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Residency selection criteria

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by jeffb, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. jeffb

    jeffb Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2001
    I hear that hospitals prefer call for interview the students who have got scores in their 80's in their second or third attempts rather than students who have got scores in the late 70's in their first attempt. Is this true for all hospitals or majority of hospitals? Does anyone know.
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  3. Dreamer

    Dreamer Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Not my case, but I am IMG
  4. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    I'm not sure if I know what you are talking about -- are you referring to USMLE scores? If you are, I just wanted to let you know that if you fail USMLE, you can retake the exam. But if you happen to pass it, even barely, you cannot retake the exam.
  5. jeffb

    jeffb Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2001
    Hello AJM: I was referring to USMLE scores (sorry about that). I know that if you fail the USMLE exam that you can retake it.
    I wanted to find out how hospitals base their selection on.

    In which order would hospitals prefer to call the candidates for interview:

    Student who has received scores of
    1) 85 in USMLE on the second or third attempt
    2) 79 in USMLE on the first attempt
    3) 83 in USMLE on the first attempt.

    2), 3) and 1) or 3), 2) and 1) or 1), 2 and 3.
  6. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Well, I don't really know much about residency selection, but I'll venture to guess...

    First of all, I think all of these scores you listed are pretty much viewed as the same -- the USMLE is not like the MCAT where 1 point makes a big difference. Second, in the first hypothetical applicant, the applicant would have to have failed the USMLE one or two times in order to retake the exam (since you can't retake it if you pass)-- pretty significant since only about 5% of US med students fail the USMLE on their first attempt. I can't imagine that residencies would prefer an applicant who has failed Boards several times over ones that have passed it and done well on their first try, but again, I don't know what the residency program directors think.

    Second, when you're talking about applicants scoring so closely together, residency programs would look at other factors. They look at other factors anyway, because I don't think any program uses USMLE as their sole basis for interviewing applicants.

    Anyway, I'm sorry I'm not answering your question, but I don't think that in real life it's all that cut-and-dry. :)
  7. TheThroat

    TheThroat SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Arlington, Texas
    From what I understand, residencies look at a number of factors (PRIOR to interviewing):

    1. Which medical school (large, academic over smaller program)
    2. Grades in medical school
    3. USMLE score
    4. Research experience (esp. for more competitive residencies)
    5. Personal statement
    6. Other activities

    I would emphasize that grades, USMLE and research are the three main factors. The rest of the application is not really that important. This is different from entrance into medical school, where extracurriculars can really set someone apart.

    Also, the interview itself means probably more than any of the above, once you get to it.
  8. Newdoc2002

    Newdoc2002 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 1999
    Throat, I'll have to disagree with your factor list. According to Iserson's Getting Into a Residency, each specialty has a highly variable priority rank system when it comes to applicants. Grades in required clerkships is a number one factor frequently but not always. Class rank can be important for the more competitive specialties. Research is about dead last in many of the specialties. It gets mixed up from there.

    I would recommend finding the individual priorities of the specialties in which you are interested by getting a good reference guide (ie. Not this board).

    Of course, it is always advantageous for you to be the best, most rounded candidate you can.
  9. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    And priorities are even different between different programs of the same specialty. Many of the academic residency programs will likely put research up near the top of their priorities, for example.
  10. William Bohannon

    William Bohannon Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2001
    Sylacauga, AL , US
    In my very limited experience with residency programs I have found med school grades are not very high on the criteria list. Also, as far as board scores, just passing will do for most residency programs. The main factor, as I have been told by the directors, is enthusiasm for the program. Residencies are looking for individuals excited about their programs.

    Another very important point is the personality of the applicant. Residencies are looking for applicants they can stand to be around for 3+ years.

    Enthusiasm and a pleasant personality will cover a multitude of sins as far as less than excellent grades and less than superior board scores.

    At least, that's what I have been told by several residency directors. Grades and such may have a little more influence in very competative residencies.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  11. dcdo

    dcdo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 1999
    From what I've heard from a few chief residents:

    1. If you get an interview,you are pretty much on the same playing field with everyone else. They are somewhat selective here, as they don't have much time to do interviews.

    2. It then becomes a personality issue, as they need to know that they can stand you for the next 3+ years. :eek:
  12. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    This is what I've been told too. Personality factors are more likely important after interview, while numbers, etc. are more important in getting to interview.

    best of luck...
  13. nathan

    nathan Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 15, 2001
    Joplin, MO USA
    I have seen a list of residency selection criteria that was handed out at a certain medical school to its students. Do you know what the number 1 thing that makes you a great candidate for the residency you want?- Being able to work as a team player. Very interesting because isn't that the way it is for any job/profession! Board scores and class rank were much further on down the list. Just thought I'd share that with you.

  14. tonem

    tonem Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 1999
    The Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine published an article on selection criteria in 2000. They surveyed all the residency directors for Emergency Medicine Residencies. Check it out for yourself on Pubmed.

    Selection criteria directly from the horses mouth (so to speak):

    Acad Emerg Med 2000 Jan; 7(1):54-60

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