• SDN Site Updates

    Hey everyone! The site will be down for approximately 2 hours on Thursday, August 5th for site updates.

ditch doctor

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2005
181
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
So, I'm not trying to be a Henny Penny or "Oh my God, I'm not going to match!" or anything; but I have a question about scrambling and I want to be prepared. I am trying to match in a specialty that is pretty competitive, but it is really what I want to do so I'm going for it anyway.

However, I was one of those guys that really liked almost every rotation I did, so if I do have to scramble there are other specialties that I would be perfectly happy doing; I just happen to like the specialty I chose the best.

My question is this, should I go ahead make a new personal statement and get LOR's that are geared toward the other specialties? I mean would, say an Anesthesia or EM PD even consider a scramble applicant with a whole application that is 100% geared towards, say Derm or Optho? Assuming that scores and LORs are decent/competitive.

All of you PD's out there your thoughts would be most appreciated. Thanks!
 

NotAProgDirector

Pastafarians Unite!
Staff member
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2006
9,209
10,920
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
As usual, I think it depends.

The big problem with your question is the fact that the number of EM and anesthesia spots in the match is very low. Last year, 98+% of programs filled in those fields, with 100% of 3 year EM spots filled. Unfilled programs might not be where you want to go -- an anesthesia program with 6 empty slots in the match was at an institution that was closed by the ACGME this year, all residents will have their training terminated at the end of the year.

Then again, UCSF appeared to fill 20 of their 21 spots, and that would certainly be a nice spot to land.

So: If you are looking at a competitive field such as EM, anesthesia, derm, rads, etc -- there will be very few slots in the match, and lots of unmatched applicants with LOR's specific to that field, so you'd be working at a distinct disadvantage. Then again, there are so few spots in the scramble in these fields, I'm not sure you would succeed with specialty specific LOR's anyway.

If you are looking at non-competitive fields -- i.e. IM, family, peds, etc, then it probably matters much less. I personally don't care if an unmatched derm candidate wants to come to my IM program whether they have IM specific letters or not - a nice dean's letter with a call from a dean's office is all I need.

The biggest question to answer (in the next 1.5 hours) is if you are applying to an advanced program (derm/opthal/anesth/3 year EM/etc) that is competitive and you don't match in that, whether you want to try to match in a prelim instead, vs go for a categorical IM program in the scramble. No easy answer there, but I'd favor getting a good prelim year and then looking for an open PGY-2 IM the next year (or try matching again), but I can easily see the benefit of having a three year IM slot "in the bag" from the scramble.
 

Amy

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2001
1,002
3
42
Las Vegas, NV
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I don't think applicants generally get new LOR for the scramble... there simply isn't enough time. Programs in non-competitive specialties with empty spots in the scramble know that they will get applicants who didn't apply to their specialty originally and this is "plan B." The letters you already have in your application will be fine, since they speak to your good qualities, potential to be an excellent doctor, etc. I imagine having another well-crafted PS describing your interest in your "back up" field would be helpful, though.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 14 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.