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What is CiM?

The AAMC Careers in Medicine® (CiM) program works with school advising staff and medical students to support career decision-making. The program is based on a 4-year, 4-phase developmental framework.

4 phase model

The first phase, Understand Yourself, offers self-assessment activities and exercises to help students learn more about themselves and their goals for their physician career as well as identify specialties that might best align.

In Explore Options, students use resources, such as the CiM Specialty Profiles, to explore specialty options and practice settings. Specialty Profiles provide information and data on residency program requirements, competitiveness, workforce, and salary, plus links to more information for 160+ specialties.

In the Choose Your Specialty phase, students integrate what they’ve learned to make a specialty decision that meets their educational and career goals.

Prepare for Residency, the fourth and final stage, gives students the information they need to consider in applying and securing residency training, including information on scheduling rotations, applying to residency programs, writing CVs and personal statements, securing letters of recommendation, interviewing, and other relevant topics.

With 350,000+ users in the typical 12-month span, CiM is the key resource for medical students and medical school career advising staff.

Why Use CiM?

  • CiM is a FREE AAMC member benefit!
  • CiM framework supports LCME requirement 11.2 for medical school career advising
  • CiM provides 4 self-assessment tools specific to medicine:
    • Interests Medical Specialty Preference Inventory (MSPI)
    • Values Physician Values in Practice Scale (PVIPS)
    • Skills Physician Skills Inventory (PSI)
    • Indecision Specialty Indecision Scale (SIS)
  • CiM maintains information & data for 160+ specialty profiles & 27 specialty spotlights

Careers in Medicine Trainings and Workshops

CiM offers trainings, both in-person and virtual, focused on supporting advisors and students using the wide array of CiM tools and resources. In-person trainings are offered at the requesting institution and at AAMC headquarters in Washington, D.C. Learn more about training offerings and request training for your institution on the CiM website (advisor sign-in required).

Twice yearly CiM hosts an in-person workshop. Since 2002, 807 advisors from 284 institutions have attended this biannual training. Feedback from the most recent 2023 Fall workshop offering showed participants gained valuable knowledge and skills at the workshop (96%) and intended to apply what they learned in their professional roles (100%).

Since 2014, CiM has facilitated over 90 institution-based trainings reaching over 1,300 advisor and student attendees. Feedback from attendees showed they strongly agreed that the training was a positive learning experience (97%) and they would recommend colleagues attend a CiM training (92%).

Student Usage

Student user engagement among U.S. MD graduates can be measured by the number of active CiM profiles created using an AAMC ID. Since academic year (AY) 2016-2017, nearly 9 out of every 10 graduates created a CiM profile.1

bar graph of % of US Graduates with a CiM profile 2016 to 2023

A direct positive relationship exists between how useful graduating U.S. MD seniors rated CiM and their satisfaction with the school’s career advising program that holds across all 4 GQ questions. For example, among graduating U.S. MD seniors who rated CiM “very useful,” 84% were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their school’s overall career planning services, compared to 62% among those who rated CiM “somewhat useful.”

bar graph of % of Graduating U.S. MD Seniors Satisfied or Very Satisfied with School's Services and Information

Student Experience: AAMC Graduation Questionnaire

The annual AAMC Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) asks graduates about their satisfaction with 4 specific aspects of a school’s career planning program:

  • Overall satisfaction with career planning services
  • Career preference assessment activities
  • Information about specialties  
  • Information about alternative medical careers

Student Experience: Survey of Fourth-Year U.S. MD Students

The Specialty Profiles, Residency Preference Exercise (RPE), and Medical Specialty Preference Inventory (MSPI) are the top 3 resources fourth-year students (M4s) report using. More than half of all M4s using the Specialty Profiles and MSPI rated them as “moderately” or “very useful.” 

A subset of all M4s self-reported using CiM “often.” Unsurprisingly, this subset was more likely to rate each CiM resource as “moderately” or “very useful” compared to other M4s. The table below shows the percent of “often” users that rated each CiM resource as “moderately” or “very useful.” 

Specialty Profiles 86%
Residency Preference Exercise 72%
Medical Specialty Preference Inventory 69%
Articles 58%
Physician Values in Practice Scale 56%
Specialty Indecision Scale 56%
Physician Skills Inventory 55%

The most utilized self-assessment tool is the MSPI, which was completed by over 14,100 U.S. MD graduates (67%) in 2022-2023.


The CiM program, a comprehensive resource for medical student career advising, remains the cornerstone of the AAMC’s career advising efforts. The CiM program effectively supports medical school career advising staff and students. An individual will be more satisfied in their career if it aligns with their interests and skills, and the CiM program exists to support those goals. Nearly 9 out of every 10 U.S. MD students will use the 4-year, 4-phase program before graduating.

The CiM website offers in-depth profiles of 160+ different specialties, with resources for U.S. MD, U.S. DO, Canadian MD, and international medical students and graduates. CiM training and workshops are available in a variety of formats to support schools’ career advising staff as they assist medical students with their most important decisions during medical school.