Mentors Help Medical Students Focus in on a Specialty

In addition to hours of class work, clinical training, and endless amounts of studying, medical students also face the challenge of focusing in on which medical specialty they would like to pursue.

The Office of Student Services tries to make that task a little easier each year by hosting numerous events, including the annual Career Advising Dinner. This year, partnering with the Medical Alumni Association, they helped bring close to 70 medical students together with dozens of physicians offering insight into different career paths.

“I found the dinner to be extremely beneficial,” said Katherine Masih, a third-year student pursuing genomic medicine through the M.D./M.S. program. “As medical students, we typically only get to interact with hospitalists and physicians involved in academia. Having the opportunity to hear about other career paths available, such as in private practice and industry, allows us to consider other options.”

Students enjoyed dinner while having the opportunity to visit with local physicians, many of whom work in private practice and represent several different specialties. Many of the physicians were Miller School alumni, including Alan Serure, M.D. ’79, a plastic surgeon, who generously underwrote the event this year.

“The Career Advising Dinner provides a wonderful opportunity for our medical students to explore their interests in various medical specialties, with a focus outside their usual exposure in an academic setting,” said Hilit F. Mechaber, M.D. ’95, associate professor of medicine and associate dean for student services. “The students benefit from the insight shared by our community physicians, and alumni, about their various career paths, successes, and challenges in our ever-changing world of medicine.”

The expansion of the annual event also allowed second-year medical students to attend and explore specialty interest early in their careers. Students spent the evening circulating among tables, set up by specialty, to learn more about the different areas of medical practice.

“Our participating doctors are selected for their knowledge, leadership, and dedication to our school and their communities,” said Mechaber. “It’s one of our most important career advising events, and we are thrilled at this year’s turnout.”

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