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Career Advising

Here at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, we work as a team to provide our medical students with comprehensive career advising. Our Director and Assistant Director of Student Affairs are always available to discuss any questions you may have in achieving your professional goals. We provide students with general career advising and can help with specialty decision making as well as connecting you to the right specialty advisor who can help you tailor your journey in a way that will provide you with the skills and the background for achieving your career goals.

Additional career advising information along with shadowing guidelines, forms, and information can be found in your JABSOM General Information and Forms Google Drive.


MS1 & MS2MS3MS4Helpful Resources
These are the years where you will have the extra time to take advantage of the many extracurricular activities at JABSOM as well as engage in research if desired. Here are ways to make the most of your preclinical years in terms of career planning:

  • Join a variety of interest groups to become acquainted with a diversity of specialties and ways to engage as a medical professional.
  • Take advantage of career nights sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs as well as specialty nights/events by interest groups throughout the year
  • Take initiative to shadow a range of physicians from various specialties.
  • Connect with your Learning Community Advisors/Mentors to gain real-world insight into their field of practice.
  • Utilize specialty advisors to help you explore specific specialties and subspecialties of medicine.
  • Take the surveys available on AAMC Careers in Medicine to see what fields you might fit well with. Learn more about specialties on their website.
  • Keep in mind that some specialties are competitive and require a student to gain experiences early on in research and in the clinic. Please contact OSA if you may need extra support for this.
  • Maintain a good balance between academics and outside activities.
  • Get a general feel for what different specialties look for in a trainee by visiting the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) website and browsing through the following reports: Charting Outcomes in the Match and Program Director’s Survey Data.
This year is when you will gain real world insight into core fields of medicine: Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Your time in these clerkships will be valuable experiences no matter what field you are interested in. Here are some tips for making the most of your third year:

  • Put your best foot forward in each rotation. It is important to do your best this year, first and foremost for your patients, but keeping in mind that residencies look at your clerkship performance when considering you for their program.
  • Take advantage of the 2-week elective to explore an interesting specialty, or as an evaluation to either rule-in or rule-out a potential career choice.
  • Make the most of subspecialty experiences offered by select clerkships.
  • Come with questions to the MS3 colloquia’s career path round robin experience where you will meet knowledgeable advisors in different specialties.
  • Actively participate in career planning sessions throughout the year such as the ‘MS4 Year’ and student panels that will provide you with insight into what is forthcoming in terms of securing a residency.
  • Although not everyone does, you should aim to decide on a specialty as early as January/February of your 3rd year as this period kicks off a series of career planning logistics for the 4th year:

    • The class lottery for required 4th year electives (Emergency Medicine/Geriatrics) typically occurs in January.
    • In February, the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) system for away rotations opens and you will receive log in information from the Office of Student Affairs. Although different programs have different application deadlines, the majority are in April/May. Not all students do away rotations, but it can help to secure a residency and are a necessity for all who pursue competitive specialties.
    • March/April is when the lottery for MS4 electives occurs. You will be required to meet with a specialty advisor who will counsel you and sign off on your MS4 schedule. You can feel free to get additional feedback on your schedule from OSA.
  • Feel free to contact OSA Director or Assistant Director for a review of individual CV’s and personal statements. We also provide formal sessions on these items during MS3 colloquia.
The MS4 year is an exciting year where you will be taking more ownership over the care of your patients during your sub-internships, whether here or during away rotations. You will also be preparing and submitting materials for residency application, going on interviews, and managing other requirements for graduation. The information below is helpful to know for your fourth year:

  • The first half of the fourth year tends to be very busy. Update your calendar regularly as keeping track of deadlines will be key.
  • During week 1 of the senior seminar series, OSA provides an advising session with exact dates for important time points including residency application submission (early/mid-September), MATCH registration (September-November), and rank list submission (mid-January/February).
  • Sub-internships (sub-I’s) are chances to show off your skills directly to programs and are often described as a 4-week interview or “audition rotation.” Students try to place their sub-I rotations in the beginning of their fourth year as many letters of recommendation come from these experiences. All students complete at least one sub-I.
  • Although it is important to do sub-I’s and other rotations that will prepare you for your specialty, it’s also a good idea to balance your year with rotations that will expand your perspective.
  • Your first rotation evaluation is usually received and incorporated by OSA before the release of your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) to residencies. Much of the MSPE contains verbatim summative evaluation comments from your medical school years.
  • You will meet with the OSA Director or Assistant Director for preparation of your MSPE in July/August. During this meeting, OSA will gather your input for a highlighted portion of the MSPE, review your CV and personal statement drafts, and provide you with individualized career advising for your residency application.
  • The interview season is specialty-dependent but tends to be mid-October to early-January. The NRMP Program Directors Survey found on the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) website provides interview time frames for various specialties.
  • To accommodate students’ varied scheduling needs, 4th year medical students can disperse eight weeks of interview time into their schedule. This time can also be used to gear up for and take Step 2CK.
  • Students across the nation find out which residency program they are matched to in March during ‘Match Day’. There are certain specialties/organizations with different deadlines and early match dates including Urology, Ophthalmology, and Military Service.
  • This year does have its fair share of logistics, but it is often regarded as one of the best years of medical school. It is a memorable year where you will have meaningful and impactful encounters with your patients, will develop tremendously as a clinician, and will discover where you will train for residency.
  • AAMC Careers in Medicine

    Contains specialty decision assessments, overviews of specialties, and helpful articles. Also has data on resident CV characteristics, background, and demographics for some programs as well as clinical settings offered.
  • Docs Talk Story

    Collection of specialty experiences shared by Hawaii physicians.
  • AAMC Residency Explorer

    Database of residency programs that allows students to compare their profile to other students who have previously matched into specific programs.

  • Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

    System that 4th year medical students use to apply for residencies with the exception of ophthalmology applicants who apply via SF Match‘s central application service and military applicants who apply according to instructions provided by their military contacts.
  • Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) Statistics

    Contains actual average number of applications submitted by students.
  • National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)

    System that 4th year medical students use to match to a residency program with the exception of Ophthalmology, Urology, and military applicants.
  • National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Match Data

    Contains match statistics from the National Resident Matching Program which most students use to match to a residency program. Particularly helpful subsections include:

    • Charting Outcomes in the Match: Specialty-specific Step score information, number of research experiences/publications, and probability of matching.
    • Program Directors Survey: Specialty-specific ranking of important factors for gaining an interview/rank, Step score based likelihood of securing an interview, and common interview months.
  • AAMC Report on Residents

    Shows several tables on specialty-specific test scores and experiences for entering residents.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Preparing your Residency Application

    General overview of applying for residency, articles for CV and personal statement. Contains a helpful booklet of general timelines and components of the residency application called “Strolling Through the Match 2021”.
  • American Medical Association (AMA) FREIDA

    Database on specific residency programs for statistics such as number of Letter of Recommendations needed, number of positions, number of interviews, interview period, call schedule, and broad step score.
  • Texas STAR Data

    Specialty-specific national MS4 data with program specific data on step scores, clerkship honors, research experiences, publications, interviews, and MATCH. This program only allows access to incoming 4th year medical students. However, students can schedule a meeting with an OSA faculty who has access the system to provide tailored advising.

    Note: Although the Texas STAR data is extremely helpful, it only shows the data from students who responded to the survey and may not be the representative of the true pool of students.

  • JABSOM Career Advisor List:
    Please contact the Office of Student Affairs for a list of Career Advisors.
  • JABSOM Interest Group List:
    Please contact the Office of Student Affairs for a list of Interest Groups.

Contact Information

Should you have any questions or would like to make a career advising appointment, please contact Dr. Lawrence Burgess or Dr. Kristen Teranishi.

Lawrence Burgess, MD
Title: Director of Student Affairs
Email: lburgess@hawaii.edu
Phone: (808) 692-1000
Kristen Teranishi, MD
Title: Assistant Director of Student Affairs
Email: kteranis@hawaii.edu
Phone: (808) 692-1006
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