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  1. #1
    RussianJoo's Avatar
    RussianJoo is offline Ultimate Member
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    How to find a good residency program and other residency related issues.

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    My questions are how do you know what a good residency program is and by good I mean well known and competitive. I private messaged some people and they told me that all residency programs are made equal by the ACMGE. The only thing that changes is their schedule meaning how many times you're on call, their style of teaching, i.e. more lectures or less lectures, and the location of the hospital. If that's the case than why are some residency programs so much more competitive than others I mean sure location and schedule make a difference but as long as I get the residency I want I'll be happy where ever. After spending two years in GND i feel like i can live anywhere in the states for the 4 or more years of residency. besides in the states you can easily jump in your car and drive to a city if you need to party and cut loose. So I feel like I am missing something.

    I know there are websites that have residents comment on their program but besides word of mouth is there anything more to rank a program on? Is it ranked on how busy the hospital is? For example St. Barnabas medical center in Livingston NJ has a lot of residency programs in it. It's located in a very nice area, with very little crime and great restaurants close by. It's 30min away from NYC, you can take the train in for $8 round trip or drive in yourself. The staff is friendly so it seems like a great spot right? But for some reason I don't think it's a very competitive residency program.

    So I am just wondering what criteria did you guys use to rank your programs? and how did you found out that information.

    Also I have a question about pre-match. Does that mean that a hospital will offer you a residency spot before you apply for the match? How long do you usually have to make your decision? How early can you get a pre-match offer is it offered at the end of that rotation? and if you accept the offer does that mean you don't have to participate in the match or do you still have to participate and you just simply list that pre-match hospital as your number 1 choice.

    thanks for the answers.
    Hollywood Upstairs School of Medicology, Class of 2010
    Due to the high volume of private messages, I can only answer questions that are posted in a forum. Private messages will be ignored.
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    algen's Avatar
    algen is offline Member
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    I can ans one of your ques...the prematch. Basically this will be given to you either when you do the interview OR at whatever hospitals you rotate at. If they like you, they will tell you then and there.. Now I believe you can take your time and not accept the pre-match right away. BUT you must accept the prematch before the match results come out. Once you accept the prematch you are legally bound to this hospital and you have to take yourself out of the match. They will make you sign contract to that effect......
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  3. #3
    jaywalk81 is offline Useless Guru 521 points
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    this is one of the better websites i use for overall research
    AMA (FREIDA) FREIDA Online

    if you are into EM, i have more other websites for EM

    also check out
    Scutwork.com: Residency Program Reviews
    SGU Alumnus

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    jaywalk81 is offline Useless Guru 521 points
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    here is another forum that i really like and frequently visit
    Internship and Residency Forums [ MD / DO ] - Student Doctor Network Forums
    SGU Alumnus

  5. #5
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    dunsoon is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    These are great questions!

    Here's what I know and also some of my opinion:

    First - Prematch. Prematch is signing a contract to be a resident at a program without having "matched" at the program via the NBME. Program directors (PDs) can offer you this option only if you are an IMG, a DO, or you have been out of medical school for two or more years. Recent US grads are NOT eligible for prematch according to the NBME rules. Prematch offers can be made really, at any time, as far as I know. They can occur after/while you do a rotation before the match process(less common) without even having applied or during your interview season (more common) during the match process. For example, let's say you are a third year student at Hospital X doing your IM core and the PD loves you...they (I think) can offer you a prematch option right then. I have heard anecdotally about this happening but don't know for sure anyone who did this, maybe because it didn't really happen. The more common scenario is that you have signed up for the match, sent in all your application materials, have started interviewing and then either during the interview or sometime after the interview but before the match date, the PD contacts you with an offer. If you accept the offer, you sign a contract with them and withdraw from the match. There are some nuances to this but this post is already very long.

    As for what constitutes a "competitve" residency program and a "good" residency program...it must be stated that these two concepts are not necessarily equal. Some competitive residencies are not good. And some good programs are not competitive. Follow me?

    Competitiveness generally has to do with the hospital/university's reputation. And what does that mean? It generally means that the institution has a highly respected faculty amongst the medical community (usually in terms of their academic or research accomplishments) that provides cutting edge services and is a training ground for people who are or will be at the top of their fields. Now, different programs will fall differently within the institution in terms of reputation. For example, Institution A may have the world's most reputable radiology program but a relatively weak OB/Gyn department. But having a reputable radiology program does not necessarily mean that the residents in radiology are happy, are getting good teaching, or are exposed to the material they they want to be. It may just mean that they get to say they were trained in a department with radiology superstars. The advantage of this is those superstars are very likely able to get you good fellowships and jobs if they want to.

    The term "good" implies that there is good teaching, solid faculty who are interested in residents, good facilities, good location, good conferences, good patient population, etc.

    Some programs combine both goodness and reputation. Obviously that is the ideal situation and these are probably the most competitive.

  6. #6
    RussianJoo's Avatar
    RussianJoo is offline Ultimate Member
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    so what you're saying is if I want to find a competitive residency program i.e. one that's cutting edge and all that stuff I have to find the names of the doc's that teach at a program and research them, via pubmed or other sources? and if they have a lot of published papers then that would mean they teach at a competitive program. And the only way to find out if a program is good, i.e. teaches well is to ask the current residents by either calling or stopping by the hospital and asking them directly or via forums like studentdoctor and scutmonkey.

    And you can also look at the hospitals websites to find out the average USMLE scores and other stats of previously accepted residents right? or will the school's/hospitals website not list that info? because I don't want to waste my time applying to a program that doesn't take IMGs.

    Also would to start off I would have to go to the ACMGE website and find the names of all hospitals that have a specific residency program that I am interested in, right? or is there a different source for that?
    Hollywood Upstairs School of Medicology, Class of 2010
    Due to the high volume of private messages, I can only answer questions that are posted in a forum. Private messages will be ignored.
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    jackbnimble is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RussianJoo View Post
    so what you're saying is if I want to find a competitive residency program i.e. one that's cutting edge and all that stuff I have to find the names of the doc's that teach at a program and research them, via pubmed or other sources?
    No, that means they are prolific. Again, may not be competitive. Some dysmorphology fellowships are very prolific but not so competitive. Competitive often refers to "desirable." Basic supply and demand. Many apps, few spots = competitive.

    Jackb

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    dunsoon's Avatar
    dunsoon is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Yes, obviously competitive means more apps per open spot. But what drives people to apply to certain programs in more numbers than others? That's what I was talking about. So yes, RJ I think you are getting a good handle on things. Another important resource, both about reputation and quality/goodness, are current professionals in that field. If you can, develop a relationship with attendings and feel them out for their opinions on the matter. But keep in mind that people often have skewed opinions if they have an axe to grind or are jealous and insecure or whatever.

    It is always a good idea to research faculty at programs you are interested in - I went to the websites and looked at what research they were doing, what their recent publications are, what their areas of subspecialty expertise were. You obviously won't have time to do this for hundreds of places but maybe a lot of the places you are interested in. The other surprising and important thing that may pop up from such research is finding an SGU grad somewhere in the faculty of that department. VERY HELPFUL for your application process. Oh, and it's also a good marker of superstar faculty is if they are contributors to important textbooks in that field.

    As for the quality of the program and how good a fit it is for you, that info is probably best obtained from residents and students who rotated through there, or younger attendings. They are more likely to give you good insider info on work hours, crazy attendings, administrative headaches, hands-on experiences, etc.

  9. #9
    stephew is offline Moderator Guru 512 points
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    good luck in the decision making RJ.
    Steph
    If you get a warning, put on yer manpants and stop whining about it.

  10. #10
    RussianJoo's Avatar
    RussianJoo is offline Ultimate Member
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    I am just trying to sort everything out... You see I don't really care where in the US I do my residency. So I would totally be willing to live in Ohio or North Dakota as long as the residency program was considered competitive with top notch training so that I can easily get a fellowship after or will be recruited by a private practice facility.

    I tried doing some research on a few hospitals just to see if I actually get any results. And the furthest I have been able to get is to find out the Directors name and the names of the attendings in that department. Then I tried doing a Pubmed search or even a google search on those people and got nothing, well not nothing one of the Doctors operantly shops on Amazon.com. So does that mean that those programs are very not competitive? Also I wasn't able to find the average USMLE scores or grades of the people that got into those programs. Because if a program is not competitive then one would assume they accept people with lower scores just to fill the spots right? But I wasn't able to find any of that info.
    Hollywood Upstairs School of Medicology, Class of 2010
    Due to the high volume of private messages, I can only answer questions that are posted in a forum. Private messages will be ignored.
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