Sep 18, 2017
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On the peds interview thread, I saw how many programs you all applied to (even some of you with stellar scores!) and now i'm paranoid about the amount of programs I applied to: 31.

To give you context--
step 1: 225-230, step 2: 235-240, 2nd quartile, no red flags, US MD at top 50

I thought I applied pretty reasonably, meaning ~5 reaches, ~5 back ups, and ~20 middle of the road programs (based on my scores).

Couple questions: should I apply to more programs? If so, does it look bad to add more "back-up" programs after I already submitted ERAS on time (would it hurt me more than it would help me at this point)? Can other programs I already applied to see that I added more programs afterwards (or do they just know that I applied to them, period)?
 

SurfingDoctor

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On the peds interview thread, I saw how many programs you all applied to (even some of you with stellar scores!) and now i'm paranoid about the amount of programs I applied to: 31.

To give you context--
step 1: 225-230, step 2: 235-240, 2nd quartile, no red flags, US MD at top 50

I thought I applied pretty reasonably, meaning ~5 reaches, ~5 back ups, and ~20 middle of the road programs (based on my scores).

Couple questions: should I apply to more programs? If so, does it look bad to add more "back-up" programs after I already submitted ERAS on time (would it hurt me more than it would help me at this point)? Can other programs I already applied to see that I added more programs afterwards (or do they just know that I applied to them, period)?
Simple answer based on what you stated: 31 is more like too many as opposed to not enough.
 
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Sep 18, 2017
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Simple answer based on what you stated: 31 is more like too many as opposed to not enough.
Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. I think I just felt a little worried after seeing people apply to >60 programs with a step score of >250.

I'm aware that i'm slightly below average for a peds applicant, so I want to be cautious.
 
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SurfingDoctor

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Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. I think I just felt a little worried after seeing people apply to >60 programs with a step score of >250.

I'm aware that i'm slightly below average for a peds applicant, so I want to be cautious.
If people with >250 are applying to >60 programs, they need a good dose of Versed.
 
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Sep 18, 2017
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If people with >250 are applying to >60 programs, they need a good dose of Versed.
Haha, good point. I know you're going to tell me to not apply to any more...but do you have advice regarding whether it is a bad look to apply to some programs past the september 15th "deadline"? Or would it be okay since we're not too far from that date?

Thanks again everyone :)
 

SurfingDoctor

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Haha, good point. I know you're going to tell me to not apply to any more...but do you have advice regarding whether it is a bad look to apply to some programs past the september 15th "deadline"? Or would it be okay since we're not too far from that date?

Thanks again everyone :)
I don't think it looks bad, I just thinks it means you'll eventually be cancelling more interviews.

FYI, no program can see what other programs you applied to and technically it's against ACGME/MATCH rules to ask an applicant.
 
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dextor2003

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FYI, no program can see what other programs you applied to and technically it's against ACGME/MATCH rules to ask an applicant.
As an aside, if we do get asked this question during an interview, what's the best way for us to respond? Be honest? Find a polite way to not answer?
 

mvenus929

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On the peds interview thread, I saw how many programs you all applied to (even some of you with stellar scores!) and now i'm paranoid about the amount of programs I applied to: 31.

To give you context--
step 1: 225-230, step 2: 235-240, 2nd quartile, no red flags, US MD at top 50

I thought I applied pretty reasonably, meaning ~5 reaches, ~5 back ups, and ~20 middle of the road programs (based on my scores).

Couple questions: should I apply to more programs? If so, does it look bad to add more "back-up" programs after I already submitted ERAS on time (would it hurt me more than it would help me at this point)? Can other programs I already applied to see that I added more programs afterwards (or do they just know that I applied to them, period)?
I applied 3 years ago with a Step 1 score of 219. I'm pretty sure I was in the bottom half of my class (because my class was crazy smart). I applied to 19 programs and went on 9 interviews (including several reaches). You'll be fine.

The people applying to obscene numbers of programs are either 1) crazy, or 2) couples matching with someone in a competitive field.

As an aside, if we do get asked this question during an interview, what's the best way for us to respond? Be honest? Find a polite way to not answer?
"I am applying in the southeast because..." or "I'm applying broadly because..." Be vague, but honest. If someone doesn't take the hint and presses you more, it's generally not a good sign.

People will also ask if you have a significant other, which is an illegal question as well. Usually they are asking with good intentions--they want to make sure they cover any benefits to your partner for moving to that place, or demonstrate the support for spouses. So you should try to figure out an answer to that question as well.
 
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I applied 3 years ago with a Step 1 score of 219. I'm pretty sure I was in the bottom half of my class (because my class was crazy smart). I applied to 19 programs and went on 9 interviews (including several reaches). You'll be fine.

The people applying to obscene numbers of programs are either 1) crazy, or 2) couples matching with someone in a competitive field.
You brought up a point I hadn't even thought of: applicants who are couples matching. It now makes sense why some people are applying to so many places.

Follow-up question: Can programs see how many places you applied to? I know they can't specifically see which programs you applied to...

Thanks again, you guys are so great!
 

Soccer171983

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You will be fine. Peds is not ultracompetitive and your scores are fine compared to my friends who had applied meds. Peds isn't a field where the first thing they go nuts about is usmle.... If you meet the basic criteria as everyone else its a crap shoot. You applied to a reasonable number. Its more about whether the number is enough to give you piece of mind. If you want to apply for more... by all means do it. Obviously that won't hurt you but are there many more programs that you didn't apply to that you would be exceptionally interested in? I would say your good to go. I do not suspect they will ask you a direct question about a number a applied to or programs you applied to. They may ask your reasoning for their program in regards to locations and other things that would be reasonable to know.
 

mvenus929

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You brought up a point I hadn't even thought of: applicants who are couples matching. It now makes sense why some people are applying to so many places.

Follow-up question: Can programs see how many places you applied to? I know they can't specifically see which programs you applied to...
No, programs cannot see anything beyond your application to them.
 

oldbearprofessor

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As an aside, if we do get asked this question during an interview, what's the best way for us to respond? Be honest? Find a polite way to not answer?
In my opinion, it is ALWAYS best to answer this question (where else are you applying) honestly. People may ask about specific programs near them. They won't decide about you based on where you're applying, they are curious about what you are looking for. They might decide about you if they think you are not being straight forward. Questions that are truly illegal based on sexual preferences, religion and physical disabilities should not be answered and should be reported. Where you're applying is not in this category. To answer the original question. Yes, assuming you have good letters, 31 is more than enough, but if you decide you want to add a specific place you just heard about (e.g. that program in Philly, I think it's called CHOP), go for it.
 
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Sep 18, 2017
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All of you guys are so helpful. Thanks so much :)

Another question if you all don't mind answering: I have three strong letters of recommendation. Does it look strange to PDs to only submit the minimum (3)? Meaning, is it a red flag to have 3 versus 4?
 
Sep 19, 2017
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I'm applying to 50 peds programs, but that's due to couples matching with my spouse in a VERY competitive field, and I'm not a particularly strong applicant by Step 1 standards.
 
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