peroxidase

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For average ophtho applicants in the past (240s on steps, tiny bit of research) with lets say 11-12 interviews, how far did you end up going on your rank list?
 

DrZeke

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Pointless unfortunately
 
Jan 18, 2013
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Assuming you match, how far down your rank list can you expect to go?

Every year, the NRMP releases two reports describing the results of the NRMP residency match. While ophthalmology does not use the NRMP, and instead uses the SF Match system, the data released by the NRMP does provide some insight into this question. (For your information, here are links to the reports: NRMP Match Outcomes and NRMP Applicant Survey). It may be argued, and with logical rationale, that the data from the NRMP survey does not reflect the ophthalmology match due to the greater competition for positions than in other specialties. I believe, however, that taken as a whole, the NRMP data does provide a good surrogate for ophthalmology match outcomes inasmuch as it includes both specialties that are more competitive than ophthalmology and those that are less competitive. The relative competitiveness of ophthalmology lies somewhere in between, though it is considered among the more competitive specialties based on previously published match rates.

In 2013, a survey was sent to 17,504 US Seniors that participated in the 2013 match. Of those, 8696 completed the survey (response rate = 49.7%). Among those that matched and completed the survey, the median number of interviews attended was 11 and among those that did not match the median number was 7. The number of programs ranked was similarly 11 and 7, respectively. It should be noted that the ophthalmology match rate for US seniors in 2011 was 83% based on the SF Match 2011 outcomes (which is no longer available online) but was published in Ophthalmology in 2012. Furthermore, as you might expect, the chance of matching increases with the number of programs ranked, though no additional benefit exists after ranking 11 programs. In 2011, the match rate for applicants ranking 11 programs was >95% (though for those that don't have 11 interviews, stay optimistic: the probability of matching with as few as six interviews is still 80 percent).

Your question, however, is, assuming that you match, how far down your rank list can you expect to go?

Based on data from the 2013 NRMP Match Outcomes, 52.5% of matched US Seniors matched at their #1 program, 16.0% matched at their #2 program, 10.3% at their #3 program, and 6.7% at their #4 program. The remaining 14.5% matched at a program outside of their top 4 programs.

The bottom line is this: assuming that you #1 - are a US Senior, you #2 - match, and that you #3 - rank 11 programs, you have approximately a 52.5% chance of matching at your #1 program, a 68.5% chance of matching in your top 2, a 78.8% chance of matching in your top 3, and an 85.5% chance of matching in one of your top 4 programs.
 
Nov 2, 2013
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I think it also depends largely on WHERE you interview. I'm sure those who rank primarily uber-competitive programs are more likely to match farther down on their list. I'm more curious about how far down the programs have to go to fill their spots.
 
Oct 28, 2013
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interesting discussion...

I'm also wondering how many applicants programs actually rank? If they interview say 50 ppl for 4 spots, would they just rank the most impressive 10, 20, 40 or all 50?

I'm sure some of the residents/attendings here have served on selection committees, it would be great if they can shed some light on this.
 

hurdlepup

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interesting discussion...

I'm also wondering how many applicants programs actually rank? If they interview say 50 ppl for 4 spots, would they just rank the most impressive 10, 20, 40 or all 50?

I'm sure some of the residents/attendings here have served on selection committees, it would be great if they can shed some light on this.
I do know for certain at least some programs do not rank all of the applicants they interview. How many they rank probably varies by program though. Some places may rank them all, not sure.
 

rocketbooster

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They probably rank everyone except the weirdos who stand out in interviews. So they probably rank like 95% of applicants. It's likely safe to assume that all your programs are ranking you. So in that data published showing the average person gets 4.7 offers (which I am pretty sure means offers from programs, which means they rank you), the average person probably goes on/ranks 5 interviews/programs.
 

DrZeke

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I agree with a lot that was said here, but the reason I think it's pointless to compare yourself is because:

1) it depends where you interview and how competitive you are for those places.

2) it depends on your spread of interviews - do you have all reaches or some middle tier?

3) who you know or where you come from does make a difference unfortunately. We all want to say it doesn't, but ophtho is a small world. Some programs do really look at where you are from, who you did research with, the name of your school...

4) an amazing job on an away rotation at the right program can make up for almost anything lacking on your application. I've seen people match to a top 10 with a 217 on step 1 this way. People like that can be ranked high and maybe over you.

5) some programs have 5 ppl making the decisions, some have 12 and some have their program director or chairman micromanage the ranking.

6) interviews matter and nobody knows how your interview went except you and the faculty you chatted with. They do affect your ranking.

I know people that got great feedback everywhere and didn't match. I don't think there is always rhyme or reason for how far people go down on the rank list.

People want to say, oh well that guy was weird or that person had borderline scores or... But every year I've seen people not match or go down on their rank list and be surprised. So... I think you gotta do your best, be informed and be prepared to go anywhere you rank.

Good luck.
 
Oct 8, 2014
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I agree with a lot that was said here, but the reason I think it's pointless to compare yourself is because:

1) it depends where you interview and how competitive you are for those places.

2) it depends on your spread of interviews - do you have all reaches or some middle tier?

3) who you know or where you come from does make a difference unfortunately. We all want to say it doesn't, but ophtho is a small world. Some programs do really look at where you are from, who you did research with, the name of your school...

4) an amazing job on an away rotation at the right program can make up for almost anything lacking on your application. I've seen people match to a top 10 with a 217 on step 1 this way. People like that can be ranked high and maybe over you.

5) some programs have 5 ppl making the decisions, some have 12 and some have their program director or chairman micromanage the ranking.

6) interviews matter and nobody knows how your interview went except you and the faculty you chatted with. They do affect your ranking.

I know people that got great feedback everywhere and didn't match. I don't think there is always rhyme or reason for how far people go down on the rank list.

People want to say, oh well that guy was weird or that person had borderline scores or... But every year I've seen people not match or go down on their rank list and be surprised. So... I think you gotta do your best, be informed and be prepared to go anywhere you rank.

Good luck.
Just read this post. It's a bit scary to think that people randomly don't match without a concrete rhyme or reason, but I suppose it's a harsh truth.
 

DrZeke

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Just read this post. It's a bit scary to think that people randomly don't match without a concrete rhyme or reason, but I suppose it's a harsh truth.
There's usually a reason, just may not always be expected or obvious to the person that doesn't match.