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Questions on where to apply

Discussion in 'Orthopaedic Surgery' started by astrocreep96, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. astrocreep96

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm finishing up aspects of my ERAS application and getting to the point where I need to make a list of programs I want to apply to in orthopaedics. I think I'm moderately competitive, and while I appreciate the "what are my chances threads" I'm finding little direction in how many applications I should submit and to what caliber of program I should be applying. Ideally a mix, of course, but I would like to keep my application number to 50-60 at most, and so I have to carefully choose which programs I apply to and I don't want to waste my money on too many reach programs (if there is such a thing in orthopaedics as I realize the field is competitive as a whole).

    That said, here are some specifics about my app...

    Standard Southern State School
    Preclinical Grades: Mix of Honors/Pass (only option at our school)
    Clinical Grades: 4/6 Honors including surgery
    Gold Humanism Honor Society
    Probably not going to be AOA, although I'm not 100% ruling it out.
    USMLE Step 1 248
    Leader for the ortho interest group at my school
    Research: 2 first author pubs in ortho journals with chairman of the program at my school, 1 first author submission coming up soon, and 3 poster/podium presentations
    Working on LOR's - I'm assuming my home letter will be strong as I've known the chairman for 3+ years now and get along with him very well, I'll be busting my ass on aways for additional letters.

    So, that's me in a nutshell. I'm not completely set on location; I moved to the South from a Western State, so that helps to narrow the geographical regions I'm applying to. My dream school would be U of Washington, Colorado, or Utah, but the first is probably a significant reach. There are a number of great programs around me (including mine, IMHO) and I would be happy to stay in the South or Midwest. I have no serious interest in the New England/East Coast region, although there are a few select schools I may apply to for ****s and gigs.
     
    #1 astrocreep96, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
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  3. astrocreep96

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    86 views and no response? Save me jebus! I need opinions.
     
  4. astrocreep96

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    Fair enough, I guess it is a pretty specific question.

    I suppose I'm curious to see a few examples of where others applied for given stats - orthogate has good threads every match year that have been helpful, but it's often junior AOA students that interview at Mayo and match at Northwestern or something similarly impossible.
     
  5. astrocreep96

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    Thanks for the advice. I still have about 5 weeks to pick which programs I will apply to - I guess I will double down and start really researching the ones I'm unsure of. I get the feeling it's a crap shoot for just about every student with regards to location and school so at least I'm not alone.
     
  6. GAdoc

    GAdoc GAdoc
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    I came from a small southern school without an ortho program and ended up matching in Ohio! Go figure...

    A lot of where you get interviews IS a crap shoot. For that reason, applying broadly is important. I don't personally agree with picking where to apply by city. You won't have enough free time for that to matter a whole lot - that would be more important if you're married.

    For me, the program itself was the deciding factor - I wanted a small (3-4 max) community-based program because I wanted to go somewhere where the focus was on operating - early. Research is great, but its not for me. I plan to do the minimum and get out because after residency I want my skills to be in the OR, not the lab.

    I also wanted a place where residents and attendings seemed to work well with each other. This was harder to gauge until I interviewed but you can tell.

    Apply to a variety of places. I applied to 51 programs - most of them were concentrated in the south yet only five of my interviews were in the south (8 if you consider Louisville, KY and both WV programs). Of the three places I applied in the midwest, I received three interviews and matched at one of those. One random interview in Texas.

    The point is, it's difficult to figure out who's going to offer you an interview or which programs you're really going to love. So, definitely apply in the south, but also pick some programs in other regions and apply there as well.

    Good luck
     

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