Each medical student is assigned a mentor to act as an advisor and advocate throughout his or her four years of medical school. In the first and second year, the focus is on academic counseling. The focus shifts towards career counseling in the third and fourth years. Mentors are an important source of general information and guidance concerning careers in medicine. Some students have a clear idea of what fields they are interested in, but many students do not. Your mentor's role is to help you explore your interests, be a sounding board for ideas, and direct you to appropriate resources. Your mentor will not provide in-depth, detailed information about applying to residencies.
- Arrange a preceptorship. Preceptors are practicing physicians who volunteer to give personal instruction, training, and supervision to a medical student. A preceptorship experience during the first two years of medical school is a mentoring experience. Learn more at Preceptorships and Shadowing
Step 1 exam is taken after the Foundations Phase. Step 1 is considered an indicator of your basic science knowledge, and many residency programs use it as a cut-off score, below which applicants are unlikely to get an interview. This exam is important; even "less competitive” specialties value a strong Step 1 score. Learn more at
USMLE and Your Medical School Training