Year 4 Medical Students

Welcome to your final year of medical school! This year is a time to decide upon a specialty, choose to take elective courses in the medicine you are interested in exploring, travel to other medical schools or out of the country for learning experiences, interview for residency, learn where you'll be for the rest of your training and finally, graduate. The 4th Year Class page has links to many of the resources you will need in preparation for residency and graduation.

Competitive Specialties

Be in close communication with your clinical advisor and clinical mentor to set up your Year 4 schedule.

Plan a home school sub-internship in your specialty choice early in Year 4.

Timing of USMLE Step 2:

  • Most students should plan to take Step 2 early in year 4. You are most prepared for the content at the end of Year 3.
  • If your Step 1 score was above 250, students can postpone USMLE Step 2 until later in the fall. You won't need it to get interview invitations. Remember, programs must have this exam score well before ranking lists are determined. Time your test so your score is reported no later than January 1. USMLE Step 2 scores usually are reported within three weeks of your test date, but are not guaranteed to be reported in this time.
  • Talk with your clinical advisor and Student Affairs for more information and advising based upon your academic record.

Away electives are required for competitive specialties. Plan two away electives, possibly three, depending upon your competitiveness for your chosen specialty.Prioritize programs for your away applications.

  • Strength of program
  • Faculty/alumni connections
  • Academic versus community based
  • Geographic considerations:  Students applying to competitive specialties will need to apply nationally. Geographic bias can impact students. Plan at least one away elective outside of the Western region to show programs you are serious about relocation.
  • Make sure you'll have exposure to chief resident or program director at your away
  • Call or email program to make sure you meet with elective screening criteria - usually USMLE Step 1 scores.
  • Be confident in your preparation from UNR Med. Most UNR Med students "shine" and perform very well while on away electives, which is why our Match looks so good each year!

Remain in constant contact with Student Affairs regarding your application strategy, interview preparation, rank order lists and parallel planning. When applying to a competitive specialty, it is imperative that you are aware of your match risk and are open to discussions regarding a parallel plan.

Strategies for Success

  • Metrics aligned with specialty
  • Interview preparation
  • Proactive communication with advisors and Student Affairs
  • High level of professionalism
  • Leadership
  • Open to feedback
  • Seeks out feedback
  • Seeks information and diverse viewpoints

Presentations and Resources

Nuts & Bolts for Applying to Residency Presentation PPT Please Contact Samantha Myers for recording. 

Financial Exit Interviews - debt management workshops are required for all senior medical students who took out federal loans during medical school. These workshops are held each March or April of senior year.

Advising and Planning Calendar

December-March of your 3rd year

  • Attend Specialty Advising Sessions

May – July end of 3rd year

  • Schedule MSPE meeting, must be completed by September 15th
  • Work on your personal statement and CV
  • Complete HireVue Mock Interview
  • Upload Noteworthy Characteristics
  • Request meeting with LoRs writers
  • Complete assessments for MSPE meeting
  • Personal Statement Workshop June
  • Finalize Year 4 Away Elective Decisions
  • Finalize Step 2 CK and CS exam dates
  •  SF Match Opens July

July-October 4th year

  • Monthly Mock Interview Prep

August-September 4th year

  • Schedule 2nd meeting with Career Advisor to review program selection, application strategy, and personal statement prior to MSPE meeting
  • Semi- final draft of personal statement due to Dr. Singer and advisor by August 1st
  • Work on ERAS application, finalize program selection
  • Check-in with LoR writers
  • Order transcripts from UNR and USMLE
  • Register for NRMP
  • Begin applying to programs in ERAS September First
  • SF Match deadline September First
  • Complete Application Checklist and return to Career Advising Coordinator

September Mid-end

  • Review MSPE Prior to release on 9/28/2022

September 28th

  • Programs receive your ERAS application


  • Respond to Residency Interview Emails from Advising Coordinator and Advisors
  • November 30 = Deadline to Register for NRMP
  • December 1 - Deadline to change 4th year schedule for Fall


  • Schedule 3rd meeting with Career Advisor to discuss Rank List
  • Early February  SF Match Rank List Submission
  • February 1 - Deadline to change 4th year schedule for Spring
  • Early February – SF Match Results Released
  • Rank List Workshop- TBD


  • Early March 2022- Submit Rank Order List
  • March 17, 2023-Match Day