Career Days help medical students prepare for residency Long, careful planning leads to a happy match
Sandra GrayUmass Medical School Communications March 4, 2010
Career Days in their third year help lead to happy Match Day outcomes in their fourth year for UMMS School of Medicine students. Here, students celebrate receiving news of where they will be going to complete their residencies.
This year’s first and second sessions took place in January and February and Soup to Nuts is scheduled for April 4. “Each Career Day lets us focus, get direction from our teachers and bounce ideas off each other,” said third-year SOM student Seth Curtis. “The greatest progress I have made in deciding on a specialty has come right after a Career Day event, when a few of us grab a quick bite to eat together, which turns into hours of discussion on what we want to do with our lives and how to figure that out.” ”We tell students the most important thing that you do in medical school is learn to be a doctor. The second most important thing you do is figure out what kind of doctor you want to be,” said Michael Ennis, MD, associate professor of family medicine & community health, who also serves as assistant dean of student advising and co-director of the School of Medicine’s new learning communities. Dr. Ennis described walking Career Day participants through an exercise called 4H Club, with the Hs standing for head, hand, heart and humor. “This is one of the various ways of looking at specialties,” he said. “Head is what is interesting to you, hands is what you like to do with your hands, heart is who you like spending time with, and humor is appreciation and enjoyment of your chosen field’s culture and unique sense of humor.” “At Career Days we can focus our attention on the many approaches that people may take to choosing a specialty,” said third-year SOM student Megan Weeks. “Dr. Ennis prompted me to experience my third-year clerkships not just as a requirement for my degree, but as an opportunity to get the inside scoop on each specialty.” With the advent of the new Learner-centered Integrated Curriculum, Career Days topics and issues will be further woven into the fabric of undergraduate medical education at UMMS. “In their new role, faculty mentors will work with students as teachers, career advisors and role models, addressing the full spectrum of career selection and development in a student-centered way throughout all four years,” said Ennis. “They have a lot of choices to make, and a lot to do,” Dr. Rogoff said. “Our job is to help them get it all done.”