dulop

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We all know the US News rankings are misleading due to their emphasis on research funding. I want to find the schools that put me in best possible position to obtain what really matters, a strong residency. As far as I know, evaluations by residency directors, which US News does rank, and USMLE scores seem to be the best indicators of this. Does anyone know if their are composite lists of schools with the best USMLE Step 1 scores available? Or if not then how to determine what schools are most favoribly viewed by residency directors? Also, if i have no idea what kinda residency I want to do, what should I be lookin at when I view a schools match list? Competitive residencies like dermatology, opthamalogy, what else?
Thanks.
 

Centinel

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dulop said:
We all know the US News rankings are misleading due to their emphasis on research funding. I want to find the schools that put me in best possible position to obtain what really matters, a strong residency. As far as I know, evaluations by residency directors, which US News does rank, and USMLE scores seem to be the best indicators of this. Does anyone know if their are composite lists of schools with the best USMLE Step 1 scores available? Or if not then how to determine what schools are most favoribly viewed by residency directors? Also, if i have no idea what kinda residency I want to do, what should I be lookin at when I view a schools match list? Competitive residencies like dermatology, opthamalogy, what else?
Thanks.
The USMLE Step 1 scores are not published - with good reason. If they were to be, the medical schools would have little choice but to teach to the test. Undoubtedly, this is not the best way to train a physician.

However, the USNews list *does* have the rankings of the schools by residency directors. Just ignore the other details and re-sort the list by residency rank if this is what you care about (and I do agree that this is the single most pertinent piece of information given by USNews).

Just looking at a match list full of competitive residencies is not necessarily the best way to evaluate how good a school is. An excellent school may turn out plenty of primary care physicians; then what? You'd underrate them since they just didn't want to do derm. If you don't know what you want to do yet, just go based on Residency Rank.
 

LabMonster

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There is also a Clinical List. Soooo- these schools are the best at preparing students for a residency (stats only - relax)

The best gauge is to visit schools and ask them flat out "Are you prepared for your residency?"

So far, I've gotten positive responses from UW, Duke, and Wake - well, that's the extent of my personal knowledge.

Go where you learn. You want to be a doctor right? Get your learn on.
 

bobito

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the response rate from residency directors to Us news is just under 30%. Which makes the data a little crappy. Also the schools with higher scores tend to be higher on the list. So the list itself it a good approximation, if you don't want to spend the money to get the details.
 

unicorn06

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I don't think asking students if they're well prepared is very helpful. All the students I've talked to have said they were well prepared, regardless of which school I was at. But what are they ranking their preparation against? They can't compare themselves to students at other schools very well, can they?
 

tigress

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unicorn06 said:
I don't think asking students if they're well prepared is very helpful. All the students I've talked to have said they were well prepared, regardless of which school I was at. But what are they ranking their preparation against? They can't compare themselves to students at other schools very well, can they?
Yeah, that's what I've been thinking. I keep asking students if they think their clinical education has been good, but they don't have anything to compare it to. I'm not sure how else to get information though. Well, maybe if you can track down residents from different schools and ask them, because they've been exposed to residents from other schools and have also had to take responsibility for patients, so they may have a better idea of how well-prepared they were.
 

themadchemist

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LabMonster said:
There is also a Clinical List. Soooo- these schools are the best at preparing students for a residency (stats only - relax)

The best gauge is to visit schools and ask them flat out "Are you prepared for your residency?"

So far, I've gotten positive responses from UW, Duke, and Wake - well, that's the extent of my personal knowledge.

Go where you learn. You want to be a doctor right? Get your learn on.
A clinical list? Do you mean the primary care list? The primary care list does not necessarily include the schools that will best prepare your for a competitive specialty. If you want to do neurosurgery, for example, I would imagine you'd be better off at a top research school.
 

DrBowtie

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Primary Care list doesn't equate to clinical list.
A major rank is the % going into PCP.
 

themadchemist

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BrettBatchelor said:
Primary Care list doesn't equate to clinical list.
A major rank is the % going into PCP.
I hadn't heard of the clinical list. I thought that individual was referring to US
News' primary care rankings. What is this clinical list?
 

DrBowtie

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there isn't a list. I said the PC rankings don't equate to a clinical list.
I assumed the person who refered to the "clinical list" was referring to the USNEWS PC ranking.
 

mshheaddoc

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themadchemist said:
A clinical list? Do you mean the primary care list? The primary care list does not necessarily include the schools that will best prepare your for a competitive specialty. If you want to do neurosurgery, for example, I would imagine you'd be better off at a top research school.
I have no idea what he means. When I hear clinical list i think: Clinical list = A list of "where" they do their clinicals

tigress said:
Yeah, that's what I've been thinking. I keep asking students if they think their clinical education has been good, but they don't have anything to compare it to. I'm not sure how else to get information though. Well, maybe if you can track down residents from different schools and ask them, because they've been exposed to residents from other schools and have also had to take responsibility for patients, so they may have a better idea of how well-prepared they were.
Additionally, most students would know if they had "bad clinical" sites. No they can't compare but when your attending ignores you and you learn nothing on a rotation ... that is a bad sign for the school. I know some students that can give insight on whether it was a "bad" rotations or "good" rotation. If they can't answer your questions objectively, try to find someone else. Everyone whom I have asked was able to answer my questions honestly. More often 4th years are the best b/c they've had all the "main" clinical components and are often prepping for Step 2.

You are right that if you are really serious, speaking to residents and/or attendings will give you a better perspective because they might see different schools rotate through and can give you a feel for area schools. Not everyone might have access to that though but for those that do, I implore you to use that knowledge.
 

LizzyM

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The question to ask is of residency directors - which schools put out the best residents. US News asks and ranks schools according to their reputation among residency directors. As has been mentioned, the response rate isn't great (but not bad for a study involving MDs) but it is better than nothing.

That's a start at finding good schools but moreso, you want to find a school that is a good match for you which means that the location is one where you can live for 4 years without going nuts, where the teaching methods mesh with your learning methods (lecture vs. small group, early clinical vs. later), and the clinical rotations give you an adquate opportunity to gain valuable experience.