montessori2md

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Those of you in FM, what makes an applicant competitive, and does anything other than geography make a program competitive?

And does anyone think it matters what you do over the summer bet. M1/M2?
 

MedicFL

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Those of you in FM, what makes an applicant competitive, and does anything other than geography make a program competitive?

And does anyone think it matters what you do over the summer bet. M1/M2?


A pulse..Just joking F/M every year has unfilled seats so I think the chances of matching are in your favor.. GL
 

lowbudget

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A pulse..Just joking F/M every year has unfilled seats so I think the chances of matching are in your favor.. GL

Exactly, a pulse. Unfortunately, not every med student has one.

The question really should be: what does it take to be ranked-to-match. I think a pulse (or non-damaging application) will get you middle/bottom of the list.

To start, on paper, good board scores, good grades, decent recommendations, good school that's known to train well. There's a tolerance for less-than-good because FM broadly speaking doesn't fill, but individual FM programs do pass people over. There's a lot to learn in FM and while these aren't perfect markers, to a certain extent they illustrate your fund of knowledge that you need to build your clinical acumen. Plus, they also show your ability to prepare and your ability to perform. All things equal, I think people prefer high marks compared to low marks.

Off paper, a "quick study", a likable personality, someone who's articulate are basic things we all look for. Beyond that, a good team player who has an ability to lead, intellectually curious, involved candidate.

The students who do well in interviews tend to be "interesting" people. I'll let you figure out what that means. Everyone has a different definition of what constitutes interesting, but my bias is towards someone who's done something cool during their medical career, or something unusually well, or is passionate about something in medicine.

At the end of the day, realize that FM is a diverse field with people doing a whole bunch of different things. Programs across the country are equally diverse. As a result, unlike derm/rads/ortho or whatever, there's no cookie-cutter "formula". In my opinion, FM is the only field that embraces people's individualism. If you took away payment issues, FM is one of the most satisfying jobs out there, I think, because it allows you to be an individual.

In my opinion, the most competitive applicants are those who show they can do the work but also allow their individualism to shine through their application.
 
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DonStracci

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I have to agree with LowBudget on this one... individuality seems to be at the core of being competitive in FM.

Before this application/interview process, I was concerned about my competitiveness, because on paper there are things that some specialties might view as negative. But it was amazing to discover that my unique path to medical school and my creative tendencies are not only respected, but they are embraced and sought-after by residency programs. Through medical school (and even in my former career) I always felt outcast that I wasn't a cookie-cutter, typical med student- it's hard for me to fit a mold- but I've found my field where I can be myself and let is show through.

So do something interesting during that M1/M2 summer, or do research, or travel to Finland, or pretty much anything. People stress about that summer, thinking they must do something brilliant on their free time. I guess perhaps they do, for the more competitive specialties.
 

sophiejane

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The odds of matching are very good, but remember, you may not get your first choice. I have seen people (non-FMGs with decent grades, etc) have to scramble in FM because they were overconfident about being ranked highly at the few programs they applied to. There may be fewer people applying to FM, but I am seeing the quality of applicants, at least at our program, go up every year.

What makes a program competitive? I think more and more people are looking for strong, broad-based training, good procedural experience, and good didactics. Community-based, unopposed programs tend to be more competitive than university based programs, in general. I think this is because people value the kind of training you get at smaller programs that train not only broadly, but more in depth (i.e. higher volume, sicker patients, more autonomy, busier clinics, more procedures) than those that have more of an emhasis on low-acuity hospital and outpatient care.
 

montessori2md

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Thanks all : ) That was more or less the vibe I get from the people in my state's FP programs, but I know that our bubble isn't the same as everyone else's bubble.
My DH doesn't want me to match to a place he's never laid eyes on, so I'm trying to be forward thinking so we can hit a few areas on vacations between now and 4th year -there's no way he could miss work enough, nor could we afford, for both of us to traipse around the country then.
 

Sonny Crocket

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I switched out of family medicine to anesthesia. However, I still think it is a greatly needed area of medicine. In my experience, the interview and interview day was most important. Watching how candidates interacted with each other, the residents, and faculty was most important. You are obviously good enough on paper if you get the interview offer.

No matter what specialty you are going for, the faculty will alway be asking themselves, " can i deal with this person for 3 years? will they work hard? are they interested?"
 
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