Sitagliptin

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I'd like to start a new thread for people applying for neurology in 2015-2016 to ask about their chances of matching in neurology. This way there presumably would be fewer standalone threads clogging things up. Every applicant is welcome.

For some preliminary data, if you look at the 2015 data for the main residency match, 313/321 of US allopathic seniors who *only* ranked neuro on their rank lists matched, which is 97.5%. I'll add some more data to this in a bit.

As for me, I am U.S. Allopathic senior, USMLE Step 1 mid 220s, step 2 upper 220s, passed all of them plus the step 2 CS on the first attempt. In the lower 50% of my class, but no fails. I have a "B" average, but I got an A in my neurology clerkship and my neurology sub I. I have solid recs, most of which are in neuro. Multiple publications (no first author but two second author) in observational and bench research (though none neuro). I am doing two away rotations at programs in the Southeastern USA. Got ERAS out before noon on 9/15/15, and applied broadly to >30 programs. Will I be at any risk of not matching given this scenario?
 
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ReDox

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If you're a US MD grad who passed your Step 1, did not fail any med school courses, have no red flags on the MSPE you should match. I hear that neuro is getting more competitive but it can't be that much since when I applied 5 or so years ago.
 

Borrow

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how about our chances at the particular programs we list, not just General chances of matching. thanks
 
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Sitagliptin

Sitagliptin

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If you're a US MD grad who passed your Step 1, did not fail any med school courses, have no red flags on the MSPE you should match. I hear that neuro is getting more competitive but it can't be that much since when I applied 5 or so years ago.
Going from NBME data the U.S. MD match rate is still 97-98%, but there were very few spaces open for people going into SOAP (which may be why some say it's getting more competitive). This may be a symptom of better advising and people applying more broadly.

I'm just an MS-4 and may be wrong about this though, any other opinions would be good too.
 

typhoonegator

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how about our chances at the particular programs we list, not just General chances of matching. thanks
Wishful thinking. First, few of us have time to do that. Second, no one has any idea whether you have a better chance of matching at Dartmouth or Vermont. You'd probably match at several of those schools.

You have no chance at Stony Brook. Kidding! Not even sure where that is!
 
Sep 23, 2015
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I know it's still early in the application cycle, but I've been following the Neuro forum since 9/15, and I'm starting to worry because I haven't received a single neuro interview invite yet. Most of the schools I applied to are in the North East/West coast and it seems like very few people here have gotten invites from those areas yet, but this is getting me anxious.

US MD: mid-tier state school in the North East
Step1: 230
Step2: 232
Class rank: below average
Preclinical: mostly P's, some HP's here and there
Clinical: H for Neuro, Primary care, Med Sub I, 4th yr Neuro elective; HP'd everything else except OB/GYN and Psych
Letters: 3 from Neuro, 1 from Medicine; all solid
Research: none


Applied:
BU
Case Western
Georgetown
LIJ
Beth Israel
Sinai
Einstein
NYU
OSU
OHSU
Rutgers
Robert Wood Johnson
Stanford
SUNY Downstate
Temple
Thomas Jefferson
Tufts
UCLA
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UCSD
U of Colorado
U of Washington
Yale

I went to a UC for undergrad, so I have ties to CA.
Any feedback would be appreciated!
 
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Sep 23, 2015
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Hey ghostmachine,

I am in the same boat. I have a strong application and skewed my application to top tier neurology programs on the east and west coast.

I am sweating it because a lot of my peers at my university have received plenty of interviews, and I have one.

If it makes you feel better, I have not heard of any getting any interviews at where you have applied (except I saw one person here whom says they have an interview at Colorado)

The most top tier places I have heard peers getting interviews from is University of Michigan and Mayo - Rochester.

Hold tight buddy it is going to be OK. I think we will start hearing from some of these east and west coast places in the first and second week of October.

Also, how did you do in internal medicine? It is not clear from your post how you did in the third year clerkship.

My neurology program director (top 15 medical school) said the top places like to see honors in neuro and internal medicine.
 
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Sitagliptin

Sitagliptin

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I know it's still early in the application cycle, but I've been following the Neuro forum since 9/15, and I'm starting to worry because I haven't received a single neuro interview invite yet. Most of the schools I applied to are in the North East/West coast and it seems like very few people here have gotten invites from those areas yet, but this is getting me anxious.

US MD: mid-tier state school in the North East
Step1: 230
Step2: 232
Class rank: below average
Preclinical: mostly P's, some HP's here and there
Clinical: H for Neuro, Primary care, Med Sub I, 4th yr Neuro elective; HP'd everything else except OB/GYN and Psych
Letters: 3 from Neuro, 1 from Medicine; all solid
Research: none


Applied:
BU
Case Western
Georgetown
LIJ
Beth Israel
Sinai
Einstein
NYU
OSU
OHSU
Rutgers
Robert Wood Johnson
Stanford
SUNY Downstate
Temple
Thomas Jefferson
Tufts
UCLA
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UCSD
U of Colorado
U of Washington
Yale

I went to a UC for undergrad, so I have ties to CA.
Any feedback would be appreciated!
You should apply to some safeties.
 
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Sep 23, 2015
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hey has anyone started hearing from some of the more competitive programs?

I have not seen a lot of those schools show up on here. Not sure if no one on here applied to them or they haven't given out any/many interviews.
 

curiousneuro

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I would check out the stickied match thread - seems to show a few more competitive programs giving out interviews.
 
Sep 23, 2015
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Anyone else getting alittle nervous about matching into one of the more competitive programs? I thought I had good score with 235-240ish on step 1 and 250-255ish on step 2, but have not heard back from the competitive programs that are showing up on the interview list, such as Penn, Stanford, and BI/Harvard. Hopefully it is still early in the process.
 

TUGM

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From my experience, these programs send out interviews a bit later in the season.

Patience, dear noobies, patience.
 
Nov 5, 2015
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I'm a very neurotic and type A third-year student who likes to plan in advance. Therefore, I am wondering (...perhaps prematurely, but that's how I roll...) what I should be doing now to best position myself for the 2016-2017 cycle.

I somehow accidentally did well on Step 1 (255+), but don't have a lot of meaningful research experience, and certainly none in neurology. My background is not really in science/research at all, and my only experience in this area is very limited with no publications to date. A faculty member from my home institution, who knows what he is talking about, informed me that lack of research experience may be a limiting factor in my application, but that there's nothing I can do at this point to remedy it, since there would not be enough time to undertake anything substantive, and whatever small projects would be feasible before next year would be too nascent, fluffy, or too much like obvious CV padding to make a real difference. Of course, I also have no idea how my clinical grades will turn out, and focusing on those might be more high-yield anyway.

A few questions -
What kinds of programs are realistic to aim for with a pretty good Step 1 score but minimal research experience?
Assuming things are going well in my clinical coursework, should I really not attempt to undertake some research this year, even obvious CV padding?

I hope you will forgive the obnoxiousness of this post. The whole match process feels very stressful and opaque to me, and I don't want to miss out on whatever opportunities I still have during M3 year to strengthen my application.
 
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Sitagliptin

Sitagliptin

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I'd apply broadly, but you are by no means out of the running for the Partners/UCSF/Top 20 NIH funding/high falutin-type schools. I'm the opposite case (average step 1 with multiple research pubs to my name), and I've gotten a handful of interviews at the so-called Top 20 schools.

There's no reason to not apply broadly and consider safeties though. You already spent an assload on medical school and this is not the time to be cheap.

You also might want to try to find an opportunity to write a case report. I don't think it would hurt if you don't feel it's jeopardizing your other activities.One of the mods here (typhoonegator) said something to the effect of "neurology is used to the late bloomer thing" so it may apply to that too.
 

typhoonegator

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Research matters at the top programs, because it is a discriminating factor among excellent applicants. Plus interviewers don't want to talk about your step 1 score for the whole interview. I spent most of my time during residency interviews talking about my research even though at that time it seemed like a tacked-on afterthought. So in answer to the question, you really should put some effort into doing some research with the rest of your year, because it will not actually look like CV padding. Write up a case report or series that someone has lying around (stroke docs often accumulate these), or join a basic science lab and work on something, anything. You don't need to have a bunch of publications or talks or abstracts by next you for your time to have been well-spent. A letter from a neuroscientist goes a long way, and being able to draw from your research experience to inform on your future career is very useful in shaping your personal statement and interview checklist.

Remember that the top programs see it as their mission to train the next generation of academic neurologists. The easiest way for them to envision that is to train great scientists who will go on to get prominent university jobs and eventually lead divisions, departments, and NIH working groups. Anyone who actually does research for their day job (like me) knows that publications don't just fall out of the sky. Good work often doesn't quickly lead to pubs -- in fact the best and most important work takes years, and some of the best scientists in the world only publish once or twice a year, but in Cell, Science, Nature, PNAS. So being unable to crank out pubs from a traditional MD-only track while juggling medical school shouldn't seem surprising to anyone, particularly if you gain valuable research experience anyway.

The basic science research I did in medical school didn't make it into a publication until I was a PGY2.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Research matters at the top programs, because it is a discriminating factor among excellent applicants. Plus interviewers don't want to talk about your step 1 score for the whole interview. I spent most of my time during residency interviews talking about my research even though at that time it seemed like a tacked-on afterthought. So in answer to the question, you really should put some effort into doing some research with the rest of your year, because it will not actually look like CV padding. Write up a case report or series that someone has lying around (stroke docs often accumulate these), or join a basic science lab and work on something, anything. You don't need to have a bunch of publications or talks or abstracts by next you for your time to have been well-spent. A letter from a neuroscientist goes a long way, and being able to draw from your research experience to inform on your future career is very useful in shaping your personal statement and interview checklist.

Remember that the top programs see it as their mission to train the next generation of academic neurologists. The easiest way for them to envision that is to train great scientists who will go on to get prominent university jobs and eventually lead divisions, departments, and NIH working groups. Anyone who actually does research for their day job (like me) knows that publications don't just fall out of the sky. Good work often doesn't quickly lead to pubs -- in fact the best and most important work takes years, and some of the best scientists in the world only publish once or twice a year, but in Cell, Science, Nature, PNAS. So being unable to crank out pubs from a traditional MD-only track while juggling medical school shouldn't seem surprising to anyone, particularly if you gain valuable research experience anyway.

The basic science research I did in medical school didn't make it into a publication until I was a PGY2.
Semi-necro bump, but I guess that is what the search function is for.

I have a good Step 1 score as well and am seriously considering neuro. My research in neuro is nonexistent. I do have 4 basic science publications in good journals with one first author from undergrad and a gap year. Also have a clinical project that I worked on in med school that didn't result in anything (bummer and not sure if that can even be listed). Are the top programs looking for research production in neuro or just evidence that you are interested in research and have some experience?

I was also curious wha "top" programs have more of a clinical focus? By that I mean, they produce really great clinical neurologist but don't require/expect research to match there or during the program.