Clinical Years Timeline and Overview

General Timeline

Year three of medical school typically begins in mid- to late-May with required clerkships extending through the following April. As fourth year begins, students usually have a pretty good idea of what specialty they want to pursue and often, by this time have arranged for AI’s and Away Electives in these fields. Typically, these experiences are completed by September/October so that letters of recommendation for residency applications can be obtained from faculty with whom students worked.

Residency applications are submitted electronically through ERAS which opens in late spring. It is highly recommended that students complete the personal information sections of the application as soon as ERAS opens. These sections include: demographic information; personal statement; CV-related information, etc. On September 15th, programs can begin to download applications. This is why students should complete the ERAS application ASAP and request that their letters of recommendation be submitted by September 15.

The MSPE (Medical Student Performance Evaluation, a.k.a. "Dean’s Letter") is not released until October 1st, so realize that programs do not need to wait for your MSPE or all of your letters of recommendation to review applications and extend interview offers. They assume those items will be forthcoming. Take away message: Complete the ERAS application as fully as possible as soon as possible so that on the first day programs can download applications, yours is there!

November through January is the typical interview season. Most students take 1-2 months off from academic work to allow time for interviews. Remember, if the specialty being considered is a highly competitive one, interview dates are scarce and should be approached with the understanding that if offered a date, it should likely be taken. Beyond interviews, the fourth year at Upstate is quite flexible. The only real requirement dedicated to fourth year is the March into Residency course that happens during the month of…you guessed it…March. After that and until residency starts in July, students often consider some rest and relaxation!

Quick Overview

MS III Year
May-April: Required Clerkships
Jan-Feb: Elective Lottery; Register for Step 2
March/April: Sign up for Away Electives

MS IV Year
April: Info Session on The Match (ERAS and NRMP)
May-June: Meetings with Residency and Specialty Advisors; Construct CV and Personal Statement; Request Letters of Recommendation; Apply to Specialty Matches (Ophthalmology; Urology; Military)
July: Meetings with MSPE Writers
May: Begin ERAS Application
Sept: ERAS opens to programs 9/15; Complete Applications; Register for NRMP (The Match!)
Oct: MSPEs released Oct. 1
Sep-Nov Take Step 2 CK and CS (Note: some students may choose to take CK sooner to strengthen their application; all students must take CK by December 1)
Nov.-Jan: Interview Season
Feb: Rank Order List Due
March: March into Residency; Match Day!