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Residency competition

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Hopkins2010, Jul 21, 2001.

  1. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Membership Revoked

    Nov 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I am really confused about just how difficult it is to get into specific residencies...

    So far the only programs that I've heard of that are not too competitive are IM and path.

    Every single other residency that I've heard described on here or on the medschool.com board is portrayed like you need to have AOA, outstanding letters, and research to be considered competitive.

    For example, someone in another thread remarked that EM was not an easy match, but on the other board I found statistics stating that the unmatched rate was only 4% for EM last year, so obviously I'm missing something here.

    With only the top 20-10% of each medical school class eligible for AOA status, I dont understand how it would be necessary to have AOA in order to be competitive for so many of the different residencies.

    From the data below I would be tempted to say that there are only 3 competitive residencies. I know it matters which institutions you apply to but I'm just talking about getting into a residency period, without reference to location or prestige.

    Specialty 2000 Unmatch Rate
    General Surgery 7.3%
    Emergency Med 3.9%
    Neurosurgery 21%
    Pathology 0.8%
    Radiation Onc 10.4%
    Pediatrics 2.7%
    Family Practice 1.7%
    Dermatology 24.3%
    Ob/gyn 4.1%

    Even general surgery doesnt seem too bad. After all, 93% of applicants got in somewhere right? Or am I just not understanding what the term "unmatched rate" means?
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  3. mcwmark

    mcwmark Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
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    Well, for example, the low percentage of ER unmatched maybe misleading:

    Many of the "popular" programs are on either coast and very difficult to match. There are many smaller, community-type programs that aren't so competitive...in addition to the 4 year programs (vs. 3 years) that tend to put off many candidates.

    You also have to realize that students will tend to "weed" themselves out--that is, if they feel they are not competitive for EM, they may just match in FP, or IM instead.

    Take a look at how many unfilled programs exist--this may help to see how difficult getting into a particular specialty may be. EM had something like 4 open slots (of 1000). General surgery had 50? 70?

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