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why podiatry students fail to match

Discussion in 'Podiatry Students' started by pipetman, 03.22.10.

  1. pipetman

    pipetman

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    I know there is a thread on spots, the process, and rankings. Not one about why students have to scramble.

    I am sure it is different at each school, but this is what we were told:

    -students rank too few programs (if you are allowed to rank 15, but you rank only five)
    -not sending in applications early or on time
    -failing to call the programs directly
    -applying to programs that require clerkship or have GPA requirements or class rank you do not have (i.e, not paying attention to what each program wants)
    -expecting your school to do the leg work
    -believing you have a spot, when that promise is not in writing-only verbally said
    -class size --depends on year
    -not passing part 1 and 2 on first attempt
    -retaking classes (if they show up on transcript)

    anyone else heard something different?
     
  2. 215353

    215353

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    I think this is a great thread to start. We have been reading a lot negative stories about the match process but no one is really giving the specifics on why they could have failed to match or had to scramble, etc. I am sure there are people making some of the mistakes you are listing.
     
  3. Feli

    Feli ACFAS Member

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    "Rank too few programs" is a bad idea, but not for the simple reason you might think. I think that too many students the treat match as if it's a lottery where you can simply buy more tickets and have a better shot at winning. The truth is that hospitals probably get sick of people who show up thinking the way to a catch a fish is to cast 35 random lines; they are generally tired and ill prepared for their many interviews, just like they were for clerkships. They carry the wrong mindset of "if I don't get this one, I will get get one of the others." You might catch a fish that way, but it is not likely to be the one you want... or even one you know anything about. Meanwhile, the smarter fisherman identify a few big fish (good programs) early and pick the right lures (learn about the program, clerk and visit, stay in touch, etc) before planning their expedition. It doesn't take much insight to see who will be taking home the trophies.

    If no program wants/ranks the student, then it doesn't matter how many programs he ranks. Similarly, if every program wants a student and ranks her highly, then she could rank very few and still get her top choice. The real advice should be to "avoid ranking too few programs... based on individual student strength and interviews/clerkship feedback." For some students who are a weaker app and got little or no positive feedback during clerkships/interviews/callbacks, ranking 10+ (and being prepped to scramble) may be advised. For others who did well in school, rocked their clerkships/interviews and got postive call/feedback from many programs they liked, ranking more than 3 or 4 gets pointless very fast.

    I say it a lot, but you will save yourself a ton of time and anxiety by just being direct and sincere with programs. They will probably be direct in return, and you will know where you're at (or at least have more info than you did before). DO NOT be afraid to say "I learned a lot here," "I think I could do well as a resident here," "this is my top choice program," etc along with providing a smile and a handshake when the conclusion of your clerkship or interview arrives. Send a thank you card afterwards for good measure. The absolute worst that could possibly happen is that the residency attendings raise their eyebrows and say, "we'll take that into consideration." Even in a situation like that where they don't hint at agreement or disagreement with your actions (very rare), you have still shown them confidence and motivation which will make you remembered - and likely upgraded - when rankings or callbacks roll around. Treat the clerkships/interviews/match just like a real job hunt: know your worth, make yourself stand out, and don't waste time - yours or theirs.
     
  4. pipetman

    pipetman

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    dr feli: your posts are gold.

    I do want to comment on something..

    while i agree the student that is ranked highly may be able to rank fewer programs, that is assuming that they are the only one for consideration. I would bet that is the mistake many top students make-being overconfident of their chances, while forgetting their may be another student in line just as good as they are, or better. and having positive , oral feedback is no
    guarantee--unless it is in writing.

    that is what happened at our school this year, so the advice they gave was, rank as many as CASPR lets you. you're paying for it anyway. even if you think you are a sure bet, it's better to be safe than scramble.

    to that end, what advice would you give on students who are in the C-B range? work your ass off in clerkships? how much weight is given in the first two years verses clinical?
     
  5. hyperpodia

    hyperpodia

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    At the same time it would be a disaster to rank a program that you don't know about or do not really like. IMO since the max most programs take is 4 residents, ranking 8 programs that you really want to go to should be sufficient. Unless there are programs that will take a resident without interview is there such a program where interview is not required?
     
  6. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    I think it's important to point out that no one wants to scramble and you can obviously do things to minimize your chances but it is still possible to do everything right and scramble because that is how the system is set up. It is called the match & scramble for a reason. Statistically speaking, people will always scramble.

    Scrambling is not something brought on by the large class sizes. For instance, the year I graduated, their was a nearly 200 spot surplus. However, about 20% of my class still scrambled. While some were less than intelligent about how they visited and ranked programs, others just simply didn't match up. Some were at the top of the class while others were in the middle or at the bottom. The obvious difference now is that there aren't enough slots left for everyone to go to. Interestingly enough though, even my year, some students ended up without a slot because the remaining programs would rather not fill the spot then take an unqualified candidate (which is a completely different conversation).

    Again, I do believe there are things that can be done to minimize your chances of scrambling but for some, it will still happen. Below is an example that shows how complex the match can be.

    "Super Student" visits and ranks 5 programs which only take one a year unless otherwise specified.

    -Program A (which she ranked 1) loves her and ranked her 2 but they ended up getting their first choice (the #1 ranked student ranked them 2 but didn't get their first choice so they matched with program A).

    -Program B (which she ranked 2) also liked her and ranked her 3. They didn't get their first choice but did get their second choice (which did rank program B number 1).

    -Program C (which she ranked 3) hated her and ranked her 10. Students 1-8 didn't end up at program C but the 9th ranked student liked program C, ranked them 2, and didn't get the program they ranked 1 so got program C.

    -Program D (which she ranked 4) liked her and ranked her 3. However, they got their first choice (who did rank program D #1) so her and #2 are out of luck.

    -Program E (which she ranked 5) actually takes 3 a year. Super Student was ranked 6 and they got their 1,3, and 5 picks.

    Super Student scrambles!
     
  7. pipetman

    pipetman

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    wow. depressing. but if class size and year.is not a variable, .why tell us that? and why would some schools now have a cap on how many sudents they admit if that wasn't a problem?

    i guess the bigger question is--how do you choose smart? besides GPA, etc etc what can you do to maximize your chances?
     
  8. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    That's where I think people are getting confused. People have and will always scramble (which is dependent of class size) as is the case with MD, DO, and whoever else has residencies dictated by the match and scramble. The problem now is that there are more students than residency slots so out of the students that scramble, not everyone can scramble to a slot leaving some without.

    Jonwill's externship rules:

    1) Unless you are absolutely sold on a program, never visit a program with less than two slots a year. This doubles, triples, etc. your chances of matching.

    2) 15 minute rule: student is always at location 15 minutes ahead of residents/attendings. Learn all of the pre op paperwork and do it. Get OR ready (tourniquet, local, etc). Learn all post op paperwork as well. This rule serves two purposes. You will always be on time and you will look very efficient. For clinic, still get there early and bring something to read. When the others show up, they will see you reading. People tend to pimp self-motivated learners less.

    3) Work! You are there to work. Take call with residents, help on the weekend, stay late with the residents. Cease every opportunity. I was once at a clinic with a residency director. After, he told me I could either go get lunch at the hospital or go with him to drop by his private office before we started clinic in the afternoon at the hospital. What do you think I did? I got some personal time with the director. Programs are more likely to pick people they know both on a personal and professional level. Go to the journal clubs, meetings, dinners, etc unless told otherwise. Get to know everyone.

    4) The phrase, "I don't know" is MORE than acceptable when followed by the phrase, "I'll look it up." We don't expect you to know everything because we don't know everything either. Don't BS and don't stand there like a deer in the headlights.

    5) And lastly, Jonwill's FAMOUS rule of SSW: Show up...Shut up...and WORK!
     
  9. podpal

    podpal

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    If there is any way you can meet the directors early on, 2nd year, 3rd year, do it. Way back when, when entering externships, I excitedly called my TOP program for when to report for duty. I was informed that I was not welcome there despite my acceptance letter. The hospital had made an error and lost my paperwork. I informed them that I had confirmation from their program and was told that there was NO WAY I could extern there as they had other externs, full to capacity. I then had to scramble for an externship somewhere else without a residency program! The problem was that I lost any opportunity to show this program that I was a top notch candidate and didn't match with them.

    Back then I was very shy. I didn't want to bother residency directors since they were so busy all of the time. Ultimately I wasn't selected for the other 2 programs I was able to extern with before match day. One program selected me 2nd, I selected them 1st and didn't match. Other program had a ton of externs and was extremely competitive to begin with. I ranked more than 10 programs but since they hadn't met me before match, I lost out. Some directors said they wished they had met me sooner but it was too late to be picked.

    IMO I would recommend stalking the residency directors. If they are going to be at a conference, be there. Make a point of meeting them. Don't be shy because they can't get to know you if they never meet you. I'm suggesting this route because once you're out of the loop you're screwed. Just getting past the residency directors secretary's is like mission impossible. Some programs will not allow an unmatched candidate to visit or even speak to the director. The process becomes very closed off to people who don't match and then try to scramble.
     
  10. MaseratiGT

    MaseratiGT Legilimens!

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    To counter your argument in bold: It doesn't take a degree to know that there is a line. You can't be up in the RDs face at every conference they are at and bothering them every second you get. They have lives, and so do students. There are better ways to get RDs to remember you. If you can't extern, visit the program a few times and work your @$$ off. At a recent conference I attended, docs remembered me from meeting at the same conference a year prior. Interested doesn't need to be expressed by actively stalking someone. You have to find the line of being interested in a program and acting like a desperate fool.
     
  11. podpal

    podpal

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    Hey, whatever it takes to meet the RDs. My point: If you've been blocked by the secretary's and have no way to get in; try to meet via another route such as a conference. I'd also suggest meeting as many RDs if possible, traditional route or otherwise. It's great that you know how to meet people. This skill may come in handy. Hopefully you'll get a good program. Best of luck just in case!:xf:
     
  12. Shireiqiang

    Shireiqiang

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    Did this program only have one spot? Are there many programs with only one available spot for a resident?
     
  13. janV88

    janV88

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    THIS IS GOLDEN!! Thanks for posting the advice!:thumbup:
     
  14. g squared 23

    g squared 23 is keeping his head down

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    ...Bump...

    I am bumping this thread for the benefit of all the externs out there and also the 3rd years who are preparing for their externships. Make sure to read (and re-read) "Jonwill's externship rules" and maybe even print it out and read it before each new rotation. The first month it's easy to remember because you're so excited and you'll be jacked up to finally be out at programs that you're considering for your future. However, this initial adrenaline rush does wear off, and your perfect behavior and habits may get a bit sloppy.

    I'll add a few things, similar to what is posted above:

    As I mention, it is very easy to get a bit complacent during the grind of externships. This may sound crazy to those chomping at the bit to finally get out there, but after being away from family and loved ones, and living in crappy apartments, resident basements and hotels, it is very easy to slip a bit. Be conscious of your actions and words. The best thing that you can do is go home every night and prepare for the next day the best you can. Look up any questions you didn't know, and try to know as much about the case(s) you are scrubbing for the next day. On the floor the next day? Get there early and look up labs, meds, comorbidities etc. This is so easy for me to say, but waking up an extra 45 minutes when you're 4 months into the grind is very, very difficult to do (or at least it was for me). You have to keep reminding yourself that your entire future may be riding on how well you do on these rotations. Don't let any opportunities fall through the cracks.

    If you find yourself underwhelmed by a program, and you are 100% CERTAIN that you don't want to spend 3 years there, DO NOT mail it in and start to slack off. Even if you hate everything about it, continue to give your full effort. Residents will notice. They have friends and colleagues everywhere and the podiatry community is tiny. Your good reputation may help you at your next rotation, and your bad reputation will very likely follow you as well. Please, please, PLEASE continue working and learn as much as you can. And put your cell phone away. Nothing says "I'm not interested and I don't really want to be here" like a student playing on their phone. You could be looking something up on medscape, but if an attending sees you, they will assume you're just playing.

    Don't EVER, EVER, EVER throw anyone under the bus. EVER. I am bolding it and capitalizing it because it has happened; it seems ludicrous to imagine, but students have (subtly) thrown residents under the bus or made them look bad. If you do, you will be remembered, but for the wrong reasons and you can kiss your chances at that program goodbye. Externships are not the place to be competitive and make your co-externs look bad; residents and attendings do notice.

    That's all I can think of for now. If anyone else has some suggestions, feel free to share.
     
  15. hotdawg

    hotdawg Member

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    So as a first year resident, how do you suggest

    interns deal with residents who dont like students? Not many are as helpful as you seem to be. Yes, you can be a hard working student but i think new residents sometimes forget that three months ago they were students and do their absolute best to reinforce the caste system at all costs. What do you do then? Especially when one residents opinion can tank you, even if the other residents disagree?






    UOTE=g squared 23;12726620]...Bump...

    I am bumping this thread for the benefit of all the externs out there and also the 3rd years who are preparing for their externships. Make sure to read (and re-read) "Jonwill's externship rules" and maybe even print it out and read it before each new rotation. The first month it's easy to remember because you're so excited and you'll be jacked up to finally be out at programs that you're considering for your future. However, this initial adrenaline rush does wear off, and your perfect behavior and habits may get a bit sloppy.

    I'll add a few things, similar to what is posted above:

    As I mention, it is very easy to get a bit complacent during the grind of externships. This may sound crazy to those chomping at the bit to finally get out there, but after being away from family and loved ones, and living in crappy apartments, resident basements and hotels, it is very easy to slip a bit. Be conscious of your actions and words. The best thing that you can do is go home every night and prepare for the next day the best you can. Look up any questions you didn't know, and try to know as much about the case(s) you are scrubbing for the next day. On the floor the next day? Get there early and look up labs, meds, comorbidities etc. This is so easy for me to say, but waking up an extra 45 minutes when you're 4 months into the grind is very, very difficult to do (or at least it was for me). You have to keep reminding yourself that your entire future may be riding on how well you do on these rotations. Don't let any opportunities fall through the cracks.

    If you find yourself underwhelmed by a program, and you are 100% CERTAIN that you don't want to spend 3 years there, DO NOT mail it in and start to slack off. Even if you hate everything about it, continue to give your full effort. Residents will notice. They have friends and colleagues everywhere and the podiatry community is tiny. Your good reputation may help you at your next rotation, and your bad reputation will very likely follow you as well. Please, please, PLEASE continue working and learn as much as you can. And put your cell phone away. Nothing says "I'm not interested and I don't really want to be here" like a student playing on their phone. You could be looking something up on medscape, but if an attending sees you, they will assume you're just playing.

    Don't EVER, EVER, EVER throw anyone under the bus. EVER. I am bolding it and capitalizing it because it has happened; it seems ludicrous to imagine, but students have (subtly) thrown residents under the bus or made them look bad. If you do, you will be remembered, but for the wrong reasons and you can kiss your chances at that program goodbye. Externships are not the place to be competitive and make your co-externs look bad; residents and attendings do notice.

    That's all I can think of for now. If anyone else has some suggestions, feel free to share.[/QUOTE]
     
  16. g squared 23

    g squared 23 is keeping his head down

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    Last edited: 07.23.12
  17. g squared 23

    g squared 23 is keeping his head down

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    This is a general tip for any job or business situation: your dress and actions should match the job that you want.

    As a student, you should mirror the 1st years in as many ways as you can (exceptions of course if they have some bad habits). They obviously got their program by doing something right. Pay attention to what they are doing and if you don't know why they do something, ask. If they don't stop to eat, then don't complain about being hungry or thirsty. In fact, don't EVER complain. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer Negative Nancy.

    Try to understand what you can and cannot do at each rotation. Some programs allow you to do paperwork and to work up patients; others wish you to remain a shadow. Figure out your exact role and them do it as well as you can.

    I personally like if students approach me with questions or something they don't understand. We are evaluating potential future junior colleagues. Think of the qualities that YOU would like in a future co-resident, and then act that way. I want someone who is fairly intelligent but even more teachable, hard working, humble, low drama and high yield. Also, someone who is hard working, makes my life easier, and someone who I can depend on.
     

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