About the ads

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Extremely Competitive Psychiatry Programs 2012 list

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Leo Aquarius, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors and sponsors. Thank you.
  1. Leo Aquarius

    Leo Aquarius

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    414
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 2+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    This topic comes up every few years or so - programs change as do directors so I thought I'd bring it up again. Since our rank list due date is near, maybe such a list might help us make some final decisions. Of course the designation of most competitive doesn't translate into best training, but it may! (I believe there are dozens of programs that offer superb training.)

    All opinions are invited. I'll start since I posted the thread:

    MGH, Columbia, UCLA, UCSF... right behind them UCSD, Penn, Cornell, Yale, Harvard Longwood, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, UC Davis, maybe Harbor-UCLA? Yes, no, maybe so?
  2. pysch4sure

    pysch4sure

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    It's like an issue of Cosmo in this forum! People love their lists, that's for sure...

    What about top celebrity beach bodies? Male and female, to be fair
  3. atsai3

    atsai3

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Messages:
    1,289
    Location:
    Boston
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Not sure what you mean by "help us make some final decisions". Do you mean that someone's rank list could be influenced by whether other people on SDN think that a particular program is hard to get into or not hard to get into? As has been discussed extensively on SDN, ranks really should be based on order of preference -- not based on what you think your chances are.
  4. psychphan

    psychphan

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I think Yale is probably right up there with MGH and Columbia in terms of competitiveness. Emory is also very competitive and should be on this list (probably with a lower quality of training : competitiveness ratio than most of the other places on this list, at least from what I've heard).
  5. Leo Aquarius

    Leo Aquarius

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    414
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Actually, I really agree, an applicant should rank according to preference. If you've been offered an interview, then you've got a decent shot at ranking there - the issue of competitiveness is moot at that point. So this thread is just for amusement then. Amuse away!

    An aside, let's start a thread called "I don't care what people say, I'm going to where I like"
  6. splik

    splik

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,321
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 2+ Year Member
    MGH/McLean, Columbia, UCSF, Cornell, UCLA I would regard as extremely competitive

    I would not even regard Yale, Stanford, Hopkins, UC Davis or Harbor-UCLA as even 'very competitive' let alone 'extremely competitive' despite what they will have you believe.

    Some of these programs have been vying for a top 10 spot in my list of 'programs to avoid' - stay tuned!
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  7. psychphan

    psychphan

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    In what regards is Yale not very competitive? I will tell you that my 260+ board scores did not even get me an interview there. I consider that competitive.
  8. billypilgrim37

    billypilgrim37 Unstuck in Time

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,360
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 5+ Year Member
    Yale is nowhere close in the same league of competitiveness as those other programs. Either something else about your application turned them off, or they simply stuck it in the wrong file drawer.

    And Emory does not belong on the same piece of paper as these other programs in terms of competitiveness. I had a friend who decided to go there right before Nemeroff took off (he personally recruited her), and it was like a total coup that she would even consider them. That's not to say it's not a good program, but if you're calling Yale and Emory "very competitive," then "competitive" really just doesn't mean much. They are VERY good programs, but good applicants would have no problems matching at either.

    I 100% concur with Splik's 5. MGH, Columbia, Cornell, UCSF, UCLA. There's generally a huge drop off after that.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  9. splik

    splik

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,321
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 2+ Year Member
    DO by any chance?
  10. classof2011

    classof2011

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    215
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    This thread is so interesting....I tell you, the need to feel like you've "beat others out" seems to erode med school culture, even in to the lower competitive specialties.....

    I was having this conversation with a fellow Psych applicant buddy the other day. He is confused about ranking a program that he believes to be "more competitive" below a really good program that his heart jumps for. I personally didn't feel like this dillemna was anything to write home about. He on the other hand was having panic attacks about the "what ifs" of not being percieved as "competitive".

    I was very blunt with my observations...."sorry kid, you are already going into a field that holds that perception, and I hope you did so for the love of it. Therefore matching at a very good program that wont compromise quality of training but may not necessarily be considered the holy grail should not be hard to see..."

    Unfortunately this didn't make sense to him...so I digress

    Psych is one of the few fields where there is an outstanding number of programs that are REALLY Good. The only people who will care about the program you match to are the people who care about the program you match to...In other words, the big majority of us wont give an ish. The more reasonable of us will hope you remain faithful to the field of Psychiatry and care enough to keep learning (and getting better) for your patient's sake....

    On that note, Im ranking programs by 85% gut, 15% Competitiveness
  11. splik

    splik

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,321
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 2+ Year Member
    Er No.
  12. InBoston

    InBoston

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    36
    Who cares about what is "competitive" or not?

    Just because other people value something a certain way, doesn't mean you should.

    Maybe good psychiatry is a place where people stop being competitive about everything and start trying to help each other.
  13. psychphan

    psychphan

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Yes sir.

    And competitiveness, like everything, is all relative. There are what,180 some psych programs in the country? If u consider the top 10% to be "very competitive' group then Emory likely falls into that category, no?

    And just to reiterate, by competitiveness I do not mean strength of program. I simply mean difficulty in obtaining an interview and subsequent residency.
  14. billypilgrim37

    billypilgrim37 Unstuck in Time

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,360
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 5+ Year Member
    Given how much people talk about it, apparently a lot of people care about how competitive soemthing is. How much should they care about it? Probably not much. But they do. It's silly to pretend that something that people care a lot about, regardless of how good a reason they have to care about it, isn't important.
  15. Leo Aquarius

    Leo Aquarius

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    414
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    My guess is Yes, if you are an AMG from a top 20 or 25 med school, with excellent LORs and some interesting extracurriculars and genuine interest in psychiatry with some sort of publication/presentation. I'm making a gross generalization here of course and there's always exceptions.
  16. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    10,123
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    My impression is that the truly top programs don't have to sweat Step 1 scores as much as their more run-of-the-mill counterparts.

    The truly top programs get their pick of applicants and tend to choose a diverse bunch of talented people. Most are extremely smart individuals, who tend to do well on Step 1 scores. But they don't need to care too much between this score or that because they can afford to look at the entire applicant as an individual, since they tend to get their pick of the litter.

    I'm at what most consider a top program and my Step 1 is a good standard deviation below national average, below the average even for psych. Never came up on a single interview.

    If you're a truly strong applicant in other areas, I wouldn't sweat your Step 1 score unless it was literally just barely passing or you had to repeat.
  17. psychphan

    psychphan

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member

    http://www.nrmp.org/data/chartingoutcomes2011.pdf

    I know that doesn't specifically answer your questions but it should give you some perspective into boards scores (and other applicant attributes) and matching into psychiatry.
  18. belle54321

    belle54321

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    How does one define "competitive" anyway? You can't really use board scores alone as a barometer of "competitiveness." I think most people would agree that MGH/Mclean, columbia, cornell, ucsf, and ucla seem to recruit the most impressive residents (in terms of brand name schools, MD/PhD). These programs also have prestige and are situated at attractive locations (some would argue washington heights is not great-but I am referring to nyc). They are also known to provide top-notch residency training, fellowship opportunities, and again probably ability to write your ticket after residency. So, doesn't a list of the most competitive programs really equate "a best residency programs" list?

    anyway, enough lists already:sleep:
  19. atsai3

    atsai3

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Messages:
    1,289
    Location:
    Boston
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    SDN 10+ Year Member
  20. billypilgrim37

    billypilgrim37 Unstuck in Time

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,360
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 5+ Year Member
    Best programs in the most desirable locations. If you can choose to live in NYC or Boston instead of New Haven or Providence, vast majority probably will choose to live in NYC or Boston. If you put Michigan, Pittsburgh, Wash U, Duke, Yale, Brown, or MUSC in Manhattan, they would probably be on these lists too.
  21. psychphan

    psychphan

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    No it does not. Competitiveness is how hard it is to get an interview and subsequently match into a program. The most competitive programs are not always the best. Look at California for example. Many mediocre programs there have inflated competitiveness based almost solely on location.
  22. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,217
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician Faculty SDN 10+ Year Member
    Excellent point, combined with the fact that other resources exist in desirable locations such as teachers, faculty, etc, that also might not choose to live in less desirable locations.
  23. digitlnoize

    digitlnoize Rock God

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3,050
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I think these lists make for fun discussions, but that they are very limited in their scope.

    A program that is the "Best Biological Program" for one person might be terrible for another.

    For example, I note that U Iowa is nowhere on that particular list, yet is an amazing program with good research funding, strong bio focus, great people, and great facilities in a great, safe town.

    "Most Competitive" we basically have no way of knowing until afterward, and even then, it's unlikely we'll ever see the stats for #'s interviewed vs. ranked vs accepted.

    Still, I think you guys are missing some great programs by leaving certain programs off these lists. In no particular order: MUSC, UVA, Indiana, Iowa, MCW, and Vanderbilt are all great programs in great cities (with their own advantages and disadvantages, mind you...but no worse than the other issues you run into in NYC, Boston, etc.) You just have to pick your poison, and I would suggest that future applicants not overlook some of the gems hiding in "less desirable" cities.
  24. Shufflin

    Shufflin

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Hollywood
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Really? I'm trying to think of the mediocre programs in CA that are competitive and none jump out... which ones are you thinking of? Kern, UCI, Cal-Pacific, Loma Linda are not competitive at all I think.
  25. psychphan

    psychphan

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Harbor UCLA and USC come to mind. I know they have huge numbers of applicants. As far as Harbor is concerned, I know they offer excellent training in psych ER and with the county population, but are lacking in a lot of other areas . If you put that residency in the midwest I guarunteed you the desirability of the program plummets. And as far as USC, I know very little about the program, but from what I've heard its nothing special, yet they receive a ton of very qualified applicants who want to go there because its in Southern California.

    Even those programs you mentioned become much more desirable due to where they are located. Are they necessarily competitive, that depends on your definition, but they are most certainly more sought after due to being in California.
  26. splik

    splik

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,321
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 2+ Year Member
    Harbor gets lots of applicants but by their own admission ultimately don't attract the same caliber of applicants as UCLA-NPI say, not being a university program, and being heavy on the county experience, and Torrance being a far cry from westwood. BUT make no mistake they have excellent training not just in the Psych ER, but outpatient, C/L, inpatient, and I don't know about addictions/child but the attendings in those areas are really cool. There is a tiny amount of time at Kaiser and you can do a lot of electives at NPI in 4th year should you wish. Admittedly the hospital is not the nicest, things don't always work etc. You can't really say 'if this program were in the midwest' because you don't have the same laidback culture in medicine and wouldn't have this population demographic in the midwest which is what makes them special. Location also affects the clinical experience you get during your residency.

    USC may get lots of applications, but it hasn't filled in recent memory and the people I knew who went there for medschool went elsewhere for psych.
  27. klonopin

    klonopin

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    If I could do it over, I would make all my life's important decisions based on SDN lists and US News and World Report rankings. I just wish they could offer as much assistance in my personal life as they do in academics.
  28. kugel

    kugel

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    826
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    That's what Cosmo is for.
  29. cleareyedguy

    cleareyedguy Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    312
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I actually don't mind rankings as long as certain concepts are made clear:
    1. GIGO--how can one resident know much about more than 5 or 10 places? Second hand information is not worthless but is often self perpetuating and misleading. And info from attendings is often out of date and based on that attending's own residency interview experiences. There are, probably, academically-oriented attendings who travel around and may have insight, but I'd take everything with a grain of salt.

    2. Exposure and role modeling is very important in the making of a professional. Yet...

    3. Most solidly excellent departments have enough types of teachers, peer residents, and patients to satiate 98% of the potential residents.

    4. Just being a resident at XYZ program does not mean that person is a stronger resident than someone at ABC program. While one might want to bet the odds, there is just a lot of overlap between people and trainees--and our ability to predict who will thrive in psychiatry isn't great.

    5. We tend to overvalue differences as part of our narcissistic entitlement.

    6. My experience at the residency and the city will be different from every other resident in my class.

    7. To get back to ultracompetitive vs excellent programs: A handful of places may (legitimately?) be seen as on a higher plateau for several reasons. One is a combination of location; longstanding reputation that tends to provide a deep bench of FT and voluntary faculty as well as a replenishing supply of excellent residents; leadership (maybe the chair but also the dean and broader administration), and money (perhaps research money but also locales that provide a supply of private patients that "feeds" the faculty). I know of a program that is on most everyone's top list that is also a mediocre mess of a department that maintains its prestige because of its great location and the halo effect of its surrounding medical center; it attracts residents without a problem, but a better experience is likely had at the closest major program, which, while "major", isn't generally even looked at by the people who end up at the Famous Program.

    OTOH, I know of another top flight residency that is derided (or lauded, depending on the reviewer) for its emphasis on psychodynamics but is actually among the most competitive places for researchers and writers into various areas, including the bench; the dynamic label of that program is accurate, but that particular program is very good at identifying psychiatrist scientists and then supplying them with financial resources that simply aren't available at most programs.

    I also know of multiple programs that aren't seen as ultracompetitive, but they tend to identify a person or 3 in each class and then provide them with excellent opportunities that might not be available for that particular person if he or she had gone to a more competitive place.

    Blah, blah. back to work. But the key thing is to do your homework, figure out where you will feel most comfortable and/or thrive, and disregard (or at least take with lotsa salt) what others say.
  30. AspiringPsychDC

    AspiringPsychDC DC->CA->HI?

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    CA
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Could you just name these programs you are referring to for those of us who are on the younger/ more naive side and arent picking up on your insinuations? Thanks!

Share This Page


About the ads