Career Planning and Residency Matching Support
Choosing a specialty is a longitudinal process woven throughout medical school.
Students should be organized and methodical in their approach to residency selection, but the student who is undecided is not alone. Many sources of information and assistance are available: advisors, department chairs, faculty, residents, senior students who have completed their application process and former students.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford provides robust, longitudinal career development programming presented informally and formally through the Road to Residency Program.
Road to Residency
Road to Residency is an Office of Student Affairs program that helps medical students prepare for the next step in their educational journey: matching into a residency program following medical school graduation. Through workshops, field trips and special events, Road to Residency helps students navigate medical school, explore specialties and prepare for residency applications and interviews.
Workshops may include:
M1 and M2 Students
- Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator
- Synthesis Week
- Study strategies (large and small group)
- TA and Peer Educator Sessions
- Step 1 Prep Sessions and Peer Coaching
- Individual Meetings on Study Planning and Step 1
- Wellness Programming with Student Health and Wellness
- Careers in Medicine-Self assessments
- Choosing a Specialty and Specialty Competitiveness
- Financial Aid
- CV, Personal Statements and Letters of Recommendation
- Out-of-City Electives and VSAS
- M4 Overview and Scheduling
- Individual M4 Scheduling Meetings
- Studying for NBMEs
- Step 2 CK/CS Study Resources
- MSPE (Dean’s Letter) Overview
- Individual MSPE and Career Planning Meetings
- Mock Interviews
- NRMP and Rank Order Strategies
- Match Day and SOAP Week
Special events may include:
- Speed Specialty Night
- Learning Resource Fair
- Grand Rounds at UICOM-Chicago
- Program Director Meetings and Panels
- Residency Fair at UICOM-Peoria
- Specialty Interest Group Programming
- M4 Student Panels
- Match Day
The UICOMR Blackboard site provides a wealth of information and links to guide the student through the process. The site is located within the Clerkship & Course Coordination “course” and is accessed by clicking on the “Career Planning” button on the left side of the screen.
Careers in Medicine Resources
Students are encouraged to take advantage of online Careers in Medicine (CiM) self-assessments and resources. CiM is designed to help students make an informed decision about specialty and to provide guidelines for future career choices. The student’s AAMC/AMCAS identification number is used to access CiM.
Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
Medical Student Performance Evaluations (informally known as the Dean’s Letter) are written in summer and early fall of the student’s M4 year. Beginning in the summer of the M4 year, students make consultation appointments with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to help with development of the MSPE. The MSPE is a permanent record of the student’s medical education. As such, it includes:
- Identifying information regarding the applicant
- Noteworthy characteristics of the applicant
- Academic history of applicant—including verbatim comments from clerkship directors and faculty
- Academic progress
- Statement of student’s comparative performance at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford as related to peers, based on NBME Step 1 and “shelf” exam scores.