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How far down to fill their spots?

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by psychmatch, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. psychmatch

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    Is there anyone out there who can make an educated guess or actually happens to know approximately how far down the list some of the non-competitive psych programs on the West coast usually go to fill? Also,if a program interviews about 35-45 people for say 4-5 positions,will they rank everyone or leave some people out?
     
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  3. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Being at a slightly-less-competitive midwestern program, I'll tell you that we went halfway down our match list of 50 or so to fill 6 slots. And we did leave a few candidates off even after interviewing. Basically the same rule applies to programs as to you--if you'd rather scramble than match into a bad fit, then just don't rank them.
     
  4. howelljolly

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    From what I gather, as long as they dont come up with anything negative about you at the interview, and they dont suspect psychopathology, they usually rank all of their interviewees.
     
  5. atsai3

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    It's not in any program's interest to interview someone they wouldn't rank. Interviews take a lot of time and effort on the part of PD, faculty, and residents. Nobody wants to waste their time. Most programs will try to screen out unrankable applicants prior to the interview. If on interview day, or via other channels of communication, the PD obtains new information that raises a red flag, then the applicant might go unranked.

    -AT.
     
  6. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson gamma irradiated
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    In my experience, a handful of applicants (maybe 5 or so out of >100 per year) end up not being ranked, and it ALWAYS has to do with their performance on the interview day (typically narcissistic asses with a smattering of schizoid "shouldn't be a psychiatrist" types).
     
  7. psychmatch

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    Thanks for the replies. What if as an IMG from another country(non U.S citizen) they somehow feel you just might not fit into a more AMG populated program? Since PDs always say they want to find someone who fits..
     
  8. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    We have been known to not rank those whose command of the English language is worrisome, as well as those rare few who appear to have some significant psychopathology on axis I or II (excepting of course 301.4--we LOVE them!) :D
     
  9. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Angy Old Man
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    my gf called me a narcissistic ass last night. Should I be worried?

    Just for S&Gs, what kinds of things would a NPD applicant say? I have met Ortho, neurosurg, plastics, and derm people with those personality traits but have honestly never met a psych person with them.

    And seriously, should I be worried?
     
    #8 masterofmonkeys, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  10. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    About the relationship, perhaps....
     
  11. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    My own program I graduated from (UMDNJ-Camdan & ARMC in South Jersey) ranked about 25 people for 6 spots last year. I had no experience in being on the program's end in the process, but I thought that was a rather small number, especially since we had many more applicants that I thought were decent.

    But the program still ended up getting all 6 spots filled without anyone scrambling in.
     
  12. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson gamma irradiated
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    They're generally too smart to say it to faculty/residents. It's typically how they treat the program coordinator and other administrative staff.
     
  13. billypilgrim37

    billypilgrim37 Unstuck in Time
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    Only because that probably means you'll be getting married soon ;)
     
  14. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Angy Old Man
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    oh...surgical personality disorder. Gotcha
     
  15. howelljolly

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    :laugh:
     
  16. colleezfascia

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    Perhaps they prematched a few?
     
  17. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    The program director IMHO was keeping some of her ideas to herself. She seemed to have a strong idea of who she wanted based on personal agenda, though it was still a good agenda so I didn't have much dispute with it. For example, a few candidates we know would've been good residents didn't have spectacular scores. The residents knew those scores were not reflective of their abilities. When those candidates were put in front of the committee, some of the faculty couldn't see past the scores.

    I know she did have some "under the table" agreements with certain medical students who were well liked to get into the program. The PD however did get majorly upset after the Match because some of those students swore to put the program as #1, then they ended up matching elsewhere which upset the PD, who went out of her way to try to push up some of these candidates on the list. There is no way they could've gotten in elsewhere if they put us at #1.

    I thought the number we put on the list was small because we had plenty of good candidates we didn't put on the list. Why not spend the extra half hour & lower the odds you'll get candidates scramble in? While of course there are great candidates that get in on a scramble, the odds that a candidate that you thought was good based on their CV & interview is much higher than taking someone in on a random & rushed chance, with little time to review their credentials. Also, a bad resident is something that a program will have to deal with for up to 4 years, and if less than that, often times there will be a very serious showdown.

    Some of the program's worse candidates came in on a scramble, including someone that had to be fired from the program--resulting in a lot of headache.


    If an extra half hour was used, it would've put all the good candidates on the Match list, and we would've extended that list to about 40 for 6 spots. Given that about every 2 years we had to get a candidate(s) scramble in, that IMHO warrants that worry about scramblers was justified.

    Just my opinion--I was only a Chief Resident, and wasn't running the show. I voiced my opinion & was overridden by the attendings. Part of being a good leader is to stand up, but to also shut up, depending on the moment.
     
  18. wolfvgang22

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    Thanks, very enlightening. If the PD you described hadn't offered "under the table" rankings, and played by the rules, then she would never have been played by those who said "you're number 1" and then went elsewhere!
     
  19. heyjack70

    heyjack70 Junior Member
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    I wonder how many students were given the impression by the PD that they would be ranked to match but did not. Probably more than the few whom promised to rank her program as #1. This all seems to be a game. I doubt any PD would get that upset about not matching the people she was trying to help out. Those applicants were simply trying to get into the best spots they could, just as she was trying to get the best applicants she could.
     
  20. BlondeDocteur

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    I'm applying for plastics (next year) and you couldn't be more right! There is actually one department chair who pretends to be his secretary when an applicant calls up to schmooze. He sort of blusters around and pretends to be very obstructionist, just to see how the applicant treats someone whom he might consider "beneath him."

    I'm not sure which is sadder, the fact that he feels the need to do this or the fact that it actually does catch a good number of applicants red-handed. I take it to mean I'd be quite happy at that program though. :)

    I would say neurosurgery and plastics duke it out as to the highest %age of NPD folks in the field. Both have God complexes; the first because he believes he can control death, the second because he believes he can create.
     
  21. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    I totally agree.
    I wasn't the one surprised. The PD was.

    But I've become too much of a cynicist/realist in this situation. I was in a position in college where I interviewed a few hundred people for positions, and did Consult Liason Psychology where its all the psychology about accepting people, using studies to see what criteria works in an admissions/hiring process, and what works at work. I've had the BS thrown at me too many times in this area.
     
  22. franklinave

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    This is only tangentially related but are department chairs usually the program directors of the residencies associated with their department?
     
  23. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    No. Department chairs are only tangentially related to the residencies associated with their department. :D
     
  24. franklinave

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    I feel quite dumb now. Mission accomplished doc.
     
  25. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Don't feel dumb--you just haven't been around academia long enough to become completely jaded to the political realities...
     
  26. franklinave

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    I felt dumb cause I thought you were mocking my verbosity. So was that an honest answer to my question? Interesting...I would have thought department chairs were also the program directors.
     
  27. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    I was only mocking department chairs--your choice of words accidentally described how most of them relate to their residency programs, and I found it amusing. (I like verbosity--I was voted "Biggest Vocabulary" in my high school class. Come to think of it, I was mocked for that too...)

    To be more direct, a chair's responsibility is mostly concerned with overall direction of the department. This is usually most importantly expressed via his/her ability to attract faculty, raise money, get research grants, and raise money--not necessarily in that order. They never (that I'm aware of) are directly involved with the day-to-day functioning of the residency program, and often barely know the residents. (They might not even be engaged in the clinical work of the department at all!).

    In a good program, a residency director is chosen from among the faculty based on some degree of passion for education and development of residents. Being a PD takes a lot of time and effort--and a chair doesn't have either to offer to this process. (In a bad program, I have seen where this position is mostly dumped on someone who doesn't have anything better to do.) So the bottom line is, when interviewing for a residency, the program director is a FAR more important person to know than the chair.
     
  28. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Angy Old Man
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    nope, in academia everything runs on research and grant dollars. The job of the chair is to schmooze as much money as possible out of the wallets of outside funding bodies and into the coffers of his or her dept. They do this in a variety of ways including setting up unique clinical facilities, offering state of the art treatments, attracting top-level researchers to their departments, and acquiring the tools for heavy duty research like MEG and 3-5T MRIs.

    That said, IMO a good psychiatry department is a good place to train future leaders in psychiatry and educate medical students, most of whose psych experience will be limited to those few weeks they spend there in their third year.

    I will say having just concluded my interview season (that's right, i'm rubbing it in), that the programs that most impressed me, had the PDs that most impressed me. My jaw dropped to the floor when Cornell's chair sat down to talk with us, told us he'd read all of our apps, and then proceeded to prove it by mentioning things he'd read that went well beyond all the superficial stuff.

    I wish some of the interviewers we've all had showed as much enthusiasm and interest in us.
     

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