Is it possible to get into an elite residency from a very poorly ranked MD program?

mariposas905

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I'm not sure if these responses are right on this one...I thought you can get into any residency you want if you do well with boards, research, grades etc. - doesn't SDN usually say medical school doesn't matter? Perhaps it depends on speciality :thinking:
 
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Terror Billy

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There are a lot of factors, but I would tend to say it is possible depending on the circumstances. It's definitely not likely, but with great board scores, strong LORs and an away rotation at said residency that left a strong impression I think it's doable.

The key to this question is what speciality? Psych at an IVY is probably very attainable, Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, that's a high mountain to climb.
 

sliceofbread136

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I'm not sure if these responses are right on this one...I thought you can get into any residency you want if you do well with boards, research, grades etc. - doesn't SDN usually say medical school doesn't matter? Perhaps it depends on speciality :thinking:
Nope, applicants to elite residency program all have 260s and AOA. What you need to offer to these programs is your own elite characteristic which is most commonly going to be research. Your medical school also gives you quite the boost as well
 
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Lucca

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medical school is one factor of many. you can answer this question for yourself by simply looking up the resident classes at so-called elite institutions like MGH for IM, HSS for Ortho, Dana Farber for Heme/Onc, Ben Taub for Trauma, UCSF for Neurosurg, etc.
 
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DBC03

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So this was something I was going to ask on this thread. Aside from possibly being the head of the NIH or some other colossal position, what is the advantage to the absolute best residency program vs a mid-tier residency program? I see very few differences in private practice, but I'm interested in academia so I'd like to know how it affects something like that.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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Aside from possibly being the head of the NIH or some other colossal position, what is the advantage to the absolute best residency program vs a mid-tier residency program?
I looked it up because people keep using this as an example and I was curious, but Francis Collins (NIH director) didn't actually go to a particularly prestigious residency program! He did, however, do his phd and fellowship at Yale...
 
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sliceofbread136

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So this was something I was going to ask on this thread. Aside from possibly being the head of the NIH or some other colossal position, what is the advantage to the absolute best residency program vs a mid-tier residency program? I see very few differences in private practice, but I'm interested in academia so I'd like to know how it affects something like that.
It helps to get good positions in academia, and you will see the more esoteric and complex cases and these quaternary care residencies. If you don't really desire to be the physician managing the weird of the weird in a very niche area that super star residency isn't super important.
 

Lucca

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I looked it up because people keep using this as an example and I was curious, but Francis Collins (NIH director) didn't actually go to a particularly prestigious residency program! He did, however, do his phd and fellowship at Yale...
Francis Collins also led the Human Genome Project so
 

efle

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DBC03

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I should add that I met quite a few patients at the hospital that told me their doctor went to Harvard. It was quite the point of pride for them. But I don't know if it made a difference in how successful the doctor actually was. And I believe that was med school, so it seems like doctors care more about residency than patients. Patients know very little about the process or ranking.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Lexdiamondz

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It's definitely possible, however its more difficult. A few factors tend to tilt things in your favour, however, if you are from a low-tier school and have top-tier residency aspirations.

1. Board Scores - this doesn't need to be said. If you wanna get to the top, crush the damn boards. If you're a DO, take the fxcking USMLE.

2. Geography - in general, low-tier schools that are more local will send people to nearby top-tier residencies with relative frequency (ex: SUNY Downstate sends quite a lot of people to Columbia/Cornell/NYU/Sinai, Rush and UIC send a lot to UChicago and Northwestern, etc)

3. Away Rotations - doing an audition rotation and performing well can tilt the scales in your favour come match day because faculty are seeing you in action and can put a face to your name.
 
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PreMedMissteps

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First of all, what do you consider "very poorly ranked"? What ranking number? Or is it unranked?

The way you wrote that suggests that you think there are some kind of sub-par MD schools in the US, and that's not accurate.
 

PreMedMissteps

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From a MGH residency page regarding applying:

Residents are chosen on the basis of their medical training, general achievements, and personal qualities.

No preference is given to any particular medical school or geographic area, nor is race, sex, or national origin a consideration.
 
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Lucca

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Lexdiamondz

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From a MGH residency page regarding applying:
This just isn't true.

While by and large, any LCME-accredited school in the US will provide you with the education necessary to be a good physician there nonetheless exists considerable bias in favour of residency applicants from top tier schools. I've met with PDs who have told me before they even knew my board scores that I would get interviews in my chosen field (EM) simply because I went to a top-tier school. Yes, there are more résumé-building opportunities at T-20 schools and yes, there are better networking opportunities. But even that aside, all things being equal you still have a better shot at matching MGH from Stanford or Hopkins than you do from your random unranked state school.
 
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PreMedMissteps

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Nope, applicants to elite residency program all have 260s and AOA. What you need to offer to these programs is your own elite characteristic which is most commonly going to be research. Your medical school also gives you quite the boost as well
What do you consider to be an elite residency? I consider the competitive residencies at MGH, BWH, JHU, WashU, Stanford, UCSF, Mayo, to be elite residencies.
 

efle

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But HMS does not make up 90% of Harvard hospitals' residencies, and that's what matters.
Idk man. Schools like Hopkins, Penn, Stanford, WashU and Duke contributed 2-4 people each. Harvard self-matched 14. That's probably the majority of their IM peeps. Bias real imo.

Edit: Oh, and that's not even considering their IM peeps that self-match to BWH
 
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PreMedMissteps

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Idk man. Schools like Hopkins, Penn, Stanford, WashU and Duke contributed 2-4 people each. Harvard self-matched 14. That's probably the majority of their IM peeps. Bias real imo.

Edit: Oh, and that's not even considering their IM peeps that self-match to BWH

At what ranking number are you drawing the line. At Match 2017, at a decently-ranked but not highly ranked public SOM, I saw students matching into JHU, BWH, MGH, Yale, Mayo, UCSF, Duke, WashU, and UCLA, UChicago, Northwestern.
 

Lucca

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But HMS does not make up 90% of Harvard hospitals' residencies, and that's what matters.
No one is saying you can't match at elite residencies from most if not all institutions in the country. But to suggest that MGH (and places like it) doesn't show bias to any school or region of the country is lol-worthy.
 

getdown

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An "elite" residency isn't always attached to a big name. Unless you're in the field for that particular field of medicine you likely won't know where the truly good residency programs are. You can go to a big name residency and have **** poor training and you can end up in a State U residency and get amazing training. It's not all about the name. Board scores and away rotations/rec letters matter way more than which school you went to. I've met people from Harvard and UCLA med schools who couldn't make it in residency and were ultimately told to leave and pursue other fields of medicine.
 

PreMedMissteps

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No one is saying you can't match at elite residencies from most if not all institutions in the country. But to suggest that MGH (and places like it) doesn't show bias to any school or region of the country is lol-worthy.
Nearly impossible, although many faculties here probably would say: ranking never matters~~~~.

"No one is saying" ?? I think that there are people who are saying it's impossible or virtually impossible. One even suggested that you must have a 260+ Step 1, and I don't think that's true. What I've seen is that a high Step (240+) is almost expected/required, but not a 260+


I'm not certain that the match results showing a high self-placement tells the whole story. A Harvard MS4 who interviews at 15 top programs might just end up ranking MGH and BWH 1/2 or 2/1 simply because they can't/don't want to relocate.
 
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Goro

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What do you consider to be an elite residency? I consider the competitive residencies at MGH, BWH, JHU, WashU, Stanford, UCSF, Mayo, to be elite residencies.
Ask 10 people, you'll get 11 different answers.

As a near-layman when it comes to understanding the ins and out of post-graduate education, here are some things I have learned from our wise resident and attending colleagues over the years (often by having my head handed to me from my ignorance):

1) University hospitals in general are better than community hospitals for PG training.
2) Don't get starry eyed by a University hospital...there is variability and even an Ivy-league-associated residency can be a poor one.
3) The people who really know what is a good residency program are those in the field. ie, if I want to find out about where good surgical residencies are, I'll ask @SouthernSurgeon or @ThoracicGuy. But even they may be more focused in their knowledge!
4) For many people, if they get their first choice, then it's a good residency, even if it's Joe's Clam Shack and Hospital (told to me by a clinical dean)
 

xffan624

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medical school is one factor of many. you can answer this question for yourself by simply looking up the resident classes at so-called elite institutions like MGH for IM, HSS for Ortho, Dana Farber for Heme/Onc, Ben Taub for Trauma, UCSF for Neurosurg, etc.
One of my classmates ended up here. Went to an unranked state school.
 
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Lost in Translation

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Which state schools would you guys say give the best shot at matching into top residencies then?
 

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Which state schools would you guys say give the best shot at matching into top residencies then?
UCSF.

but to be completely honest, this is just an impossible discussion to have as pre-meds on SDN. Like undergrad for medical school, there is no 1:1, deterministic relationship. We can just point out patterns. Going to any school, doing well, landing an away at a place you want to go to (for whatever reason, prestige isnt the only reason to want to train somewhere) and doing well, good letters, AOA, etc. all play a roll. Too many variables. Far more than there are for MD admissions where stats tell half the story by themselves.
 

efle

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That's a poor metric. My program has well over 1k applicants per year for a similar number of slots and we aren't as hard to get into as HSS



I mean MGH and Hopkins and Penn and UCLA are all affiliated with "top" medical schools and are generally considered amongst the "top" residencies so I would not go that far
Maybe gyngyn meant surgery as a broad category, not just general surg specifically? Like for Ortho surg, a random premed probably would probably guess wrong about whether Iowa or Hopkins was the better residency. I'm sure there's lots of other examples like that?
 

gyngyn

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I mean MGH and Hopkins and Penn and UCLA are all affiliated with "top" medical schools and are generally considered amongst the "top" residencies so I would not go that far
I was referring to all surgical residencies (not just G Surg!).
I'll bet nobody can guess the best Ob-Gyn residencies.
 
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Lucca

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Mayo and BWH?
Nah it's probably somewhere like Ben Taub, Parkland or LA County that sees high volume of ob gyn pts
 
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