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Career Advising

The Career Advising team with the Office of Student Affairs, exists to help each and every medical student achieve success both academically and professionally. Through multiple resources within the College of Medicine and nationally, we are here to guide you from first year orientation to graduation with the belief you will flourish in residency and beyond. Your achievements will be our reward!

As you strive to exemplify the College of Medicine Honor Code: A Texas A&M medical student is a professional who exhibits leadership, honesty, integrity, compassion, respect and self-discipline, we want to do all that we can to promote your strengths and accomplishments!

We encourage you to explore the AAMC Careers in Medicine to learn more about the requirements and lifestyles of different specialties as well as take quizzes that will help you identify your areas of interest.

Career Planning Checklist


Get Started
Attend your school's orientation to Careers in Medicine
Connect with a preclinical advisor or mentor to start exploring your career goals and ask any questions you may have.
Start documenting the experiences that you will use to build your curriculum vitae (CV)
Understand Yourself
Attend career-oriented workshops offered by your school.
Work with your advisor to plan your second-year schedule.
Work with your advisor to determine whether you'll use your upcoming summer to gain experience or take a break. If using your summer to gain experience, search the Clinical and Research Opportunities database for opportunities. Note all application requirements and deadlines.
Take the Physician Values in Practice Scale (PVIPS) to assess your values. Review results with your advisor.
Take the Medical Specialty Preference Inventory (MSPI) to assess your interests. Review results with your advisor.
Take the Physician Skills (PSI) to assess your skills. Review results with your advisor.
Take one of the personality type self-assessments-Myers-Brigss Type indicator (MBTI) or Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Review results with your advisor.


Explore Your Options
Review your assessment results and use the recommended specialties as a place to start your specialty research.
Start researching specialties by reading the specialty profiles and compare specialties using the specialty comparison tool.
Consider the competitiveness of specialties that interest you to optimize your medical school career and maximize your residency candidacy.
Attend specialty interest groups and panels at your school.
Interview physicians who practice in specialties that interest you to get more information.
Participate in a preceptorship.
Narrow your search to a workable list of specialties as you gather more information and become more assured about which specialties would be a good fit.
Work with your advisor to plan your third-year schedule.


Explore Your Options
Begin clinical rotations and record your reflections about your experience in each specialty using the Clinical Rotation Evaluation.
Retake MSPI, PVIPS, and PSI self-assessments to track any changes in results after gaining clinical experience.
Review the competitiveness of specialties to realistically assess your qualifications.
Meet with a trusted advisor to discuss your 1-3 preferred specialties.
If you're having trouble identifying your preferred specialties, complete the Specialty Indecision Scale (SIS).
Identify and meet with a trusted advisor in your preferred specialty or specialties.
Find out if a research year is recommended for your preferred specialty. If so, seek opportunities.
Finalize your specialty choice; decide whether you'll use a parallel plan.
Work with your advisor to plan your fourth-year schedule.
If completing away rotations, note application process, requirements, and deadlines.
Apply for away rotations, if applicable.
Prepare for Residency
Learn about the residency application and match process-including the application materials and services used-for your chosen specialty. Note requirements, deadlines, and parties responsible.
Learn about your school's Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) process.
Register for each of the residency application and match services you'll use.
Finalize plans for securing letters of recommendation for your residency application.
Identify your career and training goals and discuss them with a trusted mentor or advisor.
Complete the Residency Preference Exercise (RPE) and review with a trusted mentor or advisor.
Write your personal statement. Ask trusted mentors and advisors to review it and suggest improvements.
Search for residency programs using the residency and fellowship program search to identify those that best fit your education and career goals.
Conduct further research about residency programs to determine your competitiveness. Review your list of desired programs to which you'll apply.
Finalize the list of residency programs to which you'll apply.
Finalize all residency application materials.


Submit your residency application materials to your chosen programs.
Monitor and keep your advisor informed of the number of interview invitations you receive.
Strategically schedule interviews. Cancel professionally as needed.
Prepare and practice for interviews using the guidance and tools on the CiM website.
Schedule a mock interview through your advisor or student affairs office.
Attend residency interviews and use the Residency Program Evaluation Guide to create your personal review of each program.
Evaluate and compare residency programs using your personal reviews of each program and your residency Preference Exercise (RPE).
Create and initial rank order list of all the programs you're willing to attend, in the order you'd like to attend them.
Finalize your rank order list and submit it to the matching service.
Participate in your school's Match Day ceremony and find out where you matched.
If you're without a residency position after the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) concludes, work with your advisor or student affairs dean to explore your options.
Sign the contract with your residency program.
Attend session or workshop about transitioning to residency.
Attend a residency or specialty boot camp.
Graduate and transition to residency training.

Core Advisors for Careers in Medicine

Texas A&M College of Medicine Core Advisors for all specialties are available to discuss any questions you may have about a specialty you are interested in or any other specialty you are considering.

The specific duties of a core advisor are:

  • Serve as a resource to answer questions about getting into that specific specialty
  • From M1-M3’s from any campus
  • Most communications will be via email. A phone call or in person visit may be arranged if advisor wishes.
  • Second opinion source for M3’s and M4’s regarding their specialty
  • Field questions from specialty-specific advisors regarding difficult or unusual situations.
  • Some core advisors may elect to serve as specialty specific advisor as well. In about February of year 3, students will be assigned a personal specialty specific advisor based on their specialty of choice.

At any time during medical school, if a student has questions about a specific specialty, questions may be directed to campus Student Affairs Deans or email questions to one of the Core Advisors. The list of Core Advisors’ specialties, names and emails are listed below.

Clint Tippett, MD


Katie Fiala, MD


Scott Wieters, MD

Emergency Medicine

Dorian Drigalla, MD

Trey Hill, MD

ENT, Otolaryngology

David Clark, MD

John Manning, MD

Family Medicine

Rachael Evans, MD

Scott Thomas, MD

General Surgery

Geoffrey Funk, MD

Austin Metting, MD

Internal Medicine

Doug McDonald, MD

Interventional Radiology

Tresa McNeal, MD

Med Peds

Jeff Clark, DO


Jason Huang, MD


L. Gerard Toussaint, MD

Chris Birkholz, MD


Adrianne Browning, MD

Kenneth Lao, MD


Doug Fornfeist, MD


Russell Ward, MD

Joseph Guileyardo, MD

Myron Rosen, MD

Christopher Hovland, MD


James Albers, MD

Physical Medicine/ Rehabilitation

Amy Wilson, MD

Helen Patel, MD

Wendy Czerwinski, MD

Plastic Surgery

Maxanne Flores, MD


Sameer Jhavar, MD, PhD

Radiation Oncology

James Schnitker, MD


Anastacio Saenz, MD

Umesh Oza, MD

Patrick Lowry, MD


David Dawson, MD

Vascular Surgery

Doc Talks

Come listen to specialists talk about their career paths!

  • February 1st, Friday 12-1: Doc Talks: Drs. Henderson and Riley – Orthopaedic Surgery.  Drs. Hnatek and Adams – Family Medicine
  • March 1st, Friday 12-1: Doc Talks: Dr. Sukkawala – Anesthesia.  Dr. White – Neurosurgery
  • April 5th, Friday 12-1: Doc Talks:  Dr. Kuppersmith – ENT. Dr. Fergie – Pediatric Infectious Disease
  • May 10th, Friday 12-1: Doc Talks: Dr. Waer – General Surgery
  • August 16th, Friday 12-1: Doc Talks: Dr. Friedman – Obstetrics and Gynecology


Frequently asked questions for each residency specialty

Do you have questions about applying to a specific medical specialty? The Student Affairs office has asked program directors here in Texas to answer some of the most common questions about applying to their specialty.  Check out their answers on our FAQs below.