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What gives you your best chances for residency?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Stairmaster, Dec 15, 2005.

?

What is the best scenario?

  1. Being junior AOA from NYMC or RFU

    45 vote(s)
    36.0%
  2. Being in the top half of a good state school (univ of wash, michigan)

    38 vote(s)
    30.4%
  3. Graduating anywhere in the class from a top ten (HMS, Stanford, UCLA, UCSF)

    42 vote(s)
    33.6%
  1. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Junior Member

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    If you want to get in a competitive high paying field (rads, plastic, derm), which of these will give you the best shot...
     
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  3. veenut

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    sorry but from what i know this is an easy one...i think AOA helps you a LOT ultimately, moreso than the school you attend.
     
  4. unfrozencaveman

    unfrozencaveman not a dude
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    What qualifies one for AOA?

    And when do you stop caring about the rankings? 10? 15? 20?
     
  5. Lorrayne

    Lorrayne Senior Member
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    I voted for AOA, but I think this debate is kind of like "what GPA or MCAT score do I need to get into a top 10 school." Recently, I talked to a fourth year at Wash U who was applying to 50 different residency programs because she wanted to do derm. So I think she felt like there was a lot left to chance, even though she went to a top 10 school.
     
  6. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    Are we as pre-meds even qualified to say which will be more important?
     
  7. USArmyDoc

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    I was thinking the samethinig.
     
  8. Lorrayne

    Lorrayne Senior Member
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    Absolutely not, but now that I'm done with classes and have an acceptance, I really need something else to worry about :D (After all it's ONLY four years away!)
     
  9. jbrice1639

    jbrice1639 Cub Fan, Bud Man
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    how about boards scores...
     
  10. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    Board scores
     
  11. rotatores

    rotatores Senior Member
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    After just matching my number one choice for the military match...I must say that everything that I initially thought was 'oh so' important...really wasn't. Grades...board scores...AOA...of course do help...but in the end the program director will select you if he/she likes you.

    rotatores
    USUHS 2006
     
  12. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Haha, of course not. Anyways, I voted the AOA option, because if you look at the match list for RFU, you'll see that some of them got some really good residencies, so it's obviously possible (and happens frequently). I guess we're just assuming that board scores are identical here.
     
  13. Scoot

    Scoot Senior Member
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    Ok, I give up, What is AOA?
     
  14. potato51

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    for the most competitive residencies, it's who you know that makes a huge impact on your chances.
     
  15. jbrice1639

    jbrice1639 Cub Fan, Bud Man
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  16. Scoot

    Scoot Senior Member
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  17. jeffsleepy

    jeffsleepy Senior Member
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    Heh, you do realize that Univeristy of Washington and University of Michigan are both in the top 10 while UCLA isn't?
     
  18. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    I think one other strong factor is performance during an audition rotation.
     
  19. labelwhore

    labelwhore Member
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    i'm not sure of this but i think most schools operate this way

    students that are elected to be in AOA are in the top 25% of their class and distinguish themselves through their accomplishments, leadership, and character. i think the maximum number that can be elected is 1/6 of the class.
     
  20. novemberrainne

    novemberrainne Junior Member
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    Some residencies don't care about AOA, like derm at U Mich...
     
  21. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Xactly. I think it's hard to realize it as a premed because there is such an emphasis on grades at that juncture. But down the road, from what I've heard, while good grades are helpful and AOA is certainly regarded as a big plus, what will really determine your residency will be your board scores, and how you do in your clinical rotations. You can ace the first two years of med school, get AOA, but if you tank the boards or no one likes working with you during your clinical years, you aint matching noplace.

    Thus if you want useful answers in your poll, to determine how much a school name helps you versus class rank, you probably have to indicate that board scores are equal and moderately good, but not great, under all three options. But I think you will find that just because you could get into Harvard doesn't mean you would do higher in the class at eg. RFU. It doesn't work like that. Everyone in med school is really smart, no matter what med school. The range in quality is really quite small -- on average everyone was a B+ or better student no matter where you go.
     
  22. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    Being a good looking female.

    I'm not joking.
     
  23. physiclas87

    physiclas87 Member
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    I think the BIG issue that is being raised by the OP is: should you go to an easy school for you, so that you may rank at the very top of your class, or go to a top school where everyone will be as smart if not much smarter than you and rank relatively lowly.

    In my opinion, the going to an easier school would be very advantageous.

    Take a look at the match lists for different medical schools. You will see that EVERY medical school (MD at least), not matter what their rank, will place their graduates into top programs. This is because at the easier schools, a person will rank high easier and be very attractive to a residency director. Plus, they will have more time to study for the boards (as opposed to at a Top 10 school, you have to study just for your classes, because everybody is soooo competetive).

    Take a look at match lists. You will see this. U. Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt. You know that Vanderbilt's students outflank U Tenn's students by a longshot, yet both schools sent 9 students to radiology!
     
  24. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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  25. physiclas87

    physiclas87 Member
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    You state: There are only 125 or so allo med schools. All have about the same average numbers

    Wait...what are you smoking? All schools have the same numbers my ass.

    RFU average GPA/MCAT = Harvard GPA/MCAT ????

    Lets say you have a 36 on the MCAT and a 3.8. You can go to a top school and get smoked by the competition, or you can go to RFU and not even study that much to remain at the top of your class. Why? Because you are smarter!!! You will have more time to study for the Boards, and get a higher score.
     
  26. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Well Harvard = P/F
    RFU = A/B/C/D/F

    but thats a whole different story. I don't think the person would smoke anyone in the RFU scheme.
     
  27. ultimateend

    ultimateend fear is the mind killer.
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    my father interviews applicants for orthopedic residencies at Mayo and I can only tell you what he told me. He said he has never interviewed someone who wasn't AOA and tells me that they do not put an emphasis on where you went to med school. Board scores are also up there on importance, but he keeps pushing AOA.
     
  28. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    Thank you.
     
  29. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    This may be the case for this particular residency, but I am going to say that near the top of the class, but not quite AOA, at a top school is better than AOA at a mediocre med school. For example, my father chose a top med school over lesser-known ones, was not AOA at this school, and ended up in optho residency at the no. 1 program in the world. He is now an ophthalmology professor. Would he have gotten that residency as AOA from a different med school? He has told me time and time again no, the committee prefers very good but not AOA applicants from top med schools over AOA from crappy med schools (he interviews applicants for residencies/fellowships in optho. at a top-5 program).
     
  30. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    you should bring this poll to the allopathic or residency forum. otherwise, they'll be a lot of guessing.
     
  31. slickb12

    slickb12 Member
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    He's never interviewed anybody from HMS or Stanford?
     
  32. SpeedRacer

    SpeedRacer Senior Member
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    thank you! i thought i was the only one that noticed.

    i think this poll would have been much more interesting with AOA v. board scores v. prestige of school. that's what i'd be more interested in...there really is quite a debate; some people think top residency programs only take AOA students, some think it's all board scores.
     
  33. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I disagree. Nobody said that the schools had the same numbers, just that the range of difference is really quite small, especially compared to the ranges of quality in undergrads. We are not talking about a huge difference in GPA. With a 3.8/36 you very well might end up getting the same grades in either school. You were an above average matriculant at one school and an average one at the other. But guess what - it doesn't matter anymore. While it's nice to think that you can be an average joe at Harvard but still the smartest at a lower end school it just doesn't work that way. The smarter people at one school are likely to be up there with the smarter in the other school, and so too the bottom of the class.
    Look at it this way. You only got the 3.8 because you were at the top of a curve with less stellar people at the bottom. You were a big fish in a small pond. When you truncate the class to just keep folks with med school level credentials, from a variety of schools, then maybe you aren't quite at the top anymore. Doesn't matter which med school -- the bottom is gone at either place. Plus the material, volume, kind of tests are very different in med school, and some folks with high numbers don't make the transition well. And schools at the lower end have a direction they need to go, so may even try to push their students harder -- make them better prepared when they get to clinical rotations, squeeze more into the curriculum to try and goose up board scores, raise the minimum passing grades in classes as a measure of quality control, not use a P/F system, etc. (so sometimes it's actually more work, not more free time, at a so called lesser school) Bottom line -- you are moving from your small pond to a bigger body of water, and whether it is the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific, it's still going to be an ocean compared to the small pond you are coming from. :smuggrin:
     
  34. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member
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    Fair point, but you still can't deny that it would be harder to be in the top 10% of your class at a school like UPenn than a school like NYMC.
     
  35. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    While it might be a bit harder, it is hardly going to be an appreciable difference. You would still have to kill yourself studying in either case, basically living at the library, to be at the very top of either class. I'm not sure you would notice a difference. And most people would not manage to be top 10% in either class even with a massive study schedule, no matter what their matriculation numbers might have been. It's not like someone who got into NYMC with a B+ average is dumb while a person who got into Penn with an A is smart. Either person can smoke you on a test on a given day. And in med school they very likely will.
     
  36. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member
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    I agree that you would certainly have to study REALLY hard in either case to even have a chance at being in the upper echelon of your class, but I think there's a greater probability of studying your absolute hardest and still not being in the top ten percent of your class at a top school.

    To me, the biggest difference between students in top schools and lower schools isn't how hard they work - you're right in saying that everyone has busted their @$$es just to get in medical school, and that there's not much difference between a B+ student and an A student in terms of effort. I would argue, however, that there is a significant difference with regards to test taking ability, which is better measured, of course, by the MCAT than GPA.

    This is why a 6+ point MCAT differential between two schools means a lot more to me than a 0.2 difference in GPA when comparing how stiff the competition would be.
     
  37. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Well, the tests are totally different in med school, and success on the MCAT has not been particularly strongly correlated to med school grades, at least from what I've seen on the allo board. (There is some small correlation to board scores, but that perhaps cuts against a prior posters' notions that lesser schools equal more time and thus better shot at doing well on the board). Once you get past a certain threshold everyone is pretty sharp. And due to the volume of material in med school, no one can learn everything in med school, so strong memories often outweigh smarts or test taking skills.
     
  38. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member
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    Validity of the Medical College Admission Test for predicting medical school performance.

    PURPOSE: Since the introduction of the revised Medical College Admission Test (MCAT(R)) in 1991, the Association of American Medical Colleges has been investigating the extent to which MCAT scores supplement the power of undergraduate grade point averages (uGPAs) to predict success in medical school. This report is a comprehensive summary of the relationships between MCAT scores and (1) medical school grades, (2) United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step scores, and (3) academic distinction or difficulty. METHOD: This study followed two cohorts from entrance to medical school through residency. Students from 14 medical schools' 1992 and 1993 entering classes provided data for predicting medical school grades and academic difficulty/distinction, while their peers from all of the U.S. medical schools were used to predict performance on USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3. Regression analyses assessed the predictive power of combinations of uGPAs, MCAT scores, and undergraduate-institution selectivity. RESULTS: Grades were best predicted by a combination of MCAT scores and uGPAs, with MCAT scores providing a substantial increment over uGPAs. MCAT scores were better predictors of USMLE Step scores than were uGPAs, and the combination did little better than MCAT scores alone. The probability of experiencing academic difficulty or distinction tended to vary with MCAT scores. MCAT scores were strong predictors of scores for all three Step examinations, particularly Step 1. CONCLUSIONS: MCAT scores almost double the proportion of variance in medical school grades explained by uGPAs, and essentially replace the need for uGPAs in their impressive prediction of Step scores. The MCAT performs well as an indicator of academic preparation for medical school, independent of the school-specific handicaps of uGPAs.
     
  39. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member
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    Forgot to include the author: Julian ER
     
  40. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member
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    So anyway, if you find yourself competing against students who are better prepared for medical school, I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't have a harder time getting into the top 10%.
     
  41. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Interesting. Thanks.
    But I wonder, since the study was done in the early 90s and adcoms are still using the undergrad GPA pretty significantly, clearly this hypothesis hasn't caught on, or must somehow be subject to question or differing interpretation. If adcoms were comfortable that there was a strong correlation between MCAT and prediction of med school success, there wouldn't be a good reason to ever go beyond that objective factor.
    I still stand by my hypothesis -- med school is going to be hard no matter where you go. If you want A's you will have to work for them, and if it's slightly easier at one school versus another you might benefit when grades are awarded, but would never notice the difference (while studying). You simply will not have more free time at one school versus another, and if you did, it might be at the better school which has less to prove with the quality of its graduates (ie the lower ranked school sometimes pushes them harder).
     
  42. docbill

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    some of you guys are sure funny!!!

    Purpose in life is just so different for some of you then so many others.
     
  43. docbill

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    By the way it don't matter if you are a AOA or SOB member... if your board scores are not good enough or you performed poorly on rotations... or simply if you are a huge dumb ass with $hit personality
     
  44. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Yeah - very true. (I said basically the same thing back at post #20.)
     
  45. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Ha! Do you know who Ellen Julian is? She's associate vice president of the AAMC and director of the MCAT. It's her job to promote the MCAT. Here's the link to a list of publications that includes her MCAT updates: http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/advisors/start.htm
     
  46. Orthodoc40

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    Gotta love it! :laugh:
     
  47. 63768

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    i work for an orthopedic surgeon who did not know that he wanted to do orthopedics until his 4th year of med school. i don't know if he was an AOA but he told me that to get into high-demand fields, you need the grades, the scores in med school, boards, etc. also research in orthopedics was a strong point.
     
  48. SpeedRacer

    SpeedRacer Senior Member
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    do you get AOA your junior and senior years? someone told me if you are in the top 10% of your class 1st or 2nd year you can get AOA.

    is it a secret society like the skulls? :laugh:
     
  49. Shredder

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    :thumbup:
     
  50. snapdad

    snapdad Rock and Roll Doctor
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    As a lot of people have mentioned, there are too many factors to pin it on one thing, like AOA or whatever. I have three friends who were more or less middle of the class, got respectable but not crushingly phenomenal board scores, were NOT AOA, but were cool, smart people who worked well with others, and residency directors liked them. Two have matched into rads, one into ortho. Bottom line, do your best, be professional and personable and don't get too caught up in all the AOA stuff, and chances are you'll do fine.
     
  51. velo

    velo bottom of the food chain
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    None of the above. It really is the whole picture of your step1 score, letters, research, grades, school, personality....its silly to think you can narrow it down to one factor. Someone in any of the three catagories in the poll could be a strong candidate for those residencies and any one of them could not. That said, you'll note that school and grades were part of my list...
     

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