donkeykong1

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Getting my app ready for anesthesia. I hear the prelim internship spots are getting harder and harder to match into each year. How many prelim med or prelim surg spots should I apply to in order to be safe (DO applicant, above avg step scores)? 40-60?
 

RangerBob

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I applied to about 25 prelim-TY's, ranked 8, matched at my first. So I over-killed it a bit. A classmate of mine ranked closer to 12 and matched to his 12th, so you never know where you'll end up.

40-60 sounds like way too many programs to apply to. How many interviews do you plan on going on? Do you have a home program you can apply to? I was quite confident I'd end up at least at my home program or a community program I ranked right above it, so I was fairly comfortable ranking 8.

How many programs you apply to also depends on your strategy. I didn't want to make two huge moves, so I only applied to TY/prelims that:
1) Were in Chicago (since I lived there at the time)
2) Were linked with the advanced interview (another 2 or so)
3) Was a TY within an 8hr drive (since I really wanted more electives)

In my mind, it would not have been worth flying across the country just for a pre-lim interview. But if you think it is then I could see that getting you near 40-60 programs if you apply to 2-4 pre-lims per advanced program.

Overall it's better to play it safe. I got worried because I think I only have 4 prelim interviews by mid-November. Remember, it's easier to over-apply and cancel interviews than it is to under-apply and then apply late to programs.

Also, the odds are if you apply to 10 gen surg prelims, that you'll get into at least one of them. Tons of surgery pre-lims are always available in the SOAP--they usually aren't very competitive because they're known for being a really rough year.
 

Law2Doc

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As mentioned, if you focus on the non-cushy prelims rather than cushy transitional year spots, you'll probably get one. For these spots it's mostly a numbers game -- keep interviewing until you run out of time or money, and rank everything halfway palatable. And the truth of the matter is if you are deemed good enough to land an advanced spot, you'll get something in the soap/scramble.

Programs who have to soap tend to prefer the "designated" prelim -- the guy/gal who already has something lined up for next year. That way the program knows (a) this guy/gal was already deemed resident-worthy by someplace else, So less due diligence is needed compared to the guy getting passed over everyplace, (b) he won't need any time off to interview, (c) he will make us look good in subsequent recruiting as we can show a higher placement percentage, (d) we won't feel guilty when we decide not to keep any prelims on after the year, and (e) if it's surgery and he's going into something non-surgical, this guy probably won't complain that he's not getting into the OR enough. So I think this isn't the worst situation to be in. I actually have some colleagues who (on bad advice) didn't even interview for their prelim positions until the scramble, and did fine, but I really wouldn't advise doing that.
 

snowpea28

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Regarding anesthesia specifically, a large portion of them have now gone to categorical only paths. There are still a fair number of programs that are advanced plus categorical but there are to my knowledge only about 5-10 that are advanced only (perhaps even less). Personally, I applied to no programs that were advanced only and applied categorical to all my anesthesia programs. In addition, I ranked all my categorical programs above my advanced (if they offered both).

Due to this method, I actually only went on 2 prelim interviews (one was a joint interview for the prelim and TY, one prelim only).

However, there are many people who want to be at one program only and will rank the categorical as number 1 and the advanced as number 2 on their rank list. Only you can decide if this is what you would like to do :)
 
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donkeykong1

donkeykong1

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most of the programs i am applying to have advanced+categorical usually in a 1:3 ratio respectively.

Lets say I get 10 interviews at programs with both cat+adv, should i list 1-10 as cat, and then 11-20 as advanced to maximize my chance of matching w/o scrambling provided all 10 programs are located in an area of my preference?
 

snowpea28

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If your goal is to do a categorical- absolutely. However I know many people who actually preferred advanced because they had significant others etc. near home and needed to stay by their institution for a year. It's all up to you :)
 

gutonc

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Getting my app ready for anesthesia. I hear the prelim internship spots are getting harder and harder to match into each year. How many prelim med or prelim surg spots should I apply to in order to be safe (DO applicant, above avg step scores)? 40-60?
The only people for whom this is a real issue are the neuro applicants since they must do either prelim IM or a TY that has 6 months or more of IM in order to move on to the advanced year. If you're doing gas and don't match prelim, you'll find a prelim surg spot (more than likely at a site affiliated with your school, or the advanced program you match to) somewhere. You'll be miserable for a year, suck it up, and move on to CA-1.