins: February 1, 2024 ; Rank Order List Certification Deadline: February 28, 2024
  • Match Week Begins: March 11, 2024 - March 14, 2024
  • Match Day: March 15, 2024
  • Secure placement in a graduate medical education program


Pathway to Match

Additional Student Resources

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Our faculty advisers, career advisers, and peer mentors are available throughout your academic career. They'll help you pursue your best match of medical discipline/career and secure your residency of choice. 

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