zdr81

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Sep 11, 2007
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Hello all, first post here on SDN

I'm an AMG at a state university getting ready to apply for GI Match 2008 (for programs starting July 2009). I'm hoping to solicit some feedback on the (many) questions from other prospective residents, GI fellows, and perhaps GI attendings if any :)

1. Selection of places to apply - I'm lost on this one. I see myself as competitive with a good clinical background, several case reports published, and 3-4 research projects in progress (i.e. publication time probably a little too late for this year's application but in time for DDW). That said, and coming from a state university as an AMG, I'm guessing the private places will be out of reach. I do plan to apply to as many places as possible given the competitiveness of the Match but any feedback on how to select would be greatly appreciated.

2. Related to #1, any ranking of the best GI programs out there in both private and public university institutions?

3. How many LORs needed? I'm going to guess that 3 from GI and 3 from non-GI would be adequate...

4. Any other information would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully this thread will develop into something useful that can be stickied for future applicants.

Thanks!
 

lucky77

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Sep 26, 2007
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zdr81,

My first post as well.

Having recently gone through the GI Match (matched) last year, I felt compelled to throw my two cents out there. Hope it will be of help.

Sounds like you will be a good candidate. University based residency should help for applying to university based fellowships. The big question at most interviews (from my experience) is whether or not you are interested in academic GI. Of course this will not apply to all places. This will be measured by your "motor", meaning how much research/publications you have in your portfolio. Case reports will be beneficial. The research projects in progress (even if not presented at DDW or in publication format) will be very important for you to elaborate on (concisely) in the ERAS application and to bring some evidence of your work on these projects (rough drafts or whatever you have). Also, bring your case reports with you. Be honest with yourself, your application, and your interviewers regarding your interest in academic GI.


A key to where to apply will be: apply to bottom, middle, and top-tiered programs. Because of my own bias, I don't think it is fair for me to reply to the best program question. In addition, the best program for you will depend upon career aspirations (private practice vs. academic), research direction, etc. I would ask your home GI PD what programs he/she might recommend, and use the GI fellows at your institution for a source of good information on this subject. Many programs will be strong in 1-2 areas (ie endoscopy, hepatology), and a select group will be strong in all the niches. Research regarding placement after fellowship indicates that fellows are likely to work in the city or institution in which they trained, so keep that in mind.

As for number of LORs needed, if my memory serves me correctly, 4 are required. One will be your PD letter. The others could be from GI faculty, but would recommend that one of those come from a GI research mentor that can attest to your "motor". Other successul applicants in GI and other competitive sub-specialties used one letter from a non-GI faculty....especially important if trading very strong non-GI LOR for weak to luke-warm GI LOR. You could ask for 6 letters and only use 3, or mix and match, but this can back-fire if word gets out at your home institution that you are asking for more LORs than you might actually use.

Lastly, from reading through some of the threads last year, you can work yourself into a panic attack if you dwell on some of the catatrophizers. Do what works for you and stay positive.
 

zdr81

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Sep 11, 2007
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Thanks for the reply lucky. Seems that the research 'motor' as you nicely described plays the biggest role in getting into a higher tiered academic institution, right? What do you suppose are other factors for AMGs based on your interviews? My GI PD had mentioned that a skilled clinician is what he looks for in those that he interviews; I suppose the LORs dictate that although I'm not sure how much USMLE scores play into their decision.

If you don't mind telling me, I'm interested in how many places you interviewed at and how many you initially applied to. Given the competition after reintroducing the match, it seems almost compelling for AMGs as well to apply everywhere (i.e. 50+ programs).

Thanks again for your help. Hopefully others will contribute for those planning to apply for July 2009.
 

zdr81

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Sep 11, 2007
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anyone else wish to contribute to this thread?
 
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