Jul 25, 2009
13
0
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone. My story is this: I did not match this past year. Now that I have the "chance" to do it all over again, I'd actually like to apply to Psych. It's a field I have always been genuinely interested in and I was basically on the fence between Psych and the specialty I applied to in the last match.

But now I wonder how competitive I really am for Psych? My biggest concern is that it's going to appear as if Psych is a back-up plan and this is far from the case. Any advice?
 

fMRI

10+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2008
189
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
Hi everyone. My story is this: I did not match this past year. Now that I have the "chance" to do it all over again, I'd actually like to apply to Psych. It's a field I have always been genuinely interested in and I was basically on the fence between Psych and the specialty I applied to in the last match.

But now I wonder how competitive I really am for Psych? My biggest concern is that it's going to appear as if Psych is a back-up plan and this is far from the case. Any advice?
Do you mind sharing a little more about yourself?
The situation is different for a person who spent the last year doing research at a well-known school, compared to somebody who matched into a different field in a different program, from again another person who didn't rank many programs. Scores, electives, type of school, etc. would be helpful. :)
Best of luck applying!
 
OP
D
Jul 25, 2009
13
0
Status
Medical Student
Do you mind sharing a little more about yourself?
The situation is different for a person who spent the last year doing research at a well-known school, compared to somebody who matched into a different field in a different program, from again another person who didn't rank many programs. Scores, electives, type of school, etc. would be helpful. :)
Best of luck applying!
Hi fMRI. Thank you! I realize some more info would be helpful, but don't want to go into too much detail: Caribbean grad, Step I and II both around 220s. I think part of my problem in not matching was not applying broadly enough. I did well in my Psych clerkship, but no electives (concentrated on electives in the specialty I previously applied to). However my undergrad major and activities are heavily Psych related. I plan to spend the next year doing something Psych-related (any advice in this regard would be appreciated) ...
 

fMRI

10+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2008
189
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
Hi fMRI. Thank you! I realize some more info would be helpful, but don't want to go into too much detail: Caribbean grad, Step I and II both around 220s. I think part of my problem in not matching was not applying broadly enough. I did well in my Psych clerkship, but no electives (concentrated on electives in the specialty I previously applied to). However my undergrad major and activities are heavily Psych related. I plan to spend the next year doing something Psych-related (any advice in this regard would be appreciated) ...
Hi DRkam
Scores are decent, no electives a bit of a draw-back (no reference letters).
You already said that you didn't apply broadly enough, so do that. ;)

If you can, bolster your CV by doing something psych related. Do you have the possibility to engage in research for a year?
Maybe you want to consider doing an observership abroad (finances permitting)?

What surely matters a great deal is how you tell the story about your undergrad interest, then turn away from psych and the recent return. (I guess the "other" field you toyed with matters a great deal in this story -- say it was dermatology, then it would be more difficult to explain this (they might say you're just out to get a "life-style" spec.), if it was something like neuro, internal med or pediatrics, it would be easier. You could say that you wish to keep the "other love" as a strong side-interest (ie. pedopsych, consultation-liasion, neuropsychiatry, etc. later on.)

Let's see what the attendings have to say. :)
 
OP
D
Jul 25, 2009
13
0
Status
Medical Student
Hi DRkam
Scores are decent, no electives a bit of a draw-back (no reference letters).
You already said that you didn't apply broadly enough, so do that. ;)

If you can, bolster your CV by doing something psych related. Do you have the possibility to engage in research for a year?
Maybe you want to consider doing an observership abroad (finances permitting)?

What surely matters a great deal is how you tell the story about your undergrad interest, then turn away from psych and the recent return. (I guess the "other" field you toyed with matters a great deal in this story -- say it was dermatology, then it would be more difficult to explain this (they might say you're just out to get a "life-style" spec.), if it was something like neuro, internal med or pediatrics, it would be easier. You could say that you wish to keep the "other love" as a strong side-interest (ie. pedopsych, consultation-liasion, neuropsychiatry, etc. later on.)

Let's see what the attendings have to say. :)
Thanks fMRI! Yeah, not applying broadly enough was my downfall with the other specialty, but I don't plan to repeat my mistake this time around with Psych.

I'm trying to bolster my CV by looking around for volunteer clinical research. Unfortunately, the med-school in my hometown doesn't offer anything and my finances are a bit limited, so going elsewhere would pose a problem. But I am still looking and was considering volunteer counseling, that sort of thing as well.

I'm a US-IMG, may I ask why you would suggest an observership abroad?

Luckily, I am in a related field. And actually, I would love to meld the two fields in my practice of Psych. I'm including part of my "story" in my PS. Like I said, Psych is far from a back-up :).
 
OP
D
Jul 25, 2009
13
0
Status
Medical Student
Anyone have any more advice?

Another one of my concerns is lack of a Psych LoR. I did well but completed my clerkship a while ago. I've seen on a few program sites that one of the criteria for screening is a LoR from a Psych attending ...
 
Jul 20, 2009
204
5
Status
Anyone have any more advice?

Another one of my concerns is lack of a Psych LoR. I did well but completed my clerkship a while ago. I've seen on a few program sites that one of the criteria for screening is a LoR from a Psych attending ...
not an attending, but my guess would be that you'll definately match "somewhere" if you apply broadly enough....

I'd contact one of the psych attendings you worked with and get a generic letter. Explain the situation and surely one of them you worked with could help you out. Offer to send your personal statement to them as well.
 
OP
D
Jul 25, 2009
13
0
Status
Medical Student
not an attending, but my guess would be that you'll definately match "somewhere" if you apply broadly enough....

I'd contact one of the psych attendings you worked with and get a generic letter. Explain the situation and surely one of them you worked with could help you out. Offer to send your personal statement to them as well.
Yeah, since it's been a while, I was worried about the dreaded "generic" letter - and part of me is torn between the idea of matching somewhere and not matching anywhere. It's definitely worth a shot though. Thank you!
 

fMRI

10+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2008
189
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
I'm a US-IMG, may I ask why you would suggest an observership abroad?
Abroad? Because you're an IMG. The US isn't the easiest place, so maybe honing in on an international experience with psych might increase your chances. In case you are financially well off, there are a couple of short courses and research/taught courses you could take in England. (Fees for US students are higher, so there is less competition.) Resulting in reference letters and a more impressive resume... I don't know if one can take electives in the US after one graduates.

But again, you already said that you didn't apply broadly enough -- so do this. :D
You got the two letters after your name and that's all it takes to get a residency spot, and tons of luck.
Good luck! :luck:
 
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OP
D
Jul 25, 2009
13
0
Status
Medical Student
Abroad? Because you're an IMG. The US isn't the easiest place, so maybe honing in on an international experience with psych might increase your chances. In case you are financially well off, there are a couple of short courses and research/taught courses you could take in England. (Fees for US students are higher, so there is less competition.) Resulting in reference letters and a more impressive resume... I don't know if one can take electives in the US after one graduates.

But again, you already said that you didn't apply broadly enough -- so do this. :D
You got the two letters after your name and that's all it takes to get a residency spot, and tons of luck.
Good luck! :luck:
I had asked because I am a Caribbean grad and completed my Psych rotation in the states ...

Thanks for the good wishes and especially for that reminder - it's easy to forget that I do in fact possess the degree :D.
 

fMRI

10+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2008
189
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
I had asked because I am a Caribbean grad and completed my Psych rotation in the states ...

Thanks for the good wishes and especially for that reminder - it's easy to forget that I do in fact possess the degree :D.

http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/virtual/?path=/students09/prospective/

In case you really had a year with nothing to do and tons of spare cash to top it (you'd also have to factor in flying back for residency interviews), you could still apply for a spot in some of their programs, for example. (Deadline is in a few days for the last programs!) Given that non-UK fees are much higher, you stand a good chance to secure a spot and might end up with more letters after your name at the end of the gap year. ;)