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Importance of Med School rankings and Residency Matches?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jkim0825, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. jkim0825

    jkim0825 New Member

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    Hi SDN-ers,
    I know just getting into med school is a great accomplishment, but I was wondering how important it is to go to a top 10 school vs. a lower tier school? Also, how important is it to get into a good residency program after medical school? I guess I'm wondering how these choices affect your medical career, if at all. Thanks!
     
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  3. TheMightyAngus

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    Med school doesn't matter to the extent that premeds think. Where you do your residency is much more important. Check out the current cardiology fellows at Duke. Cardiology is one of the most competitive fellowships out there and Duke is one of the best places to train. There are a lot more "good" residency programs represented than "top 10" medical schools.

    http://cardiofellows.mc.duke.edu/CFTP_cur.asp

    Essentially. It is more important to do well in medical school, wherever you're at.
     
  4. lastrun82

    lastrun82 Member
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    but does medical school play a large role in residency placement? i.e. how much harder is it for people who go to non-top med schools to get into top residency programs? as for med school admissions, it definitely seems like the top schools skew their interview pools to students from top undergrad colleges

    it's a relevant question because if it's the case that you have to be the top of your class no matter where you go, it might make sense to be a big fish in a small pond (because after all, half of the people at harvard med school are below the average there)
     
  5. aumed22

    aumed22 Senior Member
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    I've heard that Hopkins and Harvard don't rank their students. So those that are in the bottom half never know about it, neither do the residency programs they apply to. Could just be a rumore though
     
  6. jhrugger

    jhrugger Senior Member
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    The medical school you attend is not considered as a discrete factor in residency match. However, where you go may affect many of the factors that DO matter.

    a. LORs - maybe the place you go to medical school has faculty members who are chummy with faculty at the residency program you want to match at, or maybe the faculty at your medical school are nationally/internationally respected and their LORs may have added impact.

    b. class rank/selection to AOA - keep in mind that someone at school A may attain AOA while that same person put in school B may not. AOA is important.

    c. research - maybe the place you go to medical school has more research opportunities that allow ease of publication.

    Overall though, I think that wherever you decide to go to medical school, if you have enough work ethic and ambition you will land a pretty sweet residency. And pretty sweet residency does not just mean "Hopkins Hospital" or "Mass General", it means the program that fits your goals most aptly and at which you can see yourself fitting in the most.

    jhrugger
     
  7. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    What is your goal?

    If you want to go into academic medicine (be on the faculty of a medical school as a member of the clinical faculty, caring for patients at the affiliated hospital, supervising residents, teaching medical students, and doing some funded research) then the place where you do your residency matters a lot. Getting a "good match" depends, in part, on what specialty you want (some are harder to get into than others), your med school performance including board scores, your "Dean's letter", and the school you went to. Some schools are more impressive than others because the residency program directors have experience that tells them: "residents who come out of xyz med college are knowledgable, mature and hit the wards ready to perform". So, ideally, you want to go to a school that is going to give you that preparation.

    If you want to practice medicine, take care of patients, and not follow an academic route, then your goal, pretty much, is to get licensed and be the best clinician you can be. You want to get a good, solid residency, most likely in the area where you want to practice after you finish (because the easiest way to land a job is to be invited to join the practice of docs who have seen you in action as a resident). Having attended a top med school and being in that "old boy network" of top schools/academic medical centers is less crucial and you might be happier and better prepared at a lower tier school.
     
  8. lastrun82

    lastrun82 Member
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    sorry, by 'top residency' i actually meant 'most competitive specialty/field'

    does anyone know how hard it is to get into a very competitive specialty for someone at a top school who is in the middle of the pack (or even at the bottom of the class)? will, for example, the u mich or hopkins name carry such a person, given that boards scores and recs are good? or will the bad class rank be a huge blow?
     
  9. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    So, is a "bottom of the pack" student at a high ranking school more "desirable" than a top student at an unranked school?

    As with med school admissions, the residency committee is going to be looking at the Dean's letter (similar to med school LORs), board scores (like MCAT scores), specialty-related research done during med school, and med school grades or class rank or whatever the school has. Board scores show how you match up to the other med students coast-to-coast and the Dean's letter should be some indication of your motivation, integrity, work ethic, etc. It might help if your Dean (your school) is well known for sending fabulous medical graduates out into the world, or is well known as an excellent judge of characters. Having research experience indicates that you are motivated toward an academic career. As you can see, none of this relates, specifically, to where you went to school and far more on what use you made of the opportunities that you had in med school.
     

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