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Usmle Guy

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Jan 12, 2017
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Guys, is it okay to apply to both prelim and Categorical IM in the same program??
- Prelim is my goal, categorical is my back up.
- I am IMG, looking for Radiology.

I am happy to hear your opinions?

Thanks.
 
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the argus

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Yes you can apply to both prelim and categorical at the same institution, but in the above situation it's a pretty stupid idea. If they interview you they will no doubt ask why you applied to both.

If you tell them it's because you're applying to radiology and using categorical IM as a back-up, then you'll have a better chance to sleep with the queen of england than to match into their categorical IM program. And if you lie and tell them prelim is the back-up to categorical IM, and they like you, they would likely rank you for categorical only and not prelim.

The only scenario where it would work out is if they rank you low on categorical list but high on prelim, but I think that's highly unlikely. There's usually no shortage of people looking for medicine prelim years (unless the program is highly undesirable), and they're likely stronger applicants also going for advanced positions. It's unlikely someone would be less competitive for categorical IM than prelim at the same program.
 
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AdmiralChz

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Yes you can apply to both prelim and categorical at the same institution, but in the above situation it's a pretty stupid idea. If they interview you they will no doubt ask why you applied to both.

If you tell them it's because you're applying to radiology and using categorical IM as a back-up, then you'll have a better chance to sleep with the queen of england than to match into their categorical IM program. And if you lie and tell them prelim is the back-up to categorical IM, and they like you, they would likely rank you for categorical only and not prelim.

The only scenario where it would work out is if they rank you low on categorical list but high on prelim, but I think that's highly unlikely. There's usually no shortage of people looking for medicine prelim years (unless the program is highly undesirable), and they're likely stronger applicants also going for advanced positions. It's unlikely someone would be less competitive for categorical IM than prelim at the same program.

So true! For prelim medicine you are competing with those looking for PGY1 going into rads, derm, optho, etc... So they tend to be relatively competitive.

This is the opposite of prelim surgery, which mostly fill either via SOAP for those who didn’t match in surgical subs or, to be honest, IMGs just looking for any position.
 

axmcfk

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Jan 29, 2017
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Would like to point out how the Match works to remind ppl:

There are 2 Columns in which you rank programs, 1 Advanced/Categorical column and 1 Pre-lim Column

If you match into ANY advanced position (you would rank all your Rads/Derm/Neuro/Anes above any Categorical IM spot), automatically the Match then moves to the Pre-lim Column to match you there.

SO.. if you interview at a hospital for both positions, Categorical and Pre-Lim (usually the same interview), while it is not advisable and can be a "shot in the foot" if youre not careful... it can be helpful too. If they rank you high for Categorical they probably will rank you high for prelim as it is false to believe that all programs depend entirely on SOAP for prelim matching.


The LOADS of prelim spots that go during SOAP make it likely to get a pre-lim spot then too. In fact I have heard some USMD students applying for advanced positions are advised to wait for pre-lim positions in SOAP.


It's not the best way to do it but its works out if youre careful. Just never turn down a Categorical position where you get offered a Pre-lim position. At that point they will sense something is wrong and it will be a waste of time for all parties involved.
 
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