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I'm terrified I won't match (anesthesia 2016 match) - advice on ranking?

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greenglit

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Hi forum,
It's just a few weeks from matching and stress is setting in hard.
I'm at a mid-tier US Allopathic med school with below average step scores (210 step 1, 222 step 2) and mostly Bs on my transcript. I took an extra year in school because of a very legitimate health reason (not psych). I am one of those people that has bad test anxiety and doesn't look awesome on paper, but I'm sociable, interview very well, and I don't have knowledge deficits on the job. I also did a great research project that did not produce a paper (yet). I know my LORs were fantastic - I knew however that my challenge would be getting interviews this year.

I applied to 50-some anesthesiology programs and received 11 interviews. I want to rank 9 of those programs (1 was a terrible program, the other was meh). Some are cat and adv so I have like 13 ranked. I feel that my interviews went very well overall. My advisor seems to think I have zero concerns for matching, but I know that 4-5 of those interviews I received last minute as spots became available, not because I was particularly competitive.

I'm terrified that I won't match so I have a few questions:
1. At this point, once I interview, do my blah scores matter that much, or will they overpower a great interview?
2. Should I rank that #10 "meh" school even if I didn't really like it? Maybe it's better than being unemployed or scrambling, but I also cringe at the thought of selling my career short by going there. (#11 I refuse to rank)

Advice would be awesome, especially on ranking that last school...
 

Turtlez

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Hi forum,
It's just a few weeks from matching and stress is setting in hard.
I'm at a mid-tier US Allopathic med school with below average step scores (210 step 1, 222 step 2) and mostly Bs on my transcript. I took an extra year in school because of a very legitimate health reason (not psych). I am one of those people that has bad test anxiety and doesn't look awesome on paper, but I'm sociable, interview very well, and I don't have knowledge deficits on the job. I also did a great research project that did not produce a paper (yet). I know my LORs were fantastic - I knew however that my challenge would be getting interviews this year.

I applied to 50-some anesthesiology programs and received 11 interviews. I want to rank 9 of those programs (1 was a terrible program, the other was meh). Some are cat and adv so I have like 13 ranked. I feel that my interviews went very well overall. My advisor seems to think I have zero concerns for matching, but I know that 4-5 of those interviews I received last minute as spots became available, not because I was particularly competitive.

I'm terrified that I won't match so I have a few questions:
1. At this point, once I interview, do my blah scores matter that much, or will they overpower a great interview?
2. Should I rank that #10 "meh" school even if I didn't really like it? Maybe it's better than being unemployed or scrambling, but I also cringe at the thought of selling my career short by going there. (#11 I refuse to rank)

Advice would be awesome, especially on ranking that last school...

I think you should repost this in the anesthesiology general forum since this is the "anesthesiology positions" sub forum and most people don't check posts here.
 

BLADEMDA

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Hi forum,
It's just a few weeks from matching and stress is setting in hard.
I'm at a mid-tier US Allopathic med school with below average step scores (210 step 1, 222 step 2) and mostly Bs on my transcript. I took an extra year in school because of a very legitimate health reason (not psych). I am one of those people that has bad test anxiety and doesn't look awesome on paper, but I'm sociable, interview very well, and I don't have knowledge deficits on the job. I also did a great research project that did not produce a paper (yet). I know my LORs were fantastic - I knew however that my challenge would be getting interviews this year.

I applied to 50-some anesthesiology programs and received 11 interviews. I want to rank 9 of those programs (1 was a terrible program, the other was meh). Some are cat and adv so I have like 13 ranked. I feel that my interviews went very well overall. My advisor seems to think I have zero concerns for matching, but I know that 4-5 of those interviews I received last minute as spots became available, not because I was particularly competitive.

I'm terrified that I won't match so I have a few questions:
1. At this point, once I interview, do my blah scores matter that much, or will they overpower a great interview?
2. Should I rank that #10 "meh" school even if I didn't really like it? Maybe it's better than being unemployed or scrambling, but I also cringe at the thought of selling my career short by going there. (#11 I refuse to rank)

Advice would be awesome, especially on ranking that last school...

Rank all TEN programs! It beats the alternative hands down.
 

Pharmado

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For program #10 ask yourself, "would I rather go to (10) or scramble?" If you'd rather take your chances in the scramble/SOAP then don't rank it. If it's a better alternative than not going through the SOAP then rank it. Remember, you'll only end up there if you didn't match at any of the other 9 programs above them.
 

RussianJoo

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If you really want anesthesia then rank all the programs you interviewed at. If you don't mind doing Internal medicine or something else that's less competitive then don't rank them all. However, even the worst program in the country will still give you the credentials needed to be an anesthesiologist, and you can still be a good competent anesthesiologist, you'll just need to put in more effort in terms of reading and studying on your own. On the other hand, if you go unmatched this year, it will be a major red flag for your application next year, and chances are you'll have an even harder time getting anesthesia interviews.

I personally knew I would have a hard time matching because I went to a Caribbean med school. I applied to all programs that were not big name places that historically never accepted an IMGs. I had about 11 interviews and ranked every program. One of the programs really gave me bad vibes, and the resident I shadowed when doing my second look basically told me not to come here. However, I knew I really wanted to be an anesthesiologist and was willing to put with the bull for 4 years in order to have a lifetime of happiness in the specialty of my choice. I ended up matching in that program, however, I had great classmates that made residency fun and so it wasn't as bad as some made it out to be. So I would definitely do it all over again and recommend ranking every program to have the best chance of matching.
 
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ERRES2288

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Curious where you matched on your list?
 

greenglit

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Hi ERRES,
I actually ended up matching at my first choice - my home institution. I was pretty stunned. I ended up getting a few more interviews late on the interview trail (turns out in my experience calling and reiterating my interest actually got me a few interviews!), so I ranked 12 programs. My home institution had a rough match year and several unfilled spots, so I wonder if I would have matched there had it been a competitive year. Hard to tell. Either way I was on their rank list despite my academic shortcomings. I felt pretty confident on the interview trail that people liked me enough that my personality outshone my step 1 score. It's a very strange process...but glad it's over :)
 
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