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Step I for Radiology

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by bigfrank, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. bigfrank

    bigfrank SDN Donor

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    Hi everyone,

    I know this question has been thrown around quite a bit, but I was curious as to what people's perspectives were after the most recent match.

    For the 2001 match, I heard unmatch rates of as high as 33%. Does anyone know what it was for the 2002 match?

    And, what about a competitive score on the Step I?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    Hey Big Frank,

    The AAMC does not give out unmatch numbers anymore. However, taking some numbers I got from a program director the total number of applicants this year was around 1400. The number of spots was around 900. This leaves 500 unmatched which means an approximately 35% unmatched rate. Keep in mind that some people applied to rads as a backup for other specialties so this might be a little lower.

    As for Step I scores, it is possible to match at SOME program with an average Step I (215). If you want to match at a good university program having over 220 plus other positives on your application can get you in. Having over 240 will pretty much guarantee you a spot if you apply wisely. Top programs may have cutoffs in the 230-240 range. So its tough, but not as impossibly difficult as people make it seem.

    Are you just thinking about rads or already decided? I thought I remembered you asking about other specialties before.
     
  4. bigfrank

    bigfrank SDN Donor

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    Hi W.B.C.,

    First of all, thanks for taking time to reply. I appreciate your interest in my specialty choice. As of right now, my top choices are: Anes., EM, Neuro, & Rads.

    I really want to have time for a family, and I think each of these fields will afford that.

    Thanks so much WBC.

    Best wishes!!!

    And congratulations on you match into Rads.
     
  5. Ratty

    Ratty Banned
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    WBC and bigfrank-

    Actually, the unmatch numbers and other statistics are available from the AAMC (for $40). I purchased the data from the 2002 match to help for a book I am writing about medical specialties.

    The unmatched rate for U.S. seniors applying for radiology this year was 11.1%. To get an idea of how competitive this specialty is, compare it to plastics (23.5%), rad-onc(17.9%), derm (16.1%), and ortho (14.9%), which were the four highest unmatched rates.

    Hope this helps! Good luck.
     
  6. Voxel

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    Those numbers seem a little low because the data I was getting from program directors differs. Do these numbers take into account people applying with back-up specialties or people going all or nothing?

    I also acknowledge that telling which specialty is the primary and which is the back up maybe harder to tease out from the data.
     
  7. Ratty

    Ratty Banned
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    Voxel-

    Sorry...you were right. I should've clarified that. I'm looking at the NRMP data again in front of me right now. The only "% unmatched" results they calculate is in a table titled "Match Results for U.S. Seniors Who Chose One Type of Specialty." For radiology, it says that of 396 U.S. seniors who *only* ranked rads programs, without any other specialty back-up, 352 matched and 44 did not, producing an 11.1% unmatch rate in radiology, for U.S. seniors only.

    In another table, titled "U.S. Seniors Choices for Programs By Specialty," it says that 938 U.S. seniors ranked at least 1 radiology program on their list. Of the 938 applicants, 396 ranked only rads programs, 507 ranked rads as first choice (and some other specialty after it), and 35 ranked some other specialty above their radiology ranks. There were 442 "independent applicants" in radiology (i.e. non-U.S. seniors).

    If I'm adding (and understanding) the numbers correctly, then 1380 applicants were vying for the 920 total radiology positions (PGY1 and PGY2). Doing the math, this produces an unmatch rate of 33% (460 unmatched/1380 total applicants), which seems to be line with what was mentioned earlier.

    It is kind of interesting that the NRMP does not provide the figure of 33%. On the surface, they make the unmatched rate seem lower, at 11%.
     
  8. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath

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    Good info... thanks everyone...
     
  9. UAB

    UAB Member

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    So Finally which are the real unmatch rate for the other competitive specialties like Dermatology, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Plastics ?
    I really would appreciate to know it.
    Thanks.
     
  10. Ratty

    Ratty Banned
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    OK, here are the "real" unmatch rates, now that I've figured out what the NRMP was hiding :)

    PLASTICS: 157 applied, 77 positions, 80 unmatched = 51%

    RAD-ONC: 188 applied, 97 positions, 91 unmatched = 48%

    DERM: 511 applied, 275 positions, 236 unmatched = 46%

    ORTHO: 842 applied, 571 positions, 271 unmatched = 32%

    EM: 1564 applied, 1211 positions, 353 unmatched = 23%

    So, radiology was equally as competitive as orthopedic surgery this year. Congrats Voxel and everyone!

    I cannot give statistics for Ophtho or any of the SF Match specialties because that data is not provided in the NRMP's data book.

    Remember, those who were unmatched probably matched into some other back-up specialty, because the overall match rate was very high for U.S. seniors across the entire 2002 match (94.1%).
     
  11. Voxel

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    I think we need to clarify who these other independent applicants are. Are they US MD who graduated and took 1 year off? Are they US MD switching specialties? Are they DOs? Are they IMGs? Are they a combination of the above? If so what is the breakdown. It would make a big difference to US seniors to gauge competitiveness if the independent applicants were IMGs vs US MDs who took 1 year off after med school to do research or raise their child (as I had met on the interview trail), etc. Also, I am curious if the 14.1% unmatched rate quoted for 2001 is also based on US senior med students vs US senior medical students + independent applicants.
     
  12. bigfrank

    bigfrank SDN Donor

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    Hi,

    This is very disconcerting. I have talked to many of the "knows" in regards to EM and I have heard, repeatedly, that EM is becoming less competitive. In fact, it has been recently speculated that a 210 will be good enough for a match.

    Also, I have heard repeatedly that the unmatch rate was 6.3% for the 2002 match in EM.

    Can someone shed some light on these amazingly diverse claims (6% vs. 23%).

    Perhaps this is the US-MD rate (6%) vs. the US-MD and DO and IMG (23%)?

    I don't know, but we all need to put our heads together before this spreads like wildfire.

    <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  13. Ratty

    Ratty Banned
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    OK guys, now you are both getting ME confused about these numbers, and I'm supposed to be writing a book about it! :)

    Voxel: The "independent applicants" category includes *everyone* who is not your typical U.S. seniors. Meaning: IMGs, osteopaths, Canadians, US citizens studying at foreign med schools, physician applicants, etc. The complete list is on the NRMP web site. Unfortunately, the NRMP match data does not distinguish among these types of applicants when reporting data...it just lumps them all together under "independent applicants." And, yes, the 11.1% unmatch rate for rads that I mentioned above is just for US Seniors who only applied to radiology, no other specialties (like the 6.5% for EM).

    bigfrank: With regards to EM, the only data that the NRMP provides about "percent unmatched" is for the U.S. Seniors who applied ONLY to EM and did not rank any other specialties on their list. In 2002, there were 858 U.S seniors who ranked just EM programs. Of these 858, 56 did NOT match at all into an EM program, which is 6.5% unmatched. However, there were actually MORE than 858 U.S. seniors who applied to EM. In fact, 1126 U.S. seniors ranked at least one EM program (these 268 additional folks had a back-up specialty, or, used EM as their second specialty). On top of these guys were all the independent applicants (438) applying to EM programs, making a grand total of 1564 applicants ranking EM as a specialty. Remember, there were 1211 total EM positions across all programs. So, the unmatched rate depends on which groups you include.

    -If you add together ALL applicants (US + independents), the unmatch rate is 23%, like I mentioned above.
    -If you use the number of US seniors who ONLY applied to EM, the unmatch rate was 6.5%.
    -If you use the total US seniors who applied to EM+2nd specialty (1126), you have to look at how many of the 1211 positions were filled by US seniors? (The answer is 979). In that case, the unmatch rate is 13%.

    So which is the "true" unmatch rate? 6.5, 13, or 23%? I think the answer is whichever set of numbers you feel is the best indicator of competitiveness. You can calculate an unmatch rate in many ways, but I think the best method to guage competition is simply to look at the total number of applicants vs. the total number of available positions, and calculate the unmatch rate based on that. You could break it down between US vs. IMG/DO, etc., but I'm not sure what good that would do. After all, there are many well-qualified independent applicants who will be accepted over a not-so-well-qualified US Senior.

    Does this make sense? Let me know if I screwed it up. The numbers are correct, because I have the book in front of me, but I want to make sure we're all interpreting it correctly :)
     
  14. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member

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    Ratty:

    No, you didn't screw up. Awesome reply. I've been wracking my brain for many months trying to decipher the various unmatch rates. You explained it well.

    Maybe you are the guy to write a book on this stuff, after all. When's it gonna be out and how much will it cost? It won't help people like me, 'cause we'll already be matched by then, but I'll recommend it to the starry-eyed youngsters of today.
     
  15. Ratty

    Ratty Banned
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    Hornet871:

    Thanks for the compliment. The book will hopefully be out sometime mid- to late-2003, depending on how quickly I can get it done. It will (hopefully) be *the* essential guide to the 20 major medical specialties and factors to think about when choosing among them. Throw away your Taylor and Iserson books, because this is the one to buy! :) Look for it under the Appleton & Lange label.
     
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  17. Jive Turkey

    Jive Turkey Member

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    Hey Ratty, how 'bout wetting our appetite and giving us a quick list of the "very competitive" "competitive" "moderate" and "easy" fields to match into. I know I'm eager to see whats changed since those older books were published. :)
     
  18. NERad

    NERad Junior Member

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    While I agree with the lion share of what was said above, as a US student i think it makes a big difference to distinguish between overall unmatch rates (approx 33%!! which include IMGs etc..) and unmatch rates for US senior that are applying to only rads, rads/alternate, or rads as backup (but match in rads). What i'm really interested in is the %unmatched of these latter three categories. I have heard estimates ranging anywhere from 11% to 30%, personally i think it is about 20%, but that is the number that all US seniors should be concerned about. As of now, we only can estimate the number because NRMP doesn't break down the categories for us. We know that the unmatch rate for US seniors applying ONLY to rads was only 11.1% However, it is pretty clear that we can't extend this to all US seniors applying with rads as their first choice because less qualified candidates I would think would be more likely to use backups like IM. Anyways, if anyone has a good estimate of what the unmatched rate is collectively for those included in one of the following two categories is i would appreciate the info:

    1) US seniors applying only to rads
    2) US seniors applying to multiple specialties with rads as first choice
     
  19. Ratty

    Ratty Banned
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    Jiveturkey: In order to group the major specialties in categories of competitiveness, you need a set of criteria. These cut-offs can be one of many sets of numbers: fill rate prior to scramble, ratio of total # applicants to # available positions, or unmatch rates (of US-MD only, US/IMG/DO, etc.). Which, for you, do you think is the best indicator of competitiveness? Only then could I group the specialties. In my book, I was intending to group them by the unmatch rate for US seniors applying only to that specialty, e.g. 11.1% for rads, 6.5% for EM. I know this is contrary to a previous post in which I felt that total apps vs total slots was the best indicator. But, after thinking it over, I felt that since the # of US seniors applying only to that specialty represents the largest group of applicants in a given specialty, that unmatch rate is probably the most accurate. But, I'm open to suggestions. What do you guys think? It's hard to group specialties by level of competitiveness when there are so many different numbers.

    NERad: Here the numbers you are looking for. Source: NRMP 2002 match data
    -There were 920 total radiology positions. 762 were filled by US seniors, 139 by independents, and 19 unfilled (prior to scramble, of course).
    -A total of 1380 applicants applied to radiology (i.e. ranked at least 1 radiology program plus/minus another specialty). 938 US seniors + 442 independents = 1380.
    -There are 3 groups of US seniors who applied to radiology:
    1. Of the 938 US seniors, 396 ranked ONLY rads programs. Out of the 396, 352 matched, 44 did not, yielding an unmatch rate of 11.1% (for this group of rads-only seekers)
    2. Of the 938 US seniors, 507 ranked rads as their first choice, with some other alternate specialty/specialties also on their list. The NRMP did not provide the number of this group who matched/unmatched.
    3. Of the 938 US seniors, 35 ranked some other specialty first, with rads as a second choice. The NRMP did not provide the number of this group who matched/unmatched.

    It looks like we cannot calculate unmatch rates for the last two groups of US seniors.

    Another indicator of competitiveness could be the number of positions/US applicant. 920 slots for 938 US applicants is a pretty favorable ratio. Of course, that leaves out 442 well-qualified independent applicants. I just mention this statistic because the NRMP book actually has a separate table on it. It seems pretty worthless to me, because I really believe that in any specialty, even if you are a US senior, you shouldn't disregard the independent applicants. After all, 15% of rads programs were filled by them. That seems like a decent chunk to me.
     
  20. Voxel

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    I think the problem with "Independent Applicants" especially in radiology is that a majority (&gt;=50%) of them were DOs and a hand full of MD graduates who had take the year off. And these specific independent applicants did match and were true competitors for their fellow US senior MD students. In fact, I wager that if these applicants were not in the match many US seniors would not have been sweating this year about both whether and where they would match.

    I believe the best indicator would be US senior MD/US senior DOs/and US MDs who had taken the year off.
    The last group probably represents a very small minority of applicants but I did meet them on the interview trail.
     
  21. Ratty

    Ratty Banned
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    Voxel:

    The NRMP does provide the separate match numbers of independent applicants for radiology. Two problems with their data, though. 1) They only break down the numbers for IA's that matched, not the actual number of applicants. 2) They only provide this information for the 132 categorical radiology slots, not the 788 advanced slots. FOr some reason, they seem to do this a lot in their data, i.e. provide data on PGY-1 but not PGY-2.

    So here are the numbers: For the 132 categorical slots in rads....108 US seniors, 7 US grads, 1 US-IMG, 3 DOs, 1 Canadian, and 5 IMGs. 7 positions unfilled.

    As to how the numbers break down for the 788 PGY-2 matches, I guess that will remain a mystery. The only match numbers we've got are 654 US seniors, 122 independents, 12 unfilled. No other break-down.
     
  22. Voxel

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    I guess the mystery remains. It's hard to extrapolate the numbers for the combined programs started at PGY1 vs the advanced categorical positions starting at PGY2. For the 788 advanced radiology positions, I would wager that it would proportionally show more US MDs (not seniors) and DOs vs US seniors, US-IMG and non-US IMG. However, this is all speculation at this point.
     

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