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picking a school... weighing match lists?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by iris8782, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. iris8782

    iris8782 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2003
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    does anyone have thoughts about how we should/shouldn't go about weighing match lists in deciding which school to go to? (of course, in addition to location, academic/personal fit, general environment, etc.)

    i mean, as premeds, how much of a factor should this be and how would we go about analyzing a match list? i know at all the schools i interviewed at, they would hand out their most recent match list and rave about how great it was but, at least for me, i didn't really know what to make of it, especially since i'm (like most people, i'm guessing) still not even sure what specialty i might want to go into

    ...thoughts on what constitutes a "good" match list? more/less competitive specialties? good hospitals? .... or if it's even anything to consider at all at this point?
  2. Bones2008

    Bones2008 waiting for retirement
    7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2003
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    Medical Student
    It's really difficult for us undergrads to make heads or tails of any given match list. The one thing you can do, though, is look at location. If you're from a coast and would like to return home for your residency, look at the number of students that match to your region as graduates from your prospective schools. That's as far as I would go at this point, because as an outsider it's very difficult to gauge just how successful any particular match list is.
  3. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2002
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    Basically you want to weigh match lists after you have weighed every single other aspect between schools (cost, location, happiness, curricula, rank, etc). Match lists vary greatly between years not only in terms of what specialties, but where as well.

    I really cant think of a way in which match lists can tip the balance unless just about every other factor out there (including weather) has been ruled out, because match lists generally only tell you so much. If you could look at match lists over a 5 year span, that might be better, but its still a trivial concern compared to other factors related to the school.
  4. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
    7+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2003
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    I've found match lists to be completely pointless. People try to use them by seeing how many students matched into competitive residencies such as derm, ortho, etc. The problem with this is, the match list highly depends on what the students' interests are for that particular year.

    For example, in a given year, a school could have lots of students interested in pursuing those competitive fields and so the match list includes those specialities. The next year, almost everyone wants to go into primary care or less competitive specialities so there are few students matching at competitive specialities. Does this necessarily mean that the school's ability to match students was any worse the second year? Obviously, the answer is no.

    I think with a few exceptions, most MD schools will allow you to enter any residency you want if you're willing to study hard enough and get the clinical grades and board scores.
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  5. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2003
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    I've managed to compile a list of top residency programs in each specialty by browsing the residency forums for lists of top programs (I was also very curious about the evaluation of match lists). You can use this list as a means of seeing how frequently the school places its graduates in top programs. Of course, you shouldn't choose a medical school on this basis alone, because there are so many factors that go into a med student's choice of residency (grades, standardized test scores, recommendations, gestalt feeling during interviews, research experience, specialty preference, location, family, career goals, etc.). Thus, a paucity of "top" matches doesn't mean that the grads are barred from these programs--it could simply mean that the grads weren't interested in these programs for whatever reason. Also, the "strength" of a school's match list in any given year is more a function of the class composition--particularly the number of gunners in the class--than the institution itself. The fact of the matter is that top schools attract more gunnerish personalities (people who are obsessed with excellence and tend to overachieve), and the match lists reflect this class composition. Further, the number of gunners varies from one class to the next.

    Here's the list:

    Top Anesthesia Programs (according to academic anesthesiologists) :
    Elite Programs: Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts General Hospital, UCSF, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Brigham and Women?s Hospital, Columbia, Duke, Mayo, Michigan, Upenn, Stanford, Wake Forest, University of Washington,

    Other outstanding programs: Dartmouth, U of Florida, UCSD, Uchicago, Northwestern, UNC Chapel Hill, U Pitt, U Rochester, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wash U, Yale, UCLA, Cornell, Beth Israel Deaconess, Medical College of Wisconsin, U Colorado, University of Iowa, UC Irvine

    Top Dermatology Programs:
    Elite Programs: NYU, Harvard, U Penn, Emory, UNC Chapel Hill, Michigan, Iowa, UT Southwestern, UCSF, Stanford, UCLA

    Top Emergency Medicine Programs:
    Elite programs: University of Cincinnati, Denver Health, Cook County, Highland, Jacobi, UCSD, Bellevue Hospital, Charity, UCLA Harbor, UPitt, Hennepin County Medical Center, Carolinas, Indiana

    Regional Powerhouses: Brown, Boston University, U Michigan, Kings County, Emory, Vanderbilt, UNC Chapel Hill, UC Davis, Christiana, Ohio State, Maricopa, Detroit Receiving

    Top General Surgery Programs:
    Elite programs: MGH, Brigham and Women?s Hospital, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, WashU in St. Louis

    Other outstanding places to train (a mix of nationally prominent programs and regional powerhouses): U Pittsburgh, UCSF, UT Southwestern, UCLA, U Penn, U Cincinnati, U Alabama-Birmingham, U Louisville, NYU, Vanderbilt, Emory, U Minnesota, U Rochester, Cornell, UNC-Chapel Hill, Northwestern, Mt. Sinai, U Wisconsisn, U Washington, Baylor University in Dallas, Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, Baylor College of Medicine

    Top Internal Medicine:
    U Michigan, U Chicago, Mass General, Duke, Brigham and Women?s, UCSF, U Washington, Emory, UCSD, UCLA, U Penn, WashU in St. Louis (Barnes-Jewish), UT Southwestern, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Vanderbilt, Cornell, Mayo, Northwestern, Stanford, NYU, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brown, U Maryland, U Iowa
    *Baylor College of Medicine is a premier place to train if you?re at all interested in subspecializing in cardiology

    Top Neurology:
    Columbia, WashU, U Penn, UCSF, MGH, Yale, UCLA, UCSD, U Washington, Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, U Michigan, Duke, Emory

    Top OB-Gyn:
    Don?t really know.

    Top Ophthalmology Programs:
    Elite Programs: Wilmer Eye (Hopkins), Bascom Palmer (Miami), University of Iowa, Wills Eye Hospital, UCLA (Jules Stein), Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Wisconsin, Duke, Wash U in St. Louis, U Michigan (Kellogg), NYU, UCSF, USC, Scheie Eye Institute (UPenn), Emory, New York Eye and Ear, Tufts, Baylor COM

    Top Otorhinolaryngology:
    Hopkins, U Pittsburgh, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Vanderbilt, UNC, Baylor, U Michigan, U Iowa, Wash U, UCLA, U Washington, Stanford

    Top Neurosurgery:
    Elite Programs: Brigham and Women?s Hospital, Columbia, University of Virginia, Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona, University of Michigan, Mayo, USC, UCSF, U Florida, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts General Hospital

    Top Orthopaedic Surgery:
    I don?t know.

    Top Pathology:
    Brigham, MGH, U Washington, Stanford, Mayo, UCLA, Emory, Duke, UTSW, UCSF, Hopkins, U Michigan

    Top Pediatrics:
    Hopkins, CHOP, Boston Children?s, Cornell, Columbia, Yale, U Pittsburgh, Brown, U Virginia, UNC, Texas Children?s Hospital (Houston), UTSW, Vanderbilt, University of Alabama-Birmingham, DC Childrens, U Cincinnati, Children Memorial in Chicago, U of Chicago, U Michigan, Mayo, St. Louis Children?s, Denver, U Washington, Stanford, UCSF, UCLA, Children?s LA, Oakland, Children?s Orange County

    Top Plastic Surgery:
    NYU, Baylor, UTSW (and some other programs that I don't know about)

    Top Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation:
    Spaulding (Harvard), Tufts, Rusk (NYU), Cornell, Kessler, Hopkins, U Michigan, Northwestern, UC-Davis, U Washington, Mayo, Baylor

    Top Psychiatry:
    Mass Gen, Yale, U Pittsburgh, U Penn, Hopkins, Duke, Columbia, UNC, Michigan, UCSF, USC, UCLA

    Top Radiation Oncology:
    Elite: MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, U Penn, U Michigan, Mallinckrodt (WashU), UCSF, Mass Gen, Brigham and Women?s, Mayo, Stanford (and U Florida)

    Other outstanding places to train: Thomas Jefferson, U Washington, Cleveland Clinic, William Beaumont, Medical College of Wisconsin, U Chicago, Duke, UNC, U Alabama-Birmingham, Loyola U in Chicago, University of Wisconsin, University of Iowa

    Top Diagnostic Radiology:

    Elite: UCSF, WashU, Penn, MGH, Umich, Hopkins, NYU, Brigham, Stanford, UCSD

    Other outstanding places to train: UCLA, U Washington, Northwestern, Emory, UNC, Wake Forest, Cornell, Columbia, Beth Israel Deaconess, Mayo, U Iowa, U Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin

    U Michigan and some other places that I don't know about

    Enjoy! :D
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  6. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
    7+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2003
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    Resident [Any Field]
    I think that the above list is great, but you should only really use it when considering the strenghts of programs at your school. For instance, i'm pretty sure that I want to go into EM, so I looked at the EM programs at each school that I was interested in. UPitt has a very good program, so I felt that my exposure to EM and ability to get a good letter of rec from a well-known, respected EM director would be good there. Doing this for any field you may be interested in is a good idea.

    Another thing you should consider - and this was touched upon in other posts - is WHERE (location) students end up. People at state schools tend to stay in the state or in adjoining states, so be careful about going to a state school if you really want to leave the area. Definetely take a look at WHERE students end up, and also at which programs are strong within the school. That's about all the match lists are good for, though, in my opinion.

    Good luck!!!
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