tremulousNeedle

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It is my understanding that Pediatrics is general pediatrics (from which you can be a hospitalist, a primary care doc, or go onto fellowship) and Pediatric-Primary is a pediatric residency track that focuses specifically on primary care (so it is probably difficult to go on to become a hospitalist or enter a fellowship, with more extensive training for the primary care setting).

One is more competitive because there are few positions available, 65 vs 2428.

As an aside, this is a perfect example of how difficult it can be to interpret this aggregate data. That list makes it appear as though Pediatrics Primary [care] is the most competitive residency in the US. To some extent that is true, but in actuality you can practice pediatric primary care straight out of a general peds residency too, which isn't terribly competitive. Throughout your medical training, be a skeptical consumer.

-senior medical student (t-41days)
 

GoodmanBrown

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It is my understanding that Pediatrics is general pediatrics (from which you can be a hospitalist, a primary care doc, or go onto fellowship) and Pediatric-Primary is a pediatric residency track that focuses specifically on primary care (so it is probably difficult to go on to become a hospitalist or enter a fellowship, with more extensive training for the primary care setting).

One is more competitive because there are few positions available, 65 vs 2428.

As an aside, this is a perfect example of how difficult it can be to interpret this aggregate data. That list makes it appear as though Pediatrics Primary [care] is the most competitive residency in the US. To some extent that is true, but in actuality you can practice pediatric primary care straight out of a general peds residency too, which isn’t terribly competitive. Throughout your medical training, be a skeptical consumer.

-senior medical student (t-41days)
Another point to note is that specialties kinda sort themselves by the competitiveness of the candidates. So, a person with a lower Step 1 score won't apply to Rad-onc because they have such a small shot at getting in. So, while applicants/spot is one way to look at competitiveness, another is via average Step 1 score.

Looking at that link, you can see some specialties are on the top of both lists, while some fall pretty dramatically. So, those that top both lists are probably what you'd consider competitive.
 

tremulousNeedle

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Another point to note is that specialties kinda sort themselves by the competitiveness of the candidates. So, a person with a lower Step 1 score won't apply to Rad-onc because they have such a small shot at getting in. So, while applicants/spot is one way to look at competitiveness, another is via average Step 1 score.
I agree, but even looking at average step 1 scores has its limits. As you stated, low personal scores will obviously limit an applicant ability to enter a competitive residency. However, you have to remember that there are plenty of applicants with high board scores who don't enter a competitive residency. More often a specialty is chosen simply for the intrinsic value that gives the applicant. I scored in the top 90% of USMLE step 1 takers and have thankfully matched into emergency medicine. While I had the opportunity to pursue any specialty (except for maybe derm), I chose a specialty where the average score is near the national average. I chose this because EM is the only medicine I could see myself practicing for the rest of my life.

Looking at that link, you can see some specialties are on the top of both lists, while some fall pretty dramatically. So, those that top both lists are probably what you'd consider competitive.



Here's another example of how these lists are misleading. Over the past ~5 years there has been an increase in the number of emergency medicine residency programs, obviously creating more positions for applicants. So while there are usually enough positions for those that want to go into emergency medicine, the true competition lies not in matching, but in matching into an established program (most applicants would prefer to be accepted to an established and proven residency rather than a new program that is still working out the bugs). I am sure this has to be true for other specialties.
 

sewcurious

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Does anyone think it's weird that people going into a Transitional Year have such a high score? Why would that be?
 

TheThirdLevel

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Does anyone think it's weird that people going into a Transitional Year have such a high score? Why would that be?
I'm assuming because they're using the TY as the PGY-1 internship before going into a PGY-2 program such as ophthalmology.
 

tremulousNeedle

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Does anyone think it's weird that people going into a Transitional Year have such a high score? Why would that be?
Many of the residency programs for Radiology, Derm, Ophtho, Rad Onc (I think), & Neuro (plus a couple others) require a transitional or prelim year.
 

sewcurious

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Many of the residency programs for Radiology, Derm, Ophtho, Rad Onc (I think), & Neuro (plus a couple others) require a transitional or prelim year.
got it, that makes sense
 

obiwan

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Does anyone think it's weird that people going into a Transitional Year have such a high score? Why would that be?
and because a transitional year is cushier than a prelim year (which is done in one specialty usually internal medicine or surgery) while a transitional year you rotate through other fields like psych