TOP Anesthesia Programs, Suggestions and Tips, HELP!

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2015
Reaction score
Hello, everyone. I am a third-year medical student interested in anesthesiology. I would like to go to one of the top anesthesia programs in California (top), though I will probably apply to all the programs in the west and east coasts. I am currently attending a mid-tier medical school on the east coast (top 50) with a USMLE STEP1 score of 255+ and Honors (surgery, OB/Gyn) and High Passes (Ped) from Clinical Clerkships - haven't received other clerkship grades yet. I have participated in clinical research while in med school and published a first author paper on one of the major journals. I also have extensive basic science research from NIH and have numerous publications, poster presentations, conference presentations, etc. Haven't taken STEP2 yet. I am interested in pain fellowship and hopefully stay in academics throughout my career. I would like to get into top programs in California, but as mentioned above, I would like to also apply very broadly. Here are some of my questions:

1. As a third-year medical student, what can I do to make myself more competitive to the top programs in the nation?

2. Any suggestions for the residency programs that will make you more prepared for future pain fellowship? (I am willing to go to a program if it's known for good pain fellowship). If somebody knows the list of programs that are good for pain fellowship, please let me know.

3. I have done a good amount of research but haven't done any specific research that is directly related to anesthesiology. Should I start thinking about doing research specifically for anesthesiology at this point?

4. Should I do away rotations in some of these top programs to increase my chances? I heard that if you have a good step score, it could actually hurt you.

5. I would really like to go to a program in Cali (Stanford, UCSF, etc.), but I do not have any regional attachments (eg. no family members). Do I still have chances matching into a program in California?

If you have any other suggestions or tips, please share!

Thanks in advance.

Members don't see this ad.
You have as good a chance as anyone but are you sure you don’t want ortho? All kidding aside, you’ll be a top applicant. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
Last edited:
Members don't see this ad :)
A good set of kneepads and the ability to finish a popsicle in under a minute will get you far in this world.
/end thread.
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users
In all seriousness, be nice, know how to get along with others, and work hard. Personality flaws are what's going to keep anyone from getting their preferred spot.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user