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Careers in Medicine: Explore

Explore – Years 1 and 2

Whether you have no idea what you want to specialize in or have known for years, Careers in Medicine offers guidance and resources to help you explore the wide range of specialties that medicine offers.

Portfolio Coaches

Even before you arrive on campus, you’ll be matched with a portfolio coach who will offer advice and academic resources throughout your four years at Vanderbilt. Your coach can also help you reach out to other faculty to ask for shadowing opportunities or specific information about a specialty.

Specialty Advisers

On top of the counsel from your portfolio coach, you’ll also receive guidance from specialty advisers: Vanderbilt faculty who have been specifically trained to guide you in exploring and choosing a specialty.

As experts in their fields, these advisers will answer your specialty-related questions and share their personal experiences in their own specialty. They’ll also give you shadowing opportunities to let you experience firsthand what it’s like to work in a particular setting.

Early Clerkship

Unlike a traditional medical school schedule, Vanderbilt’s unique curriculum lets you enter clinical rotations in Year 2, giving you earlier exposure to a wide range of clinical experiences. Later, in Years 3 and 4, you’ll get the chance to take electives and spend more time in your favorite rotations. With so much time to explore different clinical settings, you’ll be able to make the most informed decision possible!

Specialty Speed Dating

This annual event, which puts a new twist on the traditional career fair, introduces you to all the specialties medicine has to offer in a single evening. In the first round, you’ll visit every area for a quick three-minute “date,” where you’ll learn the essential information about the specialty. In the second round, you’ll choose a few areas to return to and hear more details about the specialties that caught your attention. Our first year students enjoy this event so much that some of them come back again in Year 2!

Career Interest Groups

Led by current medical students and advised by Vanderbilt faculty, each of these unique organizations throws a spotlight on a different medical specialty.

Besides practical knowledge about each specialty, upperclassmen mentors share their valuable personal experience, helping you choose classes and clinical rotations to best match your interests. Pick the group that fits you best, or join a few to keep exploring!