Rank of School versus Residency

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SeekerOfTheTree, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. SeekerOfTheTree

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    Hello all. So this is the question that plagues me. I got into a medical school called Boonshoft and a professor told me today that I should reject it because it isn't that highly ranked and I won't get into a nice residency that I want. I think it's a blessing to get into any medical school and I really wanna go here because I think it is great to be back in my hometown in my school. Do you guys have any thoughts of rank of school versus getting good residencies at good places?

    Thanks for the help all you smart people!
     
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  3. bcat85

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    Boonshoft is a US allopathic medical school. You can get into any residency in the country if you do well.
     
  4. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic

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    Truth.

    My school (UMiami), wasn't top 50 until recently, and yet this year matched 9 optho, 1 integrated plastics UCSF, 4 urology, 4-5 derm etc.

    I'm not bragging about my school, my point is that no matter what school you go to you will have an opportunity to do well and go far if you are sufficiently motivated, talented, and polished.
     
  5. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Well, the med school rank won't matter nearly as much as your board scores, clinical year evaluations, research etc. You are going to get your residency on your own, with little help from your school name. But often the higher ranked schools do have better access to research and better facilities than a smaller, less well known place, so there may be reasons to focus in on one over another unrelated to residency competitiveness. Is this a professor that is at all related to med schools or just someone speculating from afar. If we are talking about an undergrad prof with no med school affiliations, the best thing to do is ignore him. The other question is what other choices you have? If none, the question is moot. If it's a question between Wright and, say, Cleveland Clinic or Case, I think I'd be hard pressed to say go to your hometown.
     
  6. SeekerOfTheTree

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    See the only problem is this guy is a top researcher from a top 10 medical school that said this. This is the only admission I have but he thinks I should reject it and try again next year.
     
  7. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才
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    Take the offer and run with it.

    -You will have to explain why you chose not to attend a domestic allopathic medical school at your interviews

    -There's no guarantee you'll get in anywhere during the next cycle

    -It is unlikely that you will get into a school with a substantially better reputation during the next cycle, unless you've had some major accomplishments in the past year

    -Passing up this acceptance means making one less year of physician's salary (or one less year of retirement) down the road, a six-figure value! That's like turning down a full scholarship.
     
  8. loganhayes

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    You should take this opportunity now. If you only got into one school this year, what makes you think that you will have a better shot next year? If Harvard and alike are the only "worthy" school, oh well, that will be pretty tough.

    Your school is a US school. A U.S. med school is far better than any foreign schools. Just do well in USMLE, you will get the residency you deserve.
     
  9. bcat85

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    That doesn't mean he knows **** about medical school/residency placement
     
  10. SeekerOfTheTree

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    You guys rock. I didn't think he was making sense either but I was thinking to myself I'm some stupid premed and this guy has a hundred publications...how much do I know compared to this guy...you know what I mean. Honestly all you guys rock. Can I marry ALL OF YOU!!!!
     
  11. SageFrancis

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    Yeah, don't worry about how much pubs this guy has.

    A basic science researcher and a residency director have 2 very different jobs.
     
  12. ...so he's a PhD? MD/PhD? Did he complete a residency?
     
  13. Gut Shot

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    I don't usually recommend trying to read match lists, but here you can see Boonshoft/Wright State's lists for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

    The school does send a good chunk of people into primary care, which is in line with their mission and training model, but they also have no shortage of matches into more competitive specialties. If you have no other options except reapplying, I'd take their offer in a heartbeat.

    Good luck!
     
  14. Pedsbro

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    I would just love to see the responses and looks you'd get after reapplying when you explain the reason you declined acceptance to a perfectly fine MD school was because you were worried about getting into a good residency 4 years later! And then when they ask what made you think you wouldn't get into one if you went to Wright, you'd say ONE professor said so. Take the acceptance and run with it.
     
  15. What up doc

    What up doc FLASH

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    man, so then what exactly is the point of attending Harvard? Or Yale? Or WashU? Aren't there unforeseen connections could be made? Does the name of the medical school matter at all when you are actually looking for a job, past residencies?
     
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  17. flaahless

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    Of course the med school matters in residency placement. The student in the middle of the class at Columbia will have more opportunities than a student from the middle of the class at X state school. However, I'd argue that the top students at both instutions would do roughly the same.

    Anyways, the OPs dilemma isn't Wright vs. Harvard... it's Wright vs. Nothing. In that case, take Boonshoft and run with it.
     
  18. Gut Shot

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    Some folks want the name, they shoot for the best and thrive in such places. I don't think anyone can deny that name carries some weight further down the road. The question is how much, and if the investment is worth it to the individual.

    Example: one of my brothers went to Wash U, I went to MCV. We didn't specialize in the same field, but if we had, I have no doubt that we could be working literally side by side in the same practice. Two roads, same destination. Hence, unless you have a great deal of ambition that leads you to prioritize your academic pedigree above other factors, going to Harvard, Yale or Wash U may have no point.

    As the saying goes, you're only as good as the last place you trained.
     
  19. nogolfinsnow

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    I used to work for a very well-published MD at a big name med school and there were a bunch of other MDs doing fellowships who worked in his lab. Not one of them every told me to turn down an acceptance from the school I now attend, even thought it is "ranked" pretty middle of the road. The universal message was bust your butt and you can get into good programs.
     
  20. astrocreep96

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    From my perspective, school is a business and those businesses are going to do what they can to draw additional customers. Plus, high school students, premeds, etc. are an exceptionally gullible and insecure lot, and they will buy whatever USNews is selling.

    I think there are other intriguing factors for medical schools (or schools in general) - UC Berkeley has an awesome atmosphere, U Chicago has an awesome student body (plus scav hunt), U Penn and Yale have a bunch of cool clubs with storied pasts, etc. Lots of reasons to go to those schools other than purely academic.

    How this translates to medical school vs. residency - I have yet to see a plausible explanation aside from possible connections and networking. A study in JBJS was pulished for important factors in selecting ortho residents (just a reference example) and med school rank fell behind USMLE scores, class rank, personal appearance, politeness, AOA membership, etc.

    And finally, remember that everyone in medical school was accepted for a variety of reasons, and chose to attend their school for a variety of reasons. Competitive residencies also seem to accept based on more academic grounds, whereas medical schools accept students for many reasons other than academic (some of which are just flat out stupid).

    Just my take on it, though.:)
     
  21. HopkinsGrad

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    Having spoken with residents, I say the name of a school does help a candidate who wishes to enter a rather competitive specialty at a rather competitive residency. Not always, but most often.

    But if you only have one offer, it seems you have no choice but to take it. On average, it requires around two to three years to dramatically improve an application so much so that a famous medical school would take interest.
     
  22. SeekerOfTheTree

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    You know you guys all rock in making me feel good about my acceptance. I guess I quickly begin to doubt myself and my decisions because someone else is smarter and they said something. I think this guy has lost touch with the real world since he became a doc 20 years ago. But I agree with you guys that I should take this and run with it. Honestly I wanna go back to my hometown and enjoy it there. I love that school!
     
  23. flip26

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    I completely agree with the advice in this thread to keep the acceptance and attend, but there can be extenuating circumstances that justify reapplying...for instance, was there something about your app (you applied REALLY late, or you had lightweight ECs, or you applied to too few schools) that affected your outcome? And more importantly, is this problem something you could remedy for this cycle?

    There is no "black list" and no mark against your name for having turned down an acceptance. I am not sure I understand how any med school would even know, much less care, if you are a reapplicant who turned down an acceptance, but I do agree with others that if med schools knew about it, it could color their judgment about you...
     
  24. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    Some schools ask if you've ever been accepted (not matriculated) to a medical school and ask for a reason why. At the very least, you shouldn't waste time applying to the school you were accepted to.

    The problem with turning down an acceptance is thinking that you'll get something better in the year right after if you haven't been improving your app in any substantial way. At best, you may get another acceptance, but a worse position would be getting even fewer interviews.
     
  25. joyrunner

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    The main advantage to attending a "prestigious" med school is that you can more easily get into that med school's "prestigious" residency programs. If you really want a residency spot at a certain school, your chances are much better if you go to med school there, obviously.
     
  26. Narmerguy

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    "Yes I've been accepted"
    "Why? Because I did not feel that the school would have fit me well because of the environment, area, and their approach to my application etc and because I felt I would have been better prepared at other schools for my boards and whatnot because of this....etc"

    I really don't think answering to the interviewers would be the slightest problem, especially because you'll have a year to address that problem. Honestly, I think they care more about why you want them than why you didn't want someone else.

    However, I still agree that you should accept the offer. Med School is Med School and unless you feel that a slightly better school is worth sacrificing a year of your adult life, I'd take the dream. Remember, some people don't get into any med schools. I simply disagree with the majority of the other responders in thinking that having to answer to the interviewers should be something to scare you away from making an informed decision.
     
  27. flip26

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    I have only heard of one or two schools that ask about acceptances (AECOM, for instance). My point is that it is not a black mark, but I agree that it is not necessarily a brilliant strategy, either.

    I did qualify my reasons that could justify reapplying...in the OP's case, he has not mentioned any of those "reasons"...
     
  28. Gut Shot

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    Maybe it's just me, but I'd send that one directly into the circular file.
     
  29. SourPatches00

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    I have a slightly different question, but rather making a new thread I thought it would be a good idea to just continue this one. Currently, I have good stats and experiences at a well known university. I am thinking of applying in the next application cycle, but there is one problem that is killing me every single day. Since I have a very mediocre MCAT (29), I will most probably get into a low ranking medical school if I am so lucky. My practice MCAT(s) were all much higher (36+, but VR scores were variable) and with the chance of scoring lower on a retake, I do not want to lose my chance at a medical school all together. I am scared for my life to take it again and Ive been pressured by everyone I know to do so. Now, personally, I don't give a rats behind the name or rank of a school and I would be perfectly fine with any medical school at certain states. But where I go for residency IS very important to me. I would sacrifice anything and everything now if I know it would help me get into the specialty I want (competitive) at the city I want (also very competitive-Los Angeles).

    Now, my cousin who goes to a top medical school tells me that name DOES matter and it will make a big difference in helping you get into the residency I want. I don't have a problem studying for the MCAT and I am good at handling stress, but I don't want to risk the small chance that I already have at medical school just to find out later that it all doesn't matter. I know for undergraduate school, ranking was pretty much BS and someone from College X would do just as well as someone from Harvard, but is medical school like this too?

    Now what do you guys suggest? Should I just apply without retaking the mcat and go to the first school that accepts me or should I risk it all and retake the mcat and shoot for harvard which I may have a chance at (3.9 GPA, couple years medical experience, volunteer experience, shadowing experience, research experience, a publication, hospital work experience, but a mere 29 MCAT).

    On a side note, my grandpa was one rank behind getting into medical school in his country which had a weird system back then and for his entire life he tortured himself for not getting in... I do not want that to happen to me.
     
    #27 SourPatches00, Sep 18, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  30. flip26

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    If my practice tests had been 36+ and I made a 29, I would retake. If I had made a 30, maybe not. If I had made 31 or higher, I would not retake under any circumstances. So it is a close call.

    What is your state of residence? How do you compare on the instate app stats?

    But if your goal is "Harvard" you have already screwed yourself with that 29...that score will never go away, no matter how well you do on a retake you will have that 29 in your file...kiss Harvard buh bye!

    Your cousin is wrong, but even if he were right, it would not change anything for you.
     
    #28 flip26, Sep 18, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  31. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    I'd retake the MCAT, you still have plenty of time since you aren't ready to apply. Make sure you are scoring in the high 30s before you take it, though and don't specifically shoot for a school (especially Harvard) because you never know what will happen in the application process. You will definitely be better off with a mid 30s MCAT than a high 20s, but you knew that already.
     
  32. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Name does count for residency match. It isn't the most important factor, but we shouldn't pretend it doesn't exist. While it's not impossible to match into a top speciality at a top school while going to a lower ranked med school, most of the people in the interview groups at those schools will be from top 25 institutions, so draw your own conclusions.

    As far as retaking goes, I'd said I was going to retake if I scored 34 or below so YMMV, set a goal for yourself and retake it if you don't achieve that, but be realistic.
     
  33. mikecougarmd

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    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but the best predictor of matching into residency is your board scores. Coming from a top 50 school is the fourth best predictor. You can find all this on the national residency matching website.
     
  34. flip26

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    Pre-meds who obsess over their chances at prestigious residencies before they apply, with a 29 MCAT to boot, are obsessing over the wrong thing...he should be worried about getting into any med school, not Harvard, and he really should set aside the "prestigious residency" dreams until he is at least halfway through med school because there are several other factors and hurdles to jump besides the name of the med school attended that are far more important to residency chances...
     
  35. Handy388

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    EDITED: too much personal info
     
  36. SourPatches00

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    It's ok, I never really cared for Harvard. I just use that as an example. My #1 choice though is USC and it doesn't look like I can make it with a 29 MCAT. :(

    CA

    low

    I know I can't do worse on my sciences since I've gotten as high as 15s on my practices but I am very afraid of scoring below an 8 on verbal and not meet the cut-off for schools. Also, I wouldn't know what more I can do... I felt that I tried my best, but just didnt do my best.

    If you had a choice between a top 20 med school and the bottom 20 med school, would you totally neglect the schools ranking for your decision? Well, if I want a choice or chance in making that choice I will have to be a little obsessive right now. I don't understand why you would say prestige does not matter for residency because all that I've been hearing from my cousin is it will and it will make my life a lot easier in so many levels (research, connections, etc.)
     
  37. SourPatches00

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    And sadly, english is my first language.... although I was brought up with parents that only spoke broken english to me. I guess it's all making sense now.
     
  38. flip26

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    You are in just about the worst possible state for a 29. Hard to see how you get around it - I would retake, in the spring, and do something different - did you do a prep class the last time?

    You need to expand your source on residency chances from more than just your cousin...plenty of threads on SDN to look at on this topic.
     
  39. flip26

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    First, what are the "bottom 20" med schools? If there is such a thing, I grant you that not too many people would choose a bottom 20 over a top 20, but I think that is a silly straw man argument...your 29 does not relegate you to a "bottom 20" school - it will keep you out of a top 20, and it may limit your options for med school, but there are lots of schools in between...
     
  40. SourPatches00

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    [​IMG] That's really sad to hear... I was thinking of applying to the following schools... BU, Albany, Einstein, NYM, Downstate, Upstate, Drexel, Jefferson, Penn state, Temple, USC, Loma Linda, Davis, UCI, GWU (good chance imo), georgetown, rosalin franklin, Loyola, Rush, Tulane, and 20 others. All of which I would be estatic to go to, but becoming a doctor at a good CA hospital is FAR more important than spending four years at a college I like. Do others think I should retake as well? It takes up a lot of time from school/work/research. I work 40 hours a week at the hospital and I go to school full time and manage to sneak in a few hours at the lab. I think I can still ditch school and get As in my classes and study for the MCAT and it will be hard, but very doable. I did take prep classes and I read almost every prep book out there. There are still resources out there but I highly doubt there are constructive full length tests out there to predict my score. I took an AAMC for fun last week and got a 43 because I remembered all the questions. I know I am nowhere near that high right now and personally, I think I am currently around a PS: 13-14, VR: 7-9, BS: 12-13.
     
  41. SourPatches00

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    If you say that prestige doesn't matter why not just apply to those schools and if I get in, accept and get rid of my misery. That is if you think I have a good shot there.
     
  42. flip26

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    Is it your goal to become a physician, or is it to land a rad onc residency at UCSF? If the latter, you may as well give up right now...that 29 has screwed you but good at the schools a previous poster listed as the only places where UCSF rad onc residents attended med school...

    Prestige matters, just not merely as much as your cousin says, and a lot less than most pre-meds assume. And even if your goal is rad-onc, there are plenty of other residency programs cranking them out - still a very tough residency to land no matter where it is, but to be so pinpoint focused on something that is so far down the road and subject to so many other factors than prestige, it is crazy to stew about it now...
     
  43. SourPatches00

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    Happiness, of course, is the most important thing in life. My goal is to become a physician but it will never take precedence over my happiness. At the moment being happy means being a physician, that could change in the future but there will be no way of finding that out. I will be most happy with a future living in LA close to my friends and family, but I have no problem spending up to four years at a school thousands of miles away working hard to achieve my ultimate goal. However, I would like to have as many opportunities as possible when I still have a chance. I don't care to be #1 or to be the "best" since I have found out that those are the people who become way too obsessive and never enjoy life. I do, however, want to do the best that I can. If I will be limited in my matches if I go to a lowly ranked school, wouldn't it be to my best interest to go elsewhere if I have the chance? But this is why I am confused. Rad oncology is a tough residency to get into but say if I find out that I would really like to peruse a career in it and the hospital I want to work in is a top 10 ranked hospital (UCLA for example). If I was a UCLA med student with a 230 USMLE and with passing scores versus a Loma Linda student with high honors and a 232 USMLE, who would get the spot? Would prestige have a role in this? Do you think both students would have an equal opportunity? If i get a 240 USMLE would I have to worry about what school I was from or will my boards do all the talking for me?
     
    #41 SourPatches00, Sep 18, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  44. flip26

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    You have some serious issues that can't be dealt with glibly, but I will try.

    You need to seriously evaluate your life goals, because what you are describing seems incompatible with a career in medicine. Your goal is not to be a physician, but to have some fantasy life built around prestigious med schools and residencies...you are setting yourself up for disappointment, and you have already undermined your ambitions.

    Said another way - if a prestigious CA med school and prestigious CA residency has been your goal all along, you really screwed up making a 29...you can't turn the clock back on that one, but you can buckle down and try for a higher MCAT, and you may get your dream CA med school after all.
     
  45. SourPatches00

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    You misinterpreted what I was trying to say. I don't care about going to med school in california, I already gave up on that, but I would want to live in LA in the future after medical school for residency when I am already a physician. I am trying to see the weight of how prestige takes place by giving you one example of two schools. If you would like replace Loma Linda with another school with a 30 MCAT average.
     
  46. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    Sourpatches, you do realize that even if you don't get into a California residency that you can still move there afterward, right? Residency is only 3-9 years (depending on what you do)...you'll have the rest of your career/life to live in CA after that. Jobs are competitive in CA but most likely less so than residency.

    If you really want to go to CA for residency, your best bet would be either to go to med school in CA and do well or do very well in any other med school. Your school name will help you somewhat, but how you do is far more important. You can get to a CA residency from any school in the country, and you're certainly not guaranteed a spot even if you went to Harvard.

    For what it's worth, trying to match in rad onc in LA with a 230 would be very very difficult to do even if you were coming from UCSF.
     
  47. paradisedoc

    paradisedoc Senior Member

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    Attending Physician
    Take the MCAT over again. You have the time. You said that you scored higher in your practice tests. If you score well, don't worry about your 29; you could have had the flu or perhaps no air conditioning in the room. Whatever. Just take the test over. It is still tough to get into medical school if you are a Californian. But it will be a lot less tough with a higher MCAT score.
    Don't worry about the prestige of the school, just worry about getting into a U.S. medical school. Then, if a prestigious residency is important to you, study your heart out for the first two years of whatever medical school and do well on your boards.
    But first, just retake your mcats. The first step is just getting in, and it will most assuredly make a difference. Do not worry about the 29 - if you score well the second time, the 29 should have little to no impact.
    Good luck.
     

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