what's a "good match list"?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by stoppushingit, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. stoppushingit

    stoppushingit stupid savant
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    I know people are always like "oh, this school has a great match list"

    how do most people judge?
    if, say, i want to use usnews as a guide (just ASSUMING, i want NO FLACK about usnews please), do i just look at hospitals and their specialities what not?
     
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  3. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    IMHO, it is a list that has on it some of the hospitals and specialties that you yourself would consider.

    If you are interested in doing Internal Medicine in Boston, has anyone from that medical school done so in the past few years? Which hospitals in Boston (some are considered stronger or better than others.) If you are interested in primary care in a rural area, are a fair number of graduates matching into primary care residencies in places that sound "good" to you?

    I think that a good match list is based on your own values and the information you have about the residency programs.
     
  4. stoppushingit

    stoppushingit stupid savant
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    thank you lizzyM, how would you go about judging different residency programs (eg. Internal MEd in some school in Boston, or one in LA)? all schools sell themselves as the best, with wonderful opportunities, potential, and other goodies. are there any objective measures (even as much as popularity, number of applicants, board scores of residents etc...?)
     
  5. Law2Doc

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    You really can't usefully read a match list as a pre-allo. You need to sit down with a mentor in your desired field of specialty some time late in med school. So much of a programs rep is based on word of mouth that you really get nothing out of a list. The best residency programs in a given field may have little correlation with places with good med school ranks. Worry about getting into a good med school. Once there, it should be an adequate launching pad for whatever residency you ultimately seek.
     
  6. NCF145

    NCF145 Not Politically Correct
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    What about % that participated in the scramble? I would assume that a higher percentage that scrambled would indicate a poor match list.
     
  7. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    I would not use match lists in helping you choose a medical school. For one, the data means nothing to you, as you have no idea how many people applied to prestigious residencies and specialties and how many of the stellar students just wanted to do FP "back home" can could not care less about prestige.

    Secondly, what you might think is important now in a residency may be totally different when you are ready to apply. Your decisions and preferences may be totally different in 4 years and this will be reflected in where you choose to apply for residency.

    IMHO, these lists are of very little help to you at this stage (nor are they much help in choosing residency either).
     
  8. TleilaxuMD

    TleilaxuMD Membership Revoked
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    It is a good match list if it says:

    Class size: 115
    Dermatology matching:100% (115/115):laugh:
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    It's probably more indicative of poor advising.
     
  10. NCF145

    NCF145 Not Politically Correct
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    True. But just like a poor match list, poor advising would be listed as a con for that school.
     
  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Fair point.
     
  12. Moniker

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    actually there could be a lot of information gleaned from match lists if every school analyzed their own match list properly and made that info available (cf the recently released NRMP Match Outcomes report) but they dont, i mean a lot of schools dont even make thier match list public, let alone analyze em out for you. but if they did itd be helpful information to have/. i mean imagine if you could compare your schools numbers to nationwide statistics for a specialty (NRMP match outcomes). that would start to say something.

    for example trends (what % of the class goes into X specialty year after year), % of those who matched who got into "strong programs" (subjective, of course), board score avg. for each specialty matched, etc. how the avg. board scores compared...but it doesn't really mean jack if it's not compared to anything.

    for example you cant brag about putting 20% of your class into ortho, if you dont know it but the nationwide the average is 40%. obviously these are not real numbers.
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    The problem with looking at the percentage of people into fields is that it assumes people are all going to go to the most competitive field they can get. This is a pre-allo attitude that will ultimately break once you get to med school and actually start to think about what you actually find interesting. Truth of the matter is, the top student at most schools doesn't opt for derm even though s/he could get it. I know many top folks who did IM, or surgery, rather than one of the more cushy competitive fields. Other folks make choices based on geography, family, etc. So the question is really did only 20% get ortho or did only 20% want ortho -- no real way to know this, and it can make the match list interpretation meaningless.
    Additionally, you have to look at a couple of years of match lists because a school that matched a high percent of folks into a specialty last year and a lower percentage this year just may mean the folks they recruited for this particular class had different interests, not that the school had any impact.
    So I still say, waste of time at this juncture.
     
  14. Moniker

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    no i know, i'm not a premed, i'm a medical student.

    but approaching it from an analytical standpoint, one way to think about it is to "assume" that roughly the same proportion at each school will opt for or prefer a less competitive specialty or program, or particularly prefer more lucrative specialties. so you are right, one major criticism of such analysis could be "maybe students there particularly (don't/do) WANT to go inot more competitive specialties compared to other schools" (for example if there is high student debt coming out of there, you might have less primary care, if you have people who want to match in CA and CA has "stronger" residencies, that might have an effect, etc.

    BUT i think that's the interpretation that should be made based on the numbers that would come out. what i mean is that you can actually learn about the characteristics of the graduates based on your interpretation. someone knowledgeable about the class dynamic and the students could give insight on why the numbers may have come out the way they did, though it may very well be speculation. your point is well taken, however, that most of that will be over the heads of premeds or entering students. but i think its perhaps inaccurate to say that proper analysis and interpretation of match lists on a large scale wouldnt tell you anything worthwhile. i think it would.
     

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