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GotToGetThatGPAUp

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Hey all, a lot of the threads I see about matching into IM is just any-ol IM program. These threads also exist pre-P/F Step 1.

So my question is - what do top IM programs REALLY care about?

I'm a M1 at a lower-tier school, and so far I've been doing things I enjoy (volunteering, managing a clinic, etc) while also excelling at my classes.

What else should I be doing? Is the meta just "Kill Step 2 and pump out research" or is there something else to it? Do top IM programs like service-oriented activies (this is what I like doing and plan to continue doing just curious if it's also helpful)?


Let me know your thoughts!
 
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FalconSlice

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Hey all, a lot of the threads I see about matching into IM is just any-ol IM program. These threads also exist pre-P/F Step 1.

So my question is - what do top IM programs REALLY care about?

I'm a M1 at a lower-tier school, and so far I've been doing things I enjoy (volunteering, managing a clinic, etc) while also excelling at my classes.

What else should I be doing? Is the meta just "Kill Step 2 and pump out research" or is there something else to it? Do top IM programs like service-oriented activies (this is what I like doing and plan to continue doing just curious if it's also helpful)?


Let me know your thoughts!
From what I know about IM (read: not a lot), other than good board scores, you should focus on killing your M3 rotations and get killer letters from important people who can make calls for you. No real "secret sauce" per se. Research, volunteerism, etc. can be viewed differently by different programs so idk.
 
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eyejust

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Top IM programs are looking for applicants from top med schools with top grades, top letters, and top extracurriculars and/or. Missing any one of these components makes it that much more difficult for you to match.
 
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Top IM programs are looking for applicants from top med schools with top grades, top letters, and top extracurriculars and/or. Missing any one of these components makes it that much more difficult for you to match.

Top school name alone guarantees top IM match. And top extracurriculars + AOA + top grades are the way to go everywhere else
 
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Mnowledge

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From a low-tier school, top clinical grades (including H in IM clerkship and Sub-I) + excellent step scores + AOA + "minimal/some research" will help you break into top 25/30. To break into top 5/10, you may additionally need extraordinary volunteerism/service + leadership.
 
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GotToGetThatGPAUp

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From a low-tier school, top clinical grades (including H in IM clerkship and Sub-I) + excellent step scores + AOA + "minimal/some research" will help you break into top 25/30. To break into top 5/10, you may additionally need extraordinary volunteerism/service + leadership.
While I'm not particularly looking at the Top 5/10 programs, out of curiosity, what constitutes "extraordinary volunteerism/service + leadership."
 
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Top school name alone guarantees top IM match. And top extracurriculars + AOA + top grades are the way to go everywhere else
By top ECs, you mean high output research? Or we talking "top" as in starting up a company, starting a fleet of mobile free clinics, racer snail farming, of that sort? Asking as someone who goes to a school in that is/not a T20 depending who and where you ask, with a pretty "mid-tier" IM match list.
 
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JP2740

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Same **** that all fields want as you get more competitive. The only thing you can influence is your board scores, clinical grades, research, AOA, letters of rec
 

JP2740

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By top ECs, you mean high output research? Or we talking "top" as in starting up a company, starting a fleet of mobile free clinics, racer snail farming, of that sort? Asking as someone who goes to a school in that is/not a T20 depending who and where you ask, with a pretty "mid-tier" IM match list.
No one gives a **** about extracurricular. Research is the only thing
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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No one gives a **** about extracurricular. Research is the only thing
Small sample size, but the individuals from my low-tier school who got into Top 20 IMs had more in common with amazing ECs than research (I reached out to about ~20 previous students). They all had some baseline of research, with varying degrees of impact and quantity, but they all had something else phenomenal EC wise.
 
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Throwaway5129

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Small sample size, but the individuals from my low-tier school who got into Top 20 IMs had more in common with amazing ECs than research (I reached out to about ~20 previous students). They all had some baseline of research, with varying degrees of impact and quantity, but they all had something else phenomenal EC wise.
What are these ECs?
 

Mnowledge

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While I'm not particularly looking at the Top 5/10 programs, out of curiosity, what constitutes "extraordinary volunteerism/service + leadership."

I recently posted about this here:


By top ECs, you mean high output research? Or we talking "top" as in starting up a company, starting a fleet of mobile free clinics, racer snail farming, of that sort? Asking as someone who goes to a school in that is/not a T20 depending who and where you ask, with a pretty "mid-tier" IM match list.
You are getting the idea. Although coming from a T20-25 school, you may not need to work as hard in ECs. See my post in the above thread.

Also, its important to take your match list in context. Are the competitive/top-quartile/AOA students at your school simply gunning for Derm and Surgical Subs? If you school has AOA, how competitive are the IM matches of these students?
 
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JP2740

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Small sample size, but the individuals from my low-tier school who got into Top 20 IMs had more in common with amazing ECs than research (I reached out to about ~20 previous students). They all had some baseline of research, with varying degrees of impact and quantity, but they all had something else phenomenal EC wise.
What were their board scores? You have to put the whole package together. Great board scores and baseline research can get you into top 20 IM. It’s still not an overall competitive field. I doubt their EC did much
 

AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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What were their board scores? You have to put the whole package together. Great board scores and baseline research can get you into top 20 IM. It’s still not an overall competitive field. I doubt their EC did much
Oh, I wasn't saying they didn't have the baseline - just that the people from my school who went into IM, with roughly the same baseline, didn't breach the Top 20 without what I stated. Of the people I listed, most were 250+, some 240+. There were others in that range minus the ECs/Connections who landed at great IM residencies, just not what people consider "Top 20."

Mind you, this isn't a large sample size and is just from students I could get in contact with who graduated within the last 3-4 years.
 

JP2740

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Oh, I wasn't saying they didn't have the baseline - just that the people from my school who went into IM, with roughly the same baseline, didn't breach the Top 20 without what I stated. Of the people I listed, most were 250+, some 240+. There were others in that range minus the ECs/Connections who landed at great IM residencies, just not what people consider "Top 20."

Mind you, this isn't a large sample size and is just from students I could get in contact with who graduated within the last 3-4 years.
Well I guess it doesn’t hurt. I went to a top IM program so I guess that’s where I’m getting my information from. EC rarely make a difference in any specialty. I think it could distract from the goal - If you do stellar on boards, get good LOR, do research, you should be fine even from lesser known med schools
 
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liquidcrawler

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Should I bother trying to take step 2 before applying for IM if I'm trying to match top 20 IM?

go to a top 20 med school, mid 240s step 1, mix of H / HP for 3rd year, lot of research (including JAMA), letters will probably be good, not great, institution doesn't have AOA
 
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DameJulie

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In general, Board scores, AOA, Research, LOR from big names, and school prestige.
 
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Hey all, a lot of the threads I see about matching into IM is just any-ol IM program. These threads also exist pre-P/F Step 1.

So my question is - what do top IM programs REALLY care about?

I'm a M1 at a lower-tier school, and so far I've been doing things I enjoy (volunteering, managing a clinic, etc) while also excelling at my classes.

What else should I be doing? Is the meta just "Kill Step 2 and pump out research" or is there something else to it? Do top IM programs like service-oriented activies (this is what I like doing and plan to continue doing just curious if it's also helpful)?


Let me know your thoughts!
I'd recommend asking what "top program" means to you. If top means US news and world report, ask yourself why you want a top program. Some subspecialties it certainly helps: cardiology with electrophysiology, GI, or research tracks in lots of fields.

For me, looking back at residency, I wish I had chosen what would have been for me a top program -- underserved medicine in a poor urban area that was ethnically diverse. Would have worked with a lot of people who were poor, homeless, and addicted. Because that's what I do now and I am SO happy!
 
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GotToGetThatGPAUp

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I'd recommend asking what "top program" means to you. If top means US news and world report, ask yourself why you want a top program. Some subspecialties it certainly helps: cardiology with electrophysiology, GI, or research tracks in lots of fields.

For me, looking back at residency, I wish I had chosen what would have been for me a top program -- underserved medicine in a poor urban area that was ethnically diverse. Would have worked with a lot of people who were poor, homeless, and addicted. Because that's what I do now and I am SO happy!

Top, to me, means something like Columbia, Mt. Sinai, Cornell, etc. And the only reason I want a top program is to be back home in NYC hahaha (don't want to make this into an argument about the price of NYC and the malignancy of NYC programs though) - and I am interested in certain IM subspecialties though it's early on in my med school career and things can change but I want to act like I'm shooting for the potentially hardest route.

Your second point is great, though, and definitely something to factor in considering there'd be no shortage of that in NYC as well.
 

Keep2r

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AOA, class quartile, third year grades, step score, and LOR help but will not guarantee you into a top tier program. The thing that probably matters most is pedigree, what school you came from and who can call to advocate for you. All you can do is just try your best to make sure every part of your app is perfect and ace the interview day.
 

GotToGetThatGPAUp

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AOA, class quartile, third year grades, step score, and LOR help but will not guarantee you into a top tier program. The thing that probably matters most is pedigree, what school you came from and who can call to advocate for you. All you can do is just try your best to make sure every part of your app is perfect and ace the interview day.
So, in a sense, could research then be tied into this? If I do research with an attending/professor at Top 20 school, they'd be willing to go to bat for me during the interview process more than likely, no? Or would aways fit this better / how competitive is it to get aways at these institutions?
 
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JP2740

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Go back in time and be born into a rich family living in a neighborhood with the best-funded schools and parents that push to get you labeled gifted and talented. America, LOL!!
Lol y’all joking? Myself and many of my co residents didn’t have any of that
 
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GotToGetThatGPAUp

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Lol y’all joking? Myself and many of my co residents didn’t have any of that
Who said there werent exceptions?

You can't deny that wealth and social capital makes it easier. Plus, I personally consider wealth anyone whose parents combined income was >150k growing up but that's just me :p
 

Keep2r

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So, in a sense, could research then be tied into this? If I do research with an attending/professor at Top 20 school, they'd be willing to go to bat for me during the interview process more than likely, no? Or would aways fit this better / how competitive is it to get aways at these institutions?
Yea that definitely will help. Make sure to develop a good long term relationship and doing an away there will give them a better idea of whether you’d fit in.

Idk how it will be next year but with virtual interviews this cycle, having these types of connections are a lot more important. Program directors are a lot more cautious about taking candidates from places they don’t normally take from. You can get a sense of what kind of schools a program has ties with by looking at the current residents list on their websites. It’s pretty clear which schools are each PD’s favorites
 
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JP2740

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Who said there werent exceptions?

You can't deny that wealth and social capital makes it easier. Plus, I personally consider wealth anyone whose parents combined income was >150k growing up but that's just me :p
Looks like we’re all about to be wealthy then and hated on by the next gen
 

efle

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The recipe is no secret. Boards, grades, letters, research, and interviewing well. The stronger you can be in each category, the better. You do not need to be rich or from HMS to build a good app
 
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Chromium Surfer

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The recipe is no secret. Boards, grades, letters, research, and interviewing well. The stronger you can be in each category, the better. You do not need to be rich or from HMS to build a good app
Besides research and dedicated service, is not having any other leadership/EC’s a red flag for students at top 20 med schools looking to keep doors open for top 20 IM?


I see so many people in my school doing all of these clubs and stuff and it seems so pointless too me save for a few
 

Kaputt

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Besides research and dedicated service, is not having any other leadership/EC’s a red flag for students at top 20 med schools looking to keep doors open for top 20 IM?


I see so many people in my school doing all of these clubs and stuff and it seems so pointless too me save for a few
Club stuff is dumb and stupid unless you actually care about what your club stuff is doing. People who start the "Pimple Rounds" club to beef up their derm application are wasting their time, for example, because they're torpedo'd if they screw up one of the basic requirements of excellent boards/excellent clinical grades/excellent letters/AOA/research

So yeah don't sweat it, you don't need to perform a hostile takeover of the Internal Medicine interest group in order to match Brigham or whatever. Just ace those boards and get AOA and do tons of research and whatever other stuff the kind people in this thread are suggesting. I'm an idiot and I got AOA so anything's possible
 

Mnowledge

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Besides research and dedicated service, is not having any other leadership/EC’s a red flag for students at top 20 med schools looking to keep doors open for top 20 IM?


I see so many people in my school doing all of these clubs and stuff and it seems so pointless too me save for a few
Lol for top 20 medical, the bar for ECs are even lower. You can do *some* research and *no* club stuff and probably still get top 20 residency, provided you earn solid clinical grades, step scores and AOA. Don't believe me, look up the pubmed profile of your own students who got top 20 residency and see how many papers/case reports they published. Posters and abstracts in IM are relatively easy to acquire.

AOA can be important. My school's AOA puts emphasis on leadership and volunteering. Find out the criteria for AOA and act accordingly.
 

efle

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Besides research and dedicated service, is not having any other leadership/EC’s a red flag for students at top 20 med schools looking to keep doors open for top 20 IM?


I see so many people in my school doing all of these clubs and stuff and it seems so pointless too me save for a few
I have no experience with IM but I can tell you for radiology it's been zero issue to have no clubs. It's a different game than medical admissions, people care way less about stuff like clubs or volunteering.
 
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