what do you need to get a spot in competative residency program?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by chury, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. chury

    chury Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 1999
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you need to get honors in some classes, many classes or you can get into a nice program only with good USMLE scores? (I am talking about US graduates ) What is the most important?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. pags

    pags Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2000
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm currently trying to match in radiology and it seems that those with the most interviews are:
    1) From top tier allopathic schools
    2) Lots of honored courses, top 20% of class
    3) High USMLE scores, 240+
    4) Research in radiology, and/or other areas
    5) Letters of recommendation from well known or important radiologists.

    Now, obviously this is ideal and there are not that many candidates with all of these. But, this can give you a rough estimate on what you should strive for to land a competitive residency at a competitive program.
     
  4. penelope

    penelope Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, pags, for the advice. I'm finding honors elusive and feeling like it's going to cost me that juicy residency...but maybe if I do some cool research and kick butt on the boards I can compensate...? Any recommendations for people not in the top 20% of their class? Thanks.
     
  5. Whisker Barrel Cortex

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    20
    I'm assuming you are a preclinical student (since you haven't taken the boards yet). My pre-clinical grades were probably barely top half of my class (my only honors were in psych, clinical continuum, ethics, high pass in most other classes).

    From what I have read in Iserson's and experienced at 15 radiology interviews, preclinical grades are really not that important. What matters most is your 3rd year clerkship grades, especially surgery, medicine, and your specialty of choice (radiology for me). These clerkships help prove that you are a hard worker (believe me, this is the most important thing in getting good grades in third year), get along well with others, and have a reasonable knowledge base (read about your patients and their diseases). That is what most programs are looking for. I actually saw on my file cover sheet at one New York program three slots for grades: Medicine, Surgery, and Radiology (my field of choice)

    The USMLE Step I serves as an equilizer test of the preclinical years. If you do well on this test, it can balance out average grades in these years.

    Research is good to have. Its better if you publish, but just having some under your belt and maybe presenting a poster will help too. I did functional MRI research and only presented it at our school research day. From what I have been able to tell during my interviews, this research was a factor in 2-3 of the programs I interviewed at.

    I am applying to radiology and have interviews at 20 school. I turned down 4 offers. Of these, none are top 10 places. About 5 are top 20 university program. The rest are middle tier programs. Maybe 1-2 not so great places.

    So, study your ass off for the USMLE and work your ass off in third year and you should do fine. Good luck.
     
  6. chury

    chury Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 1999
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok. First year is pass/fail only at my school. Second year has fail, pass and Honors. Honors are only top 10%. So far I have only 1 out of 4 honors. I always miss the honors by 1 or 2 questions.

    Now my question is: will they rank all the students at my school or they will count my 89% the same as the people that got 65%? How does this work in your schools?
     
  7. ckent

    ckent Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  8. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    2
    One thought about grades, some clerkships place a lot of emphasis not on how hard you work during your rotation, but your grade on the shelf exam. So, it's in your best interest grades wise, to do well on the exam and unfortunately this means less hard work on the wards.
     
  9. Goofy

    Goofy Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  10. pags

    pags Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2000
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Klebsiella,
    I wouldn't go so far as to say a mediocre amercian grad can easily find a spot in radiology this year. I'm happy to say that I'm far beyond a mediocre student, however, I've had difficulty in securing radiology interviews. Yea, the DO thing might have something to do with it, but there are an awful lot of high quality applicant this year for the 880 or so radiology spots. I've noticed that the application numbers for surgery and its subspecialties have decreased while rads have been going up.
     
  11. Goofy

    Goofy Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    2
     

Share This Page