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What's more important? US news ranking or matchlist

gesuchtish

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U of Connecticut and U of Vermont are not highly ranked on US news research ranking. Still, their residency matchlist is way better(in a subjective sense) than some of the higher ranked schools such as IndianaU. I think that if we are really thinking career wise we should be looking at matchlists rather than the deceptive US news ranking.
 

spicedmanna

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U of Connecticut and U of Vermont are not highly ranked on US news research ranking. Still, their residency matchlist is way better(in a subjective sense) than some of the higher ranked schools such as IndianaU. I think that if we are really thinking career wise we should be looking at matchlists rather than the deceptive US news ranking.

The data that USNWR provides may have value, but their ranking system is flawed. Just look at their criteria.

Matchlists provide some indication of how successful schools are in preparing students for residency, I would think. Residencies are where it's at.
 

Green Pirate

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Match list hands down. Honestly, who cares about the prestige of the med school if it doesn't land you the residency you want? Sure, a variety of factors need to come into play when choosing a med school, but ultimately, med school is just the stepping stone to get you to your residency of choice. This is just simple logic...
 
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Green Pirate

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It's impossible to measure how "good" a match list is. Both tools (match lists and US News rankings) are useless.

I don't think match lists are completely useless. "Good" might just depend on the particular person's goals. If someone wants to go into general surgery, for example, he or she might check to see how many people from that school matched. It doesn't tell you anything definitive, but it gives a better idea than US News.

I agree that there are more important factors to consider, but it can't be dismissed in its entirety.
 

jsnuka

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Let's look at the matchlist deal from another perspective. I think we can all agree that the US News stuff is worthless and just serves to feed one's ego.

Are your patients going to care where you went to school or where you did your residency or will they care about the fact that you are licensed, knowledgeable, personable, compassionate and caring?


I mean really.:rolleyes:

Some things do not matter in the grand scheme of things if you TRULY want
to help people and not be utterly self effacing.

Not putting this on anyone in particular, but folx there are greater thigns to be concerned about than matchlists and rankings.
 

Green Pirate

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Let's look at the matchlist deal from another perspective. I think we can all agree that the US News stuff is worthless and just serves to feed one's ego.

Are your patients going to care where you went to school or where you did your residency or will they care about the fact that you are licensed, knowledgeable, personable, compassionate and caring?


I mean really.:rolleyes:

Some things do not matter in the grand scheme of things if you TRULY want
to help people and not be utterly self effacing.

Not putting this on anyone in particular, but folx there are greater thigns to be concerned about than matchlists and rankings.

that's true about the med schools... but some people are interested in match lists because they want to go into competitive fields. We're not all just interested in going to a prestigious insititution for a common residency--some of us are fighting to get a slot wherever we possibly can.
 

Law2Doc

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that's true about the med schools... but some people are interested in match lists because they want to go into competitive fields. We're not all just interested in going to a prestigious insititution for a common residency--some of us are fighting to get a slot wherever we possibly can.

I think I have to agree with towelie on this one. If you do a search, you will find a zillion threads as to why match lists are really not helpful in the hands of premeds. From the list you cannot know (1) whether everyone got what they wanted or where they wanted, (2) just because a big name is listed doesn't mean it is a good residency program, (3) match lists in terms of competitive specialties change drastically year to year, and (4) At age 24+, many people have family and geographical reasons for choosing certain matches that have nothing to do with what they could attain.
It is not uncommon for many of the top students in a med school to opt to not do derm, optho, and instead go into medicine or surgery. Does that mean they wouldn't get into another specialty? Of course not. At some point along this road you stop shooting for the most prestigious and start to focus on what you actually WANT to do. It is also not uncommon for a school to have a dozen people go into eg. ortho one year and only one or two the next. Did that school suddenly become bad? Of course not. And even within each specialty some places are better than others (good versus malignant) -- a school that places a bunch of people into malignant programs in a competitive specialty is not really what you would call a good match list. But you cannot know which programs are which as a premed. You need to sit down with a mentor in your desired field of specialty later in med school and find out the word on which programs are good or not -- they won't be alligned with the US News list particularly well.
 

gesuchtish

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I'm old and I don't think prestige matters to me at all. I don't have a good joint so I need to live somewhere dry and warm. However, to get to live in a city I want would be a lot harder if I went to the wrong med school. Where you do residency is highly correlated with where you would be for the rest of your life.
 

Law2Doc

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I'm old and I don't think prestige matters to me at all. I don't have a good joint so I need to live somewhere dry and warm. However, to get to live in a city I want would be a lot harder if I went to the wrong med school.

If you do well in any US allo med school and do well on the boards, there is really no city you cannot match to if you are totally flexible about specialty. Thus if that is your only requirement, there is no "wrong med school". Most people, however, don't know what their aspirations are until they do rotations and actually see a few specialties in action.
 

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I think I have to agree with towelie on this one. If you do a search, you will find a zillion threads as to why match lists are really not helpful in the hands of premeds. From the list you cannot know (1) whether everyone got what they wanted or where they wanted, (2) just because a big name is listed doesn't mean it is a good residency program, (3) match lists in terms of competitive specialties change drastically year to year, and (4) At age 24+, many people have family and geographical reasons for choosing certain matches that have nothing to do with what they could attain.
I kind of disagree to a certain extent. While of course there is a certain amount of subjectivity to a match list depending on one's personal goals and desires, there is still an objective difference in match list quality that I think is fine to be taken into consideration. I think it's important to look at the match list on the whole (and the average applicant listed...not rank-wise, but your general impression of each applicant's success) and not how many people got into derm a particular year, for example. If a lot of people matched into competitive specialties, then you know for certain that they were able to. If another school only matched 10% of their class to competitive specialties, sure they might have been the only people who wanted to do that, but the assurances aren't the same as for the other school where you know 30% were able to. Also, as far as not knowing if a particular program is high-ranking, sure a med student may not know that Yale doesn't have the strongest Rads department (I'm just making something up here), but a) at least the person placed into a competitive residency and is on their way to becoming a radiologist, and b) how bad could Yale anything really be? It's certainly way above any community program, which still makes you a radiologist when you graduate.
 
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FenderHM

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what do u think, a pretty unscientific study based largely on amount of research money that does NOT go to medical students or medical education.... OR the residencies students from that school get, hard evidence of what YOUR future might be like if u attend that school?
 

Law2Doc

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and b) how bad could Yale anything really be? It's certainly way above any community program, which still makes you a radiologist when you graduate.

Careful about this viewpoint. Some of the most malignant programs in some specialties are at brand named places. It only takes a few SOBs to make life there hell. This is a very word of mouth based profession. Rankings list value ends in pre-allo.

As to your other points, I get your point, but you can easilly be turning down a great school that could open lots of doors simply because a lot of its top students in a given year simply chose not to do derm, rads etc. I know a few folks where were in the top portion of their class at top schools who chose IM or surgery. It was not their school holding them back, they certainly could have done rads if it was what they wanted -- they chose certain paths because it interested them more. Yet on a match list, if many think like them, you might think the school simply doesn't get people into rads. And as I indicated before, by age 24+ people often have local entanglements that require them to try to match to certain locations which may or may not be the most competitive. Thus while, sure, it doesn't have zero probative value, you don't want to read too much into these lists, because you will be wrong in your conclusions quite frequently. There are far better ways to pick your med school IMHO.
 

Law2Doc

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hard evidence of what YOUR future might be like if u attend that school?

It is hard evidence of what your future would be like only if you make the same choices those students, strangers to you with unknown agendas and motivations, made. :) You cannot know what roads they did not choose to take. You cannot really know what entanglements they had that made them choose to do a residency in IM in New Mexico when they could easilly have gotten rads in NYC. So it is hardly what I would call hard evidence.
 

spicedmanna

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Which residencies are considered most competetive? Least competetive?... ( i realize this is somewhat subjective, just want to know what the general consensus is, more or less)

Most competitive (in general):

R - Radiology
O - Opthamology
A - Anesthesiology
D - Dermatology

Least competitive (in general):

Primary care (IM, FP, Psych, Peds)
 

BloodySurgeon

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Which residencies are considered most competetive? Least competetive?... ( i realize this is somewhat subjective, just want to know what the general consensus is, more or less)

Hard = Derm, plastics, ortho, ped surg, neuro surg, and others youd most prob suspect

Easy = CT surg, IM, family med, etc.
 

Hednej

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So a lot of people are saying that matchlists in the hands of premeds are no good. Can we get a bunch of more knowledgeable people to give us some guidelines when looking at the matchlists?
 
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SeventhSon

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(2) just because a big name is listed doesn't mean it is a good residency program,

well if that person is so intent on a certain speciality, or knowing matching into the most competitive specialties, then let them do the research to make such an analysis useful. Don't blame match lists on people's ignorance, just offer a warning.
 

JohnnyOU

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USnews is a joke...matchlists are the real deal. Harvard is better than about any state school. MD schools are always better than and DO/carrib school...contrary to what they like to pretend.

Usnews is for those outside. Blow em off.
 

hoosier82

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USnews is a joke...matchlists are the real deal. Harvard is better than about any state school. MD schools are always better than and DO/carrib school...contrary to what they like to pretend.

Usnews is for those outside. Blow em off.
I really really like your straight forwardness.
Of course there is a good match list and there is a bad match list.
People who try to say that "oh matchlist are all the same; it all depends on individual's personality, intent and preference; don't worry u'll do fine wherever you land your residency spot" are just mixing up black and white and making what is apparent obscure.
 

dutchman

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USnews is a joke...matchlists are the real deal. Harvard is better than about any state school. MD schools are always better than and DO/carrib school...contrary to what they like to pretend.

Usnews is for those outside. Blow em off.

Harvard's matchlist is not better than some state schools out there. I have read more than my fair share of matchlists, and I can tell you that stuff is completely meaningless. If it was that great a measure, you will see schools advertising their "great matchlists" and we won't be having this debate. I will not put too much stock in matchlists.
 

byong_soo

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dutchman, matchlist isn't some "stuff [that] is completely meaningless."
In fact, schools do advertise their matchlist. Many of them have have them on their websites. Also, when I visited Yale, they gave me their matchlist to look at. And boy, was it impressive. And I haven't looked at Harvard's matchlist, but I suspect their matchlist is better than all the state schools in the US except for UCSF, which probably is comparable.

I also don't think US News is completely meaningless. I think there is some value to it. It is hard to rank some schools i.e. you can't say that because Duke is ranked lower than WashU this year, WashU is the "better" school with confidence. Having said this, ranking does give you a pretty good picture of tiers of schools. And reputation of med school does matter when you are applying for residency.

Of course, matchlist and us news ranking should not be the sole factors on deciding med schools b/c there are other important things as well such as money, environemtn, curriculum, school's focus. But these two should be definitely looked at. I bet 99% of the SDNers have looked at and do know rankings of their schools on US News anyway.
 

Mr. Belding

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dutchman, matchlist isn't some "stuff [that] is completely meaningless."
In fact, schools do advertise their matchlist. Many of them have have them on their websites. Also, when I visited Yale, they gave me their matchlist to look at. And boy, was it impressive. And I haven't looked at Harvard's matchlist, but I suspect their matchlist is better than all the state schools in the US except for UCSF, which probably is comparable.

I also don't think US News is completely meaningless. I think there is some value to it. It is hard to rank some schools i.e. you can't say that because Duke is ranked lower than WashU this year, WashU is the "better" school with confidence. Having said this, ranking does give you a pretty good picture of tiers of schools. And reputation of med school does matter when you are applying for residency.

Of course, matchlist and us news ranking should not be the sole factors on deciding med schools b/c there are other important things as well such as money, environemtn, curriculum, school's focus. But these two should be definitely looked at. I bet 99% of the SDNers have looked at and do know rankings of their schools on US News anyway.


Not sure why everyone feels the need to get on their knees for Harvard. Their match list is littered with Harvard-affiliated hospitals. What does that say? The Harvard ego is pervasive. Vandy matches kids at Hopkins as frequently as does Harvard; I'd rather attend Vandy.
 

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A question...we can all agree that Caribbean schools are pretty much at the bottom of the barrel in terms of ranking (if ranking even includes them). However, here's AUC's 2006 match list:
Anesthesiology - (7)
Dermatology - (1)
Emergency Medicine - (4)
Family Practice - (69)
General Medicine/Preliminary - (4)
Internal Medicine - (28)
Neurology/Neuroscience - (2)
Neurosurgery - (1)
OB/GYN - (9)
Orthopedic Surgery - (1)
Pathology - (2)
Pediatrics - (17)
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - (2)
Psychiatry - (6)
Radiology/Diagnostic - (3)
Radiology/Transitional Year - (1)
Surgery/General - (14)
Surgery/Preliminary - (8)

So primary care consists of 70% of this list.

I expected a lot worse! What is your opinion of this list?
If match list is what really matters, they don't look that bad....or do the US MD residency match list include more specialties?
 

dutchman

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dutchman, matchlist isn't some "stuff [that] is completely meaningless."
In fact, schools do advertise their matchlist. Many of them have have them on their websites. Also, when I visited Yale, they gave me their matchlist to look at. And boy, was it impressive. And I haven't looked at Harvard's matchlist, but I suspect their matchlist is better than all the state schools in the US except for UCSF, which probably is comparable.

I also don't think US News is completely meaningless. I think there is some value to it. It is hard to rank some schools i.e. you can't say that because Duke is ranked lower than WashU this year, WashU is the "better" school with confidence. Having said this, ranking does give you a pretty good picture of tiers of schools. And reputation of med school does matter when you are applying for residency.

Of course, matchlist and us news ranking should not be the sole factors on deciding med schools b/c there are other important things as well such as money, environemtn, curriculum, school's focus. But these two should be definitely looked at. I bet 99% of the SDNers have looked at and do know rankings of their schools on US News anyway.


If you consider the matching of specialists as a good match list then check out these percentages of schools producing the most primary care physicians.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/webextras/brief/sb_med_primarycare_brief.php
Harvard University (MA) 41.0%
New York University 38.8%
Florida State University 37.0%
University of Pittsburgh 34.9%
University of Virginia 37.0%
University of North Dakota 28.0%

Once again, I don't put too much weight on match lists, it is meaningless IMO.
 

Mr. Tee

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Once again, I don't put too much weight on match lists, it is meaningless IMO.

You're right, cuz they only show the initial match and not any fellowships received later. IM --> cardiology would still be considered "primary care" by USNews criteria. Not accurate cuz the physician may not end up in primary care.
 

Law2Doc

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. And boy, was it impressive.

This is where your story falls flat. A premed, or even most med students, would be hard pressed to tell you what is "impressive". This is a word of mouth business, and you really need to sit down with a mentor in your desired specialty to even know which programs are good versus malignant. Can you tell us what places are the best to match to in eg derm, optho, rads, rad onc, plastics, anesthesia? You may be surprised that many of the top choices are not at hospitals affiliated with schools at the top of the US News list. And as dutchman has indicated, some of the big name ivy league schools actually place larger percentages of folks into primary care than some of the state schools. That still doesn't mean you wouldn't want to go there.

So look at the match lists if you like, but know that you have no clue what is impressive or not. They can tell you that a bunch of people went into, say, rads that year, but you'd need multiple years lists to know if that was just an abberation, and still won't know if it just means that more people just happened to be interested in it, rather than something the school itself is doing. There are far more useful criteria you should use to select a school. Location, cost, schedule, curriculum, grading system, and the vibe you got when you visited.
 
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