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EM Residency "competitiveness"

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by JustMe, Aug 23, 2001.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Junior Member

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    Hi all! I was wondering if anybody knew for sure what the EM residencyies were generally taking as far as USMLE step I scores and the like for different regions in the country. If anyone has any stats that aren't just rumor, I'd love to hear them....
    Thanx.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Junior Member

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    Sorry about the typo--I'm really not the world's stupidist MD candidate, I just type fast... and I'm on a library computer with a broken keyboard to boot! 8( Anyway, if anybody would be able to tell me minimum entry scores for various progrms, I sure would appreciate it. Thanx.
    :rolleyes:
     
  4. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member
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    For what it is worth, I had a Christ Hospital (busiest program in Chicago)EM resident tell me that the cut-off last year was 230. That is pretty tough. Maybe he was exaggerating, but then again...

    EM is certainly a tough one to match to.
     
  5. Marc Squillante

    Marc Squillante Attending
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    Many programs don't use cutoff scores at all, except maybe as a starting point to start reviewing applications. Yes, EM is a competitive specialty. However, board scores aren't the only factor that predicts success for a resident. Your M3 clerkship grades are very important (especially IM and Surgery), as well as EM letters of recommendation (hopefully from an EM residency program).

    There are very few all-around "awesome" candidates, who have great boards/grades/letters/personality/ etc. Most everyone else (probably 80-90% of candidates) are middle to upper-middle of the roaders. Very few people (faculty included) can "do it all". Some programs may like to "brag" about the cutoff scores they use, but a lot of that might just be urban legend. There is probably some regional variation on this (i.e., California programs tend to be fairly competitive, mostly because of geography. Why everyone wants to go there, I haven't a clue. Guess that's the sign of a diehard midwesterner).

    I can't speak for all program directors, but most of us would much rather have a hard working, teachable, reliable resident with good interpersonal skills, who's academically average to above average, than an AOA resident who can't do the job clinically, is lazy, or pisses people off. Our grief factor goes way up with the latter, and it's usually not worth it.

    I think most of us try to look at the whole applicant. Outstanding boards can make or break some candidates, but most programs want a relatively well-rounded person who they think will fit in well with the rest of the team. (That being said, if you've flunked boards or barely made it through med school, then you'll probably have a tough time).

    The key for applicants is to find a program that fits their needs and where they will feel comfortable spending their 3-4 years of training.

    Hope this helps. It's a complicated decision for programs and applicants alike.

    Marc Squillante, DO
    Director, EM Residency Program
    OSF St. Francis Medical Center/ Univ. of Illinois College of Medicine @ Peoria, IL
     
  6. tonem

    tonem Senior Member
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    As a Californian in Pittsburgh (going on three years), I am starting to see things from your (die-hard) midwestern point of view.
     
  7. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    Marc Squillante--

    I'm really glad I found you on here! I've been looking for a program director ever since I joined SDN.

    Perhaps you can help me with my dilemma. I'm a very religious person and part of my beliefs require me to be at church on Sunday morning, every week.

    My question for you is, how likely would a residency program agree to work with me on this? I know this has been done with pathology and with family practice, but I wanted to hear what an EM guy thought about this and in particular what a residency director's reaction would be. And incidentally, I've discussed this on this forum before here. There were varied responses.

    I realize that I would have to rotate through IM, ICU, surgery, et al., but my request would only cover a block of about two hours on Sunday morning.

    Please let me know what you think about this matter...thanks very much!!!

    Oh, and I want to apologize for bringing this up here in this particular thread. I just felt like Dr. Squillante would be more likely to return to this thread and find my message.
     
  8. Marc Squillante

    Marc Squillante Attending
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    Firebird-

    I'll skip the arguments about religious freedom and being allowed to practice your religion as you see fit. I don't think those are as pertinent for the issue.

    I think what you want will be pretty impractical in most residency programs. It is always challenging to put call/work schedules together, under the best of circumstances. If someone had to have every Sunday AM off (even if just for a couple of hours), for whatever reason, it would wreak havoc with this. Your classmates, who might be supportive at first, would become resentful at always having to cover for you. Weekends are considered sacred (for non-religious reasons) to most residents, and your needing this time off every time would infringe on the other residents' ability to get their weekend time off. You've graciously volunteered to do "extra" to make up for it, but that isn't always very practical either. The more restrictions one puts on trying to make a schedule up, the worse it becomes.

    Sunday AM will be a busy time on most services, and having to just "leave" for a couple of hours will be inconvenient at the least, and dangerous for your patients at the worst. (You can't just leave them hanging there, you know!)

    I agree with the other respondents. I can't imagine there isn't another time you couldn't worship. It won't get any easier once you're out in practice, either. The issue won't go away then.

    Hope this helps. Would be glad to provide any additional information if I can.

    Marc Squillantenull
     
  9. Dr.No

    Dr.No Member
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    Mark Squillante, Concerning the U.of I medical school, I was just wondering if you get assigned to the UPR track whether it matters whether you go to Peoria or Rockford if your interested in going into emergency medicine. I really am interested in going to Rockford, but they say it is geared towards primary care.

    Apreciate any feedback , thanks
     
  10. srlondon

    srlondon Member
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    While Dr. Squillante's points are all true an valid, you might find that there are some programs which are more sympathetic to your preference than others. For instance, many programs around NYC allow residents who observe the sabbath to avoid call on fridays and saturdays... but they certainly make up for it on other days. It does become a scheduling hassle, and is in some ways unfair, as other residents get a disproportionate share of weekend call. I would seriously consider checking out programs which are openly accepting of religious policies rather than trying to force a fit on a program which is not enthused about your preference.

    The other solution, naturally, is to try to be flexable. Arrange other times (of which there will certainly be ample in an EM residency) to go to church with your family rather than getting stuck on Sunday mornings.
     
  11. er-wannabe

    er-wannabe New Member

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    I was wondering about when ER progams start inviting people for interviews. I'm sure it varies, but my friend who is applying to internal medicine got invites two days after she sent her application (just last week). I sent my application over a month ago and haven't heard anything. Is it typical for programs to wait for the dean's letter, or should I be worried? Thanks in advance for the info. :confused:
     
  12. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member
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    er-wannabe,
    Wow, that is a great question that I have been wondering myself! I have one interview scheduled...but I have been thinking, "were they EARLY or is no one else calling?".

    I have felt kinda inadequate all week thinking "am I just a dumb DO student in the MD match that no one wants?" and hey that could be true, but at least I know I am not alone out there.
     
  13. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member
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    Just to get this topic at the top again...

    How many of you have EM interviews so far, and if so, how many?
     
  14. abu barney

    abu barney resident revolutionary
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    Dear Dr. Squillante,

    I was checking out EM stats on the now defunct medschool.com and found the percent of IMGs in EM training is very low, like 1-2%. Even traditionally more competitive specialties like ortho or uro had higher IMG rates. Do you know why there are so few IMGs are in EM? Is it because programs don't like them because of assumedly poor communication skills, or is it because they just don't apply to EM... Your feedback is highly appreciated...

    Thanks,
    Bakir
     

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