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Unofficial WAMC Thread Psych residency 2021

salemstein

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Didn’t see one made yet so here it is. Need some advice on how many programs to apply to and where.

A bit about myself- I’m a latecomer to psych, didn’t really get interested until my psych rotation this year. I did try to squeeze in some psych related volunteering but that’s been disrupted by COVID.

Stats:
School- midtier MD on the East Coast
STEP 1- low 220s
STEP 2 CK- low 230s
CS: haha
Grades- mostly Ps (like more than half of every rotation gets Ps at my school), HP in psych.
Research- I was going to do a presentation but kinda got shafted by COVID, have a paper in the pipeline but not sure if it’ll be published by ERAS. They’re both unrelated to psych.
Letters: Have one psych LoR so far and maybe a peds one if that counts. I’m assuming they’re good letters. I may be able to get another psych letter by app time.
Other stuff- The usual volunteering, leader of one club, pretty standard stuff
Red flags: Latecomer to psych? Grades? Scores? Passed everything and no repeats

I was thinking of focusing my app on the NE since that’s my region, but I am open to other areas (my dad lives in OH and I went to high school there, does that count me as midwest as well?). I keep hearing how psych is regionally biased. Also, everyone beating the “psych is super competitive” dead horse is making me a bit nervous. Just want you guys’ two cents on where I’m competitive at or if I need a backup.

Thanks!
 
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Taddy Mason

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Didn’t see one made yet so here it is. Need some advice on how many programs to apply to and where.

A bit about myself- I’m a latecomer to psych, didn’t really get interested until my psych rotation this year. I did try to squeeze in some psych related volunteering but that’s been disrupted by COVID.

Stats:
School- midtier MD on the East Coast
STEP 1- low 220s
STEP 2 CK- low 230s
CS: haha
Grades- mostly Ps (like more than half of every rotation gets Ps at my school), HP in psych.
Research- I was going to do a presentation but kinda got shafted by COVID, have a paper in the pipeline but not sure if it’ll be published by ERAS. They’re both unrelated to psych.
Letters: Have one psych LoR so far and maybe a peds one if that counts. I’m assuming they’re good letters. I may be able to get another psych letter by app time.
Other stuff- The usual volunteering, leader of one club, pretty standard stuff
Red flags: Latecomer to psych? Grades? Scores? Passed everything and no repeats

I was thinking of focusing my app on the NE since that’s my region, but I am open to other areas (my dad lives in OH and I went to high school there, does that count me as midwest as well?). I keep hearing how psych is regionally biased. Also, everyone beating the “psych is super competitive” dead horse is making me a bit nervous. Just want you guys’ two cents on where I’m competitive at or if I need a backup.

Thanks!
Only limit programs regionally based on your preference for being in that region. This isn’t like applying to med school.
 

MacDonaldTriad

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If you went to a real medical school and didn't fail anything and you are willing to go to the midWest, you should be OK. Apply to the NE, hit some reach places just to see what you can do, but put in some more realistic places and you will be fine. There are a lot more places to train than there are medical schools so decide where and blanket those.
 
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Robotfishbrain

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I would love to get some thoughts on my app. I'm non-traditional who did a psych undergrad and have 10 years of research in the field under my belt. I would really like to go to an academic program, but my level 1 might drag me down.

Stats:
School- Midwest DO
COMLEX 1- 49x
STEP 2 CK- Mid 230s, COMLEX 2 - 55x

Grades- A couple of honors in family med, anesthesia, and hospice rotation (required at my school). Pass in everything else.
Research- 11 publications in neuropsych and psychiatry, 3-4 first author. 4 book chapters. Number of presentations, etc.
Letters: Have one letter from Director of psych at my hospital, one from IM, and one from a research neuropsych that I worked with for over 6 years. Doing 1 away rotation in September hoping to get another psych letter from there.
Other stuff- 3 Volunteering + some clubs. Did some health-access lobbying work that I was involved with for two years
Red flags: DO, no step 1 (due to COVID my step 1 was cancelled 3 times and was cutting it too close to my step 2 dedicated)

I'm applying to MI, OH, IN, KS, and NE. I would love to go somewhere with a neuropsych fellowship OR at least an academic environment, but I know my COMLEX lvl 1 will limit me. Any insight here would be helpful.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
 
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asdf123g

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Didn’t see one made yet so here it is. Need some advice on how many programs to apply to and where.

A bit about myself- I’m a latecomer to psych, didn’t really get interested until my psych rotation this year. I did try to squeeze in some psych related volunteering but that’s been disrupted by COVID.

Stats:
School- midtier MD on the East Coast
STEP 1- low 220s
STEP 2 CK- low 230s
CS: haha
Grades- mostly Ps (like more than half of every rotation gets Ps at my school), HP in psych.
Research- I was going to do a presentation but kinda got shafted by COVID, have a paper in the pipeline but not sure if it’ll be published by ERAS. They’re both unrelated to psych.
Letters: Have one psych LoR so far and maybe a peds one if that counts. I’m assuming they’re good letters. I may be able to get another psych letter by app time.
Other stuff- The usual volunteering, leader of one club, pretty standard stuff
Red flags: Latecomer to psych? Grades? Scores? Passed everything and no repeats

I was thinking of focusing my app on the NE since that’s my region, but I am open to other areas (my dad lives in OH and I went to high school there, does that count me as midwest as well?). I keep hearing how psych is regionally biased. Also, everyone beating the “psych is super competitive” dead horse is making me a bit nervous. Just want you guys’ two cents on where I’m competitive at or if I need a backup.

Thanks!
I think you're fine, youre an MD, you will get a lot of interviews. Maybe just see if you can secure more psychiatry LOR's. Other than that I think you're overstressing. I routinely ran into average MDs with no connections to areas getting IIs to places in my region where I had familial connections. I think its harder now to get into a strong program and if you are a DO.

I would love to get some thoughts on my app. I'm non-traditional who did a psych undergrad and have 10 years of research in the field under my belt. I would really like to go to an academic program, but my level 1 might drag me down.

Stats:
School- Midwest DO
COMLEX 1- 49x
STEP 2 CK- Mid 230s, COMLEX 2 - 55x

Grades- A couple of honors in family med, anesthesia, and hospice rotation (required at my school). Pass in everything else.
Research- 11 publications in neuropsych and psychiatry, 3-4 first author. 4 book chapters. Number of presentations, etc.
Letters: Have one letter from Director of psych at my hospital, one from IM, and one from a research neuropsych that I worked with for over 6 years. Doing 1 away rotation in September hoping to get another psych letter from there.
Other stuff- 3 Volunteering + some clubs. Did some health-access lobbying work that I was involved with for two years
Red flags: DO, no step 1 (due to COVID my step 1 was cancelled 3 times and was cutting it too close to my step 2 dedicated)

I'm applying to MI, OH, IN, KS, and NE. I would love to go somewhere with a neuropsych fellowship OR at least an academic environment, but I know my COMLEX lvl 1 will limit me. Any insight here would be helpful.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
I know someone who got into a strong program with COMLEX only. They did a audition there though and had a pretty significant connection. My advice to you is to do as many audition rotations as you can, trust me, you'll thank me later.
 
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Robotfishbrain

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I know someone who got into a strong program with COMLEX only. They did a audition there though and had a pretty significant connection. My advice to you is to do as many audition rotations as you can, trust me, you'll thank me later.

Thank you for your help. Unfortunately with COVID the entire state's medical board has suggested only 1 audition this season and only in-state. All med schools are enforcing this so I think I might be at a disadvantage due to this.
 

asdf123g

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Thank you for your help. Unfortunately with COVID the entire state's medical board has suggested only 1 audition this season and only in-state. All med schools are enforcing this so I think I might be at a disadvantage due to this.
That is terrible for you as a DO. My only advice then is to balance between Auditioning A) where you want to go most and B) Where you think you can get the best LOR and which place will give you the most connections to get more interview invites to other places through the people you work with. Its not as meritocratic a process as I'd like but take advantage of networking since you're already unfairly disadvantaged as a DO.
 

Robotfishbrain

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That is terrible for you as a DO. My only advice then is to balance between Auditioning A) where you want to go most and B) Where you think you can get the best LOR and which place will give you the most connections to get more interview invites to other places through the people you work with. Its not as meritocratic a process as I'd like but take advantage of networking since you're already unfairly disadvantaged as a DO.

I had 4 aways scheduled, 3 of them were cancelled by the host institutions due to this policy. The only thing I have going for me in this regard is that all the schools I'm interested in are not accepting any visiting students this cycle, and the ones in my home state look favorably at graduates from my school. We'll see how this all shakes out, but I know not doing face-to-face rotations will hurt me.
 

kopftonmd

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I had 4 aways scheduled, 3 of them were cancelled by the host institutions due to this policy. The only thing I have going for me in this regard is that all the schools I'm interested in are not accepting any visiting students this cycle, and the ones in my home state look favorably at graduates from my school. We'll see how this all shakes out, but I know not doing face-to-face rotations will hurt me.

I don't really have any wisdom to offer, but I will be sending you good luck wishes during the app cycle! It's been tough to watch all of the fourth years I know struggle with all of these changes, and it's doubly hard for DO students. Best of luck moving forward.
 
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Transistor

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I didn't want to make a separate thread on this, but what the applicant profile look like for those who match into a prestigious specialty in the Northeast, or in California (as I'll be couples matching)? I attend what's considered a "low-tier" MD school, and looking at the resident profiles of such programs they come from prestigious institutions. Specific metrics I'm thinking include Step scores, research, types of ECs, AOA/GHHS, etc.
 

asdf123g

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I didn't want to make a separate thread on this, but what the applicant profile look like for those who match into a prestigious specialty in the Northeast, or in California (as I'll be couples matching)? I attend what's considered a "low-tier" MD school, and looking at the resident profiles of such programs they come from prestigious institutions. Specific metrics I'm thinking include Step scores, research, types of ECs, AOA/GHHS, etc.
I can't give you an absolute answer and this is just an opinion but the fact you are an MD helps a lot. I get the impression a lot of the ivory tower programs don't want to dilute the clout by having no-name MD's or (too many?) DO's. Better have the bottom of the class harvard student than the rockstar DO on the public roster. No one outside that programs faculty would know better and the latter may only dilute the prestige of the program. I think you have a leg up over the DO for sure FWIW. I recall meeting a student from a well-known MD program and they were a very humble person. Average application, but they conceded the invites they were getting from top programs were based on their school being prestigious (and that they were an MD).

I don't think stats and stuff matter as much in psych. For a person like you (and a DO or IMG), what will help you are auditions, but also who you know and your connections. The student who slaved away to climb the ladder from the bottom will not be rewarded as generously as the one who knew people. Do not underestimate the value of networking.

FWIW, in a non-psych specialty, I know someone who went to a low-tier new MD school and got into a top 10 program in a stat competitive specialty.
 
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brazilianpsych

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I`m curious about how my application will go. I got 226 on STEP 1, STEP 2 CS pass and will take CK soon. The problem is that I`m an IMG. I have completed a psych residency in my country and on the last year I did an observership here at the USA. I enjoyed it and decided to take the steps in order to practice here. What do you guys think? Any specific tips? I only have one publication and it`s not really what I like to be honest.
 
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I can't give you an absolute answer and this is just an opinion but the fact you are an MD helps a lot. I get the impression a lot of the ivory tower programs don't want to dilute the clout by having no-name MD's or (too many?) DO's. Better have the bottom of the class harvard student than the rockstar DO on the public roster. No one outside that programs faculty would know better and the latter may only dilute the prestige of the program. I think you have a leg up over the DO for sure FWIW. I recall meeting a student from a well-known MD program and they were a very humble person. Average application, but they conceded the invites they were getting from top programs were based on their school being prestigious (and that they were an MD).

I don't think stats and stuff matter as much in psych. For a person like you (and a DO or IMG), what will help you are auditions, but also who you know and your connections. The student who slaved away to climb the ladder from the bottom will not be rewarded as generously as the one who knew people. Do not underestimate the value of networking.

FWIW, in a non-psych specialty, I know someone who went to a low-tier new MD school and got into a top 10 program in a stat competitive specialty.
Do connections play a huge factor? What exactly is a "connection", knowing someone at the program you want to attend?
 
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SquibDell

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I'm an IMG from an English-speaking country. I plan on applying next year due to COVID/US elections/partner wanting an extra year of work in our home country, but I don't think my application will change much so I'm hoping it's okay to post here.

I'd really like to train in the US but I'm also very happy and secure in my home country. For this reason I'm only planning to apply to mid to higher tier programs in places I'd like to live. I understand I'm not as competitive being an IMG and might miss out but I'll still be happy in my home country if that happens.

School: A top school in my country, but not with the international reputation of top US schools. We have a cohort of US students that do their first two years here, so that probably adds to name recognition at least.
STEP 1: Mid 240s
STEP 2 CK: High 250s
CS: 1 attempt, pass
STEP 3: Hoping to sit it in 2021 if the travel/lockdown situation is a bit better

Grades: Average, pass in psych annoyingly
Research: Handful of posters and presentations, some semi-related to psych. One semi-related middle author paper.
USCE: 8 weeks internal medicine, 4 weeks psychiatry

Letters: I didn't spend long enough with any single attending during my US IM rotation to feel comfortable asking for a letter, which was obviously a mistake in hindsight. I can get a letter from the program director of my US psych rotation but I'm not sure if this would help or hurt my application as the institution seemed a bit exploitative of IMGs and doesn't have the best reputation. I'll be fine for letters from attendings in my home country but I'm not sure how they'll compare to those written by US attendings.

Other stuff: Graduated in 2019 and have been working as a doctor since. I don't plan on entering psych training here unless I miss out on the US as I don't want to leave the program after only a year or so. I also have a Master's in a related field and am a few units away from getting an MPH.

Red flags: IMG, letters?

Any comments on my application are appreciated but I'm especially keen to get advice on letters and some recommendations of programs I should check out that I might be competitive for. Some of the better programs in California would be ideal for me but are obviously very competitive. Texas programs might be a bit more realistic?

Thanks in advance.
 
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asdf123g

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Do connections play a huge factor? What exactly is a "connection", knowing someone at the program you want to attend?
Yes (and that applies to all professions. Not just medicine). It just so happens to be surprising since you would think in a profession such as medicine this wouldn't be the case.

By connections I mean, (covid complicates things though...) but attend conferences, APA meetings, etc and network. Rub shoulders with people. Exchange info with people you really connected with. Let them know you're interested in their program and are excited to apply (or apply to do an audition). The student who slaves away all 4 years of medical school can get trumped in a single day by the student who went out and networked. Psych especially is not a stat heavy field like ortho where theres score cut offs. Stop focusing on building the CV at this point. The only intense studying you should be doing is you're about to do an audition or are doing an audition. Get good at talking. Be interesting. I suggest you go out, start developing hobbies. Get good at being social. At the end of the day, the "fun/interesting" guy/gal who drank every weekend is going to get the spot at the program over the "normal" guy/gal with the 250 USMLE who's actually most qualified.

The best thing you can do for yourself now apart from networking (and doing as many auditions as you can at places you want to go) is to collect as many LORs from Psychiatrists that you know. Its a relatively small community. People know each other and recognize names. Which one's you use will depend on the geography you're applying, (a LOR from a new psych who trained in the east coast but just started working in the west coast isn't going to help you as much if you're applying west coast since people may not know them yet), how well theyre respected, where they went to residency, where theyve worked, etc. Also, talk to your LOR writers and any other psychiatrists (even if you dont know them that well; people want to see other people be successful) you know to see if they can make any calls for you or if they have any favors they can pull for you.

See if any programs you are interested in have any grads from your school and if you can leverage them. If you were in a frat/sorority, hell, see if any alumni got any connections.

Exhaust every resource you can.
 
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ArdorAyurveda

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Yes (and that applies to all professions. Not just medicine). It just so happens to be surprising since you would think in a profession such as medicine this wouldn't be the case.

By connections I mean, (covid complicates things though...) but attend conferences, APA meetings, etc and network. Rub shoulders with people. Exchange info with people you really connected with. Let them know you're interested in their program and are excited to apply (or apply to do an audition). The student who slaves away all 4 years of medical school can get trumped in a single day by the student who went out and networked. Psych especially is not a stat heavy field like ortho where theres score cut offs. Stop focusing on building the CV at this point. The only intense studying you should be doing is you're about to do an audition or are doing an audition. Get good at talking. Be interesting. I suggest you go out, start developing hobbies. Get good at being social. At the end of the day, the "fun/interesting" guy/gal who drank every weekend is going to get the spot at the program over the "normal" guy/gal with the 250 USMLE who's actually most qualified.

The best thing you can do for yourself now apart from networking (and doing as many auditions as you can at places you want to go) is to collect as many LORs from Psychiatrists that you know. Its a relatively small community. People know each other and recognize names. Which one's you use will depend on the geography you're applying, (a LOR from a new psych who trained in the east coast but just started working in the west coast isn't going to help you as much if you're applying west coast since people may not know them yet), how well theyre respected, where they went to residency, where theyve worked, etc. Also, talk to your LOR writers and any other psychiatrists (even if you dont know them that well; people want to see other people be successful) you know to see if they can make any calls for you or if they have any favors they can pull for you.

See if any programs you are interested in have any grads from your school and if you can leverage them. If you were in a frat/sorority, hell, see if any alumni got any connections.

Exhaust every resource you can.
This post re-affirms my approach to med school so much. Glad I took a few years off from school and worked out in the real world and experienced firsthand the power of networking...

The power of a good word from a well-known, respected colleague cannot be understated. At the end of the day, medicine is about relationships, just like the rest of the professional world.
 
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This post re-affirms my approach to med school so much. Glad I took a few years off from school and worked out in the real world and experienced firsthand the power of networking...

The power of a good word from a well-known, respected colleague cannot be understated. At the end of the day, medicine is about relationships, just like the rest of the professional world.
Much appreciated, anyone in particular I should seek letters/networking with? Like who are the big names in psychiatry? PD's? Dept. Chairs? Editors?
 

romanticscience

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Much appreciated, anyone in particular I should seek letters/networking with? Like who are the big names in psychiatry? PD's? Dept. Chairs? Editors?

Agreed. Look for faculty at your med school who have relationships with particular programs. Good people to connect with are the director of medical student education and the PD. In my experience, the former is more accessible and could help with audition rotations.

For bonus points, try doing an elective at the program where the PD would be your supervisor. This might take some research to find out what services he/she works on.
 
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cjcarter

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DO student applying psych this year. Thought I was gonna go into a IM subspecialty since before med school, so I have research/pubs that reflects that prior interest. Ended up hating that rotation and fell in love with psych during my clerkship (strong interest in pursuing CAP fellowship) and never looked back.

Stats:
236 step 1
641 level 1

256 step 2 CK
Level 2 TBA

My school does not do honors/high pass/pass, but I got all A’s for third year clerkships, top 10% on all shelf exams (except OMM lol) and received positive feedback on all my evals. No red flags, did well M1 and M2.

Still waiting on a LOR from my psych attending third year and my peds attending, but I have two auditions coming up and hope to get a LOR from one of the PDs.

I have psychiatry-focused volunteer experience and a few other psych-related things on my CV.

The Dean at my school told me to apply to 50 psych programs and that I should apply 10-20 FM/IM programs as a back up (to which I said no thank you but will if necessary).

Thoughts on how many programs I should apply to, if I really need a back up, or any advice in general is much appreciated!! With virtual interviews this year there is so much unknown and idk if I should be safe and apply to more programs than usual or a back up. Thanks everyone!

Edited to add more info.
 
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kopftonmd

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DO student applying psych this year. Thought I was gonna go into a IM subspecialty since before med school, so I have research/pubs that reflects that prior interest. Ended up hating that rotation and fell in love with psych during my clerkship (strong interest in pursuing CAP fellowship) and never looked back.

Stats:
236 step 1
641 level 1

256 step 2 CK
Level 2 TBA

My school does not do honors/high pass/pass, but I got all A’s during third year, top 10% on all shelf exams (except OMM lol) and received positive feedback on all my evals. No red flags, did well M1 and M2.

I have psychiatry-focused volunteer experience and a few other psych-related things on my CV.

The Dean at my school told me to apply to 50 psych programs and that I should apply 10-20 FM/IM programs as a back up (to which I said no thank you).

Thoughts on how many programs I should apply to, if I need a back up, or any advice in general is much appreciated!! Thanks everyone.
Just a humble med student, but it seems to me that you have a pretty solid app... the FM/IM backups seem unnecessary.
 
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asdf123g

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DO student applying psych this year. Thought I was gonna go into a IM subspecialty since before med school, so I have research/pubs that reflects that prior interest. Ended up hating that rotation and fell in love with psych during my clerkship (strong interest in pursuing CAP fellowship) and never looked back.

Stats:
236 step 1
641 level 1

256 step 2 CK
Level 2 TBA

My school does not do honors/high pass/pass, but I got all A’s for third year clerkships, top 10% on all shelf exams (except OMM lol) and received positive feedback on all my evals. No red flags, did well M1 and M2.

Still waiting on a LOR from my psych attending third year and my peds attending, but I have two auditions coming up and hope to get a LOR from one of the PDs.

I have psychiatry-focused volunteer experience and a few other psych-related things on my CV.

The Dean at my school told me to apply to 50 psych programs and that I should apply 10-20 FM/IM programs as a back up (to which I said no thank you but will if necessary).

Thoughts on how many programs I should apply to, if I really need a back up, or any advice in general is much appreciated!! With virtual interviews this year there is so much unknown and idk if I should be safe and apply to more programs than usual or a back up. Thanks everyone!

Edited to add more info.
How broad are you going to apply? How many interviews do you hope to have?
 

box8psych

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DO student applying psych this year. Thought I was gonna go into a IM subspecialty since before med school, so I have research/pubs that reflects that prior interest. Ended up hating that rotation and fell in love with psych during my clerkship (strong interest in pursuing CAP fellowship) and never looked back.

Stats:
236 step 1
641 level 1

256 step 2 CK
Level 2 TBA

My school does not do honors/high pass/pass, but I got all A’s for third year clerkships, top 10% on all shelf exams (except OMM lol) and received positive feedback on all my evals. No red flags, did well M1 and M2.

Still waiting on a LOR from my psych attending third year and my peds attending, but I have two auditions coming up and hope to get a LOR from one of the PDs.

I have psychiatry-focused volunteer experience and a few other psych-related things on my CV.

The Dean at my school told me to apply to 50 psych programs and that I should apply 10-20 FM/IM programs as a back up (to which I said no thank you but will if necessary).

Thoughts on how many programs I should apply to, if I really need a back up, or any advice in general is much appreciated!! With virtual interviews this year there is so much unknown and idk if I should be safe and apply to more programs than usual or a back up. Thanks everyone!

Edited to add more info.

The strong test scores help, but in the end your chances will likely come down to how well you can explain the change of mind (both in your PS and in interviews). You can definitely try to apply strategically to DO friendly programs (there was a recent thread on this and many more prior). The other question is whether you have location preferences as this can restrict your options and dictate the competitiveness of the programs you're applying to. You may need to apply to more programs than a comparable MD but I don't get the sense you'll need to apply to FM/IM backup programs.
 
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cjcarter

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How broad are you going to apply? How many interviews do you hope to have?

I’m mainly focusing on the Midwest but will likely add a few programs further out just so I have enough. I think when I went through all the Midwest programs I was interested in I was at like 35 programs. I hope to get ~12-15 interviews to be safe, especially with this cycle.
 
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cjcarter

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The strong test scores help, but in the end your chances will likely come down to how well you can explain the change of mind (both in your PS and in interviews). You can definitely try to apply strategically to DO friendly programs (there was a recent thread on this and many more prior). The other question is whether you have location preferences as this can restrict your options and dictate the competitiveness of the programs you're applying to. You may need to apply to more programs than a comparable MD but I don't get the sense you'll need to apply to FM/IM backup programs.

Thanks so much for your input! I’m definitely worried as how my change of intended specialty will come across to programs but hopefully my explanation and what I’ve done since my psych clerkship last year will be enough. I’m from the Midwest and hope to stay here, so that will be my focus in terms of location preferences. I will def check out the DO friendly programs thread you mentioned!
 
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sweettalk

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Average applicant from a midtier MD school looking to match on the East Coast, ideally in the NE. I know NE is super competitive, but I really cannot fathom moving out to the midwest. I'm thinking about applying broadly up and down the east coast. Would love any advice on what my chances are and how many programs I should apply to. Also, I'm curious as to whether other applicants will be applying to more programs now that interviews will be virtual. Thoughts on this?

School: Midtier MD in the East Coast
STEP 1: Low 220s
STEP 2 CK: Low 250s
Pre-clinical grades: Straight passes on everything
Clinical grades: Honors in psych and IM, High pass in everything else
Research: Been working with a psych PI at my school for the past year. Have 1 psych related pub and another one in the works that will hopefully be published before apps. Also have 2 non-psych pubs from before med school.
Letters: Have two psych LORs so far -- one from my PI (who I haven't really worked with clinically, but I'm hoping that's ok) and one from a psych attending at my school. Also currently doing an AI and hoping to get a letter from here, as well. Also have an IM letter that should be good.
Extracurriculars: Nothing super extraordinary -- president of one club, another leadership position in another, and some typical volunteering.
Red flags: Maybe low step 1? I tried to make up for that with step 2.
 

NeedAdvicelol

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Average applicant from a midtier MD school looking to match on the East Coast, ideally in the NE. I know NE is super competitive, but I really cannot fathom moving out to the midwest. I'm thinking about applying broadly up and down the east coast. Would love any advice on what my chances are and how many programs I should apply to. Also, I'm curious as to whether other applicants will be applying to more programs now that interviews will be virtual. Thoughts on this?

School: Midtier MD in the East Coast
STEP 1: Low 220s
STEP 2 CK: Low 250s
Pre-clinical grades: Straight passes on everything
Clinical grades: Honors in psych and IM, High pass in everything else
Research: Been working with a psych PI at my school for the past year. Have 1 psych related pub and another one in the works that will hopefully be published before apps. Also have 2 non-psych pubs from before med school.
Letters: Have two psych LORs so far -- one from my PI (who I haven't really worked with clinically, but I'm hoping that's ok) and one from a psych attending at my school. Also currently doing an AI and hoping to get a letter from here, as well. Also have an IM letter that should be good.
Extracurriculars: Nothing super extraordinary -- president of one club, another leadership position in another, and some typical volunteering.
Red flags: Maybe low step 1? I tried to make up for that with step 2.
I think the NE is competitive vs. say the south, but not by a huge margin (unless you’re talking about programs like Harvard). Given your stats, you definitely have more than a fair shot at some of the higher programs tho. Step 1 shouldn’t be an issue given psych is probably one of the more stat-friendly specialties. I’m curious how has COVID been impacting the AI scene?
 
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School: Unranked, but some well known faculty
STEP 1: 232
STEP 2 CK: 245
Pre-clinical grades: (P/F) all Ps

Clinical grades: (H/P/PR/F) All Passes with one PR in Pediatrics (had to remediate inpatient portion), Honors in my Inpatient Psych AI

Research: 5 poster/abstracts, 4 brain science pubs (4 in progress)--- (2 pubs before med school and 12 posters before)

Letters: 1 strong psych LORs, 1 Strong Primary Care letter, 1 from Director of Masters while in medical school, 1 from the Chair who knows me fairly well

Extracurriculars: Very Strong: Helped develop rural Primary Care and Behavioral Health network, Started non-profit, founded several psych related clubs, worked in 6 various research settings, helped in developing post-icu recovery center and expanding network to community/rural sites, COVID neuropsychiatric outcomes study, developed resident training curriculum for stigma reduction around addiction.

Red flags: Maybe low step 1? PR in pediatrics?

Any chance at top programs?
 
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brazilianpsych

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Hello there guys, I came here to ask your help and opinion. So I did a psychiatry residency in Brazil, my home country. By the end of it I met an american and now we are married. I did all the STEPS and I plan on applying to the match this year. My steps are not stellar.

Step 1 = 226
Step 2 CS = First pass
Step 2 CK = still waiting results.

I have a very specific question about Letters of Recomendations. So I have an american one and I was going to do another observership but it got cancelled due to covid. Therefore my plan is to apply with 1 US letter + Brazilian letters from my residency. I may be able to get a more generic letter from another american so my question is:

What is the best, a very strong letter from residency in my home country OR a more generic US letter? I would appreciate any input.
 
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TheaterOfTheme

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I too have only been able to secure one away rotation so far due to COVID-19 (DO student). I'd highly doubt most people would be able to get more than 2 or so. With zoom interviews being the norm and all conferences having been canceled for the most part, its going to be tremendously hard to 'network' in the manner many people are mentioning here.
 
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asdf123g

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I’m mainly focusing on the Midwest but will likely add a few programs further out just so I have enough. I think when I went through all the Midwest programs I was interested in I was at like 35 programs. I hope to get ~12-15 interviews to be safe, especially with this cycle.
I've heard the midwest is DO friendly, so you got that going for you if thats true. Bear in mind, the average DO applied to something like 65 programs this ?past year?. You might want to apply to more programs to be safe...FWIW try to check the reddit spreadsheet to get an idea how many DO's got more than 10 interviews. I think NRMP says the ?median/avg? for a DO is ~8.

I too have only been able to secure one away rotation so far due to COVID-19 (DO student). I'd highly doubt most people would be able to get more than 2 or so. With zoom interviews being the norm and all conferences having been canceled for the most part, its going to be tremendously hard to 'network' in the manner many people are mentioning here.
Sucks to be a DO....it'll be interesting to see how the match is effected this year. It will show how deep the discrimination goes (or the opposite, how much it is exaggerated).
 
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School: Unranked, but some well known faculty
STEP 1: 232
STEP 2 CK: 245
Pre-clinical grades: (P/F) all Ps

Clinical grades: (H/P/PR/F) All Passes with one PR in Pediatrics (had to remediate inpatient portion), Honors in my Inpatient Psych AI

Research: 5 poster/abstracts, 4 brain science pubs (4 in progress)--- (2 pubs before med school and 12 posters before)

Letters: 1 strong psych LORs, 1 Strong Primary Care letter, 1 from Director of Masters while in medical school, 1 from the Chair who knows me fairly well

Extracurriculars: Very Strong: Helped develop rural Primary Care and Behavioral Health network, Started non-profit, founded several psych related clubs, worked in 6 various research settings, helped in developing post-icu recovery center and expanding network to community/rural sites, COVID neuropsychiatric outcomes study, developed resident training curriculum for stigma reduction around addiction.

Red flags: Maybe low step 1? PR in pediatrics?

Any chance at top programs?

Bump
 

Central_SOULcus

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Hello there guys, I came here to ask your help and opinion. So I did a psychiatry residency in Brazil, my home country. By the end of it I met an american and now we are married. I did all the STEPS and I plan on applying to the match this year. My steps are not stellar.

Step 1 = 226
Step 2 CS = First pass
Step 2 CK = still waiting results.

I have a very specific question about Letters of Recomendations. So I have an american one and I was going to do another observership but it got cancelled due to covid. Therefore my plan is to apply with 1 US letter + Brazilian letters from my residency. I may be able to get a more generic letter from another american so my question is:

What is the best, a very strong letter from residency in my home country OR a more generic US letter? I would appreciate any input.

I'm not a PD or admin, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I think it's important to have at least 1 letter from a US attending. However, I think you should ALSO have a "very strong letter" from residency in your home country. Regardless of where a letter comes from, I think a strong letter will always look better than a more generic letter. In your case, your "strong letter" comes from someone who has directly observed you excelling in residency. That's gold, and something most applicants don't have. In the end, I think programs really just want people who will be excellent residents (and are thus more likely to become excellent psychiatrists). Most people that apply have strong letters that only speculate as to how great they will be as a resident. You have a strong letter that tells facts, not speculation. I say use it!
 
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Lol your step 1 is not low. I’d say you have more than a fair shot at top programs given the other stuff on your app. Psych doesn’t care as much about scores vs other specialties. Which region are you applying to?

East/West Coast mostly, few Texas schools, few Midwest and southeast. Not sure what a safe number will be.
 

Lavender213

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What are your thoughts on someone who decided on psychiatry late in third year? Will I have trouble?

Very little on my CV is related to psychiatry (minor research experience in undergraduate, one poster presentation on the opioid epidemic). I'm having to scramble to find a psychiatry letter but have strong letters from FM and IM and good comments on my evaluation.

US MD, mid-tier school. Step 1 24x, step 2 in progress, second quartile, 4 Hs (including psychiatry), 1 HP, others P due to COVID. Lots of research in other areas, life experience and volunteering.

Hoping to land in Chicago, or elsewhere in the midwest
 
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box8psych

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What are your thoughts on someone who decided on psychiatry late in third year? Will I have trouble?

Very little on my CV is related to psychiatry (minor research experience in undergraduate, one poster presentation on the opioid epidemic). I'm having to scramble to find a psychiatry letter but have strong letters from FM and IM and good comments on my evaluation.

US MD, mid-tier school. Step 1 24x, step 2 in progress, second quartile, 4 Hs (including psychiatry), 1 HP, others P due to COVID. Lots of research in other areas, life experience and volunteering.

Hoping to land in Chicago, or elsewhere in the midwest

Your step score and strong ECs (although not psych) will likely get you in the door for interviews, but the expectation will be that you can give a well thought-out explanation for your recent interest in psychiatry. If you can do that and be personable/pleasant on the interview trail you should be fine matching in a good program in the midwest.
 

Desired Member

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I've heard the midwest is DO friendly, so you got that going for you if thats true. Bear in mind, the average DO applied to something like 65 programs this ?past year?. You might want to apply to more programs to be safe...FWIW try to check the reddit spreadsheet to get an idea how many DO's got more than 10 interviews. I think NRMP says the ?median/avg? for a DO is ~8.


Sucks to be a DO....it'll be interesting to see how the match is effected this year. It will show how deep the discrimination goes (or the opposite, how much it is exaggerated).

I'm a DO who took comlex only, I can't remember how many programs I applied to, but got a lot of interviews and started withdrawing applications. My comlex scores were good, so that may have helped. I would advise trying to get as many experiences in psychiatry as possible so you can talk intelligently about the field. Based on my experience, DO discrimination is overstated.
I'll also add that in my humble judgment/experience, the quality of a practitioner has nothing to do with whether they are MD or DO.
 
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asdf123g

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I'm a DO who took comlex only, I can't remember how many programs I applied to, but got a lot of interviews and started withdrawing applications. My comlex scores were good, so that may have helped. I would advise trying to get as many experiences in psychiatry as possible so you can talk intelligently about the field. Based on my experience, DO discrimination is overstated.
I'll also add that in my humble judgment/experience, the quality of a practitioner has nothing to do with whether they are MD or DO.
Disagree about the discrimination being overstated but I agree with you on the rest. What region did you apply? I had High COMLEX and Step scores, No red flags.
 
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shaha14310

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Hey y’all just wondering my chances to match psych as a DO student from a new school.


Stats:
School- New DO school in the South

STEP 1- 220
STEP 2 CK- 255
Level 1: 506
Level 2 CE: 599
CS: N/A

Grades- mostly Ps (Hoping for honors in psych)

Research- Bachelors thesis on maternal depression in undergrad and RA in multiple psychology research labs.

Letters: one psych LoR from a Program Director so far, two FM letters, and one Peds letter

Other stuff- Psychiatry interest group founder. Random volunteering throughout med school

Red flags: None

Scores? Passed everything and no repeats

How broad do you think I should apply and do I have a good shot at matching during this weird cycle?
 

Psychresy

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I'm a DO who took comlex only, I can't remember how many programs I applied to, but got a lot of interviews and started withdrawing applications. My comlex scores were good, so that may have helped. I would advise trying to get as many experiences in psychiatry as possible so you can talk intelligently about the field. Based on my experience, DO discrimination is overstated.
I'll also add that in my humble judgment/experience, the quality of a practitioner has nothing to do with whether they are MD or DO.

Totally disagree that the discrimination is overstated. Also DO. Had the board scores and app for UCLA, UCSF, UW, etc. Got shut out from all of them. The discrimination is very real. I had a PD say to my face that they perceive clinical years at DO schools to be less rigorous than MD schools, then questioned if I thought I would be able to hang during the medicine months of intern year at their highly regarded program.

I did end up with 20+ interviews and landed my #1 so I'm not complaining, but I do want to set the record straight.
 
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MacDonaldTriad

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If you look up the definition of discrimination..
noun: discrimination;

  1. the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
2. recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.

"discrimination between right and wrong"

In a conversation with the PDs of UCLA, UCSF, and UW, you might be thinking definition #1 and they might assume definition #2.
 

Psychresy

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If you look up the definition of discrimination..
noun: discrimination;

  1. the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
2. recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.

"discrimination between right and wrong"

In a conversation with the PDs of UCLA, UCSF, and UW, you might be thinking definition #1 and they might assume definition #2.

Whatever you want to call it, if the initials after my name were different I'm fairly certain I would have landed at least a few of those higher ranked interviews. I won't even go as far as to say I should have matched there or I would have matched there....but I deserved at least a few of those interviews and I think it's pretty obvious why they weren't extended.
 

TheaterOfTheme

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Hello all,

I am primarily seeking educated opinions on how many programs to apply to given whatever my level of 'competitiveness' is.

US DO
Step 1 >230
Step 2>255

I have been interested in psychiatry from undergrad and started shadowing a psychiatrist then. I worked in neuroscience labs and did a few posters. In medical school I did the standard stuff of being an officer in the psych club, going to conferences, joining psychiatric societies (think I'm a member in like 4 different ones). In my 3rd year I wrote a case study on a patient that was accepted as a poster to the APA 2020 conference. I also did research with a well known psychiatrist throughout medical school and am working on a publication (but it won't be published before ERAS). No gaps or red flags (besides being DO).

LORs: 1 from medical director of a psych hospital, 1 from my program's chair (we don't have a home residency, so it carries less weight), 1 from the psychiatrist with my research experience, and hopefully 1 more form an away rotation I'm at right now.

I have been psych-or-bust from the beginning, but I'm concerned over how many programs I should apply to. The chair of my school says with 100 I should be fine, but they are compelling everyone to 'apply to as many possible' this year. I just find this mentality a little unecessary--but I kind of understand given how whacky this year will be.

Also, I'm from California. I feel this puts me at a disadvantage for being considered at midwest, southern, and east coast programs (of which there are quite a few I'm interested in) as I wasn't able to travel for away rotations to these states. In addition to mostly west coast programs, I'm particularly interested in a few programs in Texas, Louissianna, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New York. I just don't know how to convey that I am serious about that--seems everyone thinks people from CA want to stay in CA!
 

Psych95

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Hello guys, I have never posted before but I am a long time lurker on these forums, I would like some input about my chances of matching and where I am most likely to match. I went to medical school in Greece graduated in 2019 and since then I have been working in Greece as a resident, did 7 months of IM (including COVID) and 4 months of psych.
Step 1: 254
Step 2 CK: 252
Step 2 CS: passed (in 2019, before it was suspended)
14 pubmed index pubs (journal IF ranging from no IF to 6.5), mostly review articles, some are purely psych, others are related to psychi but may be closer to other specialties. Only articles that are completely unrelated to psych are either on COVID or assignments from the director of the emergency department where I was working.
No USCE apart from a 2 month research elective in a well-known US university.
Currently no US letters, but I have 2 strong waived LORs from Greece which are already assigned and a third from the psychiatry department head which is still in ECFMG processing.
I applied to a wide range of programs (85, may apply to a few more once the final LOR is cleared), including reach university programs, university affiliated and non affiliated community hospitals as well as prematch programs; to be honest, for example in New York I applied everywhere except Columbia-Cornell and places that require US citizenship or GC.
 

splik

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Hello guys, I have never posted before but I am a long time lurker on these forums, I would like some input about my chances of matching and where I am most likely to match. I went to medical school in Greece graduated in 2019 and since then I have been working in Greece as a resident, did 7 months of IM (including COVID) and 4 months of psych.
Step 1: 254
Step 2 CK: 252
Step 2 CS: passed (in 2019, before it was suspended)
14 pubmed index pubs (journal IF ranging from no IF to 6.5), mostly review articles, some are purely psych, others are related to psychi but may be closer to other specialties. Only articles that are completely unrelated to psych are either on COVID or assignments from the director of the emergency department where I was working.
No USCE apart from a 2 month research elective in a well-known US university.
Currently no US letters, but I have 2 strong waived LORs from Greece which are already assigned and a third from the psychiatry department head which is still in ECFMG processing.
I applied to a wide range of programs (85, may apply to a few more once the final LOR is cleared), including reach university programs, university affiliated and non affiliated community hospitals as well as prematch programs; to be honest, for example in New York I applied everywhere except Columbia-Cornell and places that require US citizenship or GC.
Do you have a letter from your US research elective? US letters are not a must have but they strongly help especially as foreign referees usually don’t know how to write the hyperbolic letters expected here. You are a competitive applicant despite this especially if your English is good. I would say apply to Columbia and Cornell if you want - you never know. Some very good programs will be interested in IMGs with high board scores a commitment to psychiatry and a good publication track record especially if you are interested in research and applying to research tracks.
 

olderbrooklyndoc

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How is everyone doing in this weird cycle? I am applying psych and double board (IM/psych), and it's definitely been strange so far. I feel like there has definitely been some regional bias in where I've gotten interview invites. Very few people from my school apply/match psych, so I'm also struggling to figure out how to get a real sense of culture of various places via Zoom (without the opportunity for the one-on-one more informal convos you can have at an in-person dinner). How is everyone else fairing?
 
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