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M3 Career Connections: Understanding Yourself

This step involves analyzing what you've learned about yourself and about specialties and determining where you might fit well. Through this step, you should develop an objective framework for making your specialty decision. Meeting with a specialty advisor and recognizing your competitiveness and fit for the specialty is crucial. You may elect to do away electives in the M3/ M4 year.

Year 3 Timeline

Contact Dean of Student Affairs with issues, concerns, and/or questions relative to specialty choice and/or competitiveness of specialty.

Timeline Activities and Tasks


Step I USMLE Score:

Reality check with regard to specialty

May - April


  • Begin to consider whether you like a surgical vs. a medical field OR if you like both;
  • Consider the less "usual" specialties such as Anesthesiology, Pathology, and Radiology; seek experiences on core clerkships

Early November

Match 301 Session with Dean of Student Affairs -
Preparing your credentials; 
Introduction to specialty selection

Early December

Residency Exploration Day:
Opportunity to meet with faculty/residents from each specialty.

Speed-dating session held by Memphis Medical Society 
Discuss specialty specifics with Memphis area physicians

November - February

Specialty Advisors

  • Ready or not, pick an advisor from the Specialty Advisor List
  • You will need to contact him/her and make an appointment to discuss your profile;
  • ReturnSpecialty Choice Review Form completed by your specialty advisor to Dean of Student Affairs by February.

Mid January

M4 Orientation Sessions

  • Scheduling your M4 electives (Office of Medical Education)
  • Away Electives
  • Office of Medical Education

Late March

Match 302 Session with Dean of Student Affairs -

  • Update of recent match statistics, local and national;

Panel of current M4s representing as many specialties as possible will present "Things I learned and want you to know." List of M4s provide contact information and invite for direct contact regarding specialty choice.


M3 AOA Spring Selection Process

Up to six (6) M3s selected for AOA; Most will have 4.00 GPA

April - December


Deadline for exam is October 31st.  You are best prepared to take it as soon as you finish the core clerkships.  The NBME subject exams and your clinical experience are excellent preparation.  If you wait late to schedule you will find it difficult to find testing dates.


Jun 5, 2024