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Thread: program selection strategy....need advice

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    tigerkeeper is offline Junior Member 519 points
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    program selection strategy....need advice

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    US IMG here with Step 1 score in the high 230's. I am applying for IM, what I'm doing now is looking into my school's Match list from the previous years, there are like more than 120 programs, and , I plan to apply to all these programs, is this the right strategy? Thank you for the advice in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerkeeper View Post


    US IMG here with Step 1 score in the high 230's. I am applying for IM, what I'm doing now is looking into my school's Match list from the previous years, there are like more than 120 programs, and , I plan to apply to all these programs, is this the right strategy? Thank you for the advice in advance.
    If your CK score is similar and you passed CS, I don't think your number needs to be that high, but if you have the funds, then go for it. Are you limiting yourself geographically? Do you want to go into a specialty? These are all things to consider when trying to trim programs.
    "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." ~W.E. Henley

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    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    frankly you should apply to as many programs that you can afford...and then some...the place to trim would be when you get >20 invites...

    some people think, oh, well i'll apply to a few now and if I'm not getting any interviews, i'll apply to a few more...but by that time many programs have sent out a large number of invites and you are coming late into the game.

    you don't want be thinking on black monday damn!! i wish i had applied to more places...
    Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Attending
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    frankly you should apply to as many programs that you can afford...and then some...the place to trim would be when you get >20 invites...

    some people think, oh, well i'll apply to a few now and if I'm not getting any interviews, i'll apply to a few more...but by that time many programs have sent out a large number of invites and you are coming late into the game.

    you don't want be thinking on black monday damn!! i wish i had applied to more places...
    So if in the last 5 years, SGU grads have matched to 80 programs in a specialty... should I expand beyond that? I feel like that's spending money on programs that won't even offer an IV. I feel like I applied smartly. (I don't even know if that's a word.) I don't think I could get the number of programs to above 100 at this point.

    This is such a crap shoot, I might as well just book a trip to Vegas.
    "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." ~W.E. Henley

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    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salama View Post
    So if in the last 5 years, SGU grads have matched to 80 programs in a specialty... should I expand beyond that? I feel like that's spending money on programs that won't even offer an IV. I feel like I applied smartly. (I don't even know if that's a word.) I don't think I could get the number of programs to above 100 at this point.

    This is such a crap shoot, I might as well just book a trip to Vegas.
    i don't think you should limit yourself to just programs that take sgu grads...sure those are programs you may want to consider but you need to look seriously evaluate your competitiveness for the specialty you are applying...so are you applying to family with 250/250/pass 1st attempt and # 1 in your class (as was one of my classmates did)? then yes, you may need to only apply to 30-50 programs to get 15-20 invites...or are you applying to radiolgy with 220/220/pass on 1st attempt...you are gonna want to apply to every rads program out there and be prepared to get few invites anyway...

    your goal is to go on 20 interviews...so you have 20 places to rank...because that is going to give you the best chance to match...how many place you need to apply to to get said 20 interviews is dependent on your individual competitiveness and how open you are...some people are (or make themselves) geographically limited...others are limited by the competitiveness of their specialty.

    peds, IM, FM have 1000s of programs...it would be nearly impossible to apply to all...and lets face it...there are programs that NEVER take IMGs...no reason to apply to them so I can see dropping them from the list (but hey! there are many programs people applied and THEY were the 1st sgu, or 1st IMG that the program took...)

    for EM, Rads, Anes, etc...there are less programs and they are relatively more competitive...it very well could be worth it to apply to each and every one to give your self the best shot and no shoulda, coulda, woulda come march...

    for the ubercompetitive...well thats a no brainer...apply to every single one and see who can help you because that game is not just about what you know, but who you know too...and who THEY know...

    IMHO...i would rather apply to a crapload of places and have to chose from a bunch of invites then have to make do with the invites i got from applying to a small number of places.

    obviously, it has gotten more competitive since i went through the process in 2007-8, but I looked at all the states i was willing to live in and the programs that were in those places...still way over 200 programs...narrowed things down to places that had endocrinology programs...still put me at a little over 100 programs...at the time 100 programs was more than i thought i needed given my level of competitiveness for IM....looked at the websites of all those programs and narrowed it down to 60 (mostly uni programs, maybe 5 community programs) and got 20 invites...and yes, i applied to some AMG only top programs and interestingly enough got invites from a couple of top 25 programs (one place i interviewed with a Harvard student! funny story that...)which totally freaked me out (and to this day have no idea why i got those interviews)...today i'd probably say 100 apps is probably the minimum to feel comfortable to be able to get 20 interviews...but again this would depend on the competitiveness of the applicant.

    good luck all!!! enjoy the interview season...try to make one of your last ones in a fun place so you can make it a mini vacay...(mine was NOLA...one of my favorite cities).
    devildoc8404 and Tipton like this.
    Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Attending
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    tigerkeeper is offline Junior Member 519 points
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    Applied 143 IM programs on Sept 15, spent > $3200. Still wondering if I need to apply more....
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    Salama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerkeeper View Post
    Applied 143 IM programs on Sept 15, spent > $3200. Still wondering if I need to apply more....
    Wow. Good luck to you. That's a lot of applications.
    "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." ~W.E. Henley

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    My Forte Inch Ditka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerkeeper View Post
    Applied 143 IM programs on Sept 15, spent > $3200. Still wondering if I need to apply more....
    I went hard at (a) IMG friendly programs that do NOT sponsor visas, which are (b) NOT located in New Jersey...seriously, it's the worst. It's been working out so far for me, but then again I'm shooting for FM.
    "The delivery of good medical care is to do as much nothing as possible."

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    Salama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by My Forte Inch Ditka View Post
    I went hard at (a) IMG friendly programs that do NOT sponsor visas, which are (b) NOT located in New Jersey...seriously, it's the worst. It's been working out so far for me, but then again I'm shooting for FM.
    Is there a reason you avoided programs that sponsor? Seems to me like it shouldn't matter. Did you do GSP?
    "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." ~W.E. Henley

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    My Forte Inch Ditka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salama View Post
    Is there a reason you avoided programs that sponsor? Seems to me like it shouldn't matter. Did you do GSP?
    I wouldn't go as far as saying that I avoided programs that sponsor visas. I did, however, add programs that didn't to my "need to apply to" list. I only did this, because I figured that such programs automatically disqualify/deter many applicants from applying (especially as a backup) ---> smaller applicant pool ---> better odds that my application would get a look at. In all honesty I don't know if it makes any difference.

    Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not sure what you mean by GSP. If you meant to ask if I did the Global Scholars Program, or if I ever got weird with Georges St. Pierre the answer to both is a strong negative.
    "The delivery of good medical care is to do as much nothing as possible."

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