Guided Exploration

Career and Specialty Exploration

For many medical students, choosing a specialty and a career path in medicine seems like a daunting task. Advisors are an important resource throughout your four years at BUSM, as they can help you discuss your potential career interests as well as share insights about their professional journey. Remember, each medical student is assigned a team of advisors as soon as they begin their career, starting with Core Advisors (AMEs) and Student Affairs Deans and eventually Field Specific Advisors in the fourth year.


There are no specific electives that students need to complete prior to graduating.  Students choose electives based on various criteria including specialty interest and seeking letters of recommendation for their ERAS application; away electives to get a better sense of a program and “audition”; enhancing one’s skills in a perceived area of deficit; conducting QI research with a faculty member; or choosing an elective that one thinks will be interesting and may never get the chance to do again (e.g., pediatric cardiology for a student applying into urology).

These Elective Guidelines include a list of suggested electives per specialty that may be useful to consider.

Additional resources of note include:

Lastly, there are a host of faculty members ready to serve as a resource for you to learn more about a specific specialty and diverse career opportunities. If you are interested in a specialty that is not listed, please email Student Affairs Deans Vivian Sanchez or Vonzella Bryant, who can connect you to a faculty member in your interested field.

AAMC Careers in Medicine (CiM)

Careers in Medicine (CiM) can help you:

  • assess your interests, values, personality, and skills to help you choose specialties that best fit your attributes;
  • learn details such as salary and lifestyle, prerequisites and length of training, competitiveness data, types of patients and procedures, and other characteristics of more than 120 specialties;
  • compare your qualifications, pinpoint your preferences for residency training, and compare programs;
  • position yourself to be more competitive to land a residency;
  • and much more.

Explore the AAMC Careers in Medicine website. Use your AAMC username and password (same as for the MCAT) to log in. If you have forgotten your username or password, there is an option to retrieve them on the Sign-in screen.