Data from a top med school: Success Rates for Matching Each Specialty, and what AOA Students Choose

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efle

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Hey everyone.

Recently discovered some interesting data and thought I'd share two highlights. The following comes from a decade of match data at a top 10 med school, encompassing some ~1100 students total.

First: It's conventional wisdom on SDN that going to big name programs makes it easier to match competitively. But, what does that really mean? Do 95%+ of students at [top program] that want derm, ortho, plastics etc. succeed in matching it?

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For reference, here are the national match rates for 2016 per the NRMP:

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Second: What do the top of the class students at a top program tend to match? Do they all swarm the lifestyle specialties? Do they all want to be academics and match IM or other specialties with a lot of research? Take a look at the percent of AOA students choosing each (approx. 175 total AOA students):

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Enjoy.

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% Matched @ Top 10 School - % Matched NRMP Charting the Outcomes 2016

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also relevant

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side note: there are about 120-ish allo med schools so 30% Matched-From-T40 is the real "Zero" in this data. Sub-30 values mean the specialty is being under-selected by ( or under-selecting) T40 students, above 30 means over selected (over-selecting), etc.
 
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I always look at the uber competitive fields (derm, ortho, plastics, etc) when I try to do these comparisons. Do you think the difference in the top 10 data mostly has to do with:
1. some schools dont have home programs in those fields so it makes it harder to match for those students
2. those fields require extensive research output and the top schools are more likely to help students find productive research labs
3. recognizability of the name and being able to compare an applicant quality to others with the same alma mater (like Bob the resident is a hard worker and great resident from X school. Applicant is from X school so they will possibly assume that X school creates others like Bob).
4. These schools tend to accept student who have gone above and beyond the expectations of getting into medical school (higher stats, more commitment to activities, more extensive research, etc) so the personal characteristics of the students help set them up to match into these because they have a natural drive to excel at a higher level which will make them more competitive?

It would be interesting if they published the avg STEP score of these applicants who were accepted from T10 schools compared to schools outside the T40.
 
I always look at the uber competitive fields (derm, ortho, plastics, etc) when I try to do these comparisons. Do you think the difference in the top 10 data mostly has to do with:
1. some schools dont have home programs in those fields so it makes it harder to match for those students
2. those fields require extensive research output and the top schools are more likely to help students find productive research labs
3. recognizability of the name and being able to compare an applicant quality to others with the same alma mater (like Bob the resident is a hard worker and great resident from X school. Applicant is from X school so they will possibly assume that X school creates others like Bob).
4. These schools tend to accept student who have gone above and beyond the expectations of getting into medical school (higher stats, more commitment to activities, more extensive research, etc) so the personal characteristics of the students help set them up to match into these because they have a natural drive to excel at a higher level which will make them more competitive?

It would be interesting if they published the avg STEP score of these applicants who were accepted from T10 schools compared to schools outside the T40.
Very little of #1, almost all med schools are affiliated with academic centers with residencies like ortho or derm

#2 I used to think was a big factor, but less so now. The research med students do is usually very basic straightforward stuff, like literature reviews or retrospective chart review projects. This can be found very easily at pretty much any med school. The huge grant winner projects that take years and end up in New England Journal are not what most med students get involved with for a summer.

#3 I think plays some role. A year or two ago I looked through the residency rosters for MGH internal med I believe and found it was something like 85% graduates of top 20 med schools. I'm sure it helps a little with landing an interview to come from a well known name that feeds them every year.

#4 I think is the biggest factor. When you take in a bunch of students who were PBK at ivy league undergrads with MCAT scores in the top few percentile and demonstrated interest in research, it's no surprise they continue to play the game well and build strong residency applications. It's not like the schools imbue the students with that work ethic or teach them how to study.

I wish I could control for step scores from this school vs the national pool in each specialty, but unfortunately that was not part of the dataset.
 
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