VMS II (Explore)

This is a year of transitions for Vanderbilt medical students; from preclinical courses to boards preparation and then to the wards. Continue to explore the numerous specialties. At this stage, you will start to narrow your interests and this can help in scheduling your clinical course work. The Vanderbilt CiM hosts a career fair with attending, residients and 4th year students from various fields available to answer your questions. Attending interest groups meetings will also help. As you get on the wards, CiM provides the Oar. This is a valuable resource in navigating though the clinical world.

USMLE Step 1 Preparation Tips

The Step 1 Board Exam is a cumulative test of the preclinical period of medical school. The test is eight hours long, which includes seven 60-minute sections of 46 questions each for a total of 322 questions and a 45-minute break to be used between sections. 

Vanderbilt medical students have consistently done very well on this exam. Do not feel the need to study for this exam during your preclinical period. Focusing your coursework is all you need to do. The Vanderbilt Wellness Committee will guide you through this process with a handbook describing all you need to know, and by hosting the annual Boards Bash.

Career Fair

Second-year students attend a two-hour specialty fair. Similar to an undergraduate “job fair”, hospital departments are invited to set up booths with information about their respective fields while medical students have the opportunity to casually choose where to visit. Three to four representatives attend each booth, including residents, attending physicians, and fourth-year medical students matching into the respective field. The diversity of the representatives allows them to offer their unique perspectives to students.

The Oar

This is a student-made guide to the wards. It will help you know what to expect and what is expected of you as you transition to the clinical field. It gives candid accounts of students' experiences on various subspecialties. The oar is currently being updated.

Multispecialty Elective

The Multispecialty Elective is open to all students in their clerkship year. Throughout this two-week elective, students will shadow attending and resident physicians of their choosing in various specialties and subspecialties. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to various fields of medicine in an effort to aid in their specialty selection in the fourth year of medical school. 

Building your CV

As you continue through your medical journey here at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, it is important to document your accomplishments and activities you have participated in, so that when residency applications and job interviews come around, you are prepared with a complete and up-to-date curriculum vitae. Here are some helpful resources to compiling a strong CV and application.

CVs section of this Website
This section has CV samples from previous Vanderbilt Medical Student selected by Dean Rodgers.

Vanderbilt Writing Studio
This is a free service open to all Vanderbilt students, but often under-utilized by Vanderbilt students. CV editing, consultations, and general guidance are offered free of charge.

AMA Guide for Medical Students
This website has excellent resources for all of the things discussed earlier, as well as residency advice and application resources