Careers in Medicine Timeline


  • Orientation to Careers in Medicine (CiM)
  • Connect with an advisor or mentor

Understand Yourself

  • Attend CiM workshops at your school
  • Begin taking self-assessments on the CiM website


Explore Options

  • Begin gathering basic information about specialties of interest
  • Attend specialty interest groups and panels at your school
  • Conduct informational interviews or participate in preceptorships
  • Compare your assessment results to the information you’ve gathered about specialties
  • Plan your third-year schedule
  • Take USMLE® Step 1


Choose a Specialty

  • Meet with your advisor to discuss your top specialty preferences
  • Complete the Specialty Indecision Scale if you're having difficulty making a specialty decision

Land a Residency

  • ERAS opens for applicants (spring)
  • Register with ERAS and begin preparing residency application materials
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty in your chosen specialty(ies)


  • Research residency training programs through the AMA’s FREIDA Online
  • Pinpoint your preferences using the Residency Preference Exercise
  • Begin reviewing and comparing residency programs
  • Register with the National Resident Matching Program® for the Main Residency Match
  • Register for early Match programs, if applicable
  • Begin applying to programs and transmitting applications through ERAS (September 15)
  • Take USMLE Step 2
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) released (October 1)
  • Interview with residency programs
  • Rate programs using the Residency Preference Exercise
  • Early Match deadline (early–mid January)
  • Rank your selections for the NRMP Main Residency Match (late February)
  • Match Day (third Friday in March)