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Discussion in 'Radiology' started by teal27, Aug 8, 2011.
Which programs are the "less desirable" programs, or which ones would be relatively easier to match?
Just find places where you don't want to live and that's most of your bottom third.
There are some pretty good programs in undesirable areas - Mayo, Wake, Florida, Hopkins, Iowa etc
and some pretty mediocre programs in good areas - Kaiser LA, SB Cottage, Mt Sinai Miami etc
And of course what's undesirable depends on the applicant
and on your definition of desirable. I hate south florida with a passion and am not the biggest fan of NYC or LA either.
of course, see below
But there's a reason those areas are more crowded and more expensive.
Of course there are people who prefer the cheaper more rural areas, nothing wrong with that
For the most part- small community programs are less competitive. They have less subspecialty trained staff and less resources available for residents...less quality lectures, less funds for conferences/books/etc... less research/less funding. This is not to say, you can't learn the exact same stuff at a community program... and be a damn good radiologist, but these are the reasons why more people rank larger university/hybrid programs higher than smaller community programs.
thanks guys, I guess it is just difficult coming up with a bottom 1/3 of my list because I did not test as well as most people on this site and I don't want to end up unmatched
I am in the same situation and would like to know this as well...
I don't see what the question is. Apply to all the programs in the region(s) where you want to end up. Make sure your application list is at least 1/3 smaller/community/less competitive programs....and no more than 1/3 "Reach" programs. If your Step 1 is >10 points below the mean for those who match, then I would consider applying to additional smaller/community/less competitive programs outside your geographic location. If you are still are unsure, apply to more programs anyhow.
Interview at > 10 programs and make sure 1/3 are at smaller/community/less competitive programs. Then, rank every program on the list based on where you would like to go (based on the interview, second look visits, and what you read about the program online). The only reason you should not rank a program is if you would rather go unmatched and reapply next year than go to place for radiology. You really should just rank every place because you can always try and transfer to a different program if you do not like where you are at. You don't need a rank list until February.
Yea, I realized I phrased that poorly after I submitted and was too lazy at the time to change it.
This a generalization of course but smaller community programs in the Midwest and South are typically going to be the least competitive.
Remember that smaller community programs in places like Cali and NYC will still be competitive.
Again this is a generalization (not trying to start a flame war) but programs with higher numbers of DO's and IMG's MIGHT be less competitive. There are programs who are more DO friendly but still competitive.
I have spent a decent amount of time figuring this out as well. I've gotten help from residents, fellows, and other applicants like Drizz.
PM me if you want to discuss specific programs
There are plenty of city programs that aren't too competitive (to the best of my knowledge):
NYC: Lenox Hill, Harlem Hospital, Beth Israel, Jacobi, some of the brooklyn programs
Chicago: Cook County, UIC, Masonic
Boston: Lahey Clinic
Philly: Drexel, Pennsylvania Hospital
Miami: Mount Sinai
New Orleans: Tulane, LSU, Oschner
I have heard that the NYC and Chicago ones can still be somewhat competitive just because of location. I'm not sure but I don't think those would be "relatively easy to match" as the OP asked especially if you are an out of region applicant with average stats. I agree about Philly, Miami, and New Orleans as while not terrible locations they are not super competitive ones.
Obviously not speaking from firsthand experience
They are only somewhat competitive in that they are more competitive than community programs in the boonies. I would still place them in the "bottom 3rd" in terms of competitiveness that the OP asked about.
UIC? That's a university program in chicago with an average step 1 of 240
( http://tigger.uic.edu/htbin/codewrap/bin/com/uhrd/cgi-bin/websitepages/ApplicantFAQs.pdf ). It might not be on p53s infamous top 25, but it doesnt sound like an easy place to match at, imo.
I don't know much about the other programs, but I thought both community programs in boston--Mount Auburn and Lahey--were also quite competitive?
An average step 1 of 240 was about average for rads 2 years ago, and Is probably below average now with usmle world-induced grade inflation. Without knowing other stats of their applicants, a step 1 average of 240 means very little. I would still say it's less competitive than many programs, and that average shouldn't scare the OP. This is just my opinion, tho.
Hmm I was under the impression that community programs in desirable locations were more competitive than a lot of university programs in undesirable locations
I've said this a few times but I think people need to chill. Look at charting outcomes and you'll see more than 90% of applicants are matching, even those with 210s and 220s.
As far as programs in the bottom 1/3, ones that don't fill are a good bet as well as the ones others have mentioned.
I know during last year's match there was a link through the NRMP's website to see how many unfilled spots in each field there were, but I didn't see a list of programs...where the best place to find this information from?
This is copy&pasted from an auntminnie post:
2011 Unfilled spots...
U South Alabama 1/5 unfilled
U Arkansas Little Rock 1/6 unfilled (1/1 direct filled)
Christiana Care DE 1/3-5? unfilled [1/1 direct filled]
Medical College of Georgia Augusta 4/4 unfilled
Southern Illinois University Springfield 1/3 unfilled
St. Francis Evanston, IL 1/3 unfilled
KU Wichita 2/3 unfilled
U Kentucky Lexington 4/6 unfilled
Grand Rapids MI 1/3 unfilled
Wayne State U Detroit Med 3/9 unfilled
St. Barnabas NJ 2/4 unfilled
UMDNJ-Camden 2/4 unfilled
Albany Med Cent NY 2/5 unfilled
Nassau Univ Med Cent NY 1/4 unfilled
Rochester Gen NY 2/4 unfilled
Winthrop NY 2/4 unfilled
Case Western UH 2/10 unfilled
Allegheny PA 1/7 unfilled
Drexel PA 2/6 unfilled
Geisinger PA 1/6 unfilled
U Tennessee 2/6 unfilled
U TX San Antonio 1/10 unfilled
U Virginia Charlottesville 1/2 unfilled in vascular pathway (7/7 diagnostic and 1/1 research filled)
You have any specifics on what makes Kaiser LA, SB Cottage mediocre? How would they compare to Santa Clara Valley? They all seem like decent Cali community programs in good locations.. esp for those not into academic radiology.
No true specifics but things like those programs being really small in terms of resident and attending number and rumors that the programs are relatively weak on didactics.
I didn't mean to bash the previously mentioned programs as the response was mainly to illustrate that one cannot base the bottom third on location alone.
I think SCV is a slightly bigger program and has a better track record of fellowship placement but I'm not sure
I wouldn't call some of those programs bottom third, but I do think they all will probably be more liberal in their # of interviews this year.
MCG is/was on probation if I remember right.
One of the fellows here at ucsf is from the valley and two Stanford ones are, so they def place pretty well.
Mount Auburn (harvard-affiliated community program in cambridge, fellowship placements to MGH/BWH/BID routinely, some of the rotations are at the other hospitals so you have ample opportunity to network and get some research going)
Pennsy (community program at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, part of upenn network, places to upenn routinely)
St. Luke's Roosevelt (community program affiliated with Columbia/Presbyterian, manhattan location, good fellowship placement in the city)
SCVMC as described above (not exactly a lower third program, pretty tough to match because the Bay Area is a very desirable location to many and options are pretty much UCSF/Stanford/SCVMC so competition is artificially enhanced, quality of instruction is quite good there -- bottom line wouldn't consider it a safety)
these are all relatively less difficult to match programs in desirable locations and good affiliations.
if you're truly looking for bottom barrel "less desirable" programs to maximize your chance of matching, basically just look at programs in the midwest that are in undesirable locations and community-based. No need to name names and rile people up, but it's a pretty simple algorithm: crappy midwest location, bad weather, no university affiliation, speckled with DOs/IMGs in the entering match profiles (not to imply that DOs/IMGs are any less capable, but I think we can all agree that they face an uphill battle and generally populate the lower rung of residency programs, since to match anywhere in rads as a non-AMG is seen as quite the coup) = best chance of breaking into rads.
SCVM would be my top choice, but I am worried about fellowship. It makes sense that SCVM has a good regional track record and has placed people into UCSF and Stanford. But I assume the rep teeters off once you get out of CA, hence high powered fellowships in other regions of the country might not consider you. Or at least that is what I am worried about.
Last match radiology had 43 unfilled spots. It will be more this year. This year it will be on a par with pathology and Nucs. US radiology has gone down the drain. There is no jobs out there. The available jobs are in the middle of nowhere or pay 180K in large cities with no partnership track. Radiology has been ruined by 90s and 2000s radiologists. Those guys made millions in radiology with easy life style and only bragged about their high pay, cush life. Now they are taking its last drops of blood before retirement.
Santa Clara Valley has partnerships with UCSF and Stanford. Their residents rotate through those places. They have an excellent track record of matching good candidates b/c of location and those ties. Fellowships will probably be aware of the quality and it's no surprise that the rumors say their residents do well in fellowship placement.
What will matter more for all of us in fellowship applications is how we performed as residents. Rads residents at community programs go to very good fellowships all the time. Matching into a top rads program does not mean you're set for your career by any means.
You can go to Radiology MatchApplicants (http://radiology.matchapplicants.com/select.php) and click on each program to compare their average Step 1 scores to get a very rough idea of each program's competitiveness.
^ that link is no fun
It seems like you are equating "big cities" with "desirable." I know that you acknowledged this earlier, but for the sake of clarity maybe it would be better to use less subjective descriptors.
I am not equating big cities with desirable. Cities like Detroit and Philly are bigger metros than San Diego but in general SD is going to be more desirable. Obviously this varies on an individual basis but in general it seems applicants prefer coastal cities in the West and NE to inland cities in the MW and South.
Perceived competitiveness is an subjective thing because we do not have raw numbers so that's why I chose to use "desirability" because it is subjective
Another thought: why not look on Frieda and see how many interviews each program gave per spot?
Won't that give you what you're looking for? I think it's reasonable to assume program A with 5 spots and 50 applicants interviewed is more competitive than program B with 5 spots and 100 interviews.
UIC is a university program in Chicago, I would say that it probably doesn't fit the OP's original question.
I know people at illinois masonic with numbers higher than 240, but Im sure there are people there with much lower too.
I think its important to realize that most anecdotal information isn't really that useful and you just need to find programs that appreciate your strengths.
And just realize these places may not necessarily interview you because of a litany of possible reasons.
It's early on in the process but my only rejection is not as competitive as 3 of the 4 interviews I have so far.
The process seems screwy and my advice is to apply broadly in a regional sense or in a university vs community sense or both.