Quantcast

2015-2016 Applications/Match: Anonymous Reviews

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

22031 Alum

At the baby factory.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
1,610
Reaction score
4,458

Members don't see this ad.
How did your residency planning & match go? Help out the next class as they're already gearing up for ERAS. Message me your answers to the following questions and I'll post them anonymously. Recommended: don't be specific enough to identify yourself.

1. Did you match ObGyn?
2. What position on your rank list did you get, and are you happy about it?
3. What's your assessment of your competitiveness for ObGyn?
4. How did you research and select residencies?
5. What's your assessment of the quality of your residency app selections?
6. What would you have done differently and/or better?
7. What factors do you think had a strong positive impact on your results?
8. Summarize your med school.
9. Summarize your priorities for choosing residencies, pre-application.
10. Summarize your priorities for ranking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

22031 Alum

At the baby factory.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
1,610
Reaction score
4,458
1. Did you match ObGyn?
Yes!

2. What position on your rank list did you get, and are you happy about it?
#7. I am happy about it; I didn’t rank any program where I didn’t want to match.

3. What's your assessment of your competitiveness for ObGyn?
I had a very poor Step 1 score, much-improved (i.e. average) Step 2 CK, and otherwise strong application (excellent clinical grades, strong letters, productive research). Based on my experience, I was not a competitive applicant at all (applied to 40+ programs and went to 11 interviews, 9 of which were off of waitlists or after emailing to express my interest, or having someone call on my behalf).

4. How did you research and select residencies?
I wanted to stay in the midwest/eastern seaboard, so I first restricted myself geographically. I used the APGO map to make a list of programs that appealed to me. I used APGO/FREIDA stats and the residency websites to get a feel for the program and whether I might be a good fit there (and if I wasn’t sure, I’d go ahead and add it to my list). Once I had my list together, I ran it by a few of my local OB/Gyn preceptors/faculty to get their feedback, and this helped me add a few programs that hadn’t been on my radar.

5. What's your assessment of the quality of your residency app selections?
I think I was right to apply to many programs. I knew I wasn’t a shoo-in for any top programs, but I didn’t want to submit my ERAS without at least trying at those places. I had a good number of less-competitive programs and so was able to get enough interviews that I felt comfortable that I would match somewhere.

6. What would you have done differently and/or better?
I would have done an OB/Gyn sub-internship before submitting ERAS. I acted on some poor advice, decided relatively later in the year on my specialty choice, and didn’t ask my OB/Gyn mentors about how to optimize my M4 early schedule, and ended up with a later sub-I. In spite of having the highest grade in an internal medicine sub-I and an OB/Gyn elective on my ERAS transcript, I think the lack of a specialty sub-I did not help my application.

I also wish that I had been more clear about my sincere interest in OB/Gyn and women’s health. In my personal statement and in interviews, and due to particulars of my application, I suspect that I was not totally convincing of why I can only be an OB/Gyn and not anything else! Honestly, I don’t understand why anyone would apply to OB/Gyn unless they really wanted to do it, and I figured that my intellectual reasons for pursuing this specialty were sufficient for getting ranked by a residency program. But if I had to go back and do it again, I’d work harder during interviews and even my personal statement to communicate my sincere enthusiasm about this field.

7. What factors do you think had a strong positive impact on your results?
I present myself well during interviews and am generally a calm and friendly personality. I also was able to tell a cohesive story about my life & academic experiences and how those led me to a career in OB/Gyn. I was able to articulate my ability to be a strong resident, as well as my specific, concrete career plans.

The strongest impact on my results (i.e interview invitations) was my willingness to email program coordinators/directors to express my interest in their program, and to update them with new clinical grades/academic accomplishments. Several PDs where I ended up interviewing told me very frankly that they would not have invited me to interview if I had not communicated with them this way. I sent an initial round of emails to programs that I had not heard from by late October. I did another round with a briefer update email right before Thanksgiving (anticipating that a lot of my peers would be canceling undesired/excess interviews at this point), and was rewarded with 4 interview invitations on the Monday after Thanksgiving (including the program where I matched). Timing is everything!

8. Summarize your med school.
Top 25, MD, most students go to academic residency programs, nothing too unique about curriculum or clerkships, strong advisory structure especially during M3/M4.

9. Summarize your priorities for choosing residencies, pre-application.
Location & academic affiliation (I want to be an academic OB/Gyn).

10. Summarize your priorities for ranking.
Five tiers, ranked 10 total:
(1) better location, strong academic affiliation
(2) okay location, strong academic affiliation
(3) better location, weaker/no academic affiliation
(4) bad location, strong academic affiliation
(5) bad location, weaker/no academic affiliation
 

22031 Alum

At the baby factory.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
1,610
Reaction score
4,458
1. Did you match ObGyn?
  • No
2. What position on your rank list did you get, and are you happy about it?
  • I matched at my #13, with 12 ObGyn programs ranked. I invested quite a bit in a plan B specialty. So I failed my plan A, and aced my plan B. Not happy yet, but I'll get there.
3. What's your assessment of your competitiveness for ObGyn?
  • Poorly competitive on academics. I passed all the Steps, not by much. I passed all my classes. I got all passes 3rd year except high pass in ObGyn, all because of low shelf scores. (My evals all included "best X of any student I've ever had" or "PATIENTS LOVE THIS STUDENT" etc, no red flags.) I wasn't expecting to get any ObGyn interviews. And then when I did get interviews, I felt so well received, and it seemed that the rest of my app was sufficiently compelling, that I convinced myself I had a chance. I even turned one interview down, thinking 12 was overkill. I'm pretty sure I got ranked everywhere I interviewed, just not high enough. I've nearly lost my mind over this.
4. How did you research and select residencies?
  • Oh lord how I researched, starting mid-M3 year. The only useful info I had access to, honestly, was which med schools the current residents come from, specifically whether there were DOs/IMGs, which I used as a barometer for competitiveness. (This has nothing to do with whether I respect DOs & IMGs, which I do. But you tell me how we're supposed to gauge competitiveness otherwise - USNews? Doximity? Word of mouth? Yeah right.) I started making my program lists with FREIDA & NRMP, so that I had a complete list with every ObGyn program, with location & # positions. I made some guesses about basic competitiveness just from whether the program starts with "University of", not bothering with top schools at all, even though that meant the closest I'd be to home was over 1000 miles. I found the info on APGO & AAMC to be too spotty to be useful, but sometimes it was helpful such as a minimum board score, or to check info from another source. Then, one by one, I started digging into each program's website. I literally figured out who exactly the residents back 4-5 years are, where they went to medical school, and in many cases if they'd transferred programs. I looked at accreditation status on ACGME. I looked at everything a program offers for review (procedure counts, facilities, %specialist alumni) and checked it against APGO & AAMC. Just the exercise of digging this deeply on any given program taught me how to assess programs quickly, and I ended up with a good 5000 lines of data on over 100 programs. I also reviewed my school's last 10 years of match lists and included any program that had an alum, within reason. And that's before I did extensive pre-interview research on faculty interests etc.
5. What's your assessment of the quality of your residency app selections?
  • I think even with all my lists, I was still too heavy in mid-tier and too light in low-tier, and I should have been open to more programs in places I didn't want to live. Like all the ones where my family planning background would need to be kept quiet.
6. What would you have done differently and/or better?
  • I would have gotten better Step 1&2 scores & shelf scores, first & foremost. Barring that, I would have applied to over 100 programs, with even less regional preference (I applied to more than 60 ObGyn). I would have done what I consider to be fairly obnoxious followup post-interview, instead of just sending a short handwritten thank-you note, ie more 2nd looks, more phone calls, and frequent missives such as "I am SO INTERESTED in your program...and have come to appreciate aspect X of your program as I learn new things on the interview trail." I would have somehow magically figured out that my school's ObGyn department had no idea how to advise on program selection or competitiveness, and done more work to build my own network. Maybe would have done a research year, after I decided on ObGyn mid-M3 year with no real ObGyn assets. I might have left some family planning work off my CV, but it might have helped as much as it hurt. There are probably national organizations I should have been in, for the networking.
7. What factors do you think had a strong positive impact on your results?
  • I'm an older applicant with significant business experience and deep curiosity about the systems and processes in medicine, which was well received at interviews. I know my letters and interviews were very strong. My program research was more extensive than that of anybody else at my school or on the interview trail. As in, crazy obsessive. I did an away rotation at a program where I had a non-zero chance of matching, and got an interview there. I have deep community health care experience with low-income populations, and clear purpose in pursuing generalist practice. I got a very good "plan B" match because I also built the best app I could for my alternate specialty, and applied to lots of Plan B programs and went to a bunch of interviews. In all I ranked more than 20 programs. I got a love letter from my #1 ObGyn program director. So yeah, I'm grieving.
8. Summarize your med school.
  • Low tier US MD with students from all over the country who matched all over. Well known program chair. # ObGyn applicants has gone from 3% to 10% of the class in last few years. 80% of last year's ObGyn applicants matched ObGyn, this year it's 75%.
9. Summarize your priorities for choosing residencies, pre-application.
  • I wanted to match. I wanted to not completely hate where I live. I wanted to not have to work with extremely obnoxious other residents. I felt like I could get out of my training what I put into it, and come out a good surgeon & clinician, almost anywhere. I couldn't care less about robots.
10. Summarize your priorities for ranking.
  • My 1st priority was the number of facilities I'd be required to be at and how much I'd have to drive, because I loathe commuting. #2 was weather, with a preference for mild winters. #3 was how happy the residents seemed when they were interacting with each other (I don't care how they acted with me, within reason). #4 was how much I liked the faculty, particularly the flavor of faculty participation in morning report or rounds. #5 was access to a good airport. #6 was cost of living. #7 the state of the facilities. I had expected to use compensation & benefits as a decision point, but didn't see enough variance. I would have used the actual required starting date as a decision point, if that info had been available.
 

22031 Alum

At the baby factory.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
1,610
Reaction score
4,458
1. Did you match ObGyn?
Yes

2. What position on your rank list did you get, and are you happy about it?
#4, I am.

3. What's your assessment of your competitiveness for ObGyn?
Average.

4. How did you research and select residencies?
I knew I wanted to go to an academic program, so I used Doximity and US News to pick the top programs and then I picked some community programs in the Midwest to make sure I would match.

5. What's your assessment of the quality of your residency app selections?
I think the biggest thing I realized is that a lot of programs are very region-specific.

6. What would you have done differently and/or better?
I wish I had interviewed at more programs in the Midwest and fewer in the Northeast.

7. What factors do you think had a strong positive impact on your results?
I had a really strong step 2 score (>260), a good step 1 score (>240), and I was AOA.

8. Summarize your med school.
I go to a small med school in the Midwest that isn't well known outside of the state.

9. Summarize your priorities for choosing residencies, pre-application.
I wanted programs that ranked well and that were not malignant. Originally I was looking to relocate to the Northeast.

10. Summarize your priorities for ranking.
I ranked programs based on how well their graduating seniors matched into fellowship, how nice the program was (and was known to be), and how often residents said they went over the 80 hour work week.
 

22031 Alum

At the baby factory.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
1,610
Reaction score
4,458
1. Did you match ObGyn?
Yes!

2. What position on your rank list did you get, and are you happy about it?
#2; absolutely thrilled.

3. What's your assessment of your competitiveness for ObGyn?
Very competitive: 250s Step1/2CK, AOA, with lots of community service and some research.

4. How did you research and select residencies?
I really didn't have much unique. I solicited advice on SDN, in addition to parsing through the APGO directory and Doximity rankings as a rough proxy for competitiveness of particular programs.

5. What's your assessment of the quality of your residency app selections?
I did really well. I applied to 42 places and received 35 interview invitations. I ended up going on 17 interviews.

6. What would you have done differently and/or better?
I could've gotten away with applying to less/interviewing less, but I'm also happy that I did that, because I know people who interviewed at 10+ programs and failed to match this year.

7. What factors do you think had a strong positive impact on your results?
Strong academics as mentioned above as well as a good personal statement - that at leasts gets you in the door for an interview. I also had an excellent, very personalized letter from a faculty member with a strong national reputation.

8. Summarize your med school.
Middle-of-the-road school in the geographic south, with a very laid back, "laissez-faire" attitude towards student acquisition of knowledge, advising, etc., but great reputation for the OB/Gyn department.

9. Summarize your priorities for choosing residencies, pre-application.
University-affiliated academic programs, with a particular rotation/fellowship opportunity and strong fellowship match rates. Presence of county hospital. Global health opportunities.

10. Summarize your priorities for ranking.
It became a lot more apparent over the course of my interviewing that some programs really treat their residents as more valuable than other programs do. That ended up holding a huge weight in my final ranking process, on top of my subspecialty interest.
 

22031 Alum

At the baby factory.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
1,610
Reaction score
4,458
1. Did you match?
Yes!!

2. What position on your rank list did you get, and are you happy about it?
I was lucky enough to get my number one choice! It was at the same place my husband matched as well!

3. What's your assessment of your competitiveness for ObGyn?
I think I was moderately competitive although I did have obvious weak spots. I did not have a lot of research so I did not apply to research heavy schools. Otherwise I had a well put together application. Great letters (got many compliments at interviews), above average preclinical and clinical grades, relevant service, and a great story/reason for doing OB.

4. How did you research and select residencies?
I used apgo as a primary resource. I started off looking based on geography and went from there. My husband applied to a competitive specialty so those restrictions made it easier to pick programs. Then I briefly looked at program websites. I also used my home program mentors to get feedback on the programs I was applying to.

5. What's your assessment of the quality of your residency app selections?
I think overall, I applied well. I was surprised at sone interviews I did not get at smaller programs. But I guess I didn't fit the mission no matter how much I explained my situation.

6. What would you have done differently and/or better?
I would have paid attention more to religious affiliations of hospitals. I didn't think about it but my viewpoints on birth control and family planning did not match at some of those places. I would also say get to know the home program well. They can make or break an application in my experience.
This is anecdotal but a classmate of mine did a second look at a program and I think it hurt this person. So I avoided that like the plague!

7. What factors do you think had a strong positive impact on your results?
I think I sold myself well in interviews. I had a good specific reasons for certain places and let that be known. I also think being a couple helped me for sure. Places that like him made an effort to get to know me.

8. Summarize your med school.
In the south. Research if you seek it out. Not a huge benefit or barrier when applying to places.

9. Summarize your priorities for choosing residencies, pre-application.
I wanted an academic program with great generalist training but opportunities for fellowship placement if I wanted it. I also needed a place that had the program my husband was marching into or at least a close program so we could live together.

10. Summarize your priorities for ranking.
Location and gut feeling were the most important. After that, it was based on a number generator.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Top