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Not Competitive Enough!!

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by Pegasus, Mar 10, 2003.

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  1. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    SDN 10+ Year Member

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    I am a 3rd year med student and I am having the hard time of choosing a specialty. I used to be all about Peds, but now I am really looking at EM. Problem is, I didnt do well on Step I. My grades during the first 2 years were slightly above average, and I have only made honors 3rd year during Peds.

    Thing is, I worked in an ED during undergrad and loved it, and now EM is becoming more and more appealing to me. I LOVED surgery because of the procedures but hate the lifestyle, and I also want a Life after residency...there is so much about EM that appeals to me, but how can I get in just being average?

    My family have suggested to do an internship in anything I can, then reapply for EM after internship year. Is this wrong to do? Is there another way to get into EM without waisting a year?

    PLEASE HELP!!
  2. edinOH

    edinOH Can I get a work excuse?

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    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Don't sell yourself short. Rock your EM months so you can get great letters. I would suggest doing an EM month at a solid, middle of the road type program in regard to popularity and then another month at a lesser known, less popular program. That way you will have hopefully positioned yourself well for a match at one of those two places at the least. Then, get your letters and application ready early. Make sure the letters are in your Dean's office before the first day of applications so that they will be scanned into the system in time for you to send your app. with letters on the first day.

    I would also apply to every program you would possibly ever consider going to. If I were in your shoes (which I am) I would prepare myself to attend any program that would offer me an interview. Depending upon the number of interviews granted I would strongly consider ranking every program that I interviewed at.

    Like I said, don't sell yourself short. It would be very hard to do worse on step I than I did and still pass and some of my first year grades are a few orders of magnitude away from AOA! I interviewed at 13 places, most of which I would be happy to attend if I had to. You can view my rank list on the rank list thread below. As a US grad you should match if you apply to enough programs and aren't a complete dolt in your interviews. I know I am writing this before I have even matched but this is how confident I am of what I am saying. Understand that you will be rejected by the majority of places you apply to. That's just the breaks. Most places place a hard cut-line based on USMLE only. But you technically only need one interview to match.

    Good luck. And by the way, if you haven't started setting up your EM months for this summer, now is the time to do so.
  3. pinbor1

    pinbor1

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2003
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    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
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    Attending Physician
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    I agree with what EdinOH has to say. Definitely keep working hard and set up those EM electives and rock them. I think a lot of people felt the way you are feeling, and I don't think anyone ever feels adequate enough.

    I recommend just going for EM, don't focus on doing an intern year and reapplying, I here that can be messy. Also, pick up Isserson's book Getting into Residency, it's a great book that prevented me from making too many stupid mistakes during the application/interview process.

    I too had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do, I thought it was peds until a few months into 4th year. That's when I found EM and I have been plugging away since then.

    Good Luck:)
  4. blackcat

    blackcat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    good advice edinOH - good luck with the match, you'll do fine!!!

    Pegasus - follow that advice and send out some to prelim years or peds. You can use that year as the pgy-1 for those em programs that start at pgy-2.

    remember, you can always cancel interviews if you are getting enough interviews for em.

    A saw a sticker on a classmates binder during first year (back in 1994) that said, "I will pass, I will graduate, and I will match!!" That is true for most US grads. In the 1998 match, one of my classmates barely (and i mean barely) passed step I, and did not do great on Step II and he matched for ophtho!!! just apply smart, and understand that you may not go to the top program (whatever that means) and you should do fine. also, be willing to spend the kinds of cash that you need to apply to many programs - it will be worth it if you really want to do em.

    good luck

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