Advising & Career Development
At every stage of your medical school careers at UCSF, we want students to feel supported, prepared and have the resources you need to make career decisions and set yourselves up for thriving careers as physician leaders. The following resources are available to prepare and support you on this journey. Remember you can also reach out to your School of Medicine coach at any point in this process.
Please see the latest information, insights and advice about specialty residency applications and advising and letters of recommendation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A comprehensive career advising program is delivered during your ARCH week sessions in tandem with your medical student coaches.
- Watch ARCH Week career advising program videos on choosing a specialty, using clerkships for career exploration, and more.
- Use this checklist to learn what you need to do during each year of medical school at UCSF to stay on track.
Specialty Residency Advising
Specialty residency advisors are selected by their departments to support students with the best career advice for their respective specialties. We’ve gathered FAQs from advisors, such as:
- What does a typical workday look like?
- What are the ways in which this career path may support or challenge having a family?
- How can students explore this career specialty?
Academic Staff Advisors
- Support with deadlines and academic logistics
- Tutoring, resource referrals, and more
Career Advising Co-Directors
With an expertise in the Match process, Career Advising Program Co-Directors, Drs. Brent Kobashi and Heather Whelan, are available for:
- General advising about career exploration
- Support with narrowing career options or considering new ones
Specialty Residency Advisors
There are confidential and main specialty residency advisors:
- Confidential Advisors: A good place to start when you have a genuine interest in a specialty, but have not decided on a field.
- Main Advisors: Faculty to talk with when you have decided on a specialty.
UCSF School of Medicine Career Advising Program Co-Directors, Drs. Brent Kobashi and Heather Whelan, are available as ongoing resources for general career advising from the beginning of F1 to graduation:
- General advising about career exploration, including clarifying goals and priorities
- Assistance with narrowing down career options, or considering new ones
- Approach to challenges and roadblocks that relate to career and professional development
- Consideration of additional degrees and/or time away from medical school to improve residency application competitiveness
- Discussion about career paths outside of clinical training
- Facilitation of communication with/between specialty residency advisors and/or other faculty mentors
Please schedule an appointment with either co-director below.
Appointments are for current UCSF Medical Students ONLY
Meet with a Specialty Advisor or Join a Specialty Interest Group
To speak with an advisor experienced in a specific specialty, we have both confidential and main specialty advisors available to speak with you. Confidential advisors are not on the residency selection committee, and do not share information about students with whom they have met with the selection committee. Meeting with the confidential advisor in a specialty is ideal for students who have not yet decided whether to pursue a specialty, but need to be able to speak openly and honestly with a faculty person in the field to get advice.
A great place to get started if you are beginning to explore career paths. Watch overview lectures on choosing a specialty, using clerkships for career exploration, and more. The checklist tells you what you need to do during each year of medical school at UCSF to stay on track.
Academic Advisors provide a broad spectrum of academic support, including tutoring, medical school orientation, curriculum cadence and leave, resource referrals, clinical clerkship scheduling and the residency application process. Additionally, academic advisors can help guide you with Foundations 1, Foundations 2, or Career Launching. For all your questions, please contact DoQuyen Tran Taylor for Foundations 1, Nikki Williams for Foundations 2.