Rising MS3. Just got my Step 1 results. Wondering what my chances are for programs in Los Angeles?

PeonyLeaf

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    Rising M3, just got my Step 1 results back. Here are my overall stats. Happy to provide any other info I may have left out.

    Step 1: 239
    AOA: No
    Class Rank: Don't know, probably somewhere in 50-75%ile
    School: Low-tier in the south. No significant ties to CA (Just a few family friends we occasionally visit)
    Research: Did a project in orthopedics between M1-M2, likely to be published. Planning to get more during M3-M4.

    Going to work on honoring IM and Peds, and obviously do as well as I can in all the other rotations. But I was wondering what I could do to make myself more competitive for LA programs in particular, and what programs (if any) were realistic for me to apply to? I'm really unfamiliar with what programs are considered "good" in the area but the ones that come to mind are Kaiser, UCLA, and CHLA. Any and all advice is appreciated.
     

    StIGMA

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      Best thing to do is consider how to better your odds (since you otherwise are average to slightly above average applicant).

      Programs are more likely to interview regional candidates for a simple reason- take NYC for example: an NYC program may match 60% of medical students in their 'rank to match list' who are from NYC schools but 30% from outside the region. With these (arbitrary, but not far off) numbers, it is 2x more efficient to interview NYC students. So they are biased toward interviewing/ranking regional students because it is expensive to interview more candidates (monetarily and with faculty time). The #1 thing you can do outside of scores/clerkship is to directly contact those programs and express specific interest, make specific personal statements, etc. In their eyes, you make yourself more valuable to interview/spend their time with. Doing an away rotation on the west coast is not a bad idea- perhaps somewhere else in CA if you are not confident you will blow away your top choice program to show interest in the region. It would be good to have faculty directly email their program director that you are specifically interested in their program/region (and perhaps have custom rec letters geared to this). Best of luck.
       
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      SurfingDoctor

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        Rising M3, just got my Step 1 results back. Here are my overall stats. Happy to provide any other info I may have left out.

        Step 1: 239
        AOA: No
        Class Rank: Don't know, probably somewhere in 50-75%ile
        School: Low-tier in the south. No significant ties to CA (Just a few family friends we occasionally visit)
        Research: Did a project in orthopedics between M1-M2, likely to be published. Planning to get more during M3-M4.

        Going to work on honoring IM and Peds, and obviously do as well as I can in all the other rotations. But I was wondering what I could do to make myself more competitive for LA programs in particular, and what programs (if any) were realistic for me to apply to? I'm really unfamiliar with what programs are considered "good" in the area but the ones that come to mind are Kaiser, UCLA, and CHLA. Any and all advice is appreciated.
        Publications help. What are your extra-curricular activities?
         
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        PeonyLeaf

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          Publications help. What are your extra-curricular activities?

          Relatively lackluster, I would say. My school does require service hours every semester, and I have usually exceeded those requirements. Have done some volunteering with our children's hospital, volunteered at a local homeless shelter, taught anatomy to local high school students (community outreach thing my school offers), and worked with a sports league for disabled youth. I am planning to get significantly more involved with volunteering and my school's Peds club. I suppose I had my blinders on the first 2 years (plus unable to volunteer for almost the entire semester with quarantine). Getting more volunteer experiences is a high priority for me this year.
           

          SurfingDoctor

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            Relatively lackluster, I would say. My school does require service hours every semester, and I have usually exceeded those requirements. Have done some volunteering with our children's hospital, volunteered at a local homeless shelter, taught anatomy to local high school students (community outreach thing my school offers), and worked with a sports league for disabled youth. I am planning to get significantly more involved with volunteering and my school's Peds club. I suppose I had my blinders on the first 2 years (plus unable to volunteer for almost the entire semester with quarantine). Getting more volunteer experiences is a high priority for me this year.
            Apply broadly and talk up the research and extracurriculars like nothing else matters (even if its not true)...
             

            jplkl

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              Consider doing an away rotation at your top choice in CA. Blow them away by showing strong work ethic (arrive early, stay late, do anything to help) and being friendly. Do this before residency interview schedules are closed - it may secure you an interview and then you can use your experiences during your rotation to explain why you want to do your residency there.
               

              GoSpursGo

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                Relatively lackluster, I would say. My school does require service hours every semester, and I have usually exceeded those requirements. Have done some volunteering with our children's hospital, volunteered at a local homeless shelter, taught anatomy to local high school students (community outreach thing my school offers), and worked with a sports league for disabled youth. I am planning to get significantly more involved with volunteering and my school's Peds club. I suppose I had my blinders on the first 2 years (plus unable to volunteer for almost the entire semester with quarantine). Getting more volunteer experiences is a high priority for me this year.
                Frankly, do the volunteer stuff if you feel passionately about it, but unless you're a leader of whatever group you're a part of I don't know that simply showing up moves the needle for your residency application. Nothing wrong with spending your time there if it's what you really want to do in your free time, but if you're just doing it to check off a box I wouldn't bother.

                Research and publications are always valuable currency, and even if it's not a requirement in peds like it is in other fields it's always looked upon favorably.
                 
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