Advising Medical Students on Medical School and Career
Help Your Medical Students Succeed and Choose a Career
Advisors for health professions help medical students through some of the most challenging, high stakes years of their lives. The AAFP has resources to help advisors inform students about career options in medicine, student loans, matching into a residency, and more.
Individualized Guidance on Career
Students are looking for authentic and personalized advising when making major career decisions. Although some students seek out an advisor already knowing what specialty they want to pursue, many others will be exploring and keeping their options open.
Experiences with full scope family medicine early in medical school can help students better understand their own interests as future physicians. Family medicine is not limited by organ system or patient age or gender, allowing students to discover holistically what they find most fulfilling and interesting in medicine.
Students also have unique needs when it comes to residency selection. The training options available in family medicine are particularly expansive. Every program is required to provide certain educational experiences that are necessary for graduating well-rounded physicians; however, each residency offers something different.
The Important Role of Advisors
The U.S. needs many more primary care physicians than are currently being trained. Family medicine is the specialty that best prepares students to care for as many patients and as many conditions. Family physicians do important and rewarding work and are increasingly in high demand.
The AAFP is committed to the development of a diverse primary care workforce that meets the needs of the U.S. population and supports the work of advisors in achieving this future.
More Information and Resources for Advisors
Support your students using AAFP resources on everything from the basics of being a medical student to matching successfully.
The Basics of Medical School
Choosing a Specialty
Students come to advisors with questions about specialty choice to find unbiased and individualized advice. In many cases, students may not have had experience with family medicine early on in medical school. Family medicine is a particularly strong option for students who enjoy variety, working with patients, public health, advocacy, and procedures. Use these resources to learn more about family medicine and share them with students who want to know more.
- Why choose family medicine
- The AAFP’s Family Medicine Facts
- Download or order free copies of the article “Responses to Medical Students’ Frequently Asked Questions About Family Medicine”
- Medical student members of the AAFP can join a variety of Member Interest Groups where they can ask questions of peers and practicing family physicians with particular areas of interest.
The AAFP supports students and advisors learning more about residency selection through its Strolling Through the Match guidebook, the AAFP app’s “For Students” residency finder tool, and the AAFP’s annual National Conference.
Leadership and Professional Development
Encourage students to effect change by applying for a leadership position with the AAFP or partner organization. If you’re helping a student in an FMIG, browse our resources for FMIG advisors.
AAFP App: Find and Rank Residency Programs
The AAFP app makes it easy to organize a residency search. Use the tool to research programs, create a customized scorecard to rank residencies on what matters most to you, track your application process, and more. Just download the app and visit the "For Students" section.