AH3

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I know there are several factors that go into matching at good residency programs after medical school, such as test scores, class rank, etc. I'm just curious how the competitiveness of the medical school factors in. For example, how would it compare to be in the lower third of your class at Duke/Stanford/Johns Hopkins (any highly ranked school) versus being in the top third of your class at an average medical school? Is one better than the other?
 

LizzyM

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I know there are several factors that go into matching at good residency programs after medical school, such as test scores, class rank, etc. I'm just curious how the competitiveness of the medical school factors in. For example, how would it compare to be in the lower third of your class at Duke/Stanford/Johns Hopkins (any highly ranked school) versus being in the top third of your class at an average medical school? Is one better than the other?
You've got to figure that the opinion of residency directors factor into decisions. US News does use residency director opinion as one factor in its rankings.

I expect that it is like the role of undergrad school in med admission decisions. Your scores, grades and letters are most important but coming out of a good school adds a little gloss while coming out of an unknown school may raise an eyebrow and cause a reviewer to dig a little deeper. With residencies, of course, the pool of schools feeding into the programs is far smaller than the number of schools sending med school applicants into the world so it is more likely that residency directors are familiar with the quality of the students that come out of specific schools and how well those students are going to perform in residency. Schools may also have a reputation for preparing people well in one field but not so much in another so even within a specific school, residency directors may find the students from school x very desirable while the residency directors in another specialty are less enthused.
 

surftheiop

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You've got to figure that the opinion of residency directors factor into decisions. US News does use residency director opinion as one factor in its rankings.

I expect that it is like the role of undergrad school in med admission decisions. Your scores, grades and letters are most important but coming out of a good school adds a little gloss while coming out of an unknown school may raise an eyebrow and cause a reviewer to dig a little deeper. With residencies, of course, the pool of schools feeding into the programs is far smaller than the number of schools sending med school applicants into the world so it is more likely that residency directors are familiar with the quality of the students that come out of specific schools and how well those students are going to perform in residency. Schools may also have a reputation for preparing people well in one field but not so much in another so even within a specific school, residency directors may find the students from school x very desirable while the residency directors in another specialty are less enthused.
Yikes, you probably just unleashed the premed neuroticism floodgates. Prepare for the 20000 threads asking which of these schools is best for getting into EM or Rads.
 

LizzyM

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I don't know a thing about how any residency director views any program at any school.

Also, residency directorships tend to rotate around so one guy's opinion might not matter 4 years down the road when someone new is in charge.
 

anfleisch

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The only concrete thing that most people seem to agree with is, if your school doesn't have a program for a particular specialty, you are probably at a disadvantage for that particular specialty.
 

iPodtosis

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So going into a new school will put u at disadvantage for certain competitive programs even if u score well on the step 1 and other extracurricular stuff?
 

anfleisch

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A disadvantage doesn't mean you are dead in the water. You can do away rotations and try to make up for it. But it will be harder to come by recommendations and experience without a home program.
 

Narmerguy

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The only concrete thing that most people seem to agree with is, if your school doesn't have a program for a particular specialty, you are probably at a disadvantage for that particular specialty.
Yep I think this is the point that needs to be emphasized more.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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I think it's like Boston Latin and Philips Andover/Exter feeding truckloads of graduates to the Ivies. Or like HYPS feeding tons of premeds to Harvard, JHU, UCSF, etc.

Do they still accept a lot of people outside of their core feeder schools? Sure. Does it mean you have a better shot getting into your destination from a top-tier name school? Probably not due to the higher level of competition.

None of this negates the fact this feeder phenomenon occurs annually.
 

bigman225

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Don't let anyone tell you institutional prestige doesnt matter. Despite what everyone told me, it matters in a big way for MD admissions from what I've seen, especially at top ranked schools. Look at the Penn med 2014 facebook group. I don't know anything about matching but I'd imagine it matters, and probably more than most on here will admit
 

ApoK

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Don't let anyone tell you institutional prestige doesnt matter. Despite what everyone told me, it matters in a big way for MD admissions from what I've seen, especially at top ranked schools. Look at the Penn med 2014 facebook group. I don't know anything about matching but I'd imagine it matters, and probably more than most on here will admit
Completely agree. While it's nice to think that your undergrad institution (or med school) doesn't matter, it does when you're trying to distinguish between applicants that are more similar than different. It's far harder to set yourself apart without that name behind you. I'm sure this happens with regard to residency selection too, but more along the lines of what LizzyM described. If a program is reputed to have strong training in a given specialty, then you're at an advantage coming from that institution for that specialty (e.g. Columbia for Neurosurgery).

I also looked on the Penn Med accepted students page. lol, at least 80% of those kids go to top 10 schools. The interview day was similar too with well over 20 of the 30 kids coming from Harvard. If I'm not mistaken, Bigman225 and I were two of just a few state school kids there. I don't think there is anything wrong with this practice per se. It's a school's right to do this, but I think it's naive for people on SDN to say that where you go doesn't matter at all.
 
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Mar 11, 2010
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OP proposed a specific question along the lines of...

For example, how would it compare to be in the lower third of your class at Duke/Stanford/Johns Hopkins (any highly ranked school) versus being in the top third of your class at an average medical school?
Do the bottom tier of HMS, JHU, etc. land into the most competitive residencies? I don't know the answer to this question, but my first guess would probably be no. At your interview day, do you reckon a healthy share of those top-tier medical school graduates were in the bottom third?

Medical school is hard and competitive everywhere, but as with premed classes, all the science courses are the same except who you're curved against.

If OP had phrased his assumptions that he would perform strongly in a top-tier med school and reasonably well in Step 1, that's another answer...
 

bigman225

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That's an absolutely impossible question to answer. Bottom third in terms of pre-clinical grades? Clinical grades? Board scores? The point I was trying to make is that it matters, at least to a certain degree and at the top places. Like it or not. Obviously if you suck it doesn't matter where you are from.
 

ApoK

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Do the bottom tier of HMS, JHU, etc. land into the most competitive residencies? I don't know the answer to this question, but my first guess would probably be no. At your interview day, do you reckon a healthy share of those top-tier medical school graduates were in the bottom third?
Personally, I don't think anyone can give OP a clear cut answer to his specific question. There isn't enough information out there. We can only speak in general terms on this matter. There are far too many intangibles... relationships with residency directors, strength of research for a specialty at a given institution, time available to do away rotations and get strong LORs, time allowed to prep for step exams, interviewing ability, etc...
 

drizzt3117

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Personally, I don't think anyone can give OP a clear cut answer to his specific question. There isn't enough information out there. We can only speak in general terms on this matter. There are far too many intangibles... relationships with residency directors, strength of research for a specialty at a given institution, time available to do away rotations and get strong LORs, time allowed to prep for step exams, interviewing ability, etc...
This thread, especially page two of it, is pretty instructive.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=710877