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Molly Maquire

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Feb 2, 2003
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Can anyone tell me what types of credentials (board scores, rank, research) it took to get a spot at a top path program (especially in NYC). How about a middle-of-the-road program?



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Aug 15, 2003
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I don't think anyone can give you the exact answer you are looking for. There are no hard and fast rules. In general, there are also no "minimum requirements" other than passing. You don't have to have research. You don't have to get a 230+ on board exams. You don't have to be AOA or even get lots of honors grades. It's all about balance. One good thing on your application, in isolation, is not necessarily going to bump you over the top.

Things like board scores and LORs seem to be important for landing interviews. Interviews, LORs, personal statement seem to be more important for getting ranked highly. Additions to your CV like research, publications, previous experience, interesting talents, etc help of course. Top path programs like to see (from what I have gathered) a well-rounded applicant with a significant interest in pathology.

Thus, if you have a 240 step I, AOA, prior research in retinal diseases, but can't give a good answer to the question, "Why do you like Pathology," you might be screwed.

And by the way, the school you attend doesn't make much (if any) difference in the matter. It's the quality of the student, not the school they attend, that makes the difference.

I don't know a ton about NYC path programs, but in general they are not quite so sought after by the top candidates, who choose the city to the east or the cities a few states to the south.

The best advice: Explore the field, meet people in it, work with them. Get good letters of rec. Do the best you can in school, don't shirk your preparations for board exams. Sounds obvious but lots of people don't do this.


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^I second what the guy above said.

However, if I was a betting man (which I am), I would say a 220+, top 1/3 of your class, good LORs, and good 3rd year evals would get you interviewed at NYU, Sinai, Cornell, and Columbia. If you didn't rub eveyone the wrong way in the interview, and ranked them 1-4. You would for sure land one of them.

In the short distance from Balitmore to Boston there are 5 unbelievably outstanding programs which will attract a lot of the best candidates. This makes it relatively easy to match in Manhattan in pathology. This is in sharp contrast to the West Coast where there are only 4 top univeristy programs on the whole coast, making it tough going if you have to live in a certain city out there. (There is only one program in Seattle and it rocks, only two in the Bay Area and both of those are powerhouses. LA is the only city with a variety or programs similar to what you see in the major cities in the East including univeristy based (UCLA), county based (LAC-USC), and community based (Cedars).) Contrast this to Chicago where there are 6 programs 4 of which are university based, or NY where manhattan has 4 alone. It is easy to match in those cities.
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