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How competitive is getting into a Psych residency program?

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Eraserhead, Sep 21, 2003.

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  1. I'm currenly applying to MD programs all over the US and I have interviews at several fine schools, actually 10 interviews so far. I'm strongly interested in psychiatry, although not 100% sure that is the residency I will eventually apply for. If given a choice between attending school X versus school Y, is it to my advantage to choose a school with a better psychiatry residency program? Does the overall reputation of the school matter in terms of whether or not I can get into a psychiatry residency program? How much competition is there for residencies in psychiatry? I know that very few medical students go into psychiatry based on matching data I have received from schools, but is this because it is difficult to get into or is this just because few people decide to do it? Thanks.
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  3. ckent

    ckent Banned Banned

    Jul 31, 2000
    Go to the cheapest medical school possible if you know that you want to go into psychiatry. It is extremely non-competetive to do psychiatry, and since their average income is below that of most physicians, I'd recc saving as much money as possible now. If you get decent grades, you will be competetive for many of the top psych programs as a US grad.
  4. HooahDOc

    HooahDOc 10+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Salary.com reports a median salary for Psychiatrists at $139,000 per capita, with the lower and upper 25% as $123,000 and $159,000 per year, respectively. Private practice psychiatrists in the right areas (ie mental-health deprived) can make much, much more.

    By comparison, here are a few medical specialties and their salaries. (I'm bored, so enjoy)

    Lower 25%: $107,000
    Median: $122,000
    Upper 25%: $139,000

    Family Practice
    Lower 25%: $115,000
    Median: $129,000
    Upper 25%: $147,000

    Most other physician salaries are above the mean, others are well above the mean (+ 100,000). The thing to remember about psychiatry however is the lifestyle. It's a pretty good lifestyle. It's also a completely different ballgame.

    On a final note, if you can't live comfortably on a $140,000 salary, you need to take some financial management classes.
  5. LOL, I don't consider the psych salaries to be low by any means, and I plan to attend a public school if one of my interviews goes well. However, even if I did have a 150,000 dollar debt, I don't see how paying that back with a 100,000 plus income would be difficult (being single and living a modest lifestyle, etc.).

    That point aside, are the "top" psych residencies less competitive than the "top"residencies in other areas? For some reason, I always thought that it was very, very difficult to become a well respected psychiatrist and thought it was just as competitive as something like dermatology.
  6. rxg16

    rxg16 Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2003
    You were very, very mistaken. Derm and psych are on two opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to competitiveness. Sure, it's not easy to become the most respected therapist in, say, the Upper East Side of NY, but then again it's all relative. The "top" psych residencies are relatively difficult to get into, but much easier than the top programs in derm or orthopedics.
  7. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2001
    Agree, psych is very very non-competitive right now. Maybe more people will be drawn to the lifestyle in the future but honestly, psychiatrists are sometimes not respected by fellow physicians and do make among the lowest salaries among various physicians.

    The bottomline is that type-A people go into medicine. As a premed, everybody compares what interviews they get and which top schools he or she wants to get into (maybe not openly but secretly, people are comparing themselves to others). You think that is going to stop in med schools? Heck, no. Listen, you just mentioned that you "have interviews at several fine schools, actually 10 interviews so far." Is your mentality going to changed all of a sudden just because you step into med school? No. Will your fellow classmates be like you? Yes. Four years down the road, they (and you) will still talk about the future and about getting into the "best" (i.e. hardest) residency they can get into with the grades they have and the type of med school (if top 10) they are coming from. They will be talking about going to top internal medicine programs so they can get the coveted cardiology or GI fellowship 3 years down the road. Or talk about radiology or urology or ENT, etc. NOBODY brags about how difficult it is to get into psych residency programs :D

    Lastly, there is still way too much social stigmatism associated with psych illnesses. Some future physicians are turned off by it and do not like to be called shrinks. I actually don't mind to be called that and consider that stigatism as a challenge. :clap:

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