Match Lists in Making a Decision

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nocturnal_premed

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Hi all, new user here, so I apologize if this topic has been discussed elsewhere and I failed to find it!

I've been fortunate enough to receive multiple acceptances to MSTPs this application cycle and am now in the process of making a final choice. I've withdrawn from all but two schools, both of which are highly similar in terms of med school rankings and strengths in the area of my research interest. I'm equally sold on their respective locations and the atmosphere within the classes and programs, as well.

In fact, the only area in which I can discern a difference that may be relevant to me is their match lists. Ultimately, I'd like to return to a residency in my home state (a preference that's quite obviously subject to change). While they both have strong lists overall, there's a fairly notable distinction in the lists regarding the number of residents who have matched at schools in my home state, but I'm wondering whether that's enough of an impetus to make a decision or an important factor to even consider.

I've heard that MD/PhD students tend to not have issues with matching––provided they've done well, of course––and are sought-after in any regard. Have any of you been considering match lists?

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I think the disparity is only significant if both your schools under consideration are 1) in the same area and 2) that area is the one you want to match in. Otherwise it will be confounded by people who preferred to stay in their home location over and above other residency program characteristics. A lot of people who go to school in Oklahoma are going to stay in Oklahoma not because they couldn’t have matched elswhere based on their application but because they wish to remain in Oklahoma with their home and family, if that makes sense.
 
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It appears that almost all MD/PhDs get their first choice residency and most seem to end up at big name medical centers. The only part of the match list that I am interested in when choosing a program is how many people match into the same institution. The number of students that decide to stay for residency is an indicator of how happy they are with the program I think. If no one wants to stay for residency, it makes me wonder how good their experience was.
 
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I think the disparity is only significant if both your schools under consideration are 1) in the same area and 2) that area is the one you want to match in. Otherwise it will be confounded by people who preferred to stay in their home location over and above other residency program characteristics. A lot of people who go to school in Oklahoma are going to stay in Oklahoma not because they couldn’t have matched elswhere based on their application but because they wish to remain in Oklahoma with their home and family, if that makes sense.

Right, location can be a tough thing to measure since there’s always regional bias and especially for MSTPs after 7+ yrs somewhere people might’ve put down roots and may have more pressure to stay local. I’d say if both schools are matching at the best places in their respective region of the country for specialties you are interested in (and landing research track, getting fellowships, etc), then the match lists are equivalent. If not, then it might come into play some more in the decision.

OP, I’d be interested if we’re making the same decision because it sounds a lot like mine lmao.
 
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And conversely about anyone who went to Harvard could match in Oklahoma and make their OK program director paroxysmally happy that they did - it’s just that they don’t generally prefer to unless there’s an application-strength unrelated reason.

And finally match lists don’t predict your own personal future if you rock out at whatever USMD school you go to. If you’re personally way more impressive than the average graduate of your school, you’ll personally have a much different outcome than the average graduate of your school. From my alma mater there are plenty of people who do community FM and also people who do ROAD at Mayo or IM at Hopkins. That’s their path and preference, not valuing one over the other. Unless you are considering big name top 10 vs not that, your own performance will determine more than which USMD school you choose.
 
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Ok first of all, I'm shocked that I haven't used this forum before; you all are seriously the best for all the responses!!

I think the disparity is only significant if both your schools under consideration are 1) in the same area and 2) that area is the one you want to match in. Otherwise it will be confounded by people who preferred to stay in their home location over and above other residency program characteristics. A lot of people who go to school in Oklahoma are going to stay in Oklahoma not because they couldn’t have matched elswhere based on their application but because they wish to remain in Oklahoma with their home and family, if that makes sense.

So in regards to this, unfortunately, no, neither is in the same region as where I'd like to return. That said, while reading through the rest of the comments, I also realized/remembered the notion that while regional bias may be real, having a reason to return to the area (aka it being my home state/familial ties) is also powerful.

It appears that almost all MD/PhDs get their first choice residency and most seem to end up at big name medical centers. The only part of the match list that I am interested in when choosing a program is how many people match into the same institution. The number of students that decide to stay for residency is an indicator of how happy they are with the program I think. If no one wants to stay for residency, it makes me wonder how good their experience was.

Interesting take and definitely a litmus test that I hadn't considered. I guess in my case I hadn't particularly been looking at that because I was initially so caught up in the idea of a "name-brand" school that I forgot that even those could have poor programmatic support or an unwelcoming atmosphere. Thankfully, though, from what I could gather at my interviews and in my interactions with the students I met, the programs I'm picking between don't seem to have that issue! But in any case, some do seem to match back, so I guess a good indication.


OP, I’d be interested if we’re making the same decision because it sounds a lot like mine lmao

Me too!!!! Saying I'm simply curious is a gross understatement... I feel like between the number of candidates I met again at different interviews, there's definitely got to be several making the same decision as me (us?!)...

Unless you are considering big name top 10 vs not that, your own performance will determine more than which USMD school you choose.

Absolutely and readily agreed. Both are similarly well-ranked, though. Okay and finally, at the end of this enormous post, my sheepish final comment: I guess this is more just a product of me trying to figure out how the hell to make this decision. I think, all in all, I really couldn't go wrong. But it feels so odd to be making this decision on a number of factors I could count on one hand. And then everyone I've asked always says they picked based on the intangibles, on how they felt. And I liked both equally!! So in honesty, I'm probably just trying to conjure up new tangible factors that I really shouldn't lol
 
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Ok first of all, I'm shocked that I haven't used this forum before; you all are seriously the best for all the responses!!



So in regards to this, unfortunately, no, neither is in the same region as where I'd like to return. That said, while reading through the rest of the comments, I also realized/remembered the notion that while regional bias may be real, having a reason to return to the area (aka it being my home state/familial ties) is also powerful.



Interesting take and definitely a litmus test that I hadn't considered. I guess in my case I hadn't particularly been looking at that because I was initially so caught up in the idea of a "name-brand" school that I forgot that even those could have poor programmatic support or an unwelcoming atmosphere. Thankfully, though, from what I could gather at my interviews and in my interactions with the students I met, the programs I'm picking between don't seem to have that issue! But in any case, some do seem to match back, so I guess a good indication.




Me too!!!! Saying I'm simply curious is a gross understatement... I feel like between the number of candidates I met again at different interviews, there's definitely got to be several making the same decision as me (us?!)...



Absolutely and readily agreed. Both are similarly well-ranked, though. Okay and finally, at the end of this enormous post, my sheepish final comment: I guess this is more just a product of me trying to figure out how the hell to make this decision. I think, all in all, I really couldn't go wrong. But it feels so odd to be making this decision on a number of factors I could count on one hand. And then everyone I've asked always says they picked based on the intangibles, on how they felt. And I liked both equally!! So in honesty, I'm probably just trying to conjure up new tangible factors that I really shouldn't lol

Go to the one I'm not waitlisted at.
 
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I hear you then, it’s a tough choice that doesn’t have one right answer. Just choose based on any factor that’s appealing and important to you, even if it’s how many good breweries or concerts you want to see in one place vs the other, and commit wholeheartedly to that choice, and value the strengths of your choice for you personally, since objectively speaking it doesn’t matter one way or the other.
 
It appears that almost all MD/PhDs get their first choice residency and most seem to end up at big name medical centers. The only part of the match list that I am interested in when choosing a program is how many people match into the same institution. The number of students that decide to stay for residency is an indicator of how happy they are with the program I think. If no one wants to stay for residency, it makes me wonder how good their experience was.
Be wary of the “what does it say if they are leaving” take. A lot of people believe very strongly in the idea that a good scientist (and a good clinician but I feel like this is less emphasized in clinical medicine) needs to be exposed to different departments/schools of thought, etc. At both where I did my md/PhD and now where I am doing my residency I have heard many a senior faculty encourage students/residents to choose a new institution over staying.
 
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Be wary of the “what does it say if they are leaving” take. A lot of people believe very strongly in the idea that a good scientist (and a good clinician but I feel like this is less emphasized in clinical medicine) needs to be exposed to different departments/schools of thought, etc. At both where I did my md/PhD and now where I am doing my residency I have heard many a senior faculty encourage students/residents to choose a new institution over staying.

I think this is why it is a good indicator. There is a lot of pressure to move to a new institution. Going against that pressure and choosing to stay, I think shows that students have developed a strong connection to the institution. Sure its not a perfect metric, since lots of other factors play into it, but I think its one of many indicators one can use to determine student satisfaction with the program.
 
I think this is why it is a good indicator. There is a lot of pressure to move to a new institution. Going against that pressure and choosing to stay, I think shows that students have developed a strong connection to the institution. Sure its not a perfect metric, since lots of other factors play into it, but I think its one of many indicators one can use to determine student satisfaction with the program.
Or no one else other than the institution that already spent $1M on them wants them.

In all seriousness though, I agree that it probably says something if they stay, my point more was that I don’t think the converse (it’s a bad sign if everyone leaves) is true.
 
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