Aug 22, 2016
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Medical Student
I'm just trying to get a sense of which programs are more "well-renown" than others.

I've been looking at APGO directory (adjusting average and minimum step scores since they don't update frequently) as well as doximity.

how accurate is doximity? is this the best, easy way to determine strength of a program?
 

trypanosomiasis

7+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2011
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I don't think Doximity necessarily gives you the "strength" of the program. Depending on what you're looking for in a program, it may or may not give you what you want. It's certainly skewed to favor large academic institutions with good subspecialty exposure, and a "name brand." I think Doximity tends to be an easy resource though, and is a fair proxy for "competitiveness" of academic programs. There's also bias in that the "Reputation" score it purports is based off of voluntary survey feedback - so if alumni from one program are bolstering the scores, it will look more favorably upon that program than one that doesn't use Doximity at all.

The APGO directory, when it's updated, is a good directory of minimum Step scores (if programs advertise them) as well as various subspecialty exposure and sometimes surgical numbers. It helps if you're looking in certain geographic regions to find programs you might not know about. That being said, seems like 50% of programs don't really update their data so some of it is woefully inaccurate. But knowing if a prospective program has fellowship x, y, and/or z, has a minimum Step of 210 for an interview, is located in Cool City, USA... those things can be helpful in deciding whether or not to apply.

The best way to get an indication for programs' competitiveness, "focus," strengths/weaknesses are to ask the residents at your home program. Just be friendly and say, "Hey, what were some cool places you applied, and are there any you might avoid or felt weird about?" I think most (assuming you ask at an appropriate time) would be willing to share insight on a few places if we can remember from interview days. Asking faculty is not a bad idea either, especially if they are active academically and know people at other institutions.
 
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