Aequanimitatis

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2014
78
42
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yes it is not Friday yet but this is a reminder for all of you who have contributed and been helped by this forum to please post your match results and experiences. As an applicant this year, I know I spent a great deal of time going back the past few years getting a sense for what to expect and (so far) it has been relatively on par.

Most important, best of luck my future colleagues and internists of the MD Class of 2015!!

School
:
Step Scores:
Grades:
Research:
AOA:
Rank:
Interview Invites:

Rejections:


Matched (+ # on ROL):


Advice
:
 
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JP2740

7+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2009
2,444
2,101
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
School: John Harvard
Step Scores: 1 - 290, 2 - 290 x 2
Grades: H+ in everything
Research: 10 pubs in nature and a novel series
AOA: President
Rank: 1
Interview Invites: 1
Rejections: 0
Matched: #1
Advice: Don't even presume you can be me
 
About the Ads
Jun 14, 2013
92
88
Status
Medical Student
School: DO
Step Scores: 250, 266 (667, 680)
Grades: Mostly honors including IM, P in OBGYN
Research: No pubs or posters
AOA: The DO version SSP
Rank: Top 5% in class
Interview Invites:
Minnesota, Mayo Clinic (Rochester), U Colorado, OHSU, CCF
Loyola, SLU, Wake Forest, VCU, UIC, Indiana, U Tennessee, LSU

Rejections: lots: GWU, Dartmouth, UVA, WUSTL, OSU, Yale, Penn, JH Bayview, Utah
Never heard anything: Rush, GWU, Georgetown, WUSTL, OSU, USC, Iowa


Matched (+ # on ROL):
Minnesota! Definitely the program I felt was the best overall fit for me.


Advice
:
You need to be a really well-rounded candidate for the competitive programs, especially as a DO. I heard more from "reach programs" than I thought I would. So apply bravely and broadly. Good step scores matter. I think there are many programs that are completely out of reach as a DO, no matter the strength of your application.
 
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AlteredScale

Staff member
Administrator
5+ Year Member
May 10, 2013
7,664
6,907
Status
Medical Student
School: DO
Step Scores: 250, 266 (667, 680)
Grades: Mostly honors including IM, P in OBGYN
Research: No pubs or posters
AOA: The DO version SSP
Rank: Top 5% in class
Interview Invites:
Minnesota
Mayo Clinic- Rochester
U Colorado
OHSU
CCF
Loyola, SLU, Wake Forest, VCU, UIC

Rejections: lots (GWU, Georgetown, Dartmouth, UVA, WUSTL, OSU, Yale, Penn, JH Bayview, Utah, Iowa


Matched (+ # on ROL):
#2 Very happy and very excited!


Advice
:
You need to be a really well-rounded candidate for the competitive programs, especially as a DO. I heard more from "reach programs" than I thought I would. So apply bravely and broadly. Good step scores matter. I think there are many programs that are completely out of reach as a DO, no matter the strength of your application.
Wow!!!! Congrats!
 
Dec 16, 2014
77
40
Status
Medical Student
School: Midwestern allopathic (mid-tier?)
Step Scores: Step 1: 256, Step 2 ck: 275, Step 2 CS: pass (1st attempt)
Grades: Honors in all except, family medicine.
Research: Abstract presentation in undergrad about basic science (basically none)
AOA: Junior AOA
Rank: Top 5% in class
Interview Invites:
Attended: Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, CU Denver, OHSU, Mayo (Rochester), Nebraska, Utah, Wash U.
Declined: Iowa, Kansas, St. Josephs/Exempla (Denver), Case-Western, Michigan, Northwestern.

Rejections: Never heard from Rush, Johns Hopkins. Rejected at UW, Cleveland clinic, UTSW (Austin), University of Chicago.


Matched (+ # on ROL): Matched at OHSU (#1 on my list!)


Advice
:
- Echoes all the sentiments expressed over the years.
- Study hard years 1 and 2 because these really help you excel on the step exams and on your clinical rotations.
- Apply broadly, and don't be afraid to apply to programs where you think you won't get interviews, in the grand scheme of things its rather inexpensive if you aren't applying to 100+ programs.
- I can't speak as to whether research during medical school would have helped some, but I'm sure it wouldn't have hurt.
- Be natural and interested on your interviews, first impressions is all that you're afforded.

- Most importantly: Do what you want. Use the advice on hear as a compliment to what you think is best. There is great advice here, but it is the context in which you take it matters most. Its alright to rank the way you want, regardless of whether or not you put the most prestigious programs at the top or the one you like best. In the end, thats how you find the best fit.
 
Apr 20, 2014
3
4
Status
Medical Student
School: DO School
Step Scores: 259, 260; 734, 704; Passed CS/PE
Grades: We only have Pass and Fail..so I passed
Research: Case Report Presentation
AOA: We have SSP...and hah I wish
Rank: Top 15%
Interview Invites: Minnesota, MCW, Cincy, Baylor (Houston), UIC, OSU, Rutgers-RWJ, Iowa, Indy, Henry Ford, Cleveland Clinic, OHSU

Rejections: Michigan, Loyola, Rush, Case Western, GW, GTown, Jefferson, Temple, UTSW, Mayo (Rochester), UWash, NW, UChicago, Wisconsin


Matched (+ # on ROL): #2 Minnesota!!


Advice
: It's a crapshoot. Based on everything I've seen, just try and be the most impressive applicant. PM me if you have any ques
 

MCB

7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2011
45
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
School: Northeast allopathic low tier
Step Scores: 250/260
Grades: H in all clerkships besides HP in Surgery, FM
Research: 4 abstracts
AOA: Senior
Rank: Top quintile
Interview Invites:
Attended: Stanford, UCLA, UCSD, BIDMC, Cornell, Yale, UNC, Baylor, OHSU, Mayo, Case, OSU, BU, UC Davis, USC, Cedars, UCLA Harbor, UCLA olive view, CPMC, Kaiser Santa Clara
Declined: UVA, UC Irvine, Kaiser SF, Kaiser Oakland, Scripps Mercy, Scripps Green, Loma Linda, SCVMC

Rejections: MGH, B&W, JHH, UCSF, Penn, Duke, Michigan, UW, Columbia, Mt Sinai, NYU, UTSW, U Chicago, Northwestern, UPMC, Kaiser LA

Matched: Stanford #1

Advice
:
- Being from a top school matters for getting interviews much more than advisors and deans would lead us to believe
- Academic Internal Medicine is becoming extremely competitive and having research experience has become the norm.
- Don't be afraid to contact the PD if you have a strong reason for wanting an interview at their program.
 
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Aequanimitatis

Aequanimitatis

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2014
78
42
Status
Resident [Any Field]
School: South, non-top 50
Step Scores: 250/260s Step 1/2
Grades: All Honors
Research: 10+ publications
AOA: Junior, GHHS
Rank: First Q
Interview Invites: Yale, JHH, NW, Vandy, Stanford, Penn, UW, Mayo, UPMC, Duke, Cornell, NYU etc.

Rejections: MGH, BWH


Matched (+ # on ROL): Yale, #2, <3


Advice
:
-Apply widely; if you have the geographic flexibility do yourself a favor and go check out these fantastic programs; you will be surprised as to what you may fall in love with
-Throw biases out of the window, whatever you heard about a program (NW is cush, Stanford is not clinically rigorous, Baltimore is run-down/dangerous etc.) may or may not be true, judge for yourself, which brings me back to apply widely!
-Interview performance is huge, practice with a partner/friend/whoever
-I was told I was certain to match post-interview at a few of my top choices (those I ranked below #2), this did not affect my ranking; do not let it, go for what you want!
-Also realize that at a certain level (ie top IM residencies), the name will not hold you back from fellowships, put the onus on yourself to being excellent in everything you do and success should follow
-This gets mentioned every year, but academic IM is competitive, name matters; brand matters. If you don't have the med school name go all out and do everything else that you can to stand out
-Go with your gut. You can create spreadsheets and use mathematical formulas (yes, this does happen) but in the end, where are you going to thrive?

And remember, especially if you are reading this years from now, be good to your patients and your colleagues. No matter how overworked or stressed. Chances are others around you are overworked and stressed too. A nice gesture, a nice few words...can actually make someone's day. Good luck in IM and, my friends, congratulations on a set of fantastic matches that will continue to pop up here on SDN.
 
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Beacopp665

5+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2014
168
59
Status
Resident [Any Field]
School: Mid/low-tier state school
Step Scores: 260/250s/pass
Grades: Mostly Honors, some High Pass
Research: 1 experience, no pubs or abstracts (basically nothing)
AOA: senior
Rank: don't rank but in top "grouping" per MSPE
Interviews Attended: UCSF, Mayo (Rochester), UTSW, Emory, Cornell, UCSD, Baylor (Houston), UVA, Indiana, U Iowa, UAB, tOSU, UNC, Case Western. Applied to 42, heard back from 21, went on 14.
Rejections: MGH, BWH, U Penn, U Wash, Vandy, Stanford, NW, Mich, CCF, BID, U Chicago, Yale, UPMC, USC (kinda surprised me tbh). Wait listed at Duke, UCLA and silence from JHH, Wash U, Columbia, MSSM



Matched (+ # on ROL): #2 UTSW!!! Couldn't be happier


Advice
:
-As others have said don't be afraid to cast a wide net, you will get rejections but you may be pleasantly surprised who you hear back from.
-If you don't come from a "top X" med school then be aware of that "limitation" if reaching for big name places and prepare your app accordingly (in my case research involvement was a big weakness)
-I found that many of the places I received interviews at (even "upper tier") were very clinically oriented and so was my app and ECs. Whatever you commit to throughout med school make sure it is genuine to you and be heavily involved in it. This will show through on ERAS and you will be better placed and happier for it
-My school holds AOA elections after apps went out and I actually received all of my interview offers that I attended before my status was known so don't think that you need to have it in order to obtain interviews from better places (although it's obviously a big bonus)
 
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Oct 14, 2014
6
1
Status
Medical Student
School: Low/Mid - Tier State School
Step Scores: Step 1 : 233 Step 2: 261
Grades: Mostly B's (few A's) in preclinical years; Straight A's on 3rd year rotations.
Research: From undergrad only (but included on CV as per my dean's recs)
AOA: Nope
Rank: Bottom half in first year --> came up to top 3rd of class by end of 3rd year
Interview Invites: 16 total (attended 14): UWisconsin, UMinnesota, UIC, USC, Jefferson, UMaryland, Tufts, Boston University, Albert Einstein (Montefiore), UVermont, NSLIJ, UTHouston, Baylor, UTHSCSA. Also -- OHSU and UColorado (These were my #1 and #2, but had to beg for interviews at both of these at the end of the season, and was given a spot only after cancellations.)

Rejections: UWashington, Yale, NYU (even did an away rotation here), MSSM, Cornell, UPitt, UTSW, UChicago, Stanford, UCSD, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brown, Dartmouth

Matched (+ # on ROL): Boston University (#3)

Advice
:
1. Wow, IM is becoming increasingly competitive. Seems to me that programs still rank us based mainly on grades/scores and the interview holds little weight aside from ruling out people with personality disorders, etc.
2. Away rotations that are beyond your reach from the start will not help you. Don't be surprised if you are ignored completely. NYU was probably too outside of my reach and ended up being a waste of a month -- not only blew $3K to live there, but was extremely stressful the whole time for no benefit.
3. Looks like begging for an interview PROBABLY means you are at the bottom of the rank list :( I'm not talking about general "emails of interest" at the beginning of the season which often are successful. If you are easily given an interview after your initial attempt, that's a great sign (that's what happened to me with BU and I matched there!) because sometimes programs just want to know that you genuinely are interested. However, if multiple attempts to contact them are required, they obviously have many other well qualified applicants ahead of you.
 

swimchick

10+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2008
425
31
Status
Attending Physician
School: DO
Step Scores: USMLE: 227/247; COMLEX: 579/693/Pass
Grades: Honors, except for P in OMM and OB/Gyn
Research: 40 publications (most were from research done during college and during my gap years before med school) and a few oral and poster presentations at conferences. No active research during medical school.
AOA: DO version - SSP
Rank: No idea
Interview Invites: UConn, USF, UF-Jax, MCG, Mercer, Memorial/Mercer, University of Kentucky, LSUHSC Baton Rouge, LSUHSC New Orleans, LSUHSC Shreveport, Albany Medical Center, Bassett Medical Center, SUNY Upstate, MetroHealth, Albert Einstein Health Network, Drexel, Penn State, East Tennessee State, UT Knoxville, UT Memphis, UT Chattanooga, Carilion/VA Tech, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Rejections: Georgetown, Emory, Indiana, University of Louisville, SUNY Buffalo, ECU, OSU, Jefferson


Matched (+ # on ROL): My #1 program! I don't want to give the name of the program because I'm the only DO in the incoming intern class and I'd like to maintain some anonymity.


Advice
:
1. LORs matter...all of my interviewers commented on how great my letters were. As a DO applicant, I did my away electives early so I could get LORs from academic programs
2. Take Step 2 early (especially if, like me, your Step 1 is average)
3. If you're a DO...take the USMLE!!
4. Research is important...especially if you're looking at academic IM programs
5. Use any and all connections you may have. This proved to be crucial in getting an interview and eventually matching at my #1
6. Give yourself plenty of time to work on your PS. Between editing and rewriting, it took me about 2 months to write mine
 
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PMRMD2B

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
82
15
Status
Medical Student
First..ignore the PMR name..lol

School
: Big 3 Carib school
Step Scores: 225/225/pass
Grades: Mostly Honors, some High Pass
Research: 2 case studies submitted with resident (still waiting for publications)
AOA: N/A
Rank: Who knows.
Interviews Attended: Only 8 total, including 4 FM and 1 IM-Peds.
Rejections: Too many to list.
I was a huge red flag candidate. Transferred from one Carib school to another, had a 3-year gap between 2nd and 3rd year, I am a non-traditional student (almost 40), didn't have CK or CS during interview season (came in December).



Matched (+ # on ROL): #1 pick and couldn't be happier to be a part of the program.
Also got three emails from other directors who told me congrats and they wished I would have matched into their program.


Advice
:
-Be confident and don't be afraid to contact programs and tell them your high level of interest
-Complete electives at places you are interested in, if possible
-Be yourself during the interview and relax (unless you are naturally awkward, then fake like you are normal)
-Don't give up on your dream or let anyone else make you fell less-than
 
Sep 22, 2014
15
10
Status
Medical Student
School: top 25 school
Step Scores: 250/260s
Grades: HP in medicine, P in OB and peds, H in the rest
Research: a few experiences but no abstracts/presentations/papers
AOA: no
Rank: border between the top and second quartiles
Interview Invites: Yale, Mayo, UTSW, Duke, Tufts, Dartmouth, MUSC, Yale, UVA, UNC, Miami, NYU, VCU, a few others

Rejections: MGH, B&W, UW, Vandy, OHSU, UChicago, NW, many others


Matched (+ # on ROL): #3-- EXTREMELY happy since my top 3 were all totally in flux. Would have ranked all 3 the same if I could have.


Advice
:
--Apply broadly
--Not really sure what else!
 
Mar 21, 2015
1
1

School
: Top 40 allopathic
Step Scores: 239 step 1, 256 ck, pass
Grades: Honors: surgery, renal consult, SubI, research elective; High pass: everything else
Research: two chart reviews, one presentation at a national meeting
AOA: nope
Rank: third quintile
Interview Invites: Brown, USC, Wake Forest, UTSW, MUSC, UAB, Cedars-Sinai, Baylor(Houston), UT Houston, home institution

Rejections: Vandy, Stanford, UCLA, Emory, UVA, UNC, Duke, etc


Matched (+ # on ROL): UTSW! Number one!


Advice
:
-Many of my interviews seemed to be granted on a basis of how likely I was to attend that program.
-I sent emails to two programs stating my interest and highlighting a not obvious regional tie. I received interviews from both: one within an hour and the other within a day of the emails.
-I interview well and I think that made a huge difference in my application season.
-My LoR from my SubI was particularly strong and was commented on at nearly every interview. I think these letters are really important for medicine.
-Apply to more programs than you think you will need.
-In retrospect, I would have taken CS earlier(took it in December). I passed easily, but had I failed it would have been hard to get another score in before the start of residency. This definitely caused me some anxiety as one of my friends failed.
 
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Oct 25, 2014
25
4
School: IMG
Step Scores: Step 1 260s, Step 2 ck 250s, cs pass.
Grades: N/A
Research: >30 publications, >20 posters, 9 oral presentations, 2 textbook chapters and peer reviewer for 5 international journals
AOA: N/A
Rank: I doubt it matters because I'm an IMG, but overall top 5-10% of my class
Interview Invites:
UTSW, Case Western, Mayo Clinic, MGH, BU, Tufts, Louisville, NSLIJ, WSU/DMC, Rutgers NJMS, Mt. Sinai St.Lukes/Roosevelt, U Arkansas and a few others including community programs
Rejections:
Too many to count. I applied to a little over a 100 programs and 16 offered me interviews.

Matched (+ # on ROL): BU! (#3)


Advice
:
- For IMGs, apply broadly, and try to get all your paperwork done in time for September 15th. You need every advantage you can get.
- For IMGs, note that score delays have been happening for the past years for CK in the July/August period and Step in April/May (if I recall correctly). Because I didn't anticipate the CK delay, my CK score came a few weeks later and my ECFMG certification came in shortly afterwards. I'm not sure how much of a disadvantage, and I doubt there's any way of knowing for sure because each program works differently, but if you can manage to work around it, go for it.
- Some programs will only interview IMGs if they have worked with faculty in their department for a significant period of time or have personal connections. (like NYU)
- Don't believe anything programs tell you. At one program in my top 2, I received a relatively long handwritten note from one interviewer and the other interviewer told me he'd give me the highest score he could. Needless to say, I didn't match there. FWIW, I didn't send them an "I'm ranking you highly" email, because I didn't think it was necessary. I suppose I'm better off matching into a place that actually wants me and doesn't play post-interview mind games.
- Be comfortable and be honest when you're interviewing. If you want to know if you'll fit at a program, you need to be yourself and act naturally.
- Be happy with where you end up and only rank places if you can work there. I'm very happy that I matched at BU!
 
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MedcatHouse

Oh, Inverted World
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
74
21
Status
Resident [Any Field]
School: NOT top 50
Step Scores: Step 1 245, Step 2 CK 261 (taken before I started my year off), CS pass (before rank lists were due)
Grades: Honored all rotations on 3rd and 4th year.
Research: Took a year off for cardio research between 3rd and 4th year. Couple publications. Couple poster presentations.
AOA: Senior, GHHS, ACP awards.
ECs: Strong. Leader in student advocacy group for years, music, dancer, fluent in a few languages.
Rank: Not sure.
Aways: None
Interview Invites: BWH, UCSF, Columbia, UChicago, UPenn, UCLA, Michigan, BID, Mount Sinai, Stanford, Northwestern, Cornell, Duke, Vanderbilt, Hopkins-Bayview, UCSD, OHSU, Brown, Colorado, UNC, and home institution.
Attended 17 of them. Waay overkill, but I was enjoying traveling and stayed with friends. Paid for one (1) hotel...an airbnb for $45.
Rejections: MGH, Hopkins, Pitt, UMaryland, UW


Matched (+ # on ROL): BWH! (#1)


Advice
:
- I did no aways. The more I read about them on SDN, the more I realized that unless you have a burning desire to go to a particular program, and/or have a SO in a particular city, aways are risky. Realize that you'll need to be "on" all the time. You'll have, potentially, a new EMR to deal with, and other medical students who also want to end up there (so the relationship can be inherently competitive). If you can blow them out of the water, then go for it and work your @$$ off.
- Be yourself. Don't be afraid to be funny and show your personality during the interview/visit and when you talk to the residents. Residents want to have people in their house-staff who they would like to hang out with and relate to. At least at the place I matched, I know residents get to vote on the applicants.
- This should be obvious: Don't antagonize any member of the program. Always be courteous to everyone from the administrative assistant, to the coordinator to the PD.
- As interviews start to roll in, schedule them fast. I had friends not have spots for interviews because they waited even a couple hours after they got the email. Try to group them by region (but that plan might eventually fall through). Don't cancel interviews early on. You do not want to end up with only 6 places to rank and have a real possibility of SOAPing. There will also be things that you'll learn you like about a program, that you'll use to compare others to.
- Cast a wide net. You'll get some surprise interviews and rejections, throughout the whole spectrum of competitiveness.
- Keep either a mental note (or actual physical notes) on what you felt like on interview day. I didn't keep a journal of the MICU weeks, or vacation weeks or elective time, but I DID make myself keep a note on: How the residents interacted with each other/the chiefs/with the program administration; could I see myself there.
- At the more competitive range of programs, med school reputation will matter. Absolutely and obviously. There weren't many other students from schools like mine. Being AOA, honoring your IM clerkship, decent step 1/2 will get you through the door at some places, but not others.
- Get the Southwest card and rack up points to use for flights. Stay with friends whenever possible.
- Post-interview communication: Don't have this shape where you rank a program. Use the research you did on the places, along with what you felt on interview day, to guide your list. That is the only thing that matters. I got a call from my #1, and fortunately, I also matched there, but I have heard/read about too many people get burned by other institutions.
- I devoured SDN for info. Give back to this community once you are done and matched. Post your results! Anonymously, if you want.
- Also, just general advice for a forum, look around for threads to see if your question has been answered before. The "search" function is your friend.
 
Last edited:

VornVolken

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
16
1
Status
Medical Student
Got so much information from these forums, glad I can finally give back a little. Doing on phone in another country, gonna keep it brief.

School: State school
Step Scores: 210, 249
Grades: mostly HP, with H in med and surg
Research: minimal (summer of 1st year, never led to anything)
AOA: Nope. But I am GHHS which I'm sure helped.
Rank: 3rd quintile
Interview Invites: gw, Maryland, usc, UCLA harbor, UCLA olive view, Huntington, uc riverside, kaiser Santa Clara, Christiana care, UMass, temple, rwj, njms, cooper, Lehigh valley

Rejections: Thomas Jefferson, cedar Sinai, uc Irvine, kaiser la, tufts, bay view, brown, nslij, bu, georgetown


Matched (+ # on ROL): UCLA Olive View!!! (#2)


Advice
: If you want to match in Cali apply broadly. It is definitely tough to match there. But even with a step 1 score of 210 you can make it!
 
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jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
Posting for an anon . . .

School: Low-tier southern school
Step Scores: step 1 258, step 2 263
Grades: 4.0
Research: A few posters, an oral, and a pending first author basic science pub
AOA: No
Rank: top 5
Interview Invites: UCSF, BIDMC, Vanderbilt, OHSU, Mayo Rochester, UCSD, UNC, UVA, Baylor, among others

Rejections: MGH, BWH, Stanford, Northwestern, WashU, UW, Hopkins, Colorado, UPitt, Penn, + many others.

Matched (+ # on ROL): BIDMC, #2! My first was a long-shot given my rejections so in a way my #2 felt like my #1.

Advice: I don't have anything else to add to the already great advice given so far.
 

Elixir6

5+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2013
240
121
Status
MD/PhD Student
Come one peoples - give back to the community. Post your stats and match! Not your schools stats. (Anom posts are also very helpful)
 
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FranzLO

7+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2011
173
67
Status
Medical Student
Sorry to be that guy, but I am not sure 90% of the posts saying that got a 250 is very useful to anyone. Its not anyone's fault, but I see these every year, and it is hard to find any worth in it.
 
Jan 8, 2015
3
11
School: Top 50
Step Scores: 220s, 240s
Grades: All Honors
Research: A few pubs, oral presentations, abstracts/posters (non-IM)
AOA: Yes
Rank: I got "the magic word" in my dean's letter
Interview Invites: OHSU, U Washington, Stanford, UCSD, UCSF, Utah, Colorado, Vanderbilt, U Chicago, Michigan, Yale, Brown, Duke, Einstein, Cornell, NYU, BID, UPMC, Case, Indiana, Tulane, Minnesota, UVA, VCU

Rejections: UCLA, Northwestern, MGH, BWH, Mayo, UNC, Penn, Emory, Wash U, Hopkins, Columbia, Mount Sinai

Matched (+ # on ROL): UCSF (#1)

Advice
:
Getting a score in the 220s doesn't mean that you can't reach for the stars. I studied hard, though I've never been much of a test taker. I kept my head to the ground during third year and was able to honor all of my rotations. You can come back from a lower score, despite what other people say- whether it's your dean, your advisors, or the rock stars in the dark corners of the internet. You're not just a number. Remember that's only one part of the application. Who you are as a whole and what you want out of both your life and career matters just as much.
 

hawksfan

7+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2010
56
23
Status
Resident [Any Field]
School: Top 50 Midwest
Step Scores: 220s, 250s, CS pass
Grades: Almost all passes the first two years, a mix of P/HP/H in third and fourth year
Research: A few abstracts/posters
AOA: Nope
Rank: Top 1/3
Interview Invites: Rush, Loyola, University of Kentucky, UCSD, Indiana, Boston U, UMKC, Wake Forest, University of Nebraska, Dartmouth, University of Iowa, Case Western, Thomas Jefferson, MUSC, Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, Mayo Clinic

Rejections: Northwestern, U Chicago, NYU, Michigan, OHSU, U Colorado, University of Washington, Vanderbilt, Wash U


Matched (+ # on ROL): #1!!! Very excited!!!


Advice
:
-You win some, you lose some, but if you apply broadly you will be canceling plenty of interviews
-Internal medicine, despite what you heard, IS getting competitive, so do as well as you can in your third year and Step 2 if you didn't do so well on Step 1
-Multiple people commented on how highly my letter writers wrote of me, so make sure you get letters from people you trust who will write good things about you--they actually get read!
-My personal statement also got commented on often, so yes it may not get you an interview, but it MAY get you remember so spend some time on that too
-Good luck! Don't believe that just because a program is ranked higher or considered "better on SDN" it actually IS a better program. Believe your gut and how you felt on interview day. I never thought I would rank my #1 above some of the other places I interviewed at, but you can't beat Midwestern hospitality!
-And have as much fun as you can on the interview trail!!!

P.S. You're welcome for representing the most average of medical students :)
 
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jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
School: Top 40 NE allopathic
Step Scores: 239 / 252 / Pass
Grades: All honors except FM 3rd year; honors Sub-I
Research: Old pubs from high school/undergrad; global health work abroad and written articles/commentaries on the same subject, didn't publish anything
AOA: Nope
Rank: 'Outstanding'? Not sure of the %ile
Aways: None
Interview Invites: OHSU, UCSF, UCSD, CPMC, UCLA, AECOM/Montefiore, UWashington, NYU, Mount Sinai, Cornell, BIDMC, Brown, UPenn, Yale, Vanderbilt
Declined - UCDavis, Scripps Green, NSLIJ, Tufts, BU
Rejections: Stanford, BWH, MGH, Northwestern, UChicago, USC; never heard from JHH, Emory, Columbia

Matched (+ # on ROL): UCSF (#1)

Advice:
- I wasn't a confident applicant going in and was surprised to hear from a lot of the places I interviewed. Don't be afraid to apply widely, both geographically and competitiveness-wise.
- In terms of the leg work during med school, I think the best advice I can give is to work ONLY for your patients. Ignore everything else, don't play the game, and most of all, don't do anything to please your intern/resident/attending just for the sake of your grade… that's what kept me grounded and I think it came across in my letters of rec.
- Put a lot of time/thought into your personal statement. I know people say this isn't a big deal but put effort into writing something that conveys your voice and motivation. Make it personal.
- During interviews, be genuine, honest and personable. Look for these qualities in the people at the program, from the coordinator/staff to the PD/residents. You're interviewing them, too.
- If you absolutely get a bad feeling from a program, put a lot of weight on that gut feeling. I did not rank many programs that left a bad taste in my mouth, some of which were solid programs that my classmates were thrilled to match at. They weren't right for me and either fell to the bottom of my list or didn't make it on (I didn't feel like paying to rank past #20).
- Enjoy your time with your fellow applicants. I corresponded with several people I met on the trail, swapping notes on programs and talking about our rank lists. I think they were an invaluable resource and I'm excited to work with some of them as co-interns!
- My deans told me the top 5 programs on my list were a long shot, and that I would probably drop down as far as #15. I was really miserable over this and let it get to me, but obviously it worked out. Point being, be cautiously confident! You never know what could happen, be careful where you get your advice, and rank enough programs.
- I did not send a #1 email, I sent a few thank you notes in the beginning and then lost track and just stopped haha
- RANK IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE - THERE IS NO STRATEGY HERE
 
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jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
School: Mid rank Allo
Step Scores: 229/247/P
Grades: P OB/GYN, NH Family, H everything else
Research: 4th author basic science, 1st author clinical + poster.
AOA: No
Rank: 2nd quartile
Interview Invites: Highlights: Wash U, Cornell, MSSM, NYU, Bayview, UNC, UVA, BU, Dartmouth, Maryland

Rejections: MGH, Brigham, BIDMC, Columbia, Duke, Penn, etc

Matched (+ # on ROL): NYU (#1)

Advice:
-For applying: apply broadly (ie have a spread of "safe", match, and reaches. Only thing preventing you from stopping to apply to those reaches is money, so if that's not an issue, send an app).
-Do PS early
-If you have low step scores, you will be screened at some places. Its ok. No one knows the cut offs.
-If you have lower than you'd like step scores for what you're aiming for, balance it out with research and interesting experiences (this is what I think helped me get better interviews that I thought I would based on my numbers)
-Interviewing: Go to the pre-interview dinners if you're remotely interested. This is by far what was most useful and memorable from the whole interview experience
-Know your application cold. Especially research.
-Ranking: Your school reputation matters. It matters if the program is familiar with the school. It prob varies from program to program how important it is.
-Take some notes on what you felt after each interview (I used the NRMP app, helped me decide things like 10 vs 11 in my ranking. Not huge, but made it less stressful).
-Its ok if you want to go to the best name on your list, that's fine. Just admit it to yourself. If you want something other than a name, figure out what it is, and use that.
-Try to enjoy the ride.
 

jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
School: South East, mid-to-low tier allopathic school
Step Scores: Step 1: 240 Step 2: 250
Grades: H in Pysch and Internal medicine; P in the rest (my school doesn't have "high pass")
Research: 3 poster presentations
AOA: No
Rank: Second Quintile
Interview Invites:
UVA, BU, Tufts, UAB, Dartmouth, U. Maryland, Hopkins Bayview, U. Iowa, Thomas Jefferson, Brown, Tulane, USF, U. Miami, Loyola

Rejections: (Some were actual rejections, some just never responded) U. Washington, Yale, Vanderbilt, UNC, U. Pittsburgh, Northwestern, U. Pennsylvania, U. Colorado, U. Wisconsin, Rush, Johns Hopkins Hospital, MGH, BWH


Matched (+ # on ROL): Hopkins Bayview! (My #1)


Advice
:
-Third year is very important, I was burned out after the first 2 years, and not doing as well during 3rd year probably lost me some interviews (but I'm thankful I somehow pulled out an H in internal medicine. Make sure to honor that one!)
-When people say "internal medicine isn't competitive" realize that what they're saying is "if you want a spot somewhere in the country and don't have red flags you can get in" they are NOT saying "you can get in anywhere you want". Internal medicine gets VERY competitive at top academic programs
-I can't think of anything else, except work hard but also enjoy the ride!
 

jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
School: IMG
Step Scores: Step 1/2/3 - 250s/260s
Grades: N/A
Research: A few case reports and abstracts.
AOA: N/A
Rank: Guessing it doesn't matter for an IMG.
Interview Invites:
BU, Louisville, Rutgers NJMS, U Arkansas, Pitt, Buffalo, and a few others including community programs.
Rejections:
Plenty. 30 interviews from 150 programs applied to.

Matched (+ # on ROL): Louisville (#3)

Advice:
- Generally the same as @@Questionmark? , especially the part about not believing programs because more or less the same thing happened to me (and I didn't send any ranking emails either).
- You'll hear a lot at the interviews themselves too, which should also be taken with a planet sized grain of salt.
- Programs are highly individual in their criteria, and I've met all sorts of candidates at both university and community programs, but having USCE in the form of electives/sub-internships (with good letters) will go a long way.
 

jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
School: Top 50ish state school
Step Scores: 240's for both
Candidate: MD/MPH
Grades
: (Honors/Pass/Fail only in 3rd/4th year); Honors Medicine, Surg, Psych, OB, Sub-I, ICU.
Research: Few posters, few presentations, 2 abstracts (one award for it), couple book chapters, case report, and 1st author paper on the way.
Rank: Top quartile
Interview Invites: JHH, Penn, Yale, BIDMC, Brown, Dartmouth, JH Bayview, Tufts, CHH, Own School

Rejections: MGH, BWH, BU

Matched (+ # on ROL): Johns Hopkins Hospital (Osler)!!!

Advice:
- Apply broadly, dream big and see what happens. I remember last year I thought JHH was going to send me a rejection as fast as I applied.
- The top tier IM programs each have their thing that they look for in applicants. I found this was true for all the programs I did interview at. JHH appeared to really like my leadership experience (lot of leadership roles at my medical school and one nationally) and future career interests. Those leadership roles also connected me to great people faculty members who really were responsible for a lot of my success during medical school.
- PDs will possibly contact people at your school to learn more about you after interviewing. This happened to me more than once.
- Find that thing that makes you unique and your niche to contribute in the future. For some that's research, others that might be leadership or global health etc.
- Be yourself during the interview and have fun. I am certain my interview helped a ton.
- Believe in yourself and always give things your best effort. I did not get into medical school the first time I applied and I think a lot of it had to do with me not thinking I was good enough. I made a pact that when I was accepted to medical school that I would work hard and just love what I do. Failing is not the end of the world, its really the beginning to a lesson that will make you that much stronger.

Good luck everyone!
 

tantacles

Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2009
7,560
2,420
Status
Resident [Any Field]
School: South East, mid-to-low tier allopathic school
Step Scores: Step 1: 240 Step 2: 250
Grades: H in Pysch and Internal medicine; P in the rest (my school doesn't have "high pass")
Research: 3 poster presentations
AOA: No
Rank: Second Quintile
Interview Invites:
UVA, BU, Tufts, UAB, Dartmouth, U. Maryland, Hopkins Bayview, U. Iowa, Thomas Jefferson, Brown, Tulane, USF, U. Miami, Loyola
I am officially comforted by these results and will now stop panicking even if I get HP in the rest of my rotations.

Your hear that, brain? No panicking allowed.
 
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About the Ads
Feb 23, 2015
6
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
School: non-top 40 allopathic school
Step 1/2 scores: 262/268
Grades: honors in all 3rd and 4th year rotations prior to ROL due date, including 2 away rotations
Research: few abstracts and presentations, albeit in a non-medical field
AOA: Yes
Rank: top 5%

Interviews: Penn,Wash U,Mayo,CCF,Cornell,Vanderbilt,Montefiore,UMD + a couple more

Waitlisted: Yale,UCLA

Rejections: MGH,BWH,BID,UCSF,Stanford,Michigan,UPMC,UChicago. Also, never heard back from a bunch of top 20 programs (~33% of the programs I applied to)

Matched: Vanderbilt (favorite program but ranked #3 ultimately due to distance from family and significant other)

Advice:
-apply broadly if you are not coming from a top 20 medical school. There are some excellent programs in large cities that I wish I applied to (i.e. Case in Cleveland altho I interviewed at CCF, other non-HMS Boston programs, etc)
-rank programs based on your preferences. Personally, program curriculum novelty/flexibility, strength of PD, fellowship match list (esp programs that releases how far down the rank list their residents matched), and location were the traits I found to be most important
-away rotations are excellent for getting a LoR from a faculty at a top tier program, esp if you are coming from a non-top 40 med school. I did away rotations at two top 10 programs and honored both of them. My only regret is that I should've done the aways earlier (July,Aug)
-I did not hear back at all from many programs. I only contacted some of them (mainly due to the fact that I already had a number of interviews and didn't want to appear desperate). I definitely should've contacted all of those programs

Final thoughts: IM is competitive. Matching at one of the top 20 IM programs is hard. Pedigree matters. Do not be afraid to reach out to PD/deans at your home institution and ask them to call on your behalf. Read through SDN because buried beneath the piles of junk are gems of advice that really helped me through this process.

Thanks and good luck to everyone.
 
Sep 25, 2014
14
6
School: Top 20 Northeast
Step Scores: 259/262
Grades: Mix of Honors and HP (No honors in IM though because one attending felt I was standoff-ish)
Research: 2nd author basic science publication in Nature from college, 2nd author abstract published in Neuro-Oncology from medical school
AOA: No
Other: Couples' matching with significant other in IM
Interview Invites: BWH, Penn, WashU, Michigan, Northwestern, Yale, NYU, BU

Rejections: MGH, BIDMC, UCSF, Stanford, UW, UChicago, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Columbia, Sinai, Cornell

Matched (+ # on ROL): WashU (#3)

Advice
:
-It is ridiculous how competitive IM is getting at the top academic programs and the number of people that are applying these days...over 50 from my class applied, heard on the interview trail that there were also around 50 people each from Penn and UCSF that were also applying IM
-Unfortunately, not getting Honors in IM clerkship really hurts, I think just based on the sheer number of applications a lot of programs are using secretaries to screen out applications based on not getting honors in IM...really think that it is preferable to get honors in IM with an average step 1 score than to do well on step 1 but not get honors in IM
-Research is incredibly important for the top programs, and the old adage that the only thing PDs know how do when it comes to publications is to count is true...one of my friends had a perfect app, high 260s step 1 and 2, all honors, AOA, but no publications, didn't get any interviews from the Big 4, bringing me to my next topic...
-Pursuing basic science research only in medical school is a big risk because if you don't get a publication out of it, my sense is that it is worthless in terms of aiding your residency application. I spent around 5 months full time in a stem cell lab and only had an abstract to show for it, if I could do it all over again I would have definitely spent time doing clinical research instead. If you do hedge your money on bench research, better hope that you get lucky and publish or take a year off before applying.
-Who else from your medical school is applying into IM is important, my sense is that you are really being compared to your peers from the same school as you and competing for interview spots directly with them, as not many programs are going to want to interview too many applicants from the same med school.
 
Jul 3, 2014
51
35
School: Unranked state school
Step Scores:low 250/low 260
Grades:H in everything but surgery third year
Research: Minimal
AOA:Senior
Rank:Top Quintile
Interview Invites: Applied to like 45 places, invites included Wisconsin, Vandy, UVA, Penn, Michigan, Baylor, UTSW, Michigan, Minn, Mayo, WashU, UNC, UMD, Hopkins, OSU, UAB, Dartmouth, OHSU, UC-Denver, UCSD, few more.

Rejections:
Outright rejection- MGH, BWH, UChicago, UPitt
Silent-NW, Duke, Rush(??)
Waitlisted then rejected: UCLA, Yale

Matched (+ # on ROL): Michigan-#1


Advice
:
Do not beat yourself up when you get rejections. It happens. If you can accept that, the application cycle will be a lot easier.The top 30-40 IM programs are super competitive. Just having a 240 and solid grades will not guarantee you invites to even the bottom edge of this list. Especially coming from a lesser-known medical school.
Apply everywhere. Seriously. Why not? I had to decline some interviews but I ended up going on a lot, cost a lot, but I got to see a ton of awesome places.
Didn't send any letters of intent and didn't receive anything from my top three.
 
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lulu09

7+ Year Member
May 1, 2010
187
146
School: Top 20, northeast
Step Scores: 205, high-230s, pass
Grades: All pass, HP in medicine and surgery, H sub-i
Research: One first-author, several national oral presentations, some posters (clinical research)
AOA: LOL
Rank: Third quartile
Interview Invites: Rush, Loyola, Drexel, Tulane, Maryland, NSLIJ, Montefiore, Davis, UCLA-Olive View, USC, Loma Linda, and tons of community programs - 7 in Cali and some more.

Rejections: Way too many, basically all the other academic programs I applied to. I'll list the ones that weren't sky-high reaches (but still reaches nonetheless since most things are reaches for me): UCSD, Bayview, Tufts, Colorado, Irvine, UCLA-Harbor, Cedars, UT Houston, Baylor, BU, Jefferson, Temple, GWU, UIC, NYU. Notably about a quarter of the programs I applied to never got back to me even when I specifically asked them about my status in Dec/Jan.


Matched (+ # on ROL): #3 - a solidly mid-tier academic program. I ranked 15+ programs because I felt I could match anywhere given my shaky stats....I wasn't ecstatic with the program but was still quite pleasantly surprised and very, very relieved.

Advice
:
- I honestly felt the prestige of my school helped me somewhat to get invites from the academic programs.
- The Step 1 screen exists and is alive and well, but it's not what is posted online sometimes. (some of my invites were from places that theoretically required 210+ or 215+)
- If you really want an interview, you can just email them. 4/11 of my academic program invites I got via emailing them (but not at the place I matched at, though)
- If you have a bad Step 1, take CK early and do your sub-i very early. You HAVE to - there's no way around it. Also, apply to a ton of programs. I applied to 60+ and I have no regrets; honestly I really didn't know who would take me. Finally, it's NOT the end of the world. You will most likely match - it'll just be a circuitous route.
- I did not address my Step 1 score in my PS and only a handful of programs asked me what happened. I explained it very honestly (I didn't have any personal or health issues) and said I worked hard to improve my knowledge base through 3rd year and my improvement was demonstrated in CK. Most seemed very satisfied with that answer (the place I matched at asked about it specifically).
- I got a ton of love from the community programs that interviewed me. Several told me straight out that they would love to have me as a resident and were really enthusiastic about it, compared to my academic interviews which were generally more "meh" - goes to show that I was probably a solid match for the community programs.
- I was a humanities major in college and so I wrote a pretty expository/creative-without-overdoing-it PS. I got lots of comments on that PS so it seems like people do read them after all! I wouldn't say it helped, but it was always a great conversation starter.
 
Last edited:

rd31

7+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2010
210
66
Status
School: Top 40 allopathic
Step Scores: 260+/260+, pass
Grades: H in everything EXCEPT IM
Research: >5 peer reviewed publications, more on the way
AOA: Yes
Rank: In top group
Interview Invites: Brigham, MGH, Penn, Hopkins (Osler), Columbia, Stanford, Yale, UCLA, BIDMC, Cornell, Northwestern, Michigan, WashU, Mayo, Brown, Vanderbilt, Mount Sinai. Attended 14 interviews of those above.

Rejections: UCSF, U Wash, Duke (silent)

Matched (+ # on ROL): Penn! (#3)

Advice
:
If you didn't honor IM like me, don't fret. It's still possible to match into a top program coming from a mid-tier med school! I was told by so many that I'd be screened out from top tier programs, and yet I received interviews from almost all of them (with several unsolicited communications from programs interested in me). I think what made a difference was the strength/uniqueness of my personal statement (nearly every interviewer complemented me on this) and my research background.
 
Nov 12, 2014
4
2
School: non-west coast state school
Step Scores: 220s / 250s / pass
Grades: pretty average, and I don't mean SDN "average." no aways.
Research: undergrad publication + a summer project (poster, manuscript in progress)
AOA: LOL
Rank: meh
Interview Invites: home institution, USoCal, harbor-UCLA, VCU, thomas jefferson, temple, UMaryland, indiana, rush. initially I had a minor freakout after comparing myself (this is a trap) to classmates with 394871 invitations, but at the end of the trail I had had enough.

Rejections: plenty. UNC, UCdavis, GW, georgetown, U of I chicago, ohio state, colorado…plus other places I probably didn't have a shot at but don't regret applying to.

Matched (+ # on ROL): harbor-UCLA! pleasantly shocked

Advice
: echo most of the above, and
my personal statement was personal, and multiple interviewers gave me very positive feedback about it
$: if you can stay on top of things, credit card signup mileage paid for all but 1 roundtrip ticket. having Nov/Dec off + responding to invitations ASAP gave me the flexibility to group nearby interviews together. if you want to be kinda neurotic about it, you can add eras/interviewbroker/etc email addresses to your VIP list, then set your phone to have a specific tone or vibrate when they come to your inbox. nb: not all phone browsers support eras.
**figure out your priorities, then rank accordingly. conversely, listen if your spidey sense tells you that a program isn't right for you.
^related advice given to me - you can go to a swanky program, but you won't reach your potential if you hate the people there. if you're disappointed with your invitations or even with your match, work hard anyway and train well. you owe it to your future patients, and in the end they don't care where you did residency if you do right by them.
find great mentors! not just for letters of rec.
 
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afanrin

7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2011
30
3
Status
School: Top 15-40 (depending on ranking system)
Step Scores: 267/270/Pass
Clinical Grades: All Honors except 1 High Pass (non-medicine)
Research: 1 2nd author pub
AOA: yes, +GHHS
Rank: school does not rank
Interview Invites: WashU, Michigan, UCSD, UChicago, Columbia, UCLA, Northwestern, Stanford, Yale, NYU, BID, and some safeties

Rejections: MGH, BWH, Penn; Silent – JHH, Duke, Cornell, MSSM
Waitlist: UCSF

“Rank to Match” Communication (via email, phone calls, or in person): Michigan, Columbia, Northwestern, Yale, NYU

Matched: Northwestern!! :soexcited:

Advice
:

-I went into this cycle with pretty high expectations and was a little surprised by some of the rejections; however, with that said I could not be happier with my match! As everyone else has stated, IM at top-tier programs has gotten incredibly competitive, and there really is no guaranteed formula coming from a non-top 5/10 school. High boards, IM Honors, and AOA still aren’t enough, although a couple of interviewers talked about my step scores so doing well definitely does not hurt ;). A few commented on my PS being great, but I honestly don't think it's what got me the interviews - you should still take it seriously. Not sure how important GHHS is, but like AOA it will be a filterable option in ERAS beginning next cycle (link here). My biggest weakness after seeing the above posts was probably my lack of, and interest in, research and possibly my aloofness towards specializing later.

-I was openly gay in my application and do not regret this for a second – I wanted to be at an institution that was supportive of this. For anyone out there that is unsure if being out would affect your application I would reconsider. It came up in multiple interviews - those interviewers were all very accepting and they wanted to hear about my experiences. Remember to be yourself and you will ace the interview.

-Go to every interview dinner you can, it's a great way to feel the culture of the program. If the PD isn't there, don't be afraid to drink and let loose if the other residents are having a good time - I think my record was 8 beers one night (I left early and the residents were still drinking LOL). The program made it higher on my list because of that night.

-I wrote thank you emails to every program I actually saw myself going to. I would do it again if I could, but it probably makes no difference. Take post interview communication with a grain of salt, yes it is nice to feel special when a program likes you, but you are not the only one they are talking too. Don’t let “rank to match” stuff sway your list, rank them how you like them.

-There is definitely a difference in the types of top programs out there, some will throw you in the wild to let you fend for yourself while others will have some hand-holding and give you a life outside of medicine – find the fit/culture that is right for you and where you will thrive regardless of ‘ranking,’ prestige, or what sdn says. All these programs interchange with each other and once you’re in you can always move elsewhere for fellowship (if that's your goal) if you work hard enough. I chose the latter type of program with the end goal of not coming out of residency jaded and bitter while doing what I love – my home institution was the former and I did not like what it did to the residents training there. Have fun and good luck to all future applicants!

Tl;dr – Do well third year, get some pubs, apply broadly, be yourself and nice to everyone, don’t get caught up in the prestige race, pick the place that is right for you, and have fun meeting incredibly bright, talented people along the way!
 
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Jul 3, 2014
51
35
School: Top 15-40 (depending on ranking system)
Step Scores: 267/270/Pass
Clinical Grades: All Honors except 1 High Pass (non-medicine)
Research: 1 2nd author pub
AOA: yes, +GHHS
Rank: school does not rank
Interview Invites: WashU, Michigan, UCSD, UChicago, Columbia, UCLA, Northwestern, Stanford, Yale, NYU, BID, and some safeties

Rejections: MGH, BWH, Penn; Silent – JHH, Duke, Cornell, MSSM
Waitlist: UCSF

“Rank to Match” Communication (via email, phone calls, or in person): Michigan, Columbia, Northwestern, Yale, NYU

Matched: Northwestern!! :soexcited:

Advice
:

-I went into this cycle with pretty high expectations and was a little surprised by some of the rejections; however, with that said I could not be happier with my match! As everyone else has stated, IM at top-tier programs has gotten incredibly competitive, and there really is no guaranteed formula coming from a non-top 5/10 school. High boards, IM Honors, and AOA still aren’t enough, although a couple of interviewers talked about my step scores so doing well definitely does not hurt ;). A few commented on my PS being great, but I honestly don't think it's what got me the interviews - you should still take it seriously. Not sure how important GHHS is, but like AOA it will be a filterable option in ERAS beginning next cycle (link here). My biggest weakness after seeing the above posts was probably my lack of, and interest in, research and possibly my aloofness towards specializing later.

-I was openly gay in my application and do not regret this for a second – I wanted to be at an institution that was supportive of this. For anyone out there that is unsure if being out would affect your application I would reconsider. It came up in multiple interviews - those interviewers were all very accepting and they wanted to hear about my experiences. Remember to be yourself and you will ace the interview.

-Go to every interview dinner you can, it's a great way to feel the culture of the program. If the PD isn't there, don't be afraid to drink and let loose if the other residents are having a good time - I think my record was 8 beers one night (I left early and the residents were still drinking LOL). The program made it higher on my list because of that night.

-I wrote thank you emails to every program I actually saw myself going to. I would do it again if I could, but it probably makes no difference. Take post interview communication with a grain of salt, yes it is nice to feel special when a program likes you, but you are not the only one they are talking too. Don’t let “rank to match” stuff sway your list, rank them how you like them.

-There is definitely a difference in the types of top programs out there, some will throw you in the wild to let you fend for yourself while others will have some hand-holding and give you a life outside of medicine – find the fit/culture that is right for you and where you will thrive regardless of ‘ranking,’ prestige, or what sdn says. All these programs interchange with each other and once you’re in you can always move elsewhere for fellowship (if that's your goal) if you work hard enough. I chose the latter type of program with the end goal of not coming out of residency jaded and bitter while doing what I love – my home institution was the former and I did not like what it did to the residents training there. Have fun and good luck to all future applicants!

Tl;dr – Do well third year, get some pubs, apply broadly, be yourself and nice to everyone, don’t get caught up in the prestige race, pick the place that is right for you, and have fun meeting incredibly bright, talented people along the way!
Next year when you crazy kids get upset with rejections, remember a guy/gal with 270s and AOA from a top school got rejected from places. Hahaha unbelievable. So random.
 

hawksfan

7+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2010
56
23
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Next year when you crazy kids get upset with rejections, remember a guy/gal with 270s and AOA from a top school got rejected from places. Hahaha unbelievable. So random.
AOA AND gold humanism, so probably not an dingus. What the heck with those rejections? #sorandom #randomenoughforahashtag

EDIT: apparently you cannot say a**hole, which is automatically filtered to dingus. Had to leave for hilarity.
 
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jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
School: Top 40 Northeast
Step Scores: low 230s Step 1, mid 240s step 2, CS pass 1st attempt
Grades: H/HP/P/F system. HPs across the board 3rd year, early 4th year subI - H
Research: some abstracts, 1 first author pub, 2 minor author pubs, each in a different field
AOA: I wish
Rank: Top 50%ile
Interview Invites: Yale, Tufts, Baylor, Einstein, LIJ/NS, Dartmouth, Cleveland Clinic, Maine Med

Rejections: MGH, Brigham, BIDMC, Brown, BU, NYU, Cornell, Columbia, Sinai, Penn, Vanderbilt, Duke, Michigan, UCLA, UCSF, etc.


Matched (+ # on ROL): #2 - Headed back to New England


Advice
: Try to get H on third year rotations, I think that really hurt my chances a lot, esp the HP in medicine. Still extremely happy with how things went.
 

jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
** COUPLES MATCHED with peds, SO with similar stats. Basically carpet-bomb midwest, texas, and cali
School: top 50
Step Scores: Step 1: 231 Step 2: 237
Grades: HP in medicine, Honors Sub-I, HP 4th yr IM elective. Passed the rest.
Research: 2 pubs in low impact journals, one of which was 1st author. 3-4 poster presentations including one which was a winner.
AOA: Not a chance
Rank: BOTTOM quartile. (I'm a horrendous test taker)
Interview Invites Attended: attended 28 interviews... I think I may have left a couple out in this list
Temple, Einstein(Philly), Case, tOSU, Wright state, Riverside Methodist (Columbus), UIC, advocate christ, advocate lutheran, UC-Northshore, Indiana, St Vincent, Louisville, Kentucky, University of Kansas, UMKC, Bayl0r (houston), Baylor (dallas), UT-Houston, Methodist Dallas, Mayo (scottsdale), Banner Good Sam, UCI, USouthern Cal, UCLA -Harbor, UCSF Fresno, loma linda

Declined Interview invites:
CCF,Cincy, UPMC mercy, UPMC shadyside, Allegheny Gen, Rush, Loyola, GWU, U-missouri Columbia, UT-SA, UTMB-Galveston, UTSW (in some other city??), Maricopa, Pretty much all of the Kaisers (LA, santa clara, SF, Oakland, fontana, etc etc), Scripps-Mercy, a bunch of other cali community programs.

Rejections: Thomas Jefferson, Drexel, Upenn, UPMC presby, Uchicago, Northwestern, Methodist Houston, UTSW, UCLA, UCSD, UCLA-Olive view, Scripps-Green, UC-Riverside, UCSF, Stanford, UC Davis, Gtown

Matched (+ # on ROL): Indiana University ( Somewhere between#4-8). Due to couples match, some of my personal top programs did not crack the top 10 of our combined/couples list.

Advice
:
- The interviews I got were by and large what I expected to get (mid-tier academic programs, and basically all of the community programs I applied to). I'm a pretty bad test taker and generally felt that my step scores and clinical rotation scores under-represented (slightly) my clinical abilities and decision making. IMHO, test scores are everything. I had excellent letters (as in multiple interviewers opening up my interview saying "WOW this is the best letter I have read") and yet, it seems like I was automatically screened out for many higher-end university programs.
- Seems like 240+ on step 1 and 2 is what you need to even be considered for an interview at a top institution. Study your ass off to get good scores because again they mean everything in this day and age.
- If you start getting a flurry of university interview, you can start dropping those community ones. Really felt burnt out after my 15th interview.
- Know your limits and dont over-apply. I felt that I wasted a lot of money applying to tier 1a, 1b, 2 programs that i really didnt have much of a shot at.
- Had no ties to a lot of texas programs so I had to email them to get an invite; do that if you have no ties.
- And for all those Couples Match applicants out there: Couples Match is easier for married or engaged couples because it's easy to make sacrifices for each other. If you're just "seeing" someone. Do some self reflection; would you be comfortable dropping one of your top interviews for your SO? Would you hold a grudge if you interviewed at your #1 program and was told that you would be ranked highly then failed to match there and later found out that you would have if not for your SO? (eg through those post-match "tell us how we could have improved our interview day because we wanted you badly and you did not match here" emails)
 

jdh71

Grim Optimist.
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
68,233
48,445
Last House on the Block, USA
Status
Attending Physician
School: Mid range DO school
Step Scores: Mid 230's/Mid 240's
Grades: We do letter grades, I got all A's through years 3+4. 3.8 GPA from years 1+2.
Research: None
AOA: DO version (SSP)
Rank: Top 10%
Interview Invites: (Skipped DO match, applied east coast only), Cooper, Wake Forest, UNC/New Hannover, UMASS, UCONN, Tufts/Baystate, Mercy Chicago, Christiana, Georgetown, UPMC/Mercy, New York Methodist, NY Hospital Queens
Rejections: Lots. Didn't even hear back from 40% of my application list, which ought to be some sort of ERAS violation.


Matched (+ # on ROL): Matched #1 (university program)


Advice
:
1. DO bias is real. I didn't get invites anywhere that didn't already have DOs on staff.
2. DOs absolutely must take the USMLE exams. Both of them. Nobody cared about my COMLEX scores (I honestly don't even remember what they were).
3. I did one Sub-I in medicine and I think that was enough. It really isn't like the way it is on the AOA side.
4. Try to decide early about skipping the DO match if at all possible. I had a lot of friends that tried the "splitting" game between MD and DO, and they all ended up having to make tough choices between two lists that were each shorter than they would have liked. If you think you can make it on the ACGME side (which I feel is worth the risk), strongly consider doing it all the way instead of trying to hedge.
5. Like the user above, I also wrote a fairly creative personal statement (though nothing too far out there) and it got mentioned in almost every interview. I got the comment "easily the most memorable personal statement of the year" from one of those places, which obviously made me feel really good. I don't know how much that actually ended up impacting my match results, but it did make a lot of the interviews go easier because people seemed relieved just to have something a little bit different to talk about.
6. Be friendly with the residency staff! I honestly believe the reason I matched at my #1 is because I had a chance conversation with a staff member there that resulted in me hanging out in her office for 45 minutes after the interview just to chat about life and tell a few jokes. Totally random, but I ended up meeting a handful of other people in the residency office as a result and I really think it made me stand out from the crowd in a positive way. Post-interview communication with the PD referenced my "fit" for the program several times. I lucked out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gobigorgohome22
Feb 25, 2015
2
1
Status
Medical Student
School: Lower tier state school
Step Scores: 250’s, 250’s CS passed 1st attempt
Grades: Honors in everything except high pass in Internal and Family
Research: 1 publication but 3rd author
AOA: nope
Rank: 25th%
Interview Invites: Cedars Sinai, Mayo (Roch.), UC Irvine, Case-Western, Scripps-Green, Mayo (Az), Miami, Univ New Mexico, Mount Auburn, Harbor UCLA, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Dartmouth, Montfiore, UIC, Loyola, UCLA-Olive, CCF-Florida, FAU, Univ Florida, Mount Sinai-Beth Israel, Lennox Hill, RWJ, Kaiser Santa Clara, Scripps Mercy, other community programs

Rejections: MANY, MGH, BIDMC, BWH, UCSF, both Hopkins, UCLA, Yale, U Chicago, Stanford, Vandy, Duke, OHSU, U Colorado, UCSD, UC Davis, Kaiser LA, Brown, Tufts, UPMC, Cornell, UTSW, NYU, Mount Sinai, U Penn, Wash U, Northwestern, Michigan, Emory, CCF

Matched (+ # on ROL): #5 Scripps Green


Advice:
A lot of great advice given above, and I would echo a lot of the same sentiments.

1) Apply broadly! People thought I was crazy applying to roughly 70 programs in September. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I made throughout the process as the number of rejections I got was at times startling. I was offered about 30 interviews and attended half. This gives you much more flexibility on your available options, and it is easy to cancel interviews and open that spot for someone else.

2) Do well on your IM clerkship. I did not Honor my IM clerkship and I felt like this definitely affected my interviews at the more competitive programs. If you don’t honor it you don’t have to hit the panic button but try and strengthen your app in other areas, especially trying to honor the sub-I before applications are submitted.

3) Follow your heart. My ROL would have looked completely different had I just ranked all my “best” programs according to others. But at the end of the day, your going to be the one spending at least 3 years of your life at that location so try to envision where you would be the most happy and what program gives you the best opportunity to succeed at your next career goals whatever that may be.

4) Have fun! It can at times be a stressful process but just enjoy the ride and remember how far you have already come! Good luck!
 
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BerlinDude

7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2009
528
5
Status
School: Top 10 allopathic
Step Scores: 240s both, Step 2 CS passed 1st attempt.
Grades: Almost all Passes in 3rd year clerkships including Pass in Medicine, Honors in Sub-I and all electives
Research: Multiple first-author + co-author papers
AOA: No
Rank: N/A (probably bottom quartile)
Interview Invites: U. Michigan, Wash U, U. Chicago, Emory, Vanderbilt, Hopkins, UTSW, Baylor-Houston, Cornell, Mayo Clinic (declined), Case Western

Rejections: U. Penn, MGH, BWH, Yale, Columbia, UCLA, UCSD, OHSU

Matched (+ # on ROL): #1 choice

Advice
:
--Clinical grades are less important than recommendation letters and phone calls. I had mainly Passes in clinical clerkships (I blame the grading scheme), but did fine in the match with multiple ranked-to-match phone calls. At almost every interview people would tell me that my recommendations were over-the-top strong. It helped a lot that I had well-known people write them.
--Research matters a lot for top programs, which mainly want to pump out academic leaders.
--Certain residencies are reluctant to take people outside of their traditional feeder schools. West coast residencies tend to take people from the west coast, and Harvard's hospitals tend to take people from within or a few NE programs (Yale, Penn, Hopkins).
--Step 2 seems not to matter, beyond passing. I took a practice Step 2 exam and got a similar score as Step 1, so I just went ahead and took the actual test without a dedicated study period.
 

MedcatHouse

Oh, Inverted World
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
74
21
Status
Resident [Any Field]
kind of a sad turnout
Yep. Although, I understand that for those who didn't get their top choices, coming here and publicizing that would be difficult. I just figured that the anonymous option would get more people contributing. Also, unfortunately, Gutonc and Jdh haven't been prodding as much as past years
 
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