Where to apply?

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10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2009
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Hello to all, this is my first post on SDN. I write because I am not sure where to set my limits as far as applications for Ob/Gyn residency and I need your help. In short, I hope to leave the state of Texas and ultimately be accepted into a smaller university based program (<10 Interns) that is considered both competitive (ie. great location,faculty & notoriety) and well rounded (training). I am also strongly considering a fellowship in MFM or REI. Is it reasonable not only to apply but to be considered a competitive applicant at schools like Hopkins, Brigham and Women's, Wash U, etc. with the following qualifications:

1. Step 1 240
2. No AOA, but a handful of honors in 1st 2 years, 2 honors in clerkships during 3rd year (internal and peds)
3. 4 (four) surgical publications (second author). 2008,2007,2007,2006.
4. excellent clerkship evaluations as far as clinical performance
5. slightly older than the average applicant; caucasian, male
*6. Step 2 >240 (i haven't taken the test yet but plan on improving)
7. Bilingual
*8. strong letters of rec (i expect)
9. applying from a relatively less well know medical school in texas

i know this may seem like conjecture given that i still have yet to complete step 2, LOR's, personal statement. but if things continue to go as they have - does it seem like i have shot? i have discussed this with a couple of attendings at school and am not sure if i am just getting the 'dare to dream' speech. anyway, what do you residents out there think? any recommendations for location? am i already ruled out by some? please pardon the vagueries, i know its hard to give educated advice without seeing the whole picture. any insight would be much appreciated. -Frenchie

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I think for all applicants the best advice is to apply to several tiers of programs. If you have dreams of going to a top program like Brigham or Hopkins, then apply. On ERAS it's only the click of a box, and it's cheaper than applying to medical school on AMCAS. You should also throw in some smaller academic programs and maybe a few community programs just to cover all of your bases. You will usually hear whether or not you have been offered an interview fairly quickly from places. If you apply by September you will know where you stand with interview offers by October to early November at the latest.

Good luck!
hey thanks for the response, i think my first post was a little long winded. i still didn't really get an answer as to do you think that its reasonable for me to apply to schools given the provided details of my application. are the numbers good enough thus far?

are there any residents out that can speak from experience as to what an average score would be among their peers? i don't mean in ob/gyn overall. i mean in specific programs like those previously mentioned.

i should have guessed that this one wouldn't be too warmly received. cheers anyway
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btw medobsession, your blog is really great. thanks for posting so diligently
Thanks! I hope that you get the answers you are looking for. You can see my stats on my blog, but that's just my one experience. My chair was really good about giving me answers to questions like you had.
Apply to whichever programs you wish but always have a backup plan. That's all I have to say. You don't want to go unmatched. I think your numbers are good but not super competitive for the above-mentioned programs.
is there some way to find out if a program is in the top or bottom tier?? how do i find out how competitive a program is?
is there some way to find out if a program is in the top or bottom tier?? how do i find out how competitive a program is?

There are a few ways that you can go about doing this, but it is not an exact science. You can start with the usnews rankings, but they have to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Just because a place has a strong department does not mean that they have a strong residency. I spent most of my time looking at www.apgo.com and here on SDN. A lot of the programs on APGO have average board scores for there residents, and you can also see how many people apply, how many are granted interviews, etc. And then on SDN, you can look at the lists that people put up that they applied to, or ones that they ranked in their top 5. If they list programs like Brigham, UCSF, NW, Pitt, UNC, then you can start to see that programs listed with known competitive programs are probably also strong. Some people will focus on certain geographic areas, and then you can see which programs they thought were worthy of applying to in that area.

Again, it is not an exact science. Just apply to a ton of programs in areas that you would like to live, see where you get interviews, and start prioritizing where you would like to look. Have a couple of safety schools at the end of the list.

Hope this helps some.