Washington University School of Medicine’s institutional support for its students and alumni is a distinguishing characteristic and way of life for our faculty and staff. A unit that particularly exemplifies this ethic is the Career Counseling Office. The office is led by Kathy Diemer, MD, assistant dean for career counseling and professor of medicine, and Angie MacBryde, program coordinator.
Fundamentally, the Career Counseling Office is focused on helping students:
- Explore the possibilities of graduate medical training and medical careers,
- Articulate their personal strengths and interests, and determine their “best fit” specialty or career choice, and
- Navigate the residency application and interviewing processes to successfully Match to a preferred residency position.
This charge aligns well with the new Gateway Curriculum, coaching medical students as they examine their long-term career goals. Personalized career advising meetings are available anytime in a student’s medical school journey. The Career Counseling Office also works closely with faculty and residency program directors in various specialties to host annual class events such as Career Talks, Specialty Choice Workshop, and Residency Application & Interviewing Seminar. The office utilizes the most current specialty choice and Match data, as well as specialized self-evaluation and reflection tools, to help students make informed choices each step of the way.
The Career Counseling Office is supported in its mission by faculty whom medical students find highly approachable and who are connected nationally to physician leaders in nearly every specialty a student may be exploring. The Career Counseling Office regularly arranges special events, such as lunchtime (or virtual) career talks for 1st- and 2nd-year students, to connect informally with faculty and discuss a “day in the life” of their specialty practice.
Collaboration with the WashU Danforth (undergraduate) campus is ongoing, and campus entities such as The Writing Center/The Speaking Studio, and the Career Center are commonly utilized by medical students—to polish CVs and residency personal statements, and to conduct mock interviews ahead of application season—as students prepare residency applications or explore alternative career pathways.