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Should a psych program matter to a med school applicant?

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Sigismund

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Hi there, I'm an aspiring psychiatrist who will be applying to med school later this year. I have a question for the psychiatrists/psychiatric residents out there. My question is: How concerned should I be about the quality of a med school's psychiatric dept/residency program? Is this something I should even be concerned about at this stage of the process? In other words, will the quality/reputation of my 3rd or 4th year psych rotation affect which psych residencies I can get into? Or will I be all right if I simply go to a high quality school that offers decent rotations/clerkships across the board? And if the quality of a school's psych *does* matter, how do I judge which is good? U.S. News? Well-known affiliated psychiatric hospitals?

A bit about me: I'm a 30-year-old non-traditional student about to enter my final post-baccalaureate semester. I've worked as a community mental-health social worker for 2.5 years. I'm a Washington State resident, so of course am very interested in UW, but I need to apply to many many places. Many thanks for any advice you can lend!
 

doc05

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it doesn't matter. psych is noncompetitive and therefore wide open for US grads. go where you like.
 

Anasazi23

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It shouldn't matter too much what clinical rotation you do in medical school. I do know that they will look specifically at your grades in pharmacology, psychiatry and psychiatry clerkship. Of course, there may be some advantages to doing psychiatry at a great rotation where you can do 4th year elective research or something to that effect, but these opportunities are somewhat rare. LIJ in Ny has such a program...you even get paid for it. Otherwise, simply make sure you get a good medical education -- you'll need it for sure during your internship year and way beyond.

As far as the med school's psychiatry program...assuming you're talking about attending medical school at a univeristy based program with its own residency - again, I don't think it makes much difference. Psychiatry is not as competitive as some specialties, but is becoming more-so, especially at top tier places. Try to do well on your USMLEs to ensure that you have good options, along with the other standard stuff you'd do for any residency.

Good luck.
 

k.c.

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Just so you know UW is an a great psych program. I interviewed there this year. Going there would give you great exposure. Getting into a good residency program depends on your grades, extra-cir, boards, etc. Most psych programs are not too snooty about what med school you come from (trust me I know...I am not from a big name med school and I have gotten big name psych residency interviews.) so go to a med school you love...psych will work out...
good luck!
 
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