What is a good STEP 1 score to get a psych spot in Southern California?

carlosc1dbz

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I am going to take step 1 in about 2 months. This is something that has been bugging me. I really want to go to California for residency. Are there many programs in the LA area?
 

atsai3

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I am going to take step 1 in about 2 months. This is something that has been bugging me. I really want to go to California for residency. Are there many programs in the LA area?
There are a lot of programs in the southern California area. The quality and selectivity is variable as well, suggesting that applicants who apply and interview broadly will have a good chance to match there.

-AT.
 

carlosc1dbz

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There are a lot of programs in the southern California area. The quality and selectivity is variable as well, suggesting that applicants who apply and interview broadly will have a good chance to match there.

-AT.
Wow that sounds great. That very encouraging. I was kind of worried about it. Regardless, I will do my best on STEP 1 and make myself as competitive as possible.
 

HeyThereJude

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I would also like to know this about CA programs, I know there is a range... but what would be a safe score and what would be an average score if you are coming from a great school, have good recs, etc. - 220?

are the averages for the program published anywhere, like the mcat was for med school?

also, do most programs see your step 2 before they rank you?
 

nitemagi

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I would also like to know this about CA programs, I know there is a range... but what would be a safe score and what would be an average score if you are coming from a great school, have good recs, etc. - 220?

are the averages for the program published anywhere, like the mcat was for med school?

also, do most programs see your step 2 before they rank you?
220 is a fine score. As said above, just apply broadly. The averages are not published, to my knowledge. If you have a stellar step 1, some people opt to not take their step 2 before submitting their match list.
 

plickfu

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Yes, just do your best. Other than the obvious top couple of programs, the CA programs are surprisingly uncompetitive (my impression based on other applicants I met at my interviews).
 

nitemagi

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Depends on your definition of competitive. Just grades/scores?

Common belief is UCLA and UCSF are most competitive (though rumors have gone around that UCSF mainly rests on its laurels and doesn't deserve this statu). UCSD, UCLA-Harbor, and Stanford are considered competitive as well. Irvine is probably another tier lower but still decent.

USC is an up and comer, but it, cedars, Loma Linda, UCLA-SFV are less competitive, to my understanding.
 
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Depends on your definition of competitive. Just grades/scores?

Common belief is UCLA and UCSF are most competitive (though rumors have gone around that UCSF mainly rests on its laurels and doesn't deserve this statu). UCSD, UCLA-Harbor, and Stanford are considered competitive as well. Irvine is probably another tier lower but still decent.

USC is an up and comer, but it, cedars, Loma Linda, UCLA-SFV are less competitive, to my understanding.
Thanks...Interesting, I had heard someone else hint the same about SF. Guess it depends on how status is quantified and qualified in psych (research productivity? clinical faculty? and so on)
 

notdeadyet

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Common belief is UCLA and UCSF are most competitive (though rumors have gone around that UCSF mainly rests on its laurels and doesn't deserve this statu).
I haven't heard too many negative rumblings about UCSF in terms of recent residents, but have heard some negativity from potential applicants on the interview trail for the past 2 or so years. I think the reason that UCSF turns folks off is that it doesn't do much of a sales job.

The difference in the interview day dynamic between UCLA and UCSF is night and day. UCLA has videos with music, lots of nice glossies, and a very recruitment-focused resident group. On the interview night, there was a great turnout of the PD, APD, Chair, and lots of residents over drinks and snacks. UCSF had much more low scale printouts without a lot of depth and a very low key interview day. While UCLA felt like they had folks with a lot of marketing experience structure the thing, UCSF felt much more perfunctory. UCLA's residents seemed very outgoing and outdoorsy, whereas UCSF's seemed pretty cerebral.

I think I might have been turned off by UCSF, except for having been pretty familiar with them professionally and knowing their program better than glossed from the website and marketing materials. They have great clinical exposure in just about everything and a very diverse range of faculty interests. Much stronger commitment to and training in public psychiatry than most realize. Lots of research (obviously), but that's not my track, so I couldn't comment more than that.

It's going to be interesting if/how the recent public perception of UCSF changes with the hiring of a permanent Chair.
UCSD, UCLA-Harbor, and Stanford are considered competitive as well. Irvine is probably another tier lower but still decent.
Agree with the above, though Stanford >> UCSD/Harbor-UCLA in terms of competitive. I'd also add San Mateo up there as competitive as Stanford and very self-selecting. I'd probably put UC Davis in the UCSD/Harbor-UCLA category.
USC is an up and comer, but it, cedars, Loma Linda, UCLA-SFV are less competitive, to my understanding.
Agree with that.

carlosc1dbz- California is competitive due to geography (like other regions of the country) but there's no secret handshake. Apply early and broadly with solid scores and letters and you'll get your interviews. I went on interviews to many of the above mentioned programs and found that almost all of them were focused on me as a whole candidate and judging if I'd be a good fit. Best of luck in the process...
 
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