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how to use residency match data in your med school search

Hawkenthesky

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Aug 13, 2015
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  1. Pre-Medical
I’ve been trying to narrow down my schools list, and it’s been difficult! Fortunately my stats and experience make me a competitive applicant at top schools, but I want to make sure I also have a good chunk of quality second tier schools on my list because acceptance rates are wack (looking at you Mayo, 2.1%). I want to make sure that wherever I go is a great fit for me, but also sets me up for future success as much as possible. I’m already looking at teaching style, location, cost, research opportunities, etc., but how do people recommend using match data to inform their school search? What specifically should I look for in match lists? What are pros and cons I should be looking for? Where should I look to find different kinds kinds of info?

Edit: if people also think I shouldn’t pay attention to match data, but have other tips about narrowing down my schools list, please feel free to mention that as well! I honestly wasn’t even thinking about it but I’ve recently read a lot of posts/articles that mention match results as an important thing to consider for med schools, and as a premed I’m really not sure how to make sense of all the match data in any useful way.
 
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Kpw101

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Jul 18, 2013
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Make your match list based on the MSAR first and foremost. No stats guarantee an acceptance to any school, apply to any program you have a real shot at. At the end of the cycle when you hopefully have 1+ acceptances you can then use match lists or whatever other criteria you see fit to make your decision.
 
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el_duderino

Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul
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Look for how many people they match into the region of the country you want to do your specialty. If a school is a solid mid-tier school but 75% of their graduates end up in residency in the Gulf South and you have your sights set on NYC and Boston, that school might be a poor choice.

If you're competitive at top schools and have some leeway to pick and choose where to focus applications, where a school matches residents should be fairly low on your list. Find a school that's primarily a good fit for you, and save the match list to break ties.
 
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D

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I didn't use any information regarding residency matches explicitly, but it's all quite simple.

Pipelines into residencies are generally schools that are from that state. If you want an easier access to specific residency then go to a "top 10" school if that's within the realm of your possibilities.

If you want to end up in Mayo for residency you go to Mayo SOM, University of Minnesota, or top 10.

If you want to end up at Brigham go to Massachusetts schools or top 10.

Find places you want to live and apply to schools in that area. Don't over-intellectualize it, you'll choose a school for the wrong reasons.
 
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getdown

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You shouldn't/can't use match data as a basis for anything. You have no knowledge of whether those programs they matched into are even any decent. And no just because they match into Harvard/Yale/Stanford doesn't necessarily mean those are good programs. You have no ability to see the reasoning of why they ended up in a particular location or the decision process as to why a particular applicant would want to match to a program in Mississippi over a different program. It's futile and stupid. Just don't do it.
 
Jun 11, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
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I’ve been trying to narrow down my schools list, and it’s been difficult! Fortunately my stats and experience make me a competitive applicant at top schools, but I want to make sure I also have a good chunk of quality second tier schools on my list because acceptance rates are wack (looking at you Mayo, 2.1%). I want to make sure that wherever I go is a great fit for me, but also sets me up for future success as much as possible. I’m already looking at teaching style, location, cost, research opportunities, etc., but how do people recommend using match data to inform their school search? What specifically should I look for in match lists? What are pros and cons I should be looking for? Where should I look to find different kinds kinds of info?
Trying to interpret match data is like trying to interpret these:

tealeafreading1.jpg
il_570xN.1377300266_3z2p.jpg
 
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