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September 7, 1994

Getting Into a Residency: A Guide for Medical Students

JAMA. 1994;272(9):739-740. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520090109030

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Choosing a specialty is one of the biggest decisions a physician ever makes. But is much thought put into it? The answer seems to be, not enough.

In his book, Getting Into a Residency, Kenneth V. Iserson, MD, reports that a quarter of all medical students change their specialty choice after graduation— sometimes following unhappy years practicing in an unsuitable field.

This how-to book tries to help medical students avoid these agonies by breaking down a fairly overwhelming career decision into digestible parts. Readers are walked through virtually every aspect of picking a specialty and subsequent training program. Advice ranges from big picture, such as a thorough examination of the demands of each major specialty, to prosaica, such as how to pack your bag to interview for a residency position.

Besides medical students, the book may be useful to their faculty advisers, program directors, and policymakers interested in specialty choice.

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