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Multiple Specialties and Ranking

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clement

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I'm hearing mixed things...
Say you are applying to two specialties, one of which requires a separate application to pre-lim IM. How in the heck to you rank (back-to-back of one specialty, ie continguous, or one then the other?) and do you decrease your odds of matching by going the multi specialty route?

Basically, I don't get how ranking would work...You'd have a separate rank list for prelim IM, and two other separate rank lists for the two specialties? or one list in which you can either alternate, i.e. "specialty x, then specialty y, then specialty x, they specialty y... or just specialty y a bunch of times in a row and x a bunch of times in a row?
 

NotAProgDirector

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For the sake of argument, let's say you're applying to IM (Categorical) and Rads (Advanced, needs a prelim).

You'd rank all of your Categorical IM and Advanced Rads ranks on your main match list. You could put them in any order you want -- all the rads programs first and then all the IM, or geographically, or by academic strengths. Basically, you put them in the order in which you want them.

Then, you'll also submit prelim rank lists. You can have a single prelim list, or you can customize it to each advanced match. The prelim lists are linked to the advanced matches -- so if you match Categorical IM you won't get a prelim, but if you match to Rads Advanced, then the system would try to match to you a prelim. As mentioned, the prelim list order can be changed for each Adv match if you want.
 

clement

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or you can customize it to each advanced match. As mentioned, the prelim list order can be changed for each Adv match if you want.

Thank you...This particular bit, quoted above, I'm not getting. In other words, if I match at location X (advanced) I can then rearrange my prelim rank order list accordingly or have separate prelim lists for each program (advanced)?
 

NotAProgDirector

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Thank you...This particular bit, quoted above, I'm not getting. In other words, if I match at location X (advanced) I can then rearrange my prelim rank order list accordingly or have separate prelim lists for each program (advanced)?
The latter. When you submit your rank list, you'll be able to submit multiple prelim rank lists which you link to each advanced match.
 

hot sauce

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The latter. When you submit your rank list, you'll be able to submit multiple prelim rank lists which you link to each advanced match.

Thank you very much aProgDirector. I was about to post a thread asking this question. Very nice to know.
 

clement

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Any consensus on odds of success as far multiple specialties vs one?
 

hot sauce

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Any consensus on odds of success as far multiple specialties vs one?

If you are applying for multiple categorical specialties they are all ranked in the same rank list. For example you could have
1. Peds at Harvard
2. Psych at Mayo
3. Peds at UCSF
4. General surgery at Hopkins

The match algorithm will not care that you have multiple specialties it will work the same way as if you were applying to a single field.

Where the rub could come in is if the programs are aware that you are applying to other fields they may consider it a negative that you are not decided on their field. Of course they cannot see what other programs you are applying for. Having said that I would avoid applying for multiple categorical positions at the same place as they may become aware of that. And naturally don't send a letter of rec that says you would make a great psychiatrist to a general surgery program or a statement that talks about your love of surgery to an internal medicine program.

Even if one area is your backup plan don't tell the program I really want to be X and I'm applying to your field in case I don't get in - no one wants to hear that as they will figure you probably won't be a very enthusiastic resident if you end up there.
 

ally1

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thanks aPD,

what if you apply to an advanced position and do not get it (pgy 2) but you DO match into a pre-lim or categorical.

Do you re-apply next match for the advanced position? and go on to advanced position after prelim or categorical year?
 

Ludicolo

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thanks aPD,

what if you apply to an advanced position and do not get it (pgy 2) but you DO match into a pre-lim or categorical.

Do you re-apply next match for the advanced position? and go on to advanced position after prelim or categorical year?

Assuming you land just a prelim for 2011-2012:

You can scramble for an advanced position. If that doesn’t work you can reapply the following cycle through NRMP for advanced spots. This would be however for the 2013-14 academic year. Therefore you’d have to find something productive to do for a year. If however the opportunity presented itself, as an independent applicant you could sign for an open PGY2 spot starting July 2012.

If you match into a categorical spot for 2011-2012:

You cannot scramble. You can however reapply the following cycle through NRMP for advanced spots, again for the 2013-14 academic year. Additionally, you’d have to tell your PD that you wish to change specialties. Or you could stay put.
 

NotAProgDirector

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Agree with everything my esteemed colleague has posted above. Wanted to add one really, really important point.

If you list Advanced programs on your main rank list, and don't match to any of them, and want just a prelim, you MUST rank the prelims on your main match list at the bottom. Otherwise, none of your Prelim rank lists get activated, and you'll get nothing in the match.

It's not necessarily good or bad to do so. If you get a prelim only:

Good:
1. You have a year of training -- and you can hopefully figure out something after that.
2. You also can try to scramble for open Advanced slots.

Bad:
1. There are very few Advanced spots in the scramble.
2. You CANNOT scramble for an open Categorical spot if you've matched into a prelim.
3. Applying for new spots while a PGY-1 is very difficult. Do not expect PD's to give you 1-2 months off for interviews -- that's not the way it works.

If you decide not to list prelims on your main match list:

Good:
1. You can scramble for anything, including the categorical positions of which there will be many more than Advanced, or for a prelim position.
2. You can take a year to do research, which might help boost your application

Bad:
1. It's an ego dystonic event to not match into anything
2. You can probably get a better prelim / categorical spot in the match than in the scramble (but there are a few gems in the scramble every year)
 
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