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nysegop

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I understand it is how fourth year, graduating medical students pick their specialty and residency hospital, but how does it work? Will you get the specialty you want? How is it decided? What can you do to get your desired specialty? Is it possible to get a specialty you wouldn't want? What if you want pediatrics but instead you get urology? Can you chose more than one desired specialty? If you choose more hospitals are you more likely, or less likely to get your top specialty? Any information would be helpful.
 

flatearth22

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I understand it is how fourth year, graduating medical students pick their specialty and residency hospital, but how does it work? Will you get the specialty you want? How is it decided? What can you do to get your desired specialty? Is it possible to get a specialty you wouldn't want? What if you want pediatrics but instead you get urology? Can you chose more than one desired specialty? If you choose more hospitals are you more likely, or less likely to get your top specialty? Any information would be helpful.

lol at the bolded

and seriously? You couldn't just google this? Here I saved you the trouble -

http://www.nrmp.org/res_match/about_res/algorithms.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Resident_Matching_Program
 

NeuroLAX

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Seriously, OP.... get with the program. Google it before you ask here. Nobody is going to hold your hand in medical school.
 
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theseeker4

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1. I understand it is how fourth year, graduating medical students pick their specialty and residency hospital, but how does it work?
2. Will you get the specialty you want?
3. How is it decided?
4. What can you do to get your desired specialty?
5. Is it possible to get a specialty you wouldn't want?
6. What if you want pediatrics but instead you get urology?
7. Can you chose more than one desired specialty?
8. If you choose more hospitals are you more likely, or less likely to get your top specialty? Any information would be helpful.
1: You decide on what specialty you want to apply to in third and the beginning of fourth year. Over those years, you line up faculty members who can give you LOR's. You apply to various residencies in your specialty of choice via an application service, (a few specialties/residencies don't use this service and have a separate system) and you are invited for interviews if the programs are interested in you. Any program that interviews you you can rank, meaning you choose first, second, third, etc choice. You can choose to not rank a program that interviewed you, but you can't choose to rank a program that rejected you pre-interview. The programs themselves rank the candidates that they interviewed, and can likewise choose not to rank someone after they interview there. A computer then matches candidates to slots in residency programs they ranked based on the program's ranking of you and your ranking of the various programs. I believe priority is given to the applicant's choice, not the program's choice, meaning if your first choice program ranked you 3rd and they have 3 slots, you will match there even if your second choice ranked you as their #1 pick. On Match Day, the residency you were matched to is revealed.
2: This depends on how competitive you are, how competitive your specialty choice is, how many programs you apply to, how many you rank, how you interview, etc. In other words, there is no way to tell before you get there.
3: See #1
4: Get the highest grades you can, do as well as you can on the USMLE exams, especially Step 1, do research if possible in your specialty of choice, do well on the wards, etc.
5: No, you can only match to a residency you applied to and ranked. If you don't apply to a particular residency program, let alone a particular specialty, you can't be matched there.
6: See #5. That is highly unlikely to happen even if you apply to both, however, since urology is a lot more competitive than peds.
7: Yes, but you want to be at least somewhat selective, if for no other reason than you would essentially have to create two applications, one dedicated to one specialty and one to another, with separate LOR's, personal statements, etc.
8: The more programs you rank, the more likely you are to match. How likely that is depends on many factors, as mentioned above. Note that if your application doesn't match the competitiveness of a particular specialty, no matter how many programs you apply to you will likely not even be invited to interview at any of that specialty's programs, let alone match. Being competitive as an applicant is vital, and it isn't a matter of "Oh, I can match in Derm if I simply apply to enough programs, no matter my grades and scores."

Keep in mind that I haven't gone through the process yet so I may be mistake on a point or two above.
 

smq123

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You can choose to not rank a program that interviewed you, but you can't choose to rank a program that rejected you pre-interview.

That's technically not quite true. You can rank any program that you want. Heck, you can rank a program that you never even applied to. You are guaranteed to not match there, but if you're joining the NRMP just to participate in the scramble, some people will do just that.

Is it possible to get a specialty you wouldn't want?

Yes. If you do not match in your desired specialty, you still need a job (gotta pay those loans somehow), so you scramble into whatever spot is left. That may mean that you wanted to do derm, but have to do FM. I had a lot of friends who wanted to do orthopedic surgery, but couldn't match into it, so either had to do general surgery or Family Medicine or something. It happens.
 

mmmcdowe

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1: You decide on what specialty you want to apply to in third and the beginning of fourth year. Over those years, you line up faculty members who can give you LOR's. You apply to various residencies in your specialty of choice via an application service, (a few specialties/residencies don't use this service and have a separate system) and you are invited for interviews if the programs are interested in you. Any program that interviews you you can rank, meaning you choose first, second, third, etc choice. You can choose to not rank a program that interviewed you, but you can't choose to rank a program that rejected you pre-interview. The programs themselves rank the candidates that they interviewed, and can likewise choose not to rank someone after they interview there. A computer then matches candidates to slots in residency programs they ranked based on the program's ranking of you and your ranking of the various programs. I believe priority is given to the applicant's choice, not the program's choice, meaning if your first choice program ranked you 3rd and they have 3 slots, you will match there even if your second choice ranked you as their #1 pick. On Match Day, the residency you were matched to is revealed.
2: This depends on how competitive you are, how competitive your specialty choice is, how many programs you apply to, how many you rank, how you interview, etc. In other words, there is no way to tell before you get there.
3: See #1
4: Get the highest grades you can, do as well as you can on the USMLE exams, especially Step 1, do research if possible in your specialty of choice, do well on the wards, etc.
5: No, you can only match to a residency you applied to and ranked. If you don't apply to a particular residency program, let alone a particular specialty, you can't be matched there.
6: See #5. That is highly unlikely to happen even if you apply to both, however, since urology is a lot more competitive than peds.
7: Yes, but you want to be at least somewhat selective, if for no other reason than you would essentially have to create two applications, one dedicated to one specialty and one to another, with separate LOR's, personal statements, etc.
8: The more programs you rank, the more likely you are to match. How likely that is depends on many factors, as mentioned above. Note that if your application doesn't match the competitiveness of a particular specialty, no matter how many programs you apply to you will likely not even be invited to interview at any of that specialty's programs, let alone match. Being competitive as an applicant is vital, and it isn't a matter of "Oh, I can match in Derm if I simply apply to enough programs, no matter my grades and scores."

Keep in mind that I haven't gone through the process yet so I may be mistake on a point or two above.

Looks right to me. Applying to two specialties can be considered a mark against you, so it is best to apply to one unless you have no choice. It's best not to admit it unless asked if you do, though it can be pretty obvious.
 
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