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Stupid question: how to read a match list

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WellWornLad

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Hello all,

Sorry to bug the elders here, but in an attempt to make a decision between med schools I've been perusing over their respective match lists. Unfortunately, I've come to realize that I don't really know what they mean.

I recognize the hospitals, but for the most part I don't know if hospital X has a great program in Y - I'm not too far out from researching med schools, I haven't even begun to look into residency programs.

Can anyone give any advice on how a lowly pre-med might interpret a match list? Should I look at the number of people who got into derm/rad, even if I don't care (right now) about derm/rad? Should I go through each list and research the respective program for each student in each school, or is there a more objective/efficient approach? Am I overemphasizing the importance of the match list?
 

notdeadyet

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I'm sure that someone can give you great advice on how to read a match list. To be honest, I think it's probably not the best selection tool for choosing a medical school.

School A has a handful of derm and rads matches. Is this good? Or were there a lot who self-selected for another specialty since they didn't have what it takes?

School B has a whole lot of folks in peds and family practice. Is this bad? Or did that particular class of that particular school attract a lot of students with those interests going in?

I personally think that the only way to look at a match list without leaping to too many conclusions is not to look into what specialty people placed, but where they placed. Did they get into good residencies for their field? But even with this, it's hard to know as a premed what the good programs are and there's soooo many decisions that go into folks heads when selecting their priorities (family, spouse, city, etc.) that even that's hard to do.

Choosing a med school should probably be more subjective. Use tuition as your yardstick then after that go with your gut. No med school will preclude you from a derm residency and none will guarantee you one. The education you get will largely be what you make of it. Save as much money as you can and go where you'll be happiest.
 

AZhopeful

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a lot of useful information...

agreed. I think the reason you're having trouble reading the match list is because it doesn't mean that much in the first place, or at least it can't really be compared to another school's list. Seeing that one school placed 3 out of 148 students into derm while another school placed 2 out of 96 isn't going to do much. If there are big discrepancies then sure it may say something, but I doubt there will be.
 

dizzyorange

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As I'm sure many others will say, the match list is almost of zero importance when comparing schools. Most MS4's say that geography and compatibility with existing residents play a far bigger role in ranking places than does prestige. In addition, the prestige of residency locations changes from time to time as chairmen come and go, and nobody really knows which places are the best except for people currently in that field.

The fact that one schools matches lots of surgeons into Columbia each year while another matches them into Iowa doesn't mean much. In certain fields of surgery, Iowa currently has a better reputation than Columbia, and in others, vice versa.

The one question you should ask is: does that school have a teaching residency program for the specialties you are interested in? Come end of third year, it's helpful to be able to do a "home" sub-internship before you head out on your road auditions. Of course, every school has a teaching internal medicine or general surgery program, but not every school has a plastics, opthal, or physical medicine teaching program.
 

Blesbok

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Don't use the match list for comparing schools.

Look at two things IMO:

Average step 1 score (which can be easily altered by your dedication to school regardless of location)
Clinical experience as a student (Less easily altered as some schools don't allow students to do anything and some let them do open heart surgery on the first day)
 

lord_jeebus

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Show the match list to a 4th year student, see if they get jealous
 

lord_jeebus

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I think that a high # of peds, FM, and psych matches may suggest that a school has a relatively low cost of attendance. Of course it is easier and better to look at your financial aid offer and do some math.
 

Law2Doc

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Can anyone give any advice on how a lowly pre-med might interpret a match list? Should I look at the number of people who got into derm/rad, even if I don't care (right now) about derm/rad? Should I go through each list and research the respective program for each student in each school, or is there a more objective/efficient approach? Am I overemphasizing the importance of the match list?

I'm not sure this really belongs in allo -- this same question gets asked in pre-allo fairly regularly and you can find my and other's comments there if you do a search. The short answer is you cannot interpret a match list usefully as a premed. You don't know what specialty you are interested in. You don't know what places are good in which specialty. Some of the "brand name" places are not the best in many specialties, and which programs are good versus malignant is very much a word of mouth thing. You don't know if the people on a given list got their first choice or their tenth. You don't know whether a school has no one going into derm because no one was competitive or because no one wanted it. You have to realize that once you get to that stage, people are choosing careers they want to do, not the objectively most prestigious path they can get. So the top student in a class might pick IM because he likes IM, even though he could have done derm, plastics, ortho. Also a school might have a lot of people go into eg peds because it perhaps has a strong peds program and does a really good job of selling its students on peds, not because that's all they could get. So you cannot possible interpret a match list usefully. Most of the conclusions you will draw counting competitive specialties or Ivies will be speculative and in many cases wrong.
I note that where you match has more to do with you than the school itself. Any good allo school is going to be an adequate launch pad for any specialty. The real work is going to be up to you.

So I suggest you find other reasons to select a med school. This is not one you can get a reasonable handle on.
 

BrainBuff

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Brown Alpert Med School Match 2008

By Programs

Brown Alpert Medical School – 15
Harvard University MGH – 9
UCLA - 5
UCSF - 3
Yale - 2
U of Penn - 2
Stanford – 2
Cornell U - 2
Johns Hopkins - 2
Duke U – 2
Northwestern - 2
Albert Einstein College of Medicine - 2
U of Michigan - 2
U of Pittsburg - 2
U of Virginia - 2
U of Maryland - 2
U of Massachussetts - 2
U of Washington – 2
Oregon Health Sciences - 2
U of Miami -2
Tuffts – 2
Univ of Virginia - 1
Univ of Vermont -1
Robert W Johnson NJ - 1
NYU - 1
BU- 1
Jefferson – 1
Ohio State – 1
U Chapel Hill – 1
U California Davis – 1
U New Mexico - 1

By Specialty

Urology - 2
IM - 14
Family Practice – 6
Psychiatry- 3
Opthalmology - 2
Surgery - 3
Radiology 4
Rad Oncology – 1
Pediatrics - 9
Emergency Medicine – 5
OB GYN - 4
Pathology – 3
Dermatology – 1
Plastics – 1
Ortho -2
Anesthesia – 1
Neurology - 1


It seems to be that Brown med students did awesome in the match...
 

DoctorPardi

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I moved this to Pre-Allo largely based on Law2Doc's comments.

Ranking medical schools by their match list would two main things:
1) An understanding of the most difficult specialties
2) Which programs are very competitive

First the specialty du jour changes frequently, while of course several of them remain competitive for years.

Second some name brand schools are not the most competitive programs and may be very misleading. If you saw a person going to do Emergency Medicine at an Ivy League related institution it may not say anything about the program's competitiveness that it's undergrad university is highly competitive, or even that it's medical school is highly competitive.

Comparing 2 or 3 school's match lists would be an extremely difficult task and require you to have knowledge that you probably can not obtain through any sort of regulr research.

So in short, base your decision for medical school on things like location, cost, curriculum etc. and do not look at a match list for a few years.
 

pseudoknot

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As someone said in another of these threads (Blade28 maybe?), if you go to a gym where everyone else is ripped, that doesn't mean you automatically will get ripped just cause you go there. That's why you shouldn't worry about match lists or Step I scores.

If I were choosing again, I'd go by cost, location, exam schedule, and clinical training (which is also hard to assess before getting there).

edit: found it

Nope. There can be many factors in a school's average Step 1 scores.

*Great curriculum
*Smart, motivated students - perhaps due to tough admissions/selection process
*3 months off before MS-III year - thus more time to study
*Less leniency for struggling students so they drop out or are kicked out earlier
*Failure to publish failing scores (thus only averaging the passing scores - this has been done before)
*Rich students who can afford to take prep classes

A school's average Step 1 score shouldn't be your #1 criteria for choosing where to attend.



Outstanding point.

It's kind of like picking a gym based on how many fit, buff people are there working out. Do you have a chance to also become fit and buff? Sure. Do gyms with lots of fit, buff people mean there's something inherently "superior" about that gym? Not necessarily.
 

WellWornLad

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Thanks everyone for your input. I'm sorry if I placed this in the wrong forum, but I felt that current med students were much more equipped to offer an opinion than the pre-meds. Honestly, I could ask the best way to go about a live heart transplant in that forum and get a couple of answers in earnest.
 

Bond8204

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These guys are giving you caveats that are true, but there are schools that consistently match students into competitive specialties at prestigious schools. I'd say one match list isn't valuable to look at--reading their match lists over the past 4 years is, though. For example, some school might consistently put many students into an area or school that you're interested in doing residency at.
 

pseudoknot

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These guys are giving you caveats that are true, but there are schools that consistently match students into competitive specialties at prestigious schools. I'd say one match list isn't valuable to look at--reading their match lists over the past 4 years is, though. For example, some school might consistently put many students into an area or school that you're interested in doing residency at.

Selection bias.
 

Bond8204

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Selection bias.

??

Edit: I'm not saying it's a great indicator of a great med school. But I'd definitely argue that match lists aren't worthless--especially if you can look at them over 4 years.

I'm a little biased as I'm probably going the DO route, and gaining residency spots tends to be a touchier issue there.
 

pseudoknot

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What I mean by selection bias is that in general, schools that are harder to get into have pools of students who are probably smarter and/or more motivated on average. Those students are probably going to do well no matter where they go. So even if students from school X consistently do better than those from school Y, however you can measure "better," it probably has more to do with the students than the school.
 

Bond8204

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Well and good. But sometimes schools are similar in difficulty to get into, prestige, average MCAT's etc. For the total sake of argument, let's say I got into U of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola Stritch, and Rush and I wanted to practice emergency medicine in Chicago. Let's say Rush put several students each year into University of Chicago's emergency medicine program over 4 years. Or that Loyola consistently matches students into its own surgery program and I'm interested in that. I think you can lightly pick up connections/trends a school has when looking at several matchlists over years.

Obviously you disagree with me, though I guess. Ultimately, like I said at the beginning, the caveats of a match lists are true--it all depends on how hard you work yourself etc etc blah blah.
 

pseudoknot

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Well and good. But sometimes schools are similar in difficulty to get into, prestige, average MCAT's etc. For the total sake of argument, let's say I got into U of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola Stritch, and Rush and I wanted to practice emergency medicine in Chicago. Let's say Rush put several students each year into University of Chicago's emergency medicine program over 4 years. Or that Loyola consistently matches students into its own surgery program and I'm interested in that. I think you can lightly pick up connections/trends a school has when looking at several matchlists over years.

Obviously you disagree with me, though I guess. Ultimately, like I said at the beginning, the caveats of a match lists are true--it all depends on how hard you work yourself etc etc blah blah.
Well, if you're talking about two schools that are so close in other respects that you can't decide, match lists are just as good a tiebreaker as anything else. I just hate to see people saying "oh, I love this school's city, it's way cheaper, blahblahblah, but that other school is ranked 20 spots higher by US News, should I go there?"
 
B

Blade28

As someone said in another of these threads (Blade28 maybe?), if you go to a gym where everyone else is ripped, that doesn't mean you automatically will get ripped just cause you go there. That's why you shouldn't worry about match lists or Step I scores.

Yup, that was me. Good memory! :thumbup:
 
N

njbmd

Let's say Rush put several students each year into University of Chicago's emergency medicine program over 4 years. Or that Loyola consistently matches students into its own surgery program and I'm interested in that. I think you can lightly pick up connections/trends a school has when looking at several matchlists over years.

Obviously you disagree with me, though I guess. Ultimately, like I said at the beginning, the caveats of a match lists are true--it all depends on how hard you work yourself etc etc blah blah.

Medical schools do not "put" students in residency programs. The students themselves apply for particular residency programs and achieve a match by their competitiveness versus other students who are applying to the same program. Any medical student from any medical school in this country can match into a competitive residency and in a competitive location provided they do well in their studies and on their boards. This is why one needs to go to the school where they believe that they can perform their best because matching is an individual process.

If you are a top student, you don't NEED connections. If you are marginal, you may get a boost by having a connection but a person who is a top performer at another school; who does a rotation at your school will get that same connection and trump you anyway because of their high performance. I can tell you that my AOA opened more doors than anything else when I was applying for residency.

Match lists of those who have graduated before you are practically worthless.
 

Bond8204

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Medical schools do not "put" students in residency programs. The students themselves apply for particular residency programs and achieve a match by their competitiveness versus other students who are applying to the same program. Any medical student from any medical school in this country can match into a competitive residency and in a competitive location provided they do well in their studies and on their boards. This is why one needs to go to the school where they believe that they can perform their best because matching is an individual process.

If you are a top student, you don't NEED connections. If you are marginal, you may get a boost by having a connection but a person who is a top performer at another school; who does a rotation at your school will get that same connection and trump you anyway because of their high performance. I can tell you that my AOA opened more doors than anything else when I was applying for residency.

Match lists of those who have graduated before you are practically worthless.

Whatever. This argument is becoming stupid. I think comparing them over years is a mildly effective tool at comparing similar schools. You ****ing disagree. Whoopdy doo.
 

notdeadyet

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Look at two things IMO:

Average step 1 score (which can be easily altered by your dedication to school regardless of location)
Clinical experience as a student (Less easily altered as some schools don't allow students to do anything and some let them do open heart surgery on the first day)
I don't really give a school's average step 1 score all that much weight. Again, step 1 performance is probably 90% student and 10% curriculum. A school with a great step 1 average had a bunch of bright students. That's all.

Besides which, many schools don't release their step 1 averages. This isn't necessarily indicating that they did poorly. Lots of great schools don't list step 1 averages, because of the fact that it varies considerably year to year based on the talent pool of each particular class, and no school wants students looking and saying, "Wow, this school's step 1 went down this year... hmm....". I don't think it's a particularly useful metric.

I agree with you on the clinical experience issue. I think students settle too much for the USN&WR/MSAR entry of date of first clinical experience, which tells you little. There are schools out there that have you volunteer in the hospital from day one then hardly touch a patient for two years; these schools then brag that clinical experience starts from the first day.

I think meaningful clinical experience throughout the first two years is valuable, but you have to dig a bit at each school to get the full picture.
 

BrainBuff

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As someone said in another of these threads (Blade28 maybe?), if you go to a gym where everyone else is ripped, that doesn't mean you automatically will get ripped just cause you go there. That's why you shouldn't worry about match lists or Step I scores.

This i a very poor analogy. If you go to a gym where everyone is ripped, you are very likely to be motivated and work as hard to become ripped yourself. If you attend a school that is sending students to top residencies and/or programs, then it is very likely that you are going to be part of the same process that allows the students to be highly competitive.

I do not know how anyone can say that all you have to do is be GOOD yourself and that connections, reputations,etc do not matter to get yo into certain places. In what planet is that?!

Just like some high schools are well known for sending a large number students to competitive universities, top universities will help YOU to get into better graduate schools, law and medicine programs. All you have to do is look at the stats, this should not be an argument.
 

notdeadyet

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If you go to a gym where everyone is ripped, you are very likely to be motivated and work as hard to become ripped yourself.
Actually, Blade's analogy is fine. Yours falls apart.

In this whole gym analogy, med students are atheletes (and nearly only in this gym analogy). You take an athelete and they don't need to look at people who are ripped to get motivated. This is their job.

If you need to be surrounded by studiers to motivate you to study, odds are you didn't make it to medical school. Even if you did, if you can't motivate yourself, you're probably not bound for a competitive specialty anyway.
If you attend a school that is sending students to top residencies and/or programs, then it is very likely that you are going to be part of the same process that allows the students to be highly competitive.
What "process"? There's no special sauce for this.

Studying hard to learn your material --> Doing great on the step 1 --> Doing great on rotations--> Getting great SLORs. Ta da! You'll get a great residency.

You can do this at pretty much any school. If you are pining for a particularly competitve residency slot, do an audition rotation there and do great.
I do not know how anyone can say that all you have to do is be GOOD yourself and that connections, reputations,etc do not matter to get yo into certain places. In what planet is that?!
I haven't seen too many match lists that didn't show some of their grads going to great residencies. The applicant gets the residency slot, not the school. Go to Harvard and get a ho-hum step 1, flake on your rotations and get lukewarm SLORs and you will see yourself get outclassed by talented/motivated students at "lesser" schools every day of the week.

But that doesn't happen much, because Harvard tends not to attract these kinds of students. Which gets back to why match lists aren't much use. It's indicative of the students, not the school.

Planet earth, btw...
 

LadyWolverine

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I read my match list while sittin on the potty.

There's no wrong way to read a match list.
 

Law2Doc

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I read my match list while sittin on the potty.

There's no wrong way to read a match list.

I would argue that the match list can serve a much more valuable purpose in your situation, should you run out of TP.

The match lists simply don't tell folks what they want to know. You don't know what programs are good in what specialties, so seeing someone match into X specialty at Y hospital doesn't get to the quality of the match. For all you know Y hospital is the dregs of that particular field (even if Y is affiliated with a brand name med school -- there are many examples of this). As an undergrad how the heck do you know what places are good in IM, OB, Peds, Ortho, Optho, Rads, Gas, bearing in mind that the (word of mouth) rankings will be dramatically different for each of these. Further, you don't know what people wanted, only what they got. So the fact that someone matched into IM at Penn may sound great until you find out he really wanted ortho. Or you don't know whether a shortage of derm matches might mean schools are actually doing a nice job of getting people excited about other fields.
It doesn't matter how many years of match lists you look at -- more out of context data doesn't really help you, it confounds. Instead of not knowing who was shooting for what in one class, you now don't know who was shooting for what in multiple classes. Are you looking at a school that always places a dozen people into ortho, or a school that only places 10% of the folks who want ortho into ortho?

As mentioned above, you can get to any residency from pretty much any med school -- the ability is going to be based on your performance, not the schools. So the match lists are going to be a waste of effort and not really something I would invest much brainpower analyzing.
 

BrainBuff

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notdeadyet, I completely disagree with you and you are making too many assumptions and "over" interpreting the analogy which makes your point invalid. My analogy stands strong, however you make a completely wrong argument and interpretation.

I think mistakes like yours, make debating online very difficult and endless. Just to clarify:

1- You equate going to a gym with being an athlete. You are wrong. Most people go to gyms to get in SHAPE, lose weight, feel better or become "ripped". That does not make them athletes. You never see a "fat" person with a "fat" trainer. In fact, trainers that do not look good , have less clients ( plenty of articles on that ) Motivation is definitely a factor. The same in schools.

2-If you are a top student, you don't NEED connections Wrong, in plane earth, connections are always handy. You have "two top" students competing for the same position and then a member of the Board of Trustees ( or a Dean, or a former Chairman, or .....) makes a phone call in favor of one of them: Who do you think gets admitted? Are you that idealist?

3-. Which gets back to why match lists aren't much use. It's indicative of the students, not the school. Not completely accurate either.

U Florida traditionally had the second highest number of National Merit Finalists, after Harvard. Would you agree that this sample represents a similar group of "highly motivated, top academically "athletic" students? Well, guess what. Harvard does much better placing their graduates into top graduate programs than Florida does. Because it 's Harvard. The prestige, the connections, the SCHOOL, makes a difference.

I do not believe than anyone here is trying to suggest that match lists are "invaluable" in making a selection. Of course they are not. Nevertheless, to say that they do not reflect to some degree the standing of a school is grossly inaccurate. I guess, we would need to see a tremendous fluctuation in a specific school from year to year to be able to say that. If one looks at "patterns", through the years, you can find a certain degree of consistency, or a direction in one way or the other.
 

Long Dong

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2-If you are a top student, you don't NEED connections Wrong, in plane earth, connections are always handy. You have "two top" students competing for the same position and then a member of the Board of Trustees ( or a Dean, or a former Chairman, or .....) makes a phone call in favor of one of them: Who do you think gets admitted? Are you that idealist?

Word, after you get past the cut off who you know matters way more then what you know. This is just a rule of life.
 

notdeadyet

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Most people go to gyms to get in SHAPE, lose weight, feel better or become "ripped". That does not make them athletes.
You misunderstand. In using Blade's analogy, med students are not Joe Shmoe working out in the gym. They are atheletes. They don't need someone to tell them how to do crunches (study) nor have someone hollar "five more reps" (motivate).
You never see a "fat" person with a "fat" trainer. In fact, trainers that do not look good , have less clients ( plenty of articles on that )
Woah. I think I can safely say that this is the first time anyone has quoted references to back an analogy. You take this seriously. I'll go easy on analogies here.
Motivation is definitely a factor. The same in schools.
Interesting. Your experience is definitely different from mine. At my school, I don't see folks striving to get past the next guy (in fact, it's P/F; there is no next guy). Folks work hard because it's how they were raised, trained and how they think. The don't need motivation from professors or anyone else. They are the athelete at the gym who quietly works out hard without paying the personal trainer.

And with that, I'll officially drop off the analogy express. You don't have to agree, I just wanted to make sure you understood what I was talking about. I guess I didn't explain the athelete analogy well the first go round.
 

notdeadyet

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2-If you are a top student, you don't NEED connections Wrong, in plane earth, connections are always handy. You have "two top" students competing for the same position and then a member of the Board of Trustees ( or a Dean, or a former Chairman, or .....) makes a phone call in favor of one of them: Who do you think gets admitted? Are you that idealist?
What's your background, Brain? I'm not criticizing, I'm just curious, because your experience seems to be quite different than mine and from most folks I've talked to.

At my school, all top students seemed to get great residencies. This seemed to be the case at most folks I've talked to at other schools. Maybe it's different at yours, but it's not the experience I've had.

Also, I think you're oversimplifying the way connections play out. A phone call from a high up at Harvard to a residency director would be impressive, but not as impressive as a phone call from a midwest high up that the residency director knows personally, or who knows the applicant better. Residency directors place a lot more sway in people they know personally than get all starry-eyed over a school's USN&WR ratings.

Harvard folks get great residencies because they were Harvard callibre going in. If you put a guy like me in there, I wouldn't get dragged to the top somehow. If Harvard's overall match list seems amazing, I wouldn't presume it's because the Dean at Harvard spends his day making phone calls begging residency directors to take his grads; it's because Harvard med students are a carefull screened, ambitious and extremely talented bunch. Most of them would get killer residencies coming out of just about anywhere.
 

notdeadyet

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U Florida traditionally had the second highest number of National Merit Finalists, after Harvard. Would you agree that this sample represents a similar group of "highly motivated, top academically "athletic" students?
Probably not. I would probably be hesitant to use it as a yardstick to indicate that University of Florida has the academically top students in the country after Harvard.

Maybe I'm wrong, but if UF really has the second best students in the country, then hats off to the marketing teams of Yale, Princeton, etc who seem to have a much better reputation in that regard.
Well, guess what. Harvard does much better placing their graduates into top graduate programs than Florida does. Because it 's Harvard. The prestige, the connections, the SCHOOL, makes a difference.
National Merit Finalist aside, would you consider your average Florida student to be comparable to your average Harvard student? Probably not. And how a school places their graduates as a whole is a lot more representative of their class as a whole, not the top students.

But I wouldn't go too far on that road, because comparing undergrads getting into grad school and med students getting in to residency programs are really apples and orangs.

Take an applicant from a mid tier school with a killer Step 1 and evals. Have him dazzle on an audition rotation and then apply to a competitive residency program. He'll knock out a lesser student from a higher ranked school every time.

Anyway, have fun with the match lists. I find them entertaining to read. But I really wouldn't "study" them any more than I would USN&WR rankings. Entertaining but looking at one too hard starts to resemble reading tea leaves.
 

dbhvt

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Can anyone give any advice on how a lowly pre-med might interpret a match list? Should I look at the number of people who got into derm/rad, even if I don't care (right now) about derm/rad? Should I go through each list and research the respective program for each student in each school, or is there a more objective/efficient approach? Am I overemphasizing the importance of the match list?

Let me summarize all previous posts: Match lists aren't really that useful.

Yet, for some reason, many medical schools make their match lists available to prospective students in order to provide you with information about their school. Really it's just a waste of tree's and pixels. But, since you have the information, let me see if I can help you make sense of it.

1) Look at the overall geographic and specialty distribution. If the match list seems weighted toward surgical subspecialties, that's the kind of student that the school tends to attract/train/what have you (the chicken/egg argument is irrelevant). If the match list seems weighted toward particular geographic areas, you can make a similar assumption. This information does not necessarily tell you how 'good' the school is, but it certainly tells you something.

2) Look at where the Internal Medicine and General Surgery matches are. How do you know how good these programs are? You just can't. You're too young. Something magical happens to you when you become a 4th year. All of a sudden you get this special knowledge as to what programs are good and what programs are bad. Just kidding. Go here: http://www.facs.org/residencysearch/search/search.html
and you'll get an idea of the strengths of different surgery programs. I'm sure if you're clever, you'll find something similar for Internal Medicine.

3) Does any of this matter a lick if you're only interested in community practice? Nope.
 
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45408

What's your background, Brain? I'm not criticizing, I'm just curious, because your experience seems to be quite different than mine and from most folks I've talked to.
Judging from the rest of his posts, I think he's a senior at Troll State University. Moderators may be intrigued.
 

BrainBuff

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Judging from the rest of his posts, I think he's a senior at Troll State University. Moderators may be intrigued.

Dude, you certainly do not make a good judge at all. Keep prowling.

notdeadyet, I see what you mean and it seems that we have had different experiences. Your analysis about the top schools is shared by some people in these forums but I do not see it that way.

A phone call from a high up at Harvard to a residency director would be impressive, but not as impressive as a phone call from a midwest high up that the residency director knows personally, or who knows the applicant better. Residency directors place a lot more sway in people they know personally than get all starry-eyed over a school's USN&WR ratings.

How would you know? You have no way of knowing. Like someone said earlier, connections and influence are just a fact of life. I do not have that "trust" in the system which you seem to have.

A phone call from "someone", recently got a very well connected student into the incoming med school class at UF. The Admission Committee recommended against the admission and it was overruled by the Dean ( who got the "phone call") The student had not taken the MCAT and submitted his application weeks after the deadline.

Outrageous, blatant and bold, right?
 

notdeadyet

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Judging from the rest of his posts, I think he's a senior at Troll State University. Moderators may be intrigued.
Troll State. I like it. I might steal that one, Prowler... And don't take him personally, BrainBuff. People get their antennae wiggling whenever folks have a tendency of spouting off a whole bunch of info as gospel without letting you know if they're a 17yo in high school or an attending at a hospital.
How would you know? You have no way of knowing.
Actually, have some conversations with a wide variety of residency directors and ask them if what they value more: an SLOR from a Harvard faculty member they don't know for a student they've never met, or an SLOR from a colleague they know pretty well for a student whose dazzled at an audition. You'll find this obsession with ranking in USN&WR doesn't carry as much weight.

Step 1's are more about the individual than the school. Match lists are more about the individual than the school. Quality of Doctor is much more about the individual than the school. The special sauce doesn't exist.
Like someone said earlier, connections and influence are just a fact of life. I do not have that "trust" in the system which you seem to have.
How much exposure to the system do you have, BrainBuff? I think you see the whole residency selection process as much more complicated than it is.

Think of it as a job interview. At the end of the day, you have a bunch of competitive/qualified people applying for a job. Now, in most fields, folks will look at where you went to school as a conversational piece. They'll also do it because there are some truly awful undergraduate colleges out there. Not so with medical school.

Residency directors will look at your Step 1's, your LORs, how well you inteview, and your clinical rotations. Your school of graduation is very very low on the list. This comes from residency directors I've met and from most books out on the subject. This is not fiction. Don't assume residency directors think like premeds and anxiously await each year's USN&WR to choose which applicants are "better". You go with what you know and the referral network has a lot more to it than ranking. That's not just true of medicine, that's true outside academia as well.
The press coverage and public outrage about the UF incident suggests that it was a very exceptional case.
Yeah, the UF thing sounded pretty nasty. If you're from Florida, BrainBuff, I can see how this might curdle your milk. That would definitely poison me to things if I was down there checking the mailbox in a panic.
 
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45408

Dude, you certainly do not make a good judge at all. Keep prowling.
Don't hate because I call a spade a spade, even if the others haven't recognized it yet. It's only a matter of time before you've got a post hold or probationary account.

Keep posting gems like these
OK. Let's just look at this one one more time. Trust... YOU? Why would ANY ONE trust YOU??!! This is one of the most *****ed up lines that frequently you come across in these forums...

There's dying and there's dying. Trust me.

Yep, and I am dying of:laugh:

What an .....! How dare you pretend to KNOW what people MEAN? Yoou are really special, aren't you...?
 
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