Specialty-Specific Planning Grids


  1. If you have one or more area of interest for an eventual specialty, try to complete the core rotation(s) in the early to middle part of phase 2, before the lottery for phase 3 in mid-January. In other words, try not to do a rotation in a field you are most interested in either first or last.
  2. If you are evenly split in interest between 2-3 specialties, look at the respective plans for phases 2 and 3 and combine them for decision making. Please work with your coach, an assistant or associate dean and/or a specialty advisor to do this.
    • Example 1: Equal interest in IM and pediatrics. Complete IM and pediatrics in the middle of phase 2—not first or last. With the 6-week elective block aim to complete 2 weeks of an IM and 2 weeks of a pediatric subspecialty elective and to take two weeks off during this elective block time.
    • Example 2: Equal interest in urology and general surgery. Complete surgery neither first nor last. Do urology as part of surgery clerkship. Consider a sub-I in one of the two fields at the end of phase 2 if last block elective is available. Complete sub-I in the other field early in phase 3.
  3. Please review your individual plans for the phase 2 and phase 3 lotteries with trusted advisors such as your coach, the appropriate specialty advisors, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs (ADSA), the Assistant Dean for Career Advising and/or the Associate Dean for Clinical Education (ADCE). The ADSA or ADCA meets with each student individually prior to the phase 2 and phase 3 lotteries to work on elective planning to help with career decision making.
  4. The sample blocks on these pages are only estimates or “samples”. Each color block for phase 3 has an example of things that one might do in that “zone” with the zones being <>, <> and <>. <> is a required in-person course.
  5. Elective blocks can be used for research for which you earn credit. Think about this particularly for elective time that lands in phase 2, so that research can be completed and published before residency applications are submitted.
  6. There are some non-clinical electives that all students should consider, including the EBM, EKG, transfusion medicine electives and reading electives. These fit particularly well during the residency interviewing season.

Sample Grids
Emergency Medicine
Family Medicine
General Surgery
Internal Medicine (Pediatrics)
Internal Medicine
Orthopedic Surgery
Plastic Surgery
Radiation Oncology
Radiology (Diagnostic)
Radiology (Interventional)
Vascular Surgery
Undecided 1: EM vs FM
Undecided 2: OB-GYN vs Pediatrics
Undecided 3: Urology vs General Surgery