Once you have decided on a specialty, you need to begin gathering information. Some important resources include American Medical Association's Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access System (FREIDA), the computer program that may be accessed on the library and hospital computers.
It is also important to talk to people who have just been through the process, those new interns who have scattered across the country or have remained at Carilion. They have a great deal to share with you since the Match is still fresh in their minds.
The Office of Student Affairs has a list of where all the students one year ahead of you went for residency. Of course, other residents and physicians are excellent resources as well. The more people you talk to, the more knowledge you will have to make decisions.
Getting an Advisor
As you finalize your decision on what specialty you want to pursue, it comes time to choose an advisor. People differ on who they feel is the best person to fill that role, but it is agreed by many that the best advisor is one who knows you relatively well and one with whom you will feel comfortable with complete honesty.
It does not matter if your advisor is the chair of the department or an assistant professor; you just need someone who you feel is capable of giving you excellent advice about the process. Hopefully, you have a variety of unofficial advisors to give you a balanced perspective, but one of these people will need to be your official advisor. You may ask the students a year ahead of you whom they found helpful.