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Prelim vs. Categorical IM

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Emily2009

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Hi, everyone,

I am applying for an advanced program but would like to apply for categorical IM at the same time since I think I will be also very happy if I can go into IM.

However looking at so many IM programs, I feel hard to decide which IM programs to apply as categorical and others as prelim! Could anyone give suggestions?

Or should I just apply for categorical IM for now and start to apply for prelim IM after I hear more from the advance programs which I'm applying for?

I will really appreciate any suggestions or advice from anyone! Thanks very much in advance!
 

tfom08

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If I were you I would choose the programs that I would really want to train at as categoricals. The preliminary ones you should base more on geography and likelihood of matching, IMO. I'm not sure, but where you do a prelim year probably isn't all that important, since you are doing your specialty training at another program.
 

Emily2009

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Thanks, tfom08. I really appreciate your suggestions!

I wonder: for prelim IM, should I just wait till I have more info from the advanced programs I'm applying to?

Or is this idea too naive since prelim IM has been very competitive?

Any suggestions or advice?!

Thanks so much in advance.
 

tfom08

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Thanks, tfom08. I really appreciate your suggestions!

I wonder: for prelim IM, should I just wait till I have more info from the advanced programs I'm applying to?

Or is this idea too naive since prelim IM has been very competitive?

Any suggestions or advice?!

Thanks so much in advance.

Well I know TYs are very competitive, I'm not sure that prelim IMs are all that tough. But I think most people try to do prelim IM years either at their home institution or at the place they match for advanced program. That way you only have to move once.
 

Emily2009

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Thanks, tfom08, for your reply!

I just wonder whether I should wait till I have heard more info from the advanced programs I'm applying to before applying to prelim IM?

Thanks, very much!
 

Emily2009

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As an IMG who wants to improve the chance of getting into a residency, is it legitimate to apply for both prelim and categorical IM in the same program with the same PS (for categorical IM)?

I would sincerely appreciate any opinions.
Thanks!
 

ChocolateKiss

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Thanks, tfom08, for your reply!

I just wonder whether I should wait till I have heard more info from the advanced programs I'm applying to before applying to prelim IM?

Thanks, very much!

Just apply to prelims only in the town where you're currently living. This simplifies things since you still only have to move once, and you won't have to travel far for prelim interviews.
 

Tsutsugamushi

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Does it matter whether you apply to two categorical positions at the same institution or should you apply separately?
 

Emily2009

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My understanding is that as long as the 2 PD will not discuss with each other (it should be rare for 2 PD to discuss it, i think), then it is totally fine to apply for 2 different categorical programs in the same institute.
 

Emily2009

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Thanks, chocolate, for your suggestions!

Is it true that prelim is much more competitive than categorical IM? So when I choose prelim programs, should I choose small, community programs?

Thanks very much for any suggestions or opinions!



Just apply to prelims only in the town where you're currently living. This simplifies things since you still only have to move once, and you won't have to travel far for prelim interviews.
 

PirateHotel

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Hi,

I was wondering about this issue as well -- Whether it's a good idea to apply to Prelim programs at institutions that I would like to do categorical IM at. I was under the impression that Prelim programs were reserved for those doing Anesthesia etc. Do people go from Prelim to Categorical? Can it be considered a trial year?

Intuitively I think if you want categorical, only apply to categorical... but I am interested in learning about back-up options.
 

smq123

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My understanding is that as long as the 2 PD will not discuss with each other (it should be rare for 2 PD to discuss it, i think), then it is totally fine to apply for 2 different categorical programs in the same institute.

Applying for two DIFFERENT categorical programs....i.e., in two different specialties?

This is usually a bad, bad, bad move.

The last thing that a PD wants is a resident who isn't serious about staying in that specialty. This is especially true for the surgical fields and OB/gyn, which have high drop out rates.

If you apply to two different specialties, unless you have a very good reason for it, most PDs will take that as a sign that you're not really interested, and might choose not to rank you for that reason.

PDs DO talk to each other. Plus, they could always see you when you're interviewing for the other specialty....which could lead to some questions. I would think long and hard before opting to do this.

Do people go from Prelim to Categorical? Can it be considered a trial year?

Sure, some people go from Prelim to categorical. Some people do a prelim because they scramble into it, some want an extra year before they have to pick a specialty, etc. There are lots of reasons to do a prelim as a "trial" year.
 

Nicholaus

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If you applied to both Prelim and Cat (same specialty) at the same program and were rejected for Cat are you also automatically rejected for Prelim (and vice versa)? Or do programs specifically reject you for Cat and/or Prelim individually?

I applied to numerous Prelim and Cat programs, and the rejection is not specific to whether it was for Prelim or Cat!

Just curious.

Thanks:xf:
 

Nicholaus

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If you applied to both Prelim and Cat (same specialty) at the same program and were rejected for Cat are you also automatically rejected for Prelim (and vice versa)? Or do programs specifically reject you for Cat and/or Prelim individually?

I applied to numerous Prelim and Cat programs, and the rejection is not specific to whether it was for Prelim or Cat!

Just curious.

Thanks:xf:

Anyone?? :confused:
 

NotAProgDirector

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At most institutions, the programs are separate with different PD's and criteria. So, it's possible that the email you received was a "joint" rejection, or just a rejection from one track. You would need to contact the program to clarify.
 

Nicholaus

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At most institutions, the programs are separate with different PD's and criteria. So, it's possible that the email you received was a "joint" rejection, or just a rejection from one track. You would need to contact the program to clarify.

Would this explain getting two rejections from the same program? It's like pouring salt on an open wound! :(
 
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