MD Career Advising

MD Career Advising

MD Career Advising and Collegium Programs


The Career Advising and Collegium program is designed to prepare Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM) MD Program students to achieve a residency position through the Match (NRMP, Military or Early match programs) through a system of advising and mentoring.

Collegium Program

The program is comprised of assignment to 1 of 9 Collegia along with other students across the 4 years of the curriculum. Students are paired with a 2nd year student “Big Sib” based on information provided to the College of Medicine Peer Advisory Committee (COMPAC) prior to matriculation. Each collegium will consist of Big Sibs across the 4 classes creating a connection among 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students. There are approximately 18 students per class or 72 students in a collegium. Each collegium has one or more Collegium Directors (faculty members), who also serve as the career advisor for the student throughout medical school. If a collegium has more than 1 faculty member each student will be assigned to a specific advisor at matriculation.

It is our goal to have a program wide Collegium Day each year, quarterly collegia meetings in which each group will schedule a meeting across all 4 years, and activities in which the collegia can participate throughout the academic year.

Career Advising

The Career Advising Program is designed on a 4-year timeline as described below in this document. It is heavily based in Careers in Medicine (CiM) developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to help prepare students for residency application. CiM is located at Students will also select a specialty advisor by the end of year 3 to help guide them for their specific residency specialty. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Director of Career Advising and Director of Academic Support Center are also available to assist students.

Assessing at Risk Students

When a Career Advisor determines that a student whom they are advising is at risk for not matching, that student will be referred to the Director of Career Advising to review steps by which the student can minimize their risk. The Director may include the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and/or the Director of Academic Support Center as is appropriate based on the risk factors.

A system of assessing student risk is provided for advisors so they can make informed decisions concerning if a student is a low risk, intermediate risk or high risk of not matching. Factors will include assessing USMLE scores, academic performance, research activity, extra-curricular activity, competitiveness of programs, number and types of programs to which student has applied, and development of a parallel plan.

Assessment of Advising

Each year students will be asked to complete a short anonymous survey to determine student satisfaction with the advising program. In addition, students will be asked to provide any suggestions to strengthen the advising program.

Preparation for United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE)

Students are required to take 3 licensing exams in order to graduate from the MCOM. The first is USMLE Step 1, which covers material presented in the pre-clinical sciences during years 1 and 2 of the MD curriculum. The examination must be taken prior to the start of year 3 of the curriculum. Students are given a period of 7-8 weeks after year 2 to prepare for and take the examination.

USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Skills (CS) are taken following the 3rd year of the curriculum. It is preferable to take these exams early during year 4. For Step 2 CK the exam must be taken no later than November 30 (data clearly demonstrate that taking the exam within the 1st 3 months after completion of year 3 generally results in stronger exam performance). For Step 2 CS the deadline to take the exam is in the 1st week of November related to the exam score release date by the NBME (the specific date will be presented to students prior to year 4 starting).

Academic Support Center

The Academic Support Center is available to students upon acceptance to the MCOM to help students optimize their ability to achieve well in the MD curriculum and in preparation for USMLE exams. This includes study skills development, test taking strategies and assessment for any difficulties with academic endeavors.

Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs coordinates the preparation of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), which is the summative evaluation letter provided by the school to all residency programs. The Collegium Director is the MSPE author,and works with Student Affairs and the student to complete the MSPE. Student Affairs also handles working with the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), and all of the letters of recommendation that get submitted for your applications. They will communicate with students frequently to make certain that deadlines are met. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Director of Student Affairs are additional resources who are always available to students seeking advice.