top 10% on BASIC

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Pablo94

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Do fellowships give much weight to applicants being top 10% on BASIC exam?

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I don’t know if it is a significant weight, but most programs I interviewed at for cardiac commented on it during my interviews.
 
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Do fellowships give much weight to applicants being top 10% on BASIC exam?
Yes! In a process where it is difficult to distinguish between the top residents and middle of the road residents, it gives you a marker that does that. It also predicts successful passage of the advanced boards and possibly the subspecialty boards. Failure of advanced boards during fellowship year can be a huge stumbling block for the fellows because you cannot take orals or subspecialty boards until you pass advanced. Board pass rate in subspecialty boards (and by extension, primary boards) is a major factor in how programs get graded. Fellowship cohorts are small, so over a five year window, one failure can drop a cohort from 100% board pass rate to 80% board pass rate. So, a top 10% score on basic tells the PD that the person is good at taking standardized tests and is committed to the studying process. Can’t predict 100% of the time, but, in IMHO, it is one of the better markers or predictors that are available, especially considering that the test is pass / fail.
So, a top 10% achievement should be listed under Honors or somewhere prominent on the recipient’s CV.
 
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Are fellowships even difficult to get into these days? The strength of the generalist market has certainly hurt their appeal. They weren’t even that hard to get into 7 years ago when i graduated. Everyone I know who wanted one, got one.
 
Are fellowships even difficult to get into these days? The strength of the generalist market has certainly hurt their appeal. They weren’t even that hard to get into 7 years ago when i graduated. Everyone I know who wanted one, got one.
That is a great point. The competitiveness of fellowships tends to vary inversely with the job market. The job market is pretty good right now, so the number of people doing fellowships has decreased, as it always has over the past few decades. So now, it is about getting the fellowship that is your first or second choice as opposed to getting a fellowship at all. Pain is the only fellowship that has not seen a huge drop in competitiveness. Of the major fellowships, the level of competitiveness in my opinion is as follows (from least to most)
Critical care<pedi<cardiac<pain There are, of course, other fellowships such as OB, regional, palliative care etc. but those are significantly smaller overall numbers.
Fellowship directors in most of the areas have grave concerns over how they will fill their spots. When this happens, the strong programs typically still fill while the weaker programs really suffer and may not fill their spots.
 
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Fellowships primarily want someone who gives good head. None of the exams are that difficult to pass, and the majority of the faculty didn't even score in the top 10% themselves.
 
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The fellowships I’m involved with wouldn’t care.
Since not everyone who gets top 10% is planning to do a fellowship, the number of people who apply to your program who happen to be top 10% is likely low for almost all programs. So, it is very possible to still be a top fellowship candidate without having a top 10% score, however, I believe that, if you have a top 10% score, you will instantly be considered a top candidate, because you will likely be one of only a handful of applicants who may have that distinction. It is certainly not a requirement to achieve a fellowship, but it is a nice bonus to insure that you will be considered a top applicant and should be featured prominently in your CV. The current climate is that almost all who want a fellowship will get one. The only fellowship that would have some degree of uncertainty would be pain. Not sure how the current numbers stack up on that one, but the other big three are certainly a buyer's market in favor of the applicants.
 
...the majority of the faculty didn't even score in the top 10% themselves.
That has been true for a long while. The quality of applicants for residency keep going up each year and the candidates often have a much higher ceiling for academic prowess than the faculty who will teach them. Once those bright candidates get a few years of experience under their belts, they will all be great anesthesiologists and will likely be better than many of those who taught them. That has been my experience anyway. I am proud to work alongside so many people that are smarter than me. i have still seen a lot of things that they have never seen, so I still feel a bit useful, but as far as overall brain power, they likely have me beat much of the time (granted that I am spoiled because our residents score as one of the top cohorts in the country most years)
 
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I don’t know if it is a significant weight, but most programs I interviewed at for cardiac commented on it during my interviews.
Did they comment about it after they talk about HaRRRvard?
 
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I got the lower 10% on BASIC and all it got me was a long career as an anesthesiologist making millions of dollars.
 
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At PENNWE

Actually a few of my buddies trained at harvard hospitals and I've never heard them do this

But for people who went to Harvard for college it's definitely a thing
you mean your friends who “went to college at a small place in Boston?"
 
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