The MD Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has a comprehensive Academic and Career Advising Program (ACAP) that helps medical students navigate a pathway to the residency of their choice.

The ACAP program provides specialty, residency, and career information for students from matriculation to graduation. It also serves as the information hub for academic planning, elective scheduling, and career information for prospective students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The program integrates a variety of resources and opportunities for exploration, advising and support:

Career decision-making tasks

ACAP offers support on four major career decision-making tasks:


  • Clarifying personal interests, abilities and values relating to potential specialties
  • Exploring preferred work environment and practice characteristics

Exploring options

  • Information gathering regarding career options including specialties and subspecialties, academic medicine, public health and other medical careers
  • Advising and counseling for career-related evaluation of clinical experiences
  • Information regarding summer experiences: clinical, research, volunteer, etc.
  • Referrals to clinical faculty in area(s) of interest

Choosing a specialty

  • Selecting a specialty or non-residency continuing medical education (MPH, PhD, etc.)
  • Evaluating specific residency training programs
  • Advising and support for career decision making

Getting into residency

  • Descriptive and comparative residency match data, for both national and UW applicants
  • Preparing a curriculum vitae, personal statement and application materials
  • Developing interviewing skills, including mock interviews
  • Using residency application services and navigating the match process

There are four major initiatives to support students with these tasks:

  1. A comprehensive specialty and career education program beginning at the Transitional Clerkship and extending throughout medical school, especially during the third and fourth years
  2. The Careers in Medicine website containing resources, exercises and informational databases designed to help students navigate their career choices
  3. ACAP staff and the Deans for Students meeting one-on-one with students
  4. Most important, ACAP faculty mentors, affiliated with the learning communities, providing longitudinal advising and support for academic and career decisions