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Med students matching: What do you wish you would have known/done in med school?

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drizzt3117

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That's probably because he was awesome.

Those of us who are less awesome sometimes need a boost in the form of research =), especially if we come from a less-than-stellar med school.

I think research is pretty awesome; I want to go into academic medicine, but I don't think it's something to do "just because" esp if you have no interest in academic medicine. He had 265+/AOA/top 10 etc but my point was simply that research isn't a prerequisite.
 

2012mdc

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olympics?

Olympics don't start till end of July and only last a couple of weeks. The worst sports time is post NBA finals pre football season. Baseball is ok but I don't get into it until the division/wild card races are cranked up. It's fun to go to an actual game though
 

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I'll revisit this thread after Match Day but I could serve as a good anecdote for the importance of research. I had a strong Step 1 and AOA but no research during med school and my school is not well known (to the point where some interviwers said "Oh, I didn't know School X had a medical school").

Got a good number of interviews at very competitive places but :xf: to see if I actually match at one of them.

Best of luck! I'm rooting for you. IMO, we place too much emphasis on the name instead of the quality of applicants, but that's life.
 

Phyozo

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I think research is pretty awesome; I want to go into academic medicine, but I don't think it's something to do "just because" esp if you have no interest in academic medicine. He had 265+/AOA/top 10 etc but my point was simply that research isn't a prerequisite.

I agree. It all goes hand in hand. Why bust your butt doing research you're not interested in so you're competitive for a big academic residency program so you can continue having opportunities to do research you're not interested in? There's something to be said about fit. At the same time, if you're an MS1 with SOME interest in research and want to keep options open, it never hurts to invest in learning more about research as it pays dividends down the road during residency applications.
 

Slack3r

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Olympics don't start till end of July and only last a couple of weeks. The worst sports time is post NBA finals pre football season. Baseball is ok but I don't get into it until the division/wild card races are cranked up. It's fun to go to an actual game though

Best time comes up in a few weeks. March Madness!!

Euro Cup, but its only like the second biggest sporting event in the world ;)

This is America, we don't care about soccer. ;)
 

2012mdc

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Best time comes up in a few weeks. March Madness!!



This is America, we don't care about soccer. ;)

The fact that Match Day is the day before St. Patrick's Day and on the first weekend of March Madness is simply incredible.
 

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Currently an MS4 who applied to radiology. Haven't matched yet, but thank my lucky starts that I am ranked-to-match at a top 10 radiology program that I would be totally psyched to attend.

Things every med student should know:

1.) Step 1 for the med student is analogous to MCAT for the pre-med. Do what you need to do to rock it. It doesn't matter if you're going into family medicine or plastic surgery. Put your best foot forward and do well on it because you should want to leave all doors open. Even the best programs in less competitive fields are still extremely competitive in their own right. SDN has tons of resources for how to go about studying for this test. There is no reason you should do average on this exam provided you prepare in advance. If you're smart enough to get into medical school, there is no reason you shouldn't ace this test. I did an average job on my MCAT (low 30s), but I aced my step 1 (>250). You can do it!

2.) Med school prestige DOES matter.

For better or worse, being an MD will open more doors than being a DO. Going to a top 25 MD school will open even more doors. That's not to say if you go to a lesser-ranked school you'll close doors, but you'll just have to work harder to open them. As messed up as it may be, this is how things work seem to work.

3.) Put forth 150% during 3rd year.

-It will probably be one of the most difficult years of your life, but this is your time to prove that you can be a team player, get along with others and effectively care for patients. Doing well this year is absolutely essential if you want to go to a top program in your field.

4.) Research helps, but only if you are productive

Doing research in your field of interest is great, but any kind of research is helpful. However, it is only helpful if you show evidence of scholarly production (publications and presentations). Don't do research if you don't care for it. You can still get into a great residency program with out (unless you're going for derm, plastics, urology, rad-onc or ENT--then research is essential).

5.) Make time for yourself

Life will be busy, but you need to make time to take care of your self. I.e. having fun, working out, eating out, whatever. Fun might only come in small doses in less frequent intervals than you'd like, but enjoy whatever free time you have.

6.) Find a mentor.

Having a good mentor, especially in your field of interest, goes a long way. This is a person you can talk to, bounce ideas off of, do research with, and perhaps he/she will go to bat for you come time for residency application. I have an awesome mentor and wouldn't have achieved what I have without that person.
 
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235009

Currently an MS4 who applied to radiology. Haven't matched yet, but thank my lucky starts that I am ranked-to-match at a top 10 radiology program that I would be totally psyched to attend.

Things every med student should know:

1.) Step 1 for the med student is analogous to MCAT for the pre-med. Do what you need to do to rock it. It doesn't matter if you're going into family medicine or plastic surgery. Put your best foot forward and do well on it because you should want to leave all doors open. Even the best programs in less competitive fields are still extremely competitive in their own right. SDN has tons of resources for how to go about studying for this test. There is no reason you should do average on this exam provided you prepare in advance. If you're smart enough to get into medical school, there is no reason you shouldn't ace this test. I did an average job on my MCAT (low 30s), but I aced my step 1 (>250). You can do it!

2.) Med school prestige DOES matter.

For better or worse, being an MD will open more doors than being a DO. Going to a top 25 MD school will open even more doors. That's not to say if you go to a lesser-ranked school you'll close doors, but you'll just have to work harder to open them. As messed up as it may be, this is how things work seem to work.

3.) Put forth 150% during 3rd year.

-It will probably be one of the most difficult years of your life, but this is your time to prove that you can be a team player, get along with others and effectively care for patients. Doing well this year is absolutely essential if you want to go to a top program in your field.

4.) Research helps, but only if you are productive

Doing research in your field of interest is great, but any kind of research is helpful. However, it is only helpful if you show evidence of scholarly production (publications and presentations). Don't do research if you don't care for it. You can still get into a great residency program with out (unless you're going for derm, plastics, urology, rad-onc or ENT--then research is essential).

5.) Make time for yourself

Life will be busy, but you need to make time to take care of your self. I.e. having fun, working out, eating out, whatever. Fun might only come in small doses in less frequent intervals than you'd like, but enjoy whatever free time you have.

6.) Find a mentor.

Having a good mentor, especially in your field of interest, goes a long way. This is a person you can talk to, bounce ideas off of, do research with, and perhaps he/she will go to bat for you come time for residency application. I have an awesome mentor and wouldn't have achieved what I have without that person.

solid post :thumbup:
 

royalmarquis

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Looking back, I wish I knew the amount of sacrifices medicine would take out of me. But you can't really get this until you go through 3rd/4th year. No way to understand this by shadowing. Would have helped if my parents were doctors.

If I knew back then what I know now, I would have chosen dentistry. Similar income with way better lifestyle. But too late for that.

As far as matching:

1. Wish I was smarter, and did better on Step 1. Most important aspect of application.
2. Wish I kissed ass more on 3rd year rotations to get those honors rather than HP or P.
3. If you want anything remotely competitive, do research.

That's all that matters. Most PD's don't give a crap about EC's.

Can you give some specific examples on how to kiss ass effectively?
 

FIREitUP

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this thread just helped me decide to not do research (because I hate it) and to enjoy my last summer. Time to make some travel arrangements
 

rad0nc

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From my n=1 personal experience:

1.) Step 1 and research are the most important things
2.) AOA means nothing for Rad Onc (never mentioned during interviews)
3.) AOA means a lot for transitional program (almost always mentioned)
4.) Nobody asks about step 2. I did really well and was hoping it would come up since my step 1 is average for Rad Onc, but no-one asked and it didn't go into my file until I was halfway done with interviews
5.) EC's are completely useless for residency applications
6.) This ish is expensive!
 

neusu

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In residency, but here's my take

1) Step 1 is important - Do as well as you can, and better than that if you're lucky.
a) Below average score will not rule you out
b) Above average score will not rule you in
2) Who you know means a lot - Friends in high places can make the difference
3) Play the game - You hate Peds? Psych OB? Surgery? So does most of your class aside from the people going in to that. Don't let anyone know. Until you go somewhere on a subinternship you are either "keeping your options open" or "strongly considering -name current rotation-" Laugh at their dumb jokes, mime their personalities. Nothing will ding you harder than a disgruntled resident or attending on a service you blow off. It's half about working well with others and half about showing some respect.
4) Research shows you show interest. Publish or perish, time spent without something meaningful for your CV is time wasted.
5) The med school you go to does play a role in selection
6) Step 2 CK/CS, Step 3.. Biggest waste of money that no one cares about
7) Have fun with it, it's your life!
 

Alvarez13

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Can anyone else speak more on the "always being watched" element? I've heard professors mention this here and there, but never any details. We're a P/F school, so I haven't been to worried about grades, but feel they are secretly being recorded and factored in. I'm wondering if I'm digging myself into a hole by not constantly volunteering for our free clinic and running some boring interest group. Not big on all the mission trips either. I just want to focus on boards and shadowing right now.
 

tima

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Saving this thread for future use.
 

Oxer45

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Can anyone else speak more on the "always being watched" element? I've heard professors mention this here and there, but never any details. We're a P/F school, so I haven't been to worried about grades, but feel they are secretly being recorded and factored in. I'm wondering if I'm digging myself into a hole by not constantly volunteering for our free clinic and running some boring interest group. Not big on all the mission trips either. I just want to focus on boards and shadowing right now.

That doesnt come into play till clinical rotations. When you're doing a audition rotation, people will always watch you, PD, residents, nurses, etc, and talk about you when you're not there. PD's take those gossip into consideration when ranking you. Audition rotations are like month long interview where everyone has a say in your future.

As for year 1 and 2, do what you want, and maybe show some interest in your field. No one expects you to go on medical missions.
 
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2012mdc

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Can anyone else speak more on the "always being watched" element? I've heard professors mention this here and there, but never any details. We're a P/F school, so I haven't been to worried about grades, but feel they are secretly being recorded and factored in. I'm wondering if I'm digging myself into a hole by not constantly volunteering for our free clinic and running some boring interest group. Not big on all the mission trips either. I just want to focus on boards and shadowing right now.

The only EC that truly matters is research.

It's good to have something in your experience section on ERAS but don't do things just for the sake of doing them. Do things you're interested in.
 

ArcGurren

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In residency, but here's my take

1) Step 1 is important - Do as well as you can, and better than that if you're lucky.
a) Below average score will not rule you out
b) Above average score will not rule you in
2) Who you know means a lot - Friends in high places can make the difference
3) Play the game - You hate Peds? Psych OB? Surgery? So does most of your class aside from the people going in to that. Don't let anyone know. Until you go somewhere on a subinternship you are either "keeping your options open" or "strongly considering -name current rotation-" Laugh at their dumb jokes, mime their personalities. Nothing will ding you harder than a disgruntled resident or attending on a service you blow off. It's half about working well with others and half about showing some respect.
4) Research shows you show interest. Publish or perish, time spent without something meaningful for your CV is time wasted.
5) The med school you go to does play a role in selection
6) Step 2 CK/CS, Step 3.. Biggest waste of money that no one cares about
7) Have fun with it, it's your life!

Ugh. This has been the worst part of third year. Tends to occur more often with general surgery than any other specialty so far; nobody on IM has been rude to students interested in surgery so far; neither have people in psych been rude to students interested in peds.

Honestly, on everything but general surgery, I've found the trick is that you can usually be honest about what you want to do but show lots of enthusiasm in the field you're rotating in. For general surgery, you have to be either very ambiguous about the field you want to go into or pretend you want to go into gen surg.
 

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Ugh. This has been the worst part of third year. Tends to occur more often with general surgery than any other specialty so far; nobody on IM has been rude to students interested in surgery so far; neither have people in psych been rude to students interested in peds.

Honestly, on everything but general surgery, I've found the trick is that you can usually be honest about what you want to do but show lots of enthusiasm in the field you're rotating in. For general surgery, you have to be either very ambiguous about the field you want to go into or pretend you want to go into gen surg.

Why would you ever tell anyone your interest in another field during a rotation? Either tell them its their field (if its true) or just lie and say you've not decided. People can and will judge you based on their own biases and preconceptions. Why risk ruining your chances at honors by running your mouth about crap that can't help you (if you don't like their field) and definitely can hurt you?

Try this-
Psych Attending: So do you want to go into psychiatry?
You: To be honest, I haven't really decided yet sir/mame, but I really like dealing with crazies all day and....etc.

Exaggeration, but you get the point.
 

ArcGurren

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Why would you ever tell anyone your interest in another field during a rotation? Either tell them its their field (if its true) or just lie and say you've not decided. People can and will judge you based on their own biases and preconceptions. Why risk ruining your chances at honors by running your mouth about crap that can't help you (if you don't like their field) and definitely can hurt you?

Try this-
Psych Attending: So do you want to go into psychiatry?
You: To be honest, I haven't really decided yet sir/mame, but I really like dealing with crazies all day and....etc.

Exaggeration, but you get the point.

I was always completely honest about what I wanted to do when rotating in pediatrics, family medicine, medicine, and so far, psychiatry, and it hasn't gotten me in hot water in the very least (and honors in almost all of them with top clinical grades in all of them). Hell I was even honest about the SUBSPECIALTY i wanted to pursue. I would always suffix it with "I still believe it's important for me regardless of whatever field I go into to have a thoroughly well rounded education so that I can recognize these things in my clinical practice" and as long as I worked hard and showed interest, I would do invariably well.

The only time (and this seems to be a fairly common experience) that I've EVER gotten dinged for it was on general surgery, when the evaluator said "oh well you don't want to go into gen surgery, so it's not like an honors in this will matter, right?" Thankfully I still managed to make honors in that rotation, but it was the lowest clinical grades I've ever gotten - and it had nothing to do with how good I was as a student, by the very admission of the person grading me.

So, really, no, it hasn't gotten me in any real trouble, and the one time it did, I still managed to crawl out of that hellhole with honors. Maybe you're more comfortable with lying through your teeth but I'm not. And maybe I will have to do it on OB/Gyn when I'm around similar personality types as those on surgery, but I'll hate every second of having to lie about it and effectively prostitute myself just to get a good grade.
 

2012mdc

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Why would you ever tell anyone your interest in another field during a rotation? Either tell them its their field (if its true) or just lie and say you've not decided. People can and will judge you based on their own biases and preconceptions. Why risk ruining your chances at honors by running your mouth about crap that can't help you (if you don't like their field) and definitely can hurt you?

Try this-
Psych Attending: So do you want to go into psychiatry?
You: To be honest, I haven't really decided yet sir/mame, but I really like dealing with crazies all day and....etc.

Exaggeration, but you get the point.

Because some people don't like to lie or kiss ass just for a grade.

After I settled on rads it didn't hurt me when I mentioned I wanted to do it.
 

neusu

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Ugh. This has been the worst part of third year. Tends to occur more often with general surgery than any other specialty so far; nobody on IM has been rude to students interested in surgery so far; neither have people in psych been rude to students interested in peds.

Honestly, on everything but general surgery, I've found the trick is that you can usually be honest about what you want to do but show lots of enthusiasm in the field you're rotating in. For general surgery, you have to be either very ambiguous about the field you want to go into or pretend you want to go into gen surg.

My advice stands. Just because surgeons are more aggressive/forward and tell you they think you're a ***** for wanting to do something else and the medicine docs seem okay with it does not mean you won't get dinged by both. Non surgical fields tend to be more passive aggressive. Do the smart thing, lie through your teeth and tell each field you want to go in to that field. Certainly, you may feel sleazy, but in reality if you consider each rotation as an audition for that field it helps.
 

Butler

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I was always completely honest about what I wanted to do when rotating in pediatrics, family medicine, medicine, and so far, psychiatry, and it hasn't gotten me in hot water in the very least (and honors in almost all of them with top clinical grades in all of them). Hell I was even honest about the SUBSPECIALTY i wanted to pursue. I would always suffix it with "I still believe it's important for me regardless of whatever field I go into to have a thoroughly well rounded education so that I can recognize these things in my clinical practice" and as long as I worked hard and showed interest, I would do invariably well.

The only time (and this seems to be a fairly common experience) that I've EVER gotten dinged for it was on general surgery, when the evaluator said "oh well you don't want to go into gen surgery, so it's not like an honors in this will matter, right?" Thankfully I still managed to make honors in that rotation, but it was the lowest clinical grades I've ever gotten - and it had nothing to do with how good I was as a student, by the very admission of the person grading me.

So, really, no, it hasn't gotten me in any real trouble, and the one time it did, I still managed to crawl out of that hellhole with honors. Maybe you're more comfortable with lying through your teeth but I'm not. And maybe I will have to do it on OB/Gyn when I'm around similar personality types as those on surgery, but I'll hate every second of having to lie about it and effectively prostitute myself just to get a good grade.

You freely admitted that being truthful hurt you on surgery. I commend you for working hard and fighting for those honors, but would it be false to say your goal would have been much easier to achieve if you hadn't shared personal information with your evaluator? I make this assumption based on your assertion you will not be so truthful on your OB/Gyn rotation. Not that I blame you, because you can't know up front whether being honest with your attending/resident will end up crucifying you or not. Again, there is NO reason to risk making your life harder by being honest with another practitioner about your chosen field. Like I said before, it cannot help you.

Because some people don't like to lie or kiss ass just for a grade.

After I settled on rads it didn't hurt me when I mentioned I wanted to do it.

I apologize for this misunderstanding. I wasn't implying you should kiss ass. As I mentioned in that example, it was a mildly satirical exaggeration of the conversation in question. If you don't feel comfortable lying, don't say you like taking care of crazies/kids/inmates (or w/e based on your current rotation). Just don't say you hate it or would prefer doing something else. You must realize that medical education is a game, one that you must at least know the basics of to do well in this system. You don't have to be a pro, but if you don't play the game you will get destroyed by others that do.
 

2012mdc

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You freely admitted that being truthful hurt you on surgery. I commend you for working hard and fighting for those honors, but would it be false to say your goal would have been much easier to achieve if you hadn't shared personal information with your evaluator? I make this assumption based on your assertion you will not be so truthful on your OB/Gyn rotation. Not that I blame you, because you can't know up front whether being honest with your attending/resident will end up crucifying you or not. Again, there is NO reason to risk making your life harder by being honest with another practitioner about your chosen field. Like I said before, it cannot help you.



I apologize for this misunderstanding. I wasn't implying you should kiss ass. As I mentioned in that example, it was a mildly satirical exaggeration of the conversation in question. If you don't feel comfortable lying, don't say you like taking care of crazies/kids/inmates (or w/e based on your current rotation). Just don't say you hate it or would prefer doing something else. You must realize that medical education is a game, one that you must at least know the basics of to do well in this system. You don't have to be a pro, but if you don't play the game you will get destroyed by others that do.

I told the truth on every rotation and received great evals on every rotation except for OB (I suspect it was because I was a lazy unmotivated ass on that rotation). Got honors on all of them except for OB.

Of course it's stupid to say you hate the rotation you're on especially when you haven't even done it yet.
 

Slack3r

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I was always completely honest about what I wanted to do when rotating in pediatrics, family medicine, medicine, and so far, psychiatry, and it hasn't gotten me in hot water in the very least (and honors in almost all of them with top clinical grades in all of them). Hell I was even honest about the SUBSPECIALTY i wanted to pursue. I would always suffix it with "I still believe it's important for me regardless of whatever field I go into to have a thoroughly well rounded education so that I can recognize these things in my clinical practice" and as long as I worked hard and showed interest, I would do invariably well.

The only time (and this seems to be a fairly common experience) that I've EVER gotten dinged for it was on general surgery, when the evaluator said "oh well you don't want to go into gen surgery, so it's not like an honors in this will matter, right?" Thankfully I still managed to make honors in that rotation, but it was the lowest clinical grades I've ever gotten - and it had nothing to do with how good I was as a student, by the very admission of the person grading me.

So, really, no, it hasn't gotten me in any real trouble, and the one time it did, I still managed to crawl out of that hellhole with honors. Maybe you're more comfortable with lying through your teeth but I'm not. And maybe I will have to do it on OB/Gyn when I'm around similar personality types as those on surgery, but I'll hate every second of having to lie about it and effectively prostitute myself just to get a good grade.

Is it lonely up there on your pedestal?
 
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ArcGurren

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You freely admitted that being truthful hurt you on surgery. I commend you for working hard and fighting for those honors, but would it be false to say your goal would have been much easier to achieve if you hadn't shared personal information with your evaluator? I make this assumption based on your assertion you will not be so truthful on your OB/Gyn rotation. Not that I blame you, because you can't know up front whether being honest with your attending/resident will end up crucifying you or not. Again, there is NO reason to risk making your life harder by being honest with another practitioner about your chosen field. Like I said before, it cannot help you.

I apologize for this misunderstanding. I wasn't implying you should kiss ass. As I mentioned in that example, it was a mildly satirical exaggeration of the conversation in question. If you don't feel comfortable lying, don't say you like taking care of crazies/kids/inmates (or w/e based on your current rotation). Just don't say you hate it or would prefer doing something else. You must realize that medical education is a game, one that you must at least know the basics of to do well in this system. You don't have to be a pro, but if you don't play the game you will get destroyed by others that do.

You're making some very big assumptions - I never told the general surgeons I HATED the rotation. I really tried my best to like the rotation. Hell, there were parts of it I actually did enjoy, especially the endocrine/breast surgeries. I just said I was more interested in pursuing another specialty and that I still wanted to work hard and learn - and evidently that wasn't enough. The only reason I'm gonna have to be ambivalent/ambiguous about my choice for specialty for OB is because I know it will hurt me to say otherwise and that, yes, I've learned that it's not a great idea to be so forthright. Doesn't mean I have to like it or feel good about it.
 

ArcGurren

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My advice stands. Just because surgeons are more aggressive/forward and tell you they think you're a ***** for wanting to do something else and the medicine docs seem okay with it does not mean you won't get dinged by both. Non surgical fields tend to be more passive aggressive. Do the smart thing, lie through your teeth and tell each field you want to go in to that field. Certainly, you may feel sleazy, but in reality if you consider each rotation as an audition for that field it helps.

I must have gotten lucky then with all of my pediatrics, family medicine, psych, and neurology attendings so far then, because my evals in all of them were good despite my honesty. I don't know, maybe your experience was different regarding your IM attendings when you were in medical school, but I've never had any issues with anyone being particularly passive-aggressive.

I think we can all agree that all these ridiculous attitudes towards other rotations is ridiculous anyway. Everyone has a place of their own and every specialty has a good purpose; it's okay to poke fun at times but to berate and downgrade other students for not being gung ho about your specialty seems unnecessarily vindictive.
 

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You're making some very big assumptions - I never told the general surgeons I HATED the rotation. I really tried my best to like the rotation. Hell, there were parts of it I actually did enjoy, especially the endocrine/breast surgeries. I just said I was more interested in pursuing another specialty and that I still wanted to work hard and learn - and evidently that wasn't enough. The only reason I'm gonna have to be ambivalent/ambiguous about my choice for specialty for OB is because I know it will hurt me to say otherwise and that, yes, I've learned that it's not a great idea to be so forthright. Doesn't mean I have to like it or feel good about it.

See this is the problem with trying to respond to multiple posts at the same time with multiquote. One person thinks you are speaking to them when you are speaking to another. I never made any assumptions on what you told your evaluators further than what you implicitly told me you said to them. I never assumed you told him/her that you hated gen surg. Now based on what you claim to have said on your peds, family and medicine rotations, I have assumed you shared similar personal information with your surgery evaluator; but it really makes no difference to some attendings/residents. All you have to do is IMPLY that you don't want to go into a certain field before possibly getting demolished by someone evaluating you. I think this dithering back and forth is pointless though because it seems you already understand my point as you have planned to adjust your actions in the future based on your previous experiences and information you have learned from outside sources on your OB/GYN rotation. I recommend you follow that same course of action for the rest of your rotations. As I said before, no need to make life more difficult by blabbering about something that doesn't matter and can only hurt you.

I must have gotten lucky then with all of my pediatrics, family medicine, psych, and neurology attendings so far then, because my evals in all of them were good despite my honesty. I don't know, maybe your experience was different regarding your IM attendings when you were in medical school, but I've never had any issues with anyone being particularly passive-aggressive.

I think we can all agree that all these ridiculous attitudes towards other rotations is ridiculous anyway. Everyone has a place of their own and every specialty has a good purpose; it's okay to poke fun at times but to berate and downgrade other students for not being gung ho about your specialty seems unnecessarily vindictive.

I could not agree more. I make my best effort to respect and value all practitioners in different fields because I will expect the same when I make my own choice. However, never forget humans are fallible, biased and emotionally driven. We make emotional decisions based on our own biases everyday; you and I included. No need to make these decisions charged with extra emotion spawning from additional biases based on information you have chosen to share with them under your own volition because of your own misplaced compulsions to be absolutely honest to everyone, every second of every day. /EndRant +pity+
 
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Because some people don't like to lie or kiss ass just for a grade.

After I settled on rads it didn't hurt me when I mentioned I wanted to do it.

Just cause it didn't hurt you, doesn't it mean it doesn't happen. On my psych rotation, the PD, who does our evals said I was one of the best students who rotated through his department, asked what I was considering I said, \

Me: "well i really enjoyed my month on psych, haven't ruled anything out yet, but I'm really considering Ortho" (he is best friends with the ortho PD so figured he'd put in a good word).

He said, "well, I only give students A's if they work hard AND want to go into psych, since you don't, here is an 88."

Me: :mad:

So ya, play the game. In the end, I still went ortho, matched, ect, but still getting a B for something so trivial is infuriating.
 

MilkmanAl

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I must have gotten lucky then with all of my pediatrics, family medicine, psych, and neurology attendings so far then, because my evals in all of them were good despite my honesty. I don't know, maybe your experience was different regarding your IM attendings when you were in medical school, but I've never had any issues with anyone being particularly passive-aggressive.

I think we can all agree that all these ridiculous attitudes towards other rotations is ridiculous anyway. Everyone has a place of their own and every specialty has a good purpose; it's okay to poke fun at times but to berate and downgrade other students for not being gung ho about your specialty seems unnecessarily vindictive.
I'm with you, my friend. My evals were all excellent, despite the fact that I was honest about my career plans. It's just pathetic and sad when students try to suck up by lying to or concealing their interests from faculty.

still getting a B for something so trivial is infuriating
True, but this is one time when I strongly advocate dignity over playing the game. A grade isn't going to hurt you much, but being a sycophantic douche might. Who wants approval from someone that shallow, anyway?
 

Butler

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Just cause it didn't hurt you, doesn't it mean it doesn't happen. On my psych rotation, the PD, who does our evals said I was one of the best students who rotated through his department, asked what I was considering I said, \

Me: "well i really enjoyed my month on psych, haven't ruled anything out yet, but I'm really considering Ortho" (he is best friends with the ortho PD so figured he'd put in a good word).

He said, "well, I only give students A's if they work hard AND want to go into psych, since you don't, here is an 88."

Me: :mad:

So ya, play the game. In the end, I still went ortho, matched, ect, but still getting a B for something so trivial is infuriating.

Sorry to hear about that mate; blow-city right there. Sadly, that happens more than people like to admit. One important fact to remember is grade quotas. Evaluators get dinged for giving out too many As. So if you get screwed and have all the gunners and/or best and brightest on your same clinical rotation schedule, you might ALL do very well clinically, but the ones that have explicitely said "I want to go into specialty X,Y, Z etc" will get the A. The well-intentioned evaluator is trying to maintain their quota and still do well by the students. "The most good for the whole group" mentality. Someone who wants to do Pysch definitely does not want a B on their Pysch rotation. While someone who wants to do Ortho, might still not want a B, but it matters less for them. No need to make the evaluators life easier by making his/her decision for them by blabbering. Although in your case I see why you did what you did. Again, sucks that it didn't work out. Dude acted like a douche.
 

Butler

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I'm with you, my friend. My evals were all excellent, despite the fact that I was honest about my career plans. It's just pathetic and sad when students try to suck up by lying to or concealing their interests from faculty.

True, but this is one time when I strongly advocate dignity over playing the game. A grade isn't going to hurt you much, but being a sycophantic douche might. Who wants approval from someone that shallow, anyway?

Unless you know the faculty well beforehand, you are taking unnecessary risks by being open and honest. To call a student pathetic and sad (or even a sycophantic douche? or am I reading to much into your post?) for trying to keep their own personal information confidential is ignorant and inflammatory. Every year programs become more and more competitive as more students learn how to play the game. Remaining virtuous with dignity and playing the game are not mutually exclusive objectives. I can play the game without throwing my peers under the bus, so to speak.

And why would you want approval from someone that shallow? Maybe because one grade can, has and WILL continue to make a difference in the long run if you have decided to be honest and forthcoming to the wrong evaluator on the wrong rotation. I wish you luck in your endeavors, but know that you roll the proverbial dice every time you mention your true intentions to faculty on clinical rotations.
 

MilkmanAl

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To call a student pathetic and sad (or even a sycophantic douche? or am I reading to much into your post?) for trying to keep their own personal information confidential is ignorant and inflammatory.
There's a rather large difference between keeping information confidential and just outright lying in an attempt to protect your grade. I'm sorry you don't like being told that you make yourself look awful to your peers by trying to protect your grade from this phantom menace. Unfortunately for you, that's the bed you've made by telling every doctor you come across that you want to pursue his specialty. Unnecessary risks? You're being a real person. If you're disrespected or graded down for that, so what? It's doubtful that a B/high pass/whatever in a specialty you don't care about is going to matter.

Maybe because one grade can, has and WILL continue to make a difference in the long run if you have decided to be honest and forthcoming to the wrong evaluator on the wrong rotation.
I think this issue is being inflated significantly in this thread. As far as I'm aware, nobody at my school has ever had an issue with getting docked on his grades due to specialty choice. On the other hand, plenty of students have earned negative reputations (amongst attendings, residents, and other students) as a result of trying to suck up to people in each specialty. I don't doubt that there are old-school attendings around who will cut you down for not going into their specialty, but they don't practice at UAMS. Grades during third year obviously matter, but they don't matter enough to prostrate yourself to some jackass who thinks that only people interested in his specialty can do solid work in it. That's more where my problem lies: the type of person who'd actually lower your grade for your specialty choice is exactly the type who least deserves your deference and (perceived) respect. You're basically lowering yourself to his level, and for me, that's inexcusable and completely unacceptable.
 

2012mdc

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Just cause it didn't hurt you, doesn't it mean it doesn't happen. On my psych rotation, the PD, who does our evals said I was one of the best students who rotated through his department, asked what I was considering I said, \

Me: "well i really enjoyed my month on psych, haven't ruled anything out yet, but I'm really considering Ortho" (he is best friends with the ortho PD so figured he'd put in a good word).

He said, "well, I only give students A's if they work hard AND want to go into psych, since you don't, here is an 88."

Me: :mad:

So ya, play the game. In the end, I still went ortho, matched, ect, but still getting a B for something so trivial is infuriating.

That sucks. I would have complained to the admins. Not to get my grade changed but to prevent stuff like that from happening to future students.
 

Butler

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There's a rather large difference between keeping information confidential and just outright lying in an attempt to protect your grade. I'm sorry you don't like being told that you make yourself look awful to your peers by trying to protect your grade from this phantom menace. Unfortunately for you, that's the bed you've made by telling every doctor you come across that you want to pursue his specialty. Unnecessary risks? You're being a real person. If you're disrespected or graded down for that, so what? It's doubtful that a B/high pass/whatever in a specialty you don't care about is going to matter.

I think this issue is being inflated significantly in this thread. As far as I'm aware, nobody at my school has ever had an issue with getting docked on his grades due to specialty choice. On the other hand, plenty of students have earned negative reputations (amongst attendings, residents, and other students) as a result of trying to suck up to people in each specialty. I don't doubt that there are old-school attendings around who will cut you down for not going into their specialty, but they don't practice at UAMS. Grades during third year obviously matter, but they don't matter enough to prostrate yourself to some jackass who thinks that only people interested in his specialty can do solid work in it. That's more where my problem lies: the type of person who'd actually lower your grade for your specialty choice is exactly the type who least deserves your deference and (perceived) respect. You're basically lowering yourself to his level, and for me, that's inexcusable and completely unacceptable.

It seems to me you have clearly misunderstood my stance on the matter. Not once in any of my posts in this thread have I recommended telling the attending/evaluator you are interested in their field unless it is the truth (see my first post on this topic). The ONLY recommendation I have made is to NOT tell them the truth if your chosen field is not theirs. This is where the white lie of "I haven't decided yet" works wonders. Telling them the truth can only hurt you. It will never help you.

I am thrilled your school has excellent faculty and evaluators that don't have egos so huge they can't imagine why a student might want to pursue a different field than theirs. Not everyone is so fortunate, as you have freely admitted. The fact of the matter is one grade can make a difference when applying to residency. Especially nowadays with residency spots going down/remaining the same and the number of graduating medical students actually increasing. One grade makes a difference.

I have not recommended sucking up to or brown-nosing attendings. I apologize if you have painfully endured experiences of your fellow classmates going out of their way to " prostrate yourself to some jackass who thinks that only people interested in his specialty can do solid work in it" but that is not the topic of discussion in this thread nor am I making recommendations to others to perform such colorfully worded actions. Your experiences and biases seem to be clouding your comprehension of my points and opinions.
 

MilkmanAl

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Your experiences and biases seem to be clouding your comprehension of my points and opinions.
I understand you just fine, thanks. My opinion that concealing your interests for a grade (when it probably doesn't matter anyway) is a crappy thing to do stands.
Telling them the truth can only hurt you. It will never help you.
How about if they appreciate you for being honest and working hard despite not being interested in their specialty? That was mentioned in at least 2 of my evals. How about if the team gives you patients more relevant to the specialty you're interested in? What if the attendings and residents sit down and teach you topics relevant to your chosen specialty? On the contrary, I think you can help yourself out substantially by treating attendings like people and by being one, yourself.

I apologize if you have painfully endured experiences of your fellow classmates
Sarcasm noted, but it is, indeed, painful.
 

Butler

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I understand you just fine, thanks. My opinion that concealing your interests for a grade (when it probably doesn't matter anyway) is a crappy thing to do stands.

Based on your previous post (see below), no, no you clearly did not understand my stance on this matter.

There's a rather large difference between keeping information confidential and just outright lying in an attempt to protect your grade.Unfortunately for you, that's the bed you've made by telling every doctor you come across that you want to pursue his specialty.

Never did I assert, recommend or contend that I do these things or that I condone anyone doing these things.

How about if they appreciate you for being honest and working hard despite not being interested in their specialty? That was mentioned in at least 2 of my evals. How about if the team gives you patients more relevant to the specialty you're interested in? What if the attendings and residents sit down and teach you topics relevant to your chosen specialty? On the contrary, I think you can help yourself out substantially by treating attendings like people and by being one, yourself.

You make an few interesting points. Based on this new information you have provided me with, I withdraw my assertion that telling your evaluator you have already chosen a specialty and it is not theirs never helps you. However, I still contend that the majority of the time pursuing this course of action will, at the least, not assist your goals of achieving honors and may possibly be detrimental to your clinical evaluation. Attendings and faculty at your school appear to be quite a few cuts above the average evaluators and educators you will find at other medical schools around the country. I regret not applying to UAMS if your claims hold water. As a point of note, I know of several colleagues from my own institution that chose your graduate medical program for residency. From what I know they are very happy with their choices, so I am inclined to trust your opinion on this.
 

MossPoh

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I thought residency prestige actually correlated slightly negatively with future income. Not only do more of their residents go into low paying jobs in academics, but they tend to work in more saturated markets in desirable locations.
Some of these people also have wealth and income that come from things outside of practicing medicine.


I will note for the above conversation that the one rotation I didn't honor in third year I think I would have if I had hid my career interests better especially if I lied but the act of doing so seemed socially tiresome and pretty inconsequential at the time. That's a unique situation because I was on a peds rotation with a bunch of other med students that were interested in peds at a hospital with a pretty academic peds residency.


For the main thread, for people trying to be competitive which I think is a lot of the people reading this thread, I would also second getting involved in research early and try to do multiple projects or at least always be doing something as some projects will not pan out or publish. This goes for inside of a lab too, I had success during my M1 summer getting multiple publications by working with several different senior lab members on whatever they had going on. This was important that it was at the beginning because the publications didn't roll in until end of second year and then up through end of third year. I was fifth author on a couple of these articles but it was still brought up everywhere, places really liked it. I think, within reason, every extra thing you can produce for yourself that's listed in pubmed will look pretty impressive.
 

momgracea

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In residency, but here's my take

1) Step 1 is important - Do as well as you can, and better than that if you're lucky.
a) Below average score will not rule you out
b) Above average score will not rule you in
2) Who you know means a lot - Friends in high places can make the difference
3) Play the game - You hate Peds? Psych OB? Surgery? So does most of your class aside from the people going in to that. Don't let anyone know. Until you go somewhere on a subinternship you are either "keeping your options open" or "strongly considering -name current rotation-" Laugh at their dumb jokes, mime their personalities. Nothing will ding you harder than a disgruntled resident or attending on a service you blow off. It's half about working well with others and half about showing some respect.
4) Research shows you show interest. Publish or perish, time spent without something meaningful for your CV is time wasted.
5) The med school you go to does play a role in selection
6) Step 2 CK/CS, Step 3.. Biggest waste of money that no one cares about
7) Have fun with it, it's your life!

I love this post and here's why... had I trusted the advice of the "experts" on SDN, I would have been convinced that my chances of getting in to medical school and being successful were slim to none. As a non-traditional student, I had less than stellar grades from some UG classes very early in life and knew that it would be a challenge to improve my GPA. Indeed, it was... but I did not get all A's as it was suggested would be necessary. My MCAT was just a hair above average and yet I got in to medical not once, but twice. I was accepted in 2007 but decided not to go at that time. I finished a Master's and reapplied at a later date without retaking the MCAT. And now, as an MS2, although there have been subjects with which I struggled, I have not failed any nor had to re-mediate. Likewise, my CBSE scores, while not even close to predicting a 260 like a few of our top students, are nonetheless higher than several of my younger and presumably more intelligent classmates.

I recognize my limitations and while I will put forth my best effort on Step 1, I refuse to allow the naysayers to convince me that a "low" (call it <240) score will mean a career in my chosen specialty (whatever that might be) is out of the question. Perhaps I might have a harder time getting what I want, maybe I would have to be in a less desirable (whatever that is) program, or to have to apply more broadly... but it is no means an impossibility. Don't believe me? Take a look at the match statistics... http://www.nrmp.org/data/chartingoutcomes2011.pdf

Since we keep talking about Derm, let me draw your attention to page 36. Now, when you look at the those applicants with a 201-210, you'll see that nearly 50% matched, and this figure went up slightly with scores of 211-220. While I'd admit those aren't great odds, they are far better than zero. And that's not all... if you look at the others specialties mentioned (anesthesiology, EM, Rads - not Oc Rads) you'll see that 85-95% of those scoring at 220 and below matched.

My point is this... if you read these posts and think "Well, I'm f***ed..." DON'T!! We all know this test is important, so study hard. But at the end of the day, recognize that there are a handful of students who beat the odds. Your challenge is to figure out what separated the two groups if you happen to be stuck with a score on the lower end for your desired specialty.

Best of luck to all of you!
 

drizzt3117

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It's simply not true that 50% of applicants with 201-210 matched derm. That chart is for people who ranked programs in derm, meaning they had to have received an interview. If you're applying with those scores, you're almost certain to go uninterviewed, and wouldn't be in the statistics. As you can see, only 47 people ranked programs with a score below 221 and of those only 21 matched.

I love this post and here's why... had I trusted the advice of the "experts" on SDN, I would have been convinced that my chances of getting in to medical school and being successful were slim to none. As a non-traditional student, I had less than stellar grades from some UG classes very early in life and knew that it would be a challenge to improve my GPA. Indeed, it was... but I did not get all A's as it was suggested would be necessary. My MCAT was just a hair above average and yet I got in to medical not once, but twice. I was accepted in 2007 but decided not to go at that time. I finished a Master's and reapplied at a later date without retaking the MCAT. And now, as an MS2, although there have been subjects with which I struggled, I have not failed any nor had to re-mediate. Likewise, my CBSE scores, while not even close to predicting a 260 like a few of our top students, are nonetheless higher than several of my younger and presumably more intelligent classmates.

I recognize my limitations and while I will put forth my best effort on Step 1, I refuse to allow the naysayers to convince me that a "low" (call it <240) score will mean a career in my chosen specialty (whatever that might be) is out of the question. Perhaps I might have a harder time getting what I want, maybe I would have to be in a less desirable (whatever that is) program, or to have to apply more broadly... but it is no means an impossibility. Don't believe me? Take a look at the match statistics... http://www.nrmp.org/data/chartingoutcomes2011.pdf

Since we keep talking about Derm, let me draw your attention to page 36. Now, when you look at the those applicants with a 201-210, you'll see that nearly 50% matched, and this figure went up slightly with scores of 211-220. While I'd admit those aren't great odds, they are far better than zero. And that's not all... if you look at the others specialties mentioned (anesthesiology, EM, Rads - not Oc Rads) you'll see that 85-95% of those scoring at 220 and below matched.

My point is this... if you read these posts and think "Well, I'm f***ed..." DON'T!! We all know this test is important, so study hard. But at the end of the day, recognize that there are a handful of students who beat the odds. Your challenge is to figure out what separated the two groups if you happen to be stuck with a score on the lower end for your desired specialty.

Best of luck to all of you!
 
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I love this post and here's why... had I trusted the advice of the "experts" on SDN, I would have been convinced that my chances of getting in to medical school and being successful were slim to none. As a non-traditional student, I had less than stellar grades from some UG classes very early in life and knew that it would be a challenge to improve my GPA. Indeed, it was... but I did not get all A's as it was suggested would be necessary. My MCAT was just a hair above average and yet I got in to medical not once, but twice. I was accepted in 2007 but decided not to go at that time. I finished a Master's and reapplied at a later date without retaking the MCAT. And now, as an MS2, although there have been subjects with which I struggled, I have not failed any nor had to re-mediate. Likewise, my CBSE scores, while not even close to predicting a 260 like a few of our top students, are nonetheless higher than several of my younger and presumably more intelligent classmates.

I recognize my limitations and while I will put forth my best effort on Step 1, I refuse to allow the naysayers to convince me that a "low" (call it <240) score will mean a career in my chosen specialty (whatever that might be) is out of the question. Perhaps I might have a harder time getting what I want, maybe I would have to be in a less desirable (whatever that is) program, or to have to apply more broadly... but it is no means an impossibility. Don't believe me? Take a look at the match statistics... http://www.nrmp.org/data/chartingoutcomes2011.pdf

Since we keep talking about Derm, let me draw your attention to page 36. Now, when you look at the those applicants with a 201-210, you'll see that nearly 50% matched, and this figure went up slightly with scores of 211-220. While I'd admit those aren't great odds, they are far better than zero. And that's not all... if you look at the others specialties mentioned (anesthesiology, EM, Rads - not Oc Rads) you'll see that 85-95% of those scoring at 220 and below matched.

My point is this... if you read these posts and think "Well, I'm f***ed..." DON'T!! We all know this test is important, so study hard. But at the end of the day, recognize that there are a handful of students who beat the odds. Your challenge is to figure out what separated the two groups if you happen to be stuck with a score on the lower end for your desired specialty.

Best of luck to all of you!

:thumbup::thumbup: One of the best posts on SDN in a long time. Everyone has to remember SDN is a self-selected group of students who are usually the top of the class. You see the SDN avg of Step 1 of like 240-250, when the real avg is 224...lol.

But yes, I agree with the hole idea that a lot of SDN is negative and if you don't have a 3.8/36 you are not getting in to medical school and that if you don't have a 250, you are not getting into derm.

There is a lot more to getting into a residency and medical school then just numbers. I believe I was told I can't get into medical school cause my UG GPA was 3.4 by SDN...well I applied, got in, and guess what..matched ortho.
 
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