Just how competitive does one have to be to match into a top peds program?


Fix me some sandwiches
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2002
A stone's throw from Central Park
Medical Student
Hey everyone,

I know this is a very vague inquiry, but I'm wondering what it takes to score a peds residency at a top flight program, like CHOP, Boston Children's, UCSF, etc. Preclinical grades, board scores, research exposure, whatever. I'm just a first year but I've had the opportunity to do some shadowing with pediatric subspecialists and absolutely love it, and I'd probably be interested in going to a more academic program since I am interested in clinical research.

any input appreciated, thanx :)


Senior Member
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2002
Visit site
Glad you are interested in peds!

As far as I have seen the top programs are pretty competive. To get into a top program preclinical grades I don't think are very important. Stellar step one scores can help, but I crashed on Step 1 (below the mean) and crushed step 2, and was competive at the top schools. Research helps a lot, especially if you are interested in academics. If you are really interested and determined to get into a top program, I would encourage you to think about taking a year out to do research (this will also help you decide if you like research and academics). A couple of presentations and/or publications can go a long way. AOA is very helpful, and you have to do really well in your peds clerkship and sub-I. Clinical grades, LORs, and your dean's letter obviously count some as well. Audition rotations are also good-it helps you decide whether you like the programs, and if they like you, it will give you a leg up.

BUT, if you don't get into the CHOPs and BCRPs of the world, you can still have a very successful career in academic medicine. There are some really fabulous programs out there that have great training, lead to many fellowship opportunities, and that don't have some of the negatives of training at a big name program (Size, culture). Think hard about what you want from your residency, and be aware while you are rotating through the clinical departments about what you like and dislike. Then make a decision about what is best for you, rather that what is the theoretical best program. This may very well be CHOP, or the BCRP, but don't let anyone tell you that you will be less of an academic or a pediatrician if you go somewhere else.
About the Ads