Specialty Resources

Specialty Categories

Explore the following links to learn more about these specialty areas. 
Child Neurology
Diagnostic Radiology
Emergency Medicine
Family Medicine
General Surgery
Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Interventional Radiology
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Orthopedic Surgery
Otolaryngology (ENT)
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Plastic Surgery
Radiation Oncology
Thoracic Surgery
Vascular Surgery


Advice on Residency Selection and Application

Step I & II scores are an important part of your residency application.  Doing well on preclinical blocks correlates with strong Step I performance.  Your advisor will review mean Step scores for the student's preferred specialty, and will discuss how to be the most competitive applicant based on the student's performance. Improvement in Step II scores demonstrates a student's growth and development in learning style and technique.

Letters of recommendation are important for all specialties. Typically, 3-4 letters will be required, usually specific to the individual specialty. While not essential in all specialties, letters from chairs or section chiefs may be especially beneficial if the person knows the student well. If the student is interested in pursuing a residency in a home or away site, a strong letter from that site is extremely valuable.

Some residency programs, depending on specialty, may require or at least are influenced by research. Research in the specific specialty of choice can be preferable, although all research is helpful for the candidate’s application. Your Scholarly Project will allow you the opportunity to submit a thesis and final poster presentation near the end of the fourth year. Quality of the project, not just the quantity of projects, is paramount. The student should expect to be asked about his or her project(s) during interviews.

In deciding on a specialty, shadowing is extremely valuable and highly influential. Shadowing in various venues is important as well, to help the student decide about academics versus private practice, and hospital vs outpatient medicine. Students will have many opportunities to shadow, including during PAL Block and Capstone experiences during the first and second year. Shadowing in the third year can help students solidify their specialty selection as they prepare for the fourth year and residency applications. 

Please contact our Credential Coordinator for shadowing policies and forms tylyons@email.arizona.edu

Additional Resources

Many students have found The Undifferentiated Medical Student podcast a helpful resource. 
Check out the podcast's homepage now