surfguy84

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I'm just an M2, but I'm totally sold on doing psychiatry. We've had a lot of exposure this semester and I've developed a great mentor in one of our psychiatrist professors. He's provided great insight into the field and what I can do, but I'd really like to hear multiple opinions.

What can a DO student do to ensure a match in psych? I'm top quarter of my class and obviously hoping for good board scores. Aside from that, is there anything I can do to add to my resume, network, demonstrate interest, etc. to really help me stand out? I'm ready to go full-force in this direction, so I'm hoping my early career choice will potentially let me get a leg up. Any advice welcomed and appreciated.
 

Blitz2006

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Join APA
Go to an APA Conference to Network (They are annually, every May)
Find an interesting case and write up a case report - American Journal of Psychiatry Residents' Journal is a good place for med students to publish
Or Present a poster, try for IPS/APA Conference
Kick ass on your psych electives/sub-i in 4th year
While you really only need 1 Psych LOR, having 3 strong Psych LORs will leap frog the competition
 
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MacDonaldTriad

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Sub-Is and publications are all very nice, but doing well in school is #1. Staying in the top quartile and getting good scores will be your best strategy. The rest helps, but isn't a substitute for doing well.
 
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surfguy84

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Mar 19, 2012
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Medical Student
Join APA
Go to an APA Conference to Network (They are annually, every May)
Find an interesting case and write up a case report - American Journal of Psychiatry Residents' Journal is a good place for med students to publish
Or Present a poster, try for IPS/APA Conference
Kick ass on your psych electives/sub-i in 4th year
While you really only need 1 Psych LOR, having 3 strong Psych LORs will leap frog the competition
Great advice, thank you.

Just a follow up - what's the best way to get a great psych letter (aside from killing sub-I's). Is there anything I could be doing now to meet mentors/begin targeting letter writers?
 

Blitz2006

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Great advice, thank you.

Just a follow up - what's the best way to get a great psych letter (aside from killing sub-I's). Is there anything I could be doing now to meet mentors/begin targeting letter writers?
Nope, just kick ass on your electives/sub-i

Until then, do what MacDonaldTriad said, perform well academically in M2 and aim for honors on your M3 rotations.
 

Doctor Bagel

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Is there any real utility in networking at APA? Sure, go to the conference if you're interested, have the time and can easily afford it, but I'd think networking is pretty low yield. Definitely less important than actually performing well in school.
 

splik

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Is there any real utility in networking at APA? Sure, go to the conference if you're interested, have the time and can easily afford it, but I'd think networking is pretty low yield. Definitely less important than actually performing well in school.
Depends on how attractive the student is, and how good a schmoozer they are - but yes it is low utility. I blacklisted a few students who were very inappropriate that I met at conferences though, so it can certainly harm. That said, it is mostly the bottom of the barrel students who are networking hard at these meetings and the stench of desperation hangs high in the air. Don't be the one night stand that never goes away.

I do think DO students often seem to be poorly prepared in terms of careers advice, mentoring etc and thus it may be good for them to attend these kinds of meeting which they are probably overrepresented at for this reason. There is usually a residency fair and other similar events and they might potentially make a positive impression. the timing of the IPS meeting makes it more effective for this and in the past there have been some program directors who have been so swayed.
 
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MacDonaldTriad

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IPS is better timed, but I once went to one of those psych interest groups where people were presenting their programs. Fortunately, I wasn’t as efficient as some because the students complained that most of them had already been rejected by some of the programs that were presenting. It was awkward for both sides. At any rate, this isn’t a game that allows for thin skin.
 

Blitz2006

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Yep, agree with everyone above.

I mentioned conference/publications as the OP originally stated:

" I'm top quarter of my class and obviously hoping for good board scores. Aside from that"

So I think OP is aware the academics/steps is the main driver for success.
 
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surfguy84

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Thank you all for the advice. Will keep all of this in mind.

Last thing and I'll let this thread die... is psych a field where showing a sincere and lasting interest will go a long way during the match process? I know some fields take more kindly to those applicants who seem genuinely interested and invested in the field early on.
 

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Osteo Dullahan
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Thank you all for the advice. Will keep all of this in mind.

Last thing and I'll let this thread die... is psych a field where showing a sincere and lasting interest will go a long way during the match process? I know some fields take more kindly to those applicants who seem genuinely interested and invested in the field early on.
Kinda want to follow up this a bit with the question of where do things rank in terms of matching. Like do boards really matter as a whole for matching psych? I know in FM which is only marginally less competitive ( 218 v.s 220ish) boards borderline are irrelevant beyond passing.
 

MacDonaldTriad

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The importance of boards depends on the program. Most are probably happy with passing, but I will say that the importance of boards is bolstered up a lot by the lack of validity in the other measures. Letters are all good, dean's letters don't have much convention, personal statements are all about the same....