What are the things that you should start as early as possible to become an optimal candidate for residency matches?

Hzreio

2+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2019
433
330
Hello, I will be a MS1 beginning next year and I was wondering what advice this community may have (in a nutshell) the early steps I should take to become a competitive residency applicant?
 

FalconSlice

7+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2012
587
570
Intersection of CutCo, EdgeCom and InterSlice
Status
  1. MD/PhD Student
Hello, I will be a MS1 beginning next year and I was wondering what advice this community may have (in a nutshell) the early steps I should take to become a competitive residency applicant?
This has been covered ad nauseam on these fora, but you should enjoy your time now before medical school--not "preparing for a competitive residency application"

Once in medical school, study hard, kill all your exams, get honors in all your rotations, kill Step 2 (since Step 1 will be P/F), do research if you're interested or if your specialty has an inclination for it, and live your life like a person with interests and hobbies.

There is life other than being a medical student. Enjoy as much as possible. Now is part of that time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users
About the Ads

ace_inhibitor111

7+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2012
650
957
Lesser known things that I wish I had known residencies love:
-Travel to a South American or African country for a medical mission trip or “research project.” Trust me, people from all walks of academia STILL love this sh!t
-Get involved in medical education projects and medical school admissions interviews. Once again, they love this
-Apply for every and any random scholarship you’re eligible for so you can actually put something in your awards section
-Find a research mentor who can pump out publications, especially Neurosurgery, plastic surgery, and derm as they are known for pumping this stuff OUT. You can do other, more pertinent research at a more relaxed pace while still accumulating 10+ pubs from your moneymaker
-Get any leadership position, but try to get a position that lets you go to a bunch of national conferences. Residencies seem mostly care for leadership positions where you go to a lot of conferences
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users

catnip12

2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2018
255
413
Status
  1. Medical Student
Expose yourself to opinions you don’t agree with. Do it often. It could help you learn how to handle your internal environment when dealing with people who hold different opinions to yours. You may learn to see that people who don’t agree with you are also still people who may not be as silly as you thought they were. Or you may even change your opinion on what you thought you knew.

I think (as only an M2) that these qualities could help shape turn you into a more empathetic medical student. And I hope a better physician(?) TBD.
 
  • Like
  • Hmm
  • Okay...
Reactions: 3 users

QuizzicalApe

10+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2010
804
371
Status
  1. Attending Physician
1. decide what you want to be when you grow up
2. probably change your mind a couple times during med school
3. find ways to worm yourself into research associated with your specialty
4. change your mind again and panic a little bit
5. that's ok they just wanted to see you are capable of doing research so they won't get very bothered by an involved and motivated student who had research in a different specialty
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

7331poas

5+ Year Member
Jun 16, 2015
2,814
3,420
Status
  1. Medical Student
I think (as only an M2) that these qualities could help shape turn you into a more empathetic medical student. And I hope a better physician(?) TBD.

Unfortunately neither of those things matter in residency admissions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

catnip12

2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2018
255
413
Status
  1. Medical Student
Unfortunately neither of those things matter in residency admissions.
Well there is not a place on ERAS where you can report your empathy score, but I feel like being able to not be a dingus on rotations could be reflected in your subjective clinical grades and some of that could be due to not being able to check yourself as a medical student, or not being able to read the room, or picking unnecessary fights etc. I’ve heard of students being caught talking smack about residents and attendings in the open. that’s what I was alluding to. But I don’t start rotations until January so we’ll see what actually happens.
 

Hzreio

2+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2019
433
330
Well there is not a place on ERAS where you can report your empathy score, but I feel like being able to not be a dingus on rotations could be reflected in your subjective clinical grades and some of that could be due to not being able to check yourself as a medical student, or not being able to read the room, or picking unnecessary fights etc. I’ve heard of students being caught talking smack about residents and attendings in the open. that’s what I was alluding to. But I don’t start rotations until January so we’ll see what actually happens.
I feel like that is something that residencies would expect out of all applicants.
 

7331poas

5+ Year Member
Jun 16, 2015
2,814
3,420
Status
  1. Medical Student
Well there is not a place on ERAS where you can report your empathy score, but I feel like being able to not be a dingus on rotations could be reflected in your subjective clinical grades and some of that could be due to not being able to check yourself as a medical student, or not being able to read the room, or picking unnecessary fights etc. I’ve heard of students being caught talking smack about residents and attendings in the open. that’s what I was alluding to. But I don’t start rotations until January so we’ll see what actually happens.

That is such a low bar lmao.

And no, the first thing you will learn on rotations is that your evaluations have nothing to do with your clinical performance whatsoever.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

QuizzicalApe

10+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2010
804
371
Status
  1. Attending Physician
Empathy is not an important trait in residency admissions? 😱
No, it is not. You just have to not be a clear tool, so that means either be a reasonably normal human being or have the social chameleon skills to pretend to be normal long enough to trick your interviewers.
 

Mnowledge

2+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2017
38
55
Status
  1. Medical Student
Lesser known things that I wish I had known residencies love:
-Travel to a South American or African country for a medical mission trip or “research project.” Trust me, people from all walks of academia STILL love this sh!t
-Get involved in medical education projects and medical school admissions interviews. Once again, they love this
-Apply for every and any random scholarship you’re eligible for so you can actually put something in your awards section
-Find a research mentor who can pump out publications, especially Neurosurgery, plastic surgery, and derm as they are known for pumping this stuff OUT. You can do other, more pertinent research at a more relaxed pace while still accumulating 10+ pubs from your moneymaker
-Get any leadership position, but try to get a position that lets you go to a bunch of national conferences. Residencies seem mostly care for leadership positions where you go to a lot of conferences
Excellent advice! At top residency programs, many applicants achieve high scores, clinical honors and even multiple pubs. But it is the other stuff that was referenced here that will truly set you apart, especially if you don't come from a top medical school.
Source: my experience in the current interview trail
 

catnip12

2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2018
255
413
Status
  1. Medical Student
That is such a low bar lmao.

And no, the first thing you will learn on rotations is that your evaluations have nothing to do with your clinical performance whatsoever.

Maybe, but there's already a lot else that has been said in this thread and also on this forum more generally if the OP just searches it. I was just adding my 2 cents from what I thought hadn't already been said in this thread.

I am curious though since you brought it up: if my evaluations have nothing to do with my clinical performance, then what matters?
 

Chibucks15

2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,377
5,661
Status
  1. Medical Student
Maybe, but there's already a lot else that has been said in this thread and also on this forum more generally if the OP just searches it. I was just adding my 2 cents from what I thought hadn't already been said in this thread.

I am curious though since you brought it up: if my evaluations have nothing to do with my clinical performance, then what matters?
Luck of the draw, mood of preceptors, etc haha like clinical performance matters just so long as you aren't a dummy. The bar for students is extremely low you would be surprised at the stories residents have told me about stupid things people have done
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

catnip12

2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2018
255
413
Status
  1. Medical Student
Luck of the draw, mood of preceptors, etc haha like clinical performance matters just so long as you aren't a dummy. The bar for students is extremely low you would be surprised at the stories residents have told me about stupid things people have done
Thanks and that’s what I was trying to get at. Perhaps “social intelligence” would’ve been a better word than “empathy”. It’s all a crapshoot it sounds like but still probably better than preclinicals.
 

Chibucks15

2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,377
5,661
Status
  1. Medical Student
Thanks and that’s what I was trying to get at. Perhaps “social intelligence” would’ve been a better word than “empathy”. It’s all a crapshoot it sounds like but still probably better than preclinicals.
It is for sure. Human interaction is a hell of a drug
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

You shall know the Truth

Probationary Status
2+ Year Member
Dec 3, 2016
684
679
Status
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Hello, I will be a MS1 beginning next year and I was wondering what advice this community may have (in a nutshell) the early steps I should take to become a competitive residency applicant?
You used “nutshell” so I’ll share a secret with you, look at ent in a nutshell podcast and become that! It’s the best field!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads