Year 3 Medical Students

Planning Guide

Medical students at the School of Medicine have many diverse specialty interests. Some students have a specialty in mind in Year 1, others will not decide until later in their medical education. The Office of Student Affairs, clinical faculty and mentors will help each student pursue his or her career goals.

Competetive Specialties

Focus on achieving high clerkship grades. Getting Honors in a clerkship requires:

  • Excellent clinical skills, outstanding work ethic, and teamwork
  • Strong preparation for the clerkship shelf exam
  • Going above and beyond the minimum expectations in the syllabus
  • Close communication with the clerkship director and coordinator

Explore specialty interests with SelectivesAll year 3 students begin an intensive advising process in mid-Year 3 to prepare for fourth year. Attend the Specialty Advising Workshops held in Jan/Feb of your third year. These will help in planning your fourth year schedule and strategy for away rotations. Plan to make your final specialty decision by April-June of your third year.

Check in with Student Affairs to get the latest information on Match trends for your specialty and contact information for recent graduates.


Career Advising Activities
Approximate time of activity
Careers in Medicine Recommended
Learning & Wellness Resource Center 1 on Meetings Recommended
Clerkships & Selectives Planning Workshop January (OME)
CV Review Required Varies
Post-Step 1 Advising Meetings Required
VSLO Planning Workshops Required June
Year 4 Electives Planning Workshop Required Jan/Feb 
Nuts & Bolts of Applying to Residency Required April
Year 3 Specialty Interest Advising Workshops Required January - February
TexasSTAR Database Access and Training   Required May
Careers in Medicine Collaboration with Student Interest Groups Recommended As available
Post-Match Panel Recommended March
Career Advising 1 on 1 Meetings with Clinical Advisor  Required Varies