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Now that we know about residencies...

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Vasiley Zaitsev, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2001
    Now that I've been told that the quality level of a residency one gets correlates with the medical school one attends, I pose a question. If one wants to get into a difficult specialty (such as neurosurgery) how do they go about choosing a medical school? The obvious answer is matchlists, but it seems to be a very superficial answer.

    What qualities should I look for in a medical school if I want to go into neurosurgery? Please, someone help, because I'm literally going gray here!

    owcc16
     
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  3. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 21, 2001
    I am a ninja
    Don't get ahead of yourself...calm down and take a breath. The medical school does not dictate the residency. It MAY help, but it doesn't dictate.
    One step at a time, get through undergrad, get into a medical school that fits you...pass, then enter residency. You may decide you want to be a Pediatrician!
     
  4. Voxel

    Voxel Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 5, 2001
    My advice to you is that you must weigh what is important to you. Do you want to be in academia? Do you want to get the harder to get fellowships? Do you want places with protected teaching and research time? How competitive is the specialty you are interested in? Let's face it, for tough residencies, all else being equal, coming from Harvard does make a difference (at least to the program director). Thus all else being equal the top residencies will go to top medical schools especially if their associated hospitals have strong departments in whatever field you are interested in. Most top schools have top hospitals in many different fields. You will make contacts, get great letters, and do interesting research, but this takes work (like everything in life). A word of advice is to check out the specific department (field) associated with your prospective medical school that you are interested in. I know for a fact that some people less than happy at my medical school because a certain department only gave 1 student per year the stellar letter and networking that this specialty requires and the other two were left to their own devices.

    But all this is for naught if you do not work hard in medical school. As for neurosurgery, it seems that it is not the hardest specialty to get into, but I believe the USMLE step I scores for matched applicants averaged about 222-7 and for non-matched applicant about 207 as per the SF match website and not that many were AOA. I'm not sure but I think there are less top notch students applying for neurosurgery (if that's interests you) because of the grueling sacrafices it takes to become a neurosurgeon and the new interest in lifestyle residencies among medical students.
     
  5. pags

    pags Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 28, 2000
    Yea, you're right, Voxel. They went from neurosurgery to radiology. :mad:
     
  6. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2001
     
  7. owcc16 - It would help if you started by telling us which medical schools you've been accepted to. Often it is the acceptances that you receive that help guide you towards choosing a medical school. If you've been fortunate enough to receive several acceptances, perhaps a current medical student/graduate at one of the schools you've been accepted to could provide you with some insight.

    Also, any school you decide to attend in the US will keep your options *open*. Obviously, attending a top 25 school will help, but I'm sure you already knew that. A school that has a strong Neurosurgery department will also be helpful because they can write letters on your behalf, provide you with research opportunities, or save you a spot in their program.
     
  8. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2001
     
  9. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 10, 2001
    SF, CA
    I've heard the notion that being at the top of your class is more important than being in a good class (i.e., going to a top-rated medical school). It's probably easier to be at the top at a mid-ranked medical school than at a top-rated one. People will tell you to choose a school based on how well you feel you fit with the culture of the program, etc. That's good advice, but I think it's important to remember that you'll only really be at the "school" for 2 years. The competing advice, "Go to the best school you get into," may be more important. Good luck.
     
  10. Voxel

    Voxel Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 5, 2001
    Well I beg to differ unless the field requires you to be AOA and neurosurgery does not, being AOA (at the top) does not matter as much, but maybe for derm. Being middle of the road at Harvard and with similiar board scores, LORs, and personal statement to someone from a middle of the road medical school who do you think the program director would want to come to their program? Also, it is probably still difficult to be at the top of a middle of the road medical school. If cost is an issue well that is another story. That's one of the reasons it is hard to be at the top because there are always a few people who got into the harder to get into schools, but figured hey its cheaper and I'll be at the top at this school.
     
  11. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    698
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    Feb 21, 2001
    I am a ninja
    Listen...I really think you need to take one step at a time. I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon for the longest time, up until my third year in medical school. Though it is certainly important to have long term goals, plugging away each and every day with short term goals is very realistic.
    I wish you the best of luck, but you will simply be amazed at what a few years will do to change your mind.
     
  12. callowna

    callowna Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 20, 2001
    Norfolk, VA
    I don't know if this will help or not but I attend a small med school in VA that is not very well known. I did well though (AOA, good board scores, etc) and am going into ob/gyn which admittedly is not the most competitive speciality but it's not as easy as family, IM, peds, etc. I just came back from an interview at a top program in Pittsburgh where I obviously met several other applicants including one from Harvard med. It came out in the course of conversation that she was TURNED DOWN by a couple of top programs in NC where I got interviews. Needless to say I was shocked. So I guess my two cents is get into the best med school you can AND do the best you can wherever you are.
     

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