Cardio Question

Discussion in 'Cardiology' started by Roz, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Roz

    Roz Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2005
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    Resident [Any Field]
    Hi everyone,
    I am new to this message board and I had a quick question.

    I am a second year in medical school and one of my friends, also a second year, is very interested in doing Cardiology as a career. Does anyone have any good advice for him as to what he should be doing to prepare for this type of career? What are the usual board scores/med school grades/activities/etc. that programs like to see when looking at applicants? He is very bright and is looking to get into a decent program, perhaps Pittsburgh. Any information would be helpful and I really appreciate it!
  2. P Diddy

    P Diddy california lover
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 16, 2002
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    Attending Physician
    The most important things for your 'friend' to do are:

    1. do well in general in medical school

    medical school activities are useless, in my opinion, except for the knowledge you gain from them (minimal) or unless you founded a group that saved 1000 African orphans (unlikely). what he needs to do is prepare himself to obtain a residency in a strong academic institution - UPitt is a good choice. There are very few programs that allow an integrated IM/Cards match, and they're difficult to enter unless you've done significant Cards/basic science research. (ie PhD). So his best bet is to enter Cards through the traditional IM match and then apply for Cards in his second or third year of residency.

    Residencies look for all of the things you have mentioned: good board scores and grades as well as great LOR. don't know what typical Step I Pitt looks for, but a score above 240 would be good for the more competitive IM programs. Honoring your 3rd year IM rotation is required for an interview invite at some places. Being elected to the local AOA chapter also helps, though as mentioned in other threads, this can be an ethical morass.

    2. get involved in some kind of research

    it doesn't necessarily have to be Cards research, but that would be better. since internship is busy, not many are able to produce significant research during that year, and apps are due the year after. med school allows a lot more free time. ideally, your 'friend' could start a project now or during 3rd year and focus on that during 4th year. he'd have a lot to talk about during his IM interviews, and they do ask about future plans. having research in the field you say you want to enter is a good affadavit for the validity of your statement.

    3. not stress

    2nd year is so early. your 'friend' my change his mind about his career 2-3 times before the residency match let alone the fellowship match. it's good to think 5-10 years in advance and prepare accordingly, but there's no need to freak out. do well in medical school, get involved in some research, and that will set you up for any medical career you might wish for.

    P Diddy

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