curious monkey

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Anybody have an idea if it hurts your application if you apply to multiple programs at one school (ie applying for peds and IM or applying for IM and a joint IM-peds). Do the different departments within schools talk and do they in general take it as being indecisive and more of a negative attribute to an applicant?
 

allylz

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curious monkey said:
Anybody have an idea if it hurts your application if you apply to multiple programs at one school (ie applying for peds and IM or applying for IM and a joint IM-peds). Do the different departments within schools talk and do they in general take it as being indecisive and more of a negative attribute to an applicant?

It hurts you. I've heard this from many students and program directors. They do indeed talk. I have heard stories of program directors finding out about a student applying to multiple programs at dinner parties, etc. They told my class we would be surprised how often it happens. We also heard a cautionary tale of a student in the class ahead of us at school who applied to two programs at our institution, and indeed the programs found out about it and rejected her. I believe she did not match anywhere because of this.

I don't think it would hurt you nearly as much if you were applying to multiple programs in the same field (i.e. a joint program plus one of the subsets of that joint program).... but I certainly don't think it would help you either. All programs want the impression that you want their program and only their program. Remember, they always have a huge group of other applicants who don't have that problem of appearing indecisive or less interested in the specific program, so they don't care much about tossing you in favor of someone else.
 

xthine

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Same question..any input would be highly appreciated. :)
 

dragonfly99

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That is an interesting question.
I would say if you apply to both categorial IM and categorical med/peds at the same place, they are likely to find out, simply because some of the faculty doing the interviews and reviewing the applications are likely to be the same people.
Ditto if you did ped + peds/IM.
Now, if someone applies to just straight peds and straight IM at the same place, I'm not sure...in a big medical center I'm not sure how much these 2 departments talk with each other.

I think that you should try to narrow it down to one specialty - IM or peds - or just go with med/peds. If you are a US grad you probably won't have a problem finding a spot in one of these...particularly straight IM or peds. There are lots of programs. I do think if they find out you crossapplied they might think you are indecisive. Do you want to treat kids, adults or both?
 

Ludicolo

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People talk. Plus there are anecdotes of someone interviewing for one program at a given institution, then returning to interview for a different program at the same place, only to run into someone who interviewed him the first time. Some programs would view this negatively as a lack of commitment to their field. Other programs might not care as much, but do you want to take that chance?

Agree with dragonfly99: make a decision one way or the other.
 

aProgDirector

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I think it depends.

If you apply to IM and IM/Peds, that makes sense. Both are similar, and both suggest a commitment to IM or peds which are similar. Similarly, you could apply to a categorical and a primary care IM track at a single IM program without too much problem.

if you apply to Rads and IM, or Surgery and FP, then things start to look funny. In the former, for example, I'd assume that you're really interested in Rads and applying to IM as a backup. Then I start to get nervous, mainly because in my experience this leads to an intern who comes to me in August and tells me that:

"I'm going to apply for Rads again this year in the match. Can I have the months of Dec and Jan off to interview? And if I match, I guess I won't need that PGY-2 spot next year. But don't give it away until after March, because I might not match and then I'll need the PGY-2 spot. Unless I decide in another month that I really hate IM and quit altogether. But if that happens, I'll be sure to give you at least 2 months notice. Unless I'm really unhappy, then I'd just simply quit."

You get the picture.
 

ranmyaku

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"I'm going to apply for Rads again this year in the match. Can I have the months of Dec and Jan off to interview? And if I match, I guess I won't need that PGY-2 spot next year. But don't give it away until after March, because I might not match and then I'll need the PGY-2 spot. Unless I decide in another month that I really hate IM and quit altogether. But if that happens, I'll be sure to give you at least 2 months notice. Unless I'm really unhappy, then I'd just simply quit."
lol. sounds like you've heard this a few times before...
 

rox

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"I'm going to apply for Rads again this year in the match. Can I have the months of Dec and Jan off to interview? And if I match, I guess I won't need that PGY-2 spot next year. But don't give it away until after March, because I might not match and then I'll need the PGY-2 spot. Unless I decide in another month that I really hate IM and quit altogether. But if that happens, I'll be sure to give you at least 2 months notice. Unless I'm really unhappy, then I'd just simply quit."
It's funny but I think it's a quite important message everyone applying to IM as a backup should keep in mind. :thumbup:
 

gerido

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I have this very same question. For those of us applying to the competitive programs, especially when we're somewhat geographically bound, I think it's a little bit naive of PDs (at least the PD of the "more competitive") program to not expect the students to have a back up.

For example, if I look at derm, average nearly 2 distinct rank, rad and plastic ~ 1.5, etc.. this tell me that about half to all people in these specialties are also applying to a different field.

Have there been horror stories out there? Or vise versa, anyone who interviewed at the same place for multiple programs, and never had any problem?.. I would love to hear about it. any advice on how to avoid running into people in the hall, can we just NOT take the tour? do PDs really talk to each other? like Rad and derm? urology and GS? I see how busy these attendings are and I can't imagine that they really talk about the hundreds to thousands of applicants that they deal with.
 

dragonfly99

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If applying to 2 different specialties, then consider applying for internal med at different institution(s) than where you are applying for radiology or derm, etc. Then you don't have to worry so much. Or you could just apply for a medicine prelim year.
If it were me, though, I'd apply medicine categorical and then you can always bail later if you get a rads or derm spot...remember the hospitals are looking out for their interests. YOU are looking out for yours.
 

Ludicolo

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I get the feeling that derm PDs understand that most applicants have a back up field in mind. However, the PD of the back up field might be offended to be…well, a back up.

Best bet would be to apply to two different specialties at two different institutions. However, if you are restricted to a certain geographic area with limited choices, and you need to apply to a field as a back up, I think you should have a good explanation on interviews as to why you are applying to two different specialties in the same place. I’d think you’d need to demonstrate commitment to the back up field.

PDs aren’t stupid. If you apply to a somewhat competitive categorical/advaced back up program, and they find out (especially if they find out from sources other than you) that you intend to bolt after a year, then you are a risk. You will be ranked accordingly.
 

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This is actually a question I think about often because I plan to dual apply (equal interest in 2 fields that *I* think are similar but maybe many people do not and geographical contraints).

As far as I can tell/have read, programs have no idea what you are applying to prior to an interview, where you run some (most likely fairly small) risk of being "outted" if you dual apply. It also seems like once you reach the interview stage, you have a reasonable chance of matching at a place.

So, correct me if this is incorrect, it seems like you would be perfectly safe in double applying to 2 fields at the same hospitals. Then, if you happen to get several interviews in the more desirable field, you can cancel any interviews at the same place in the less desirable field without anyone knowing the difference. No PD is likely to remember by name the person who didn't come to an interview and mention it to a PD in another field.

I would also think the odds of being outted at a big hospital are so small that even double-interviewing would be fine but it does involve some risk.

I guess I've never understood the idea that only one field that you have done for a couple of months as a student could possibly ever be a good fit for you as a career. I understand aPD's frustration with applicants who arrive uncommitted then quickly desert but there are probably plenty of other people who honestly (at least prior to interviewing) could see themselves doing either, quite happily and committedly.
 

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Its not that PDs are being naive, especially those in competitive specialties. They know you have a back-up plan, heck...they hope you have a back-up plan. Do PDs in different specialties talk to each other about their interviewees? Unlikely.

But what most of you are forgetting is that the residents do. I used to see students all the time around the hospital interviewing - in the cafeteria, outside the ORs, etc. In their darkly pressed suits, its hard not to see them. And it would take very little, even in a large hospital, to recognize someone you've interviewed and to talk to the residents in the other program they are now interviewing for. Coming from a surgical specialty, I probably wouldn't know the Derm or FM residents, but I certainly know the surgical subspecialties, IM, EM, Rads, and Anesthesia residents and depending on my interest, I definitely might say something. Of course this depends on the randomness of seeing you suited up for your other interview, but it happens. I recall a post here on SDN about someone recognizing a student he had interviewed on another interview.

The fact is that most people who are interviewing for two specialties - one competitive, one less so - are not torn between the fields, but rather are using it as a back-up. You cannot blame PDs or call them naive to recognize this and to wonder about your commitment. Having seen my share of people claim to be interested in general surgery and then bail when that coveted Ortho or Plastics position opens up, its a bitter bill to have invested that time into someone who was planning on leaving from the day they interviewed.
 

dragonfly99

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don't hate the player, hate the game.

You can bet that program directors and hospitals and residency programs are doing what is good for them. You do what is good for YOU.
 

Brunette1981

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But what most of you are forgetting is that the residents do. I used to see students all the time around the hospital interviewing - in the cafeteria, outside the ORs, etc. In their darkly pressed suits, its hard not to see them.
This is a good point. You'd still be safe applying (not interviewing) for both though as it often hard to know if you are competitive for a particular speciality/hospital without giving it a shot.

The fact is that most people who are interviewing for two specialties - one competitive, one less so - are not torn between the fields, but rather are using it as a back-up. You cannot blame PDs or call them naive to recognize this and to wonder about your commitment. Having seen my share of people claim to be interested in general surgery and then bail when that coveted Ortho or Plastics position opens up, its a bitter bill to have invested that time into someone who was planning on leaving from the day they interviewed.
As someone not interested in surgery particularly, I would think this would be more understandable/acceptable in surgery than in many other fields. Sure, maybe it is not fun to know that an applicant would rather be a plastic surgeon (for $, prestige, whatever reasons) than a general surgeon, but the person is still trying to be a surgeon. Seems unfair to ding someone when s/he is pursuing two related things that would both be related/interesting to him or her.

If you are a PD at hospital X, how is it different for a person to interview at hospital X for GS and plastics and pick plastics than to have a person interview for GS at your hospital and hospital Y and pick Y? In both cases, you have invested time in someone who would perhaps rather be elsewhere.

This is assuming of course that both residencies are complete unto themselves, not that the person is reapplying for a 2nd year slot, which would be a different matter.
 

Winged Scapula

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This is a good point. You'd still be safe applying (not interviewing) for both though as it often hard to know if you are competitive for a particular speciality/hospital without giving it a shot.
True. And in that case (ie, applying but not actually interviewing) the chances of being "outed" would be exceedingly low.

As someone not interested in surgery particularly, I would think this would be more understandable/acceptable in surgery than in many other fields. Sure, maybe it is not fun to know that an applicant would rather be a plastic surgeon (for $, prestige, whatever reasons) than a general surgeon, but the person is still trying to be a surgeon. Seems unfair to ding someone when s/he is pursuing two related things that would both be related/interesting to him or her.
Heh. Well you don't know what general surgeons think about plastic surgeons obviously (nor would I expect you to). In many places, once residents announce their interest in pursuing plastics training, the interest level in that resident by the gen surgeons, drops considerably.

If you are a PD at hospital X, how is it different for a person to interview at hospital X for GS and plastics and pick plastics than to have a person interview for GS at your hospital and hospital Y and pick Y? In both cases, you have invested time in someone who would perhaps rather be elsewhere.
Its probably a fine line but IMHO there is a difference between someone who interviews for a single specialty at multiple different places and chooses one, and someone who interviews for multiple specialties. I don't see mysef as having wasted my time if I am spending it with someone who is truly interested and really wants to be there.

Think of it this way:

- if you were dating a man and you knew he was dating other women, you might be a little jealous, you might work harder, but at least you knew this was a possibility

- but if you were dating a man who was either gay or married, then it would be different wouldn't it? You've invested the same time as you did in the situation above, but essentially for naught, because your chances of living happily ever after (or for at least the duration of residency) are pretty slim to none.
 

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Anybody have an idea if it hurts your application if you apply to multiple programs at one school (ie applying for peds and IM or applying for IM and a joint IM-peds). Do the different departments within schools talk and do they in general take it as being indecisive and more of a negative attribute to an applicant?
I think with IM-Peds some programs don't want you to apply to both IM-Peds and one of their categorical programs. With IM-Peds the other PDs for IM and Pediatrics will know that you are applying to either of the single categorical programs . . . I actually did this and got a funny look from the PD who asked me to withdrawl my application from one of the two programs basically. It has the appearance of looking as though you can't make up your mind. . .
 

predodoc

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I have a question.
Im torn b/t 2 specialties and thinking about applying to both. IM and PMR. Neither are super competitive so its not like one is a back up. The only reason Im thinking of doing this is b/c I have not had an inpt. PMR rotation yet and honestly Im kinda scared to commit without ever really doing a rotation.
I think Ill know by november which specialty but Im applying in September. So here is my qustion:
If I apply to both programs at the same place, and I want to do an IM prelim year at that place If I go PMR, will the IM people know since I also applied to their cat. program?
 
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Ludicolo

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How about this scenario: apply to PM&R and categorical IM at the same place. I don't think the IM and rehab depts. will talk. If you like your rehab rotation, call the IM dept. and ask if you can change your application from categorical to prelim.
 

predodoc

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How about this scenario: apply to PM&R and categorical IM at the same place. I don't think the IM and rehab depts. will talk. If you like your rehab rotation, call the IM dept. and ask if you can change your application from categorical to prelim.
Good plan. So lets say I get an early invite for an interview at the PM&R program,and I tell them I would like to do a IM prelim, do you think they will want me to meet the IM dept. while Im there?

Are prelim. interviews ever connected like that?
 

Ludicolo

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Program dependent.

You can inform the PM&R people, when you accept the interview, that you are also interested in the prelim IM program there. They may be able to facilitate same day interviews (assuming the IM people are interested in you) - especially if you are travelling from a distance.