Transition from second year to the clinical years

This transition is exciting, but can be daunting. You are about to face a shift from mostly classroom time to being on your feet all day learning at the bedside to make a diagnosis, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan by assessing many complex aspects of a human being – your patient.

There are many people to guide you in your learning: the OSA deans, Office of Academic Enhancement, faculty and residents and senior students. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

Essential Practices

Punctuality: Come early to all sessions – on time is too late! And stay.

Attire: Dress the part – you are a student doctor. Dress for comfort the patient’s.

Teamwork: Pitch in. You have a role to play and important contributions to make.

Be proactive

Be interested and engaged: Even if the field is not how you see yourself spending the rest of your life. There is always something important to learn. Ask questions – but think first.

Be dependable: If a task is delegated to you, complete it, and complete it on time.

Relationship with residents: Much of what you learn during a clerkship will come from interactions with residents throughout the work day; the better you are able to communicate with residents, the more you will learn

Communication: Make sure you know what your role is in the health care team. Ask if it’s not clear.  

Empathy: Try to understand the feelings that patients have and do what you can to help make them feel better

Preparedness: Come prepared by reading about patients assigned to you and strive to learn as much as you can about all patients on the service, to contribute in a meaningful way to clinical discussions

Add to your knowledge every day. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until a few days before your shelf exam to cram it all in.

Orientation and BUSM III class meeting


How do I chose which residency is right for me?

Selecting a medical specialty is exciting but can also be a source of some anxiety. The OSA deans, faculty advisors as well as your residents can help direct you through this process. Throughout medical school, you will experience many different fields through clinical rotations, participation in volunteer activities and student interest groups. Keep an open mind as you progress through school, talk to people and network. You will find the specialty that best suits you, and that will allow you to develop a lifelong and rewarding career.

Choosing the right residency program for you is also an important process and the Office of Student Affairs sponsors several resources to help guide you including:

OSA Deans

AAMC Careers in MedicineUse your AAMC username and password (same as for the MCAT) to login. If you have forgotten your username or password there is an option to retrieve then on Sign-In screen.

Career Fair: The Career Planning Seminar and Fair is held in the Fall for BUSM III Students. The event is designed to assist 3rd year students in planning the next stage of their medical careers. Students have the opportunity to meet with experts and residency directors in over 15 specialties & gather informational materials and contact info from BMC residency directors. OSA deans attend the event for an opportunity to speak with students and provide information on field specific advisors and a timeline for 3rd and 4th year.

FREIDA (Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access): is the AAMC resource for residency program information that is available to all medical students. Students can search programs by specialty, state, institution, size of program, and compare multiple programs.

Field Specific Advisors are selected in the spring of your third year.

 The Residency Application Process begins in BUSM III and continues through much of BUSM IV. This page includes a general overview of the application timeline, a highly detailed timeline of events as well useful links and forms.

Creating a fourth year schedule

Applying for away rotations