SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
Got my step 1 score a few weeks back. Got a 205. I don't know what happened, but here we are. Decided some time ago that I wanted to do IM, and maybe Cards. I thought about other specialties, but I realized that I just want to see patients, and I hate surgery and such. I will graduate from a top 5 school and I have a bit of research experience (no pubs, though, as I hate research). The only thing is that I need to match into Chicago for personal reasons. I don't really care which program, but of course, the better would be preferred. My med school isn't in Chicago, though, but I'm from Chicago. I haven't done too well on my rotations, just passes and a few HP's. I'm also thinking about Cards, but I don't know if I have much of a shot at it. What do you guys think are my odds of matching, particularly in a program in Chicago? Thanks for any help.
 
2

235009

Coming from a top 5 school you're bound to find a community IM program in the Chicago area that would be happy to have you. In fact I suspect you'll do better than that.
 
OP
S

SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
Coming from a top 5 school you're bound to find a community IM program in the Chicago area that would be happy to have you. In fact I suspect you'll do better than that.
Thanks for your help. You really think I could do better than a community program? Do you think I've got a shot at Cards?

Anyone else?
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,934
17,753
All of Time & Space
I'm no expert, but the key thing is to try to get into the best program you can, so university or community, you will be looking at their track record of getting program grads matched to fellowships, particularly competitive ones, particularly cards, if they like to take their own grads into their fellowship program (if they have that, but not just because they have a hard time getting you elsewhere hopefully), how strong their fellowship mentoring is, particularly their cards department, and opportunities for research, particularly cards. Some places are good at helping you get an audition rotation at another institution for fellowship.

Get it?

That is going to vary program to program, and a strong community program can be better than a weak university program, although overall you find more strong university programs than community ones. A lot depends on what is available to you where you go, and what use you make of what opportunities there are.

I don't know about Chicago.

You can't do anything about your Step 1 score.

You can try to get the best IM program you can with regards to getting you what you need for fellowship as above.

Then you need to try to kill Step 2, Step 3, any ITEs, and at the best program you can publications and whatever other residency activities get you to cards fellowship (I have no idea what that is, except I know you need to do cards rotations, do well, get strong letters, and academic activities like research, pubs, meetings, etc are ABSOLUTELY required so fall in love with that notion now)

The same way that your undergrad doesn't play much into what residency programs are looking at, rather that your med school and performance there matters most, as I understand it fellowship is much more dependent on not just the name of your residency program but what you accomplish as a resident.

So you can recover from this, but you need to do well on tests from here on out and change your attitude about research and other academic activities.

It only hurts your pocketbook to apply to programs, even longshots. Just make sure you have enough safety programs, apply to enough to get enough invites and go on enough interviews to match. Play the numbers game to be sure you can match, and apply for the stars once you've made sure of that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bashwell

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,934
17,753
All of Time & Space
Maybe you can post or search in the cards forum for ideas on community programs that are strong for cards? They do exist, just harder to find info on community programs than uni programs for obvs reasons.

Often they say community programs with official strong affiliations with uni schools are stronger, I don't know how true that is.

There are programs with reputations for being way station to fellowship, you want that probably if you're sure you want fellowship. If they are IMG heavy programs but with good record of getting them fellowships (those exist) you will likely be competitive despite your Step score. I don't know that's good advice just what I hear.

You will have to decide how much geography vs strength of program getting you fellowship that's willing to look past your Step score matter to you.

I'm not saying you're not competitive for whatever you want, just providing thoughts/reassurance about community programs in case that's the track you want/need to go down, and a lot of people don't seem to be able to give a lot of advice about community programs, so here you go. You're better off including strong community programs in your list in addition to uni programs just to have options. Options are good.

I don't know how true, but I vaguely recall a community IM prog in Denver affiliated with the main Uni program there bragging about getting people competitive fellowships like cards, but that was a few years back now.

Also there were community progs in Philly and Pittsburg (I believe) that I vaguely recall making the same claims.

I could find the names of those progs for you if that interests you at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bashwell

ArkansasMed

7+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2009
118
59
Status
Medical Student
Got my step 1 score a few weeks back. Got a 205. I don't know what happened, but here we are. Decided some time ago that I wanted to do IM, and maybe Cards. I thought about other specialties, but I realized that I just want to see patients, and I hate surgery and such. I will graduate from a top 5 school and I have a bit of research experience (no pubs, though, as I hate research). The only thing is that I need to match into Chicago for personal reasons. I don't really care which program, but of course, the better would be preferred. My med school isn't in Chicago, though, but I'm from Chicago. I haven't done too well on my rotations, just passes and a few HP's. I'm also thinking about Cards, but I don't know if I have much of a shot at it. What do you guys think are my odds of matching, particularly in a program in Chicago? Thanks for any help.
You will match in IM, maybe not northwestern or UChicago but you can still match since you graduated from a top 5 medical school. Honestly, you still may get in there since you come from a top program. There are a lot of solid academic programs in that area too to consider.

Getting a cards fellowship matters on how well you performed in residency and where you went. As a quick side note, some fellowship programs actually ask for your deans letter and grades from medical school so keep this in mind. Not sure how much they care about it.
 
OP
S

SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
You will match in IM, maybe not northwestern or UChicago but you can still match since you graduated from a top 5 medical school. Honestly, you still may get in there since you come from a top program. There are a lot of solid academic programs in that area too to consider.

Getting a cards fellowship matters on how well you performed in residency and where you went. As a quick side note, some fellowship programs actually ask for your deans letter and grades from medical school so keep this in mind. Not sure how much they care about it.
Thanks for the advice.
 
OP
S

SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
Well, I'll worry about a Cards fellowship when I get to residency. I'll just try to do as best as I can from here on out at med school.

What do you guys think are my chances at the other academic programs in Chicago? UIC/Loyola/Rush/Cook County?
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,934
17,753
All of Time & Space
I think Loyola good.

Can't say about anywhere else.

From what I hear, the other programs are pretty labor intensive
 
OP
S

SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
I think Loyola good.

Can't say about anywhere else.

From what I hear, the other programs are pretty labor intensive
Just wondering what my chances are at any of them. I don't think I'm in any position to pick and choose, lol.
 

ThoracicGuy

5+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2013
9,593
23,459
Status
Attending Physician
Got my step 1 score a few weeks back. Got a 205. I don't know what happened, but here we are. Decided some time ago that I wanted to do IM, and maybe Cards. I thought about other specialties, but I realized that I just want to see patients, and I hate surgery and such. I will graduate from a top 5 school and I have a bit of research experience (no pubs, though, as I hate research). The only thing is that I need to match into Chicago for personal reasons. I don't really care which program, but of course, the better would be preferred. My med school isn't in Chicago, though, but I'm from Chicago. I haven't done too well on my rotations, just passes and a few HP's. I'm also thinking about Cards, but I don't know if I have much of a shot at it. What do you guys think are my odds of matching, particularly in a program in Chicago? Thanks for any help.
From my understanding, where you go to residency affects your competitiveness for Cards. You have to ask yourself, what do you want more? Three years of IM in Chicago with the possibility of not being able to match into cards or three years of IM somewhere good, matching into cards and then looking for a job in Chicago?

Limiting yourself to one city is a recipe for failure.

Looking back at some of your prior posts, you say you have to go to Chicago because of family and friends... You can always visit them on a golden weekend or vacation. Go where you have the best chance of having the best career and then find that job in Chicago to live there the rest of your life if you want.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maruko and bashwell
OP
S

SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
From my understanding, where you go to residency affects your competitiveness for Cards. You have to ask yourself, what do you want more? Three years of IM in Chicago with the possibility of not being able to match into cards or three years of IM somewhere good, matching into cards and then looking for a job in Chicago?

Limiting yourself to one city is a recipe for failure.

Looking back at some of your prior posts, you say you have to go to Chicago because of family and friends... You can always visit them on a golden weekend or vacation. Go where you have the best chance of having the best career and then find that job in Chicago to live there the rest of your life if you want.
Honestly? I'd rather have the 3 years in Chicago with my friends and family. I've spent time away from them in med school, and it's been horrible. I've learned my lesson.
 

ThoracicGuy

5+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2013
9,593
23,459
Status
Attending Physician
Honestly? I'd rather have the 3 years in Chicago with my friends and family. I've spent time away from them in med school, and it's been horrible. I've learned my lesson.
Then do everything you can to maximize your application to make it there. Realistically, you're looking at a limited amount of time with training versus the rest of your life to work there as an attending... But if you don't have a good residency program, you might not get the credentials to work in Chicago. It can be a tough market, particularly for specialists like cardiology.
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,934
17,753
All of Time & Space
Just wondering what my chances are at any of them. I don't think I'm in any position to pick and choose, lol.
What I meant is your chamces are probably OK at Loyola, I think.

Residency and cards are both many years.

You likely can't do both in the area.

Also, look at states around Chicago.

Michigan and Indiana have some places within 3-5hrs I think to travel to Chicago. You can look that stuff up on Google maps.

Residency is likely easier find closer to Chicago, but of course where you do residency is a big factor for cards. And fellowship you'll have even less likelihood of getting close to home.

You can always apply broadly for IM if you have the money while you think on priorities. Make sure you've got some cards rotations lined up before your rank list goes in to help you figure this out.maybe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ThoracicGuy
OP
S

SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
Well, let's take cards out of the mix. What do you guys think are my chances at IM at Loyola/Rush/UIC/Cook County?
 

lulu09

7+ Year Member
May 1, 2010
186
146
I had a 205 as well and matched earlier this year at a solidly mid-tier academic program coming out of a Top 20 med school (not even top 5!).

I applied to all the major academic programs in Chicago + Cook County - Rush and Loyola interviewed me, no luck at NW, UChicago, or UIC. I don't think Cook County is as interested in AMGs so unless you have a compelling reason to be there they might not even take your application seriously. I thought I was a good match for both Rush and Loyola - positive feedback on my interviews - I didn't ultimately want to be in Chicago so I ranked them lower than where I matched at.

You will be fine coming out of a Top 5 with 205 matching into an academic program - however be prepared to be screened out at a bunch of places simply due to your Step 1 score. The difficulty with having a low score + good school is that you don't know which programs will screen you out and which programs will give you an interview, so you need to apply very broadly (I applied to 60+ programs) - I would do something like 20% top tier academic, 50% mid-tier and low-tier academic, and 30% community. I got a good mix of interviews doing this last year. Theoretically there's always a chance of a "top 20" IM program giving you an invite, but at 205, I wouldn't hold my breath (apply, but don't hold your breath). At this point, I would tell you you would most likely match at an academic program, but it won't be a superstar program and you don't have to go community unless you want to. (this is also assuming no other glaring deficiencies on your MSPE)

As for Cards, I would just see which interviews pan out after you apply and then look at the Cards lists of the residencies you end up interviewing at. Adjust your final rank list then based on how important being in Chicago and doing Cards is to you. Mid-tier level programs (community programs for that matter) send people to Cards, so don't panic. There's also lots of other factors in the equation after you get to residency, so really there's not much you can do at this point other than to pick a program that has a decent track record of sending people to Cards fellowship.
 
OP
S

SoulinNeed

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2009
1,677
11
Status
Medical Student
I had a 205 as well and matched earlier this year at a solidly mid-tier academic program coming out of a Top 20 med school (not even top 5!).

I applied to all the major academic programs in Chicago + Cook County - Rush and Loyola interviewed me, no luck at NW, UChicago, or UIC. I don't think Cook County is as interested in AMGs so unless you have a compelling reason to be there they might not even take your application seriously. I thought I was a good match for both Rush and Loyola - positive feedback on my interviews - I didn't ultimately want to be in Chicago so I ranked them lower than where I matched at.

You will be fine coming out of a Top 5 with 205 matching into an academic program - however be prepared to be screened out at a bunch of places simply due to your Step 1 score. The difficulty with having a low score + good school is that you don't know which programs will screen you out and which programs will give you an interview, so you need to apply very broadly (I applied to 60+ programs) - I would do something like 20% top tier academic, 50% mid-tier and low-tier academic, and 30% community. I got a good mix of interviews doing this last year. Theoretically there's always a chance of a "top 20" IM program giving you an invite, but at 205, I wouldn't hold my breath (apply, but don't hold your breath). At this point, I would tell you you would most likely match at an academic program, but it won't be a superstar program and you don't have to go community unless you want to. (this is also assuming no other glaring deficiencies on your MSPE)

As for Cards, I would just see which interviews pan out after you apply and then look at the Cards lists of the residencies you end up interviewing at. Adjust your final rank list then based on how important being in Chicago and doing Cards is to you. Mid-tier level programs (community programs for that matter) send people to Cards, so don't panic. There's also lots of other factors in the equation after you get to residency, so really there's not much you can do at this point other than to pick a program that has a decent track record of sending people to Cards fellowship.
Thanks for the great advice!
 

IMreshopeful

7+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2012
1,273
1,101
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
It's also important that should you remain interested in cardiology in residency, as long as you apply broadly and not just to "top" programs for fellowship, as an AMG your chances of getting interviewed and matching are decent - as long as you do well in residency and do some sort of research project whether or not you publish.