Good psychiatry residency chances?

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by blackberry13, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. blackberry13

    7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    I am sure that I want to do psychiatry as a career but have had a few speed bumps along the way. I got a 208 on my Step 1 and got screwed on my psychiatry rotation and ended up with a level below honors. I honored the shelf exam with an 81 and got 5 outstanding evals, but I messed up on a standardized pt. exam (being graded by actors) and ended up with a stupid advanced even though I did so well in the rotation with excellent comments from the residents and attendings. I am working with the attending on a case report publication and will also be doing a fellowship with a very famous psychiatrist which will get me a first author publication which I will get to present at the AACAP conference next year. I plan on studying very hard for step 2 and taking it early and getting a 235+. I also want to do an away rotation somewhere on the west coast for 1 month. Should I be writing off my chances at places like Stanford, Columbia, Emory, UC Davis, etc.? Or do I still have a good chance if everything in the future goes as planned? Please let me know, I really appreciate it. Thanks
  2. BobA

    BobA Member
    10+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2004
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    You will get into a good psych program and do not need to worry.

    However, the places you mention are extremely competitive and I wouldn't count on getting in there. At this point, research, research, research might help. Also, I've been told by a PD that honoring medicine is more important than honoring psychiatry. So doing well in your other rotations might help. Finally, who you get your LORs from matters - especially if they have a personal connection (trained there) at a place you'd like to go.

    More importantly, one thing I've learned from this year of interviewing is that there are a lot of great programs out there besides the "super-big-dogs" I had hoped to go to. I have very high board scores, several honors, minimal research, great LORs, and go to a highly regarded school and I dd not get interviews at Stanford or Columbia. Med school self-selects competitive people who look for external validation for self-esteem. Looking back at the list of places I've interviewed I see that in terms of what I want, I can find it at many programs - some of the lesser known programs are actually a better fit for me anyway!

    Actually, unless you want to be an attending at one of those institutions, career-wise there's no reason you would have to go to Columbia or Stanford anyway. There are plenty of spots at good programs to go around and I think you'll get one. Some programs I was pleasantly surprised by were MUSC, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, UPenn, and UNC among others. You could easily switch MUSC and Emory on your list (and I'd rather live in Charleston!).

    Finally, some recommend taking a year off between MS3 and MS4 to do research (check out HHMI and CRTP) if one wants a research-based career.

    Good LucK!

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