medstudent234

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Dec 9, 2015
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I was wondering what the pros/cons of applying to child after 3 vs. 4 yrs are? Obviously there are some financial benefits to skipping that yr, but you also miss some potentially valuable teaching time. Are applicants who apply after 3 yrs looked at more favorably because they seem more committed to the child track and I believe they are technically "cheaper" for the programs in the first yr of training, or is there really no difference? Thanks so much!
 

splik

Professional Cat at Large
7+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2009
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I was wondering what the pros/cons of applying to child after 3 vs. 4 yrs are? Obviously there are some financial benefits to skipping that yr, but you also miss some potentially valuable teaching time. Are applicants who apply after 3 yrs looked at more favorably because they seem more committed to the child track and I believe they are technically "cheaper" for the programs in the first yr of training, or is there really no difference? Thanks so much!
I'm not sure what kind of valuable teaching time you think you miss by not doing 4th year of residency, but okay... the main reason people do 4th year is because they want to do a chief year (it's not quite the same doing a child chief year), or a research year, really like psychotherapy or want to do additional electives, because they're not quite decided on doing further training, or they love their residency that much. Applicants who apply after 3 years, i.e. PGY-4s (I think you meant after 2 when you said 3) are generally looked upon more favorably than PGY-3s because they have an additional year of training, more likely to have completed all their requirements, more likely to have better CVs, are more masochistic and are more committed because they are willing to forgo twice as much in earnings than those who fasttrack (i.e. losing out on attending income for 2 rather than 1 year). That said, the vast majority fasttrack these days. Also fasttracking doesn't necessarily show more commitment, it's not uncommon for people to fasttrack in order to escape their program rather than any interest in child psychiatry. There also seems to be a trend for some IMGs who have neither the interest or aptitude for child psychiatry to apply for fellowships in order to match into a more prestigious program. I'm not sure how fasttrackers would be cheaper for programs in any meaningful sense -it's cheap labor either way.
 
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PistolPete

10+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2006
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No point in doing a 4th year, in my opinion. Remember the law of diminishing returns. How many new things are you really going to learn in 4th year, let alone 6th year of residency?
 
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medstudent234

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Dec 9, 2015
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I was told that it was cheaper for the programs because resident funding from the government is about twice as much as fellow funding, and your first year you would still be funded as a resident. No idea if this is true.
 

Merovinge

7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2012
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No point in doing a 4th year, in my opinion. Remember the law of diminishing returns. How many new things are you really going to learn in 4th year, let alone 6th year of residency?
Completely agree. You really need to know yourself and if you are okay doing 6 years of training without burning out or being sad when your friends make 4x+ on your income. I am already chomping at the bit to get started being an attending 6 weeks into PGY5 year so I am very glad I fast tracked.