5 Things You Need to Know About Ranking Residencies for the Match

As you continue researching residency programs, applying, and interviewing with these programs, you’ll begin to learn more about what you’re looking for and which options exist. Pretty soon, you’ll need to turn your attention towards creating a rank order list (ROL) in order to eventually be matched with a program that you’ve interviewed with.
While this can be a daunting proposition, it’s imperative that you take it seriously and meticulously review every last detail.

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Beginning Clinical Rotations–An Exercise in Humility

Central to the skillset of every physician is the differential diagnosis; this is the process by which new patients are evaluated to establish the most likely diagnosis. Similarly, the first clinical year of medical school is like a differential for each student, except instead of a medical diagnosis, students are seeking to determine which specialty they will choose. This column explores this differential: experiences from each rotation by a current third year student.
As I write this article, I am thinking about how to compress all that I’ve seen and experienced the last several weeks into a few paragraphs. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it justice, and if I wrote out all my thoughts it would probably exceed the page limits and the reader’s concentration. So I’m going to focus on a few aspects of this first month of being a third year medical student, and I suspect several themes will reappear and be expanded in future posts.

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Choosing a Residency That’s Right for You

choosing a residency

If you are in medical school, you have been making choices for a long time now, from what to major in as an undergraduate to what volunteer work during your gap year will give you the best chances at getting a coveted med school slot. But now that you are in medical school, one of the most important decisions still lies ahead: what kind of residency should you choose? This is an incredibly important choice that will shape the rest of your career. A good decision now will make it more likely that you will be satisfied with your professional life down the road.
The choice can be a difficult one. What things should you consider before you decide? Read on to find out more about the steps you should take in order to match to a residency that will leave you both personally and professionally satisfied.

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Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Students With Disabilities in Medical School

students with disabilities

Medical school, for some, remains the ultimate “glass ceiling” — the unseen yet unbreakable barrier that stands in front of one’s dream career as a physician, regardless of his or her qualifications and achievements.
Medicine still employs the “medical model” of disability, meaning that disabilities represent a deficit of sorts, and are something to be “fixed” or “cured.” The physician or medical professional has a job — to cure or heal the deficit. This message is repeated throughout medical programs and serves as a reinforcement that students will not be qualified providers if they have a disability and need to be fixed.

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The Unmatched Student’s Guide to Successfully Dealing with Failure 

unmatched students

I was in the middle of a fairly busy day on the palliative care ward, so I had to slip away to the quiet stairwell in order pull up my Match Day result on my phone. The words “We regret to inform you that you did not match” felt like a punch in the gut. I kept refreshing the page, hoping the words will somehow go away or that someone will email me to inform of the ridiculous error the system just made. But of course that didn’t happen. In that one moment I felt as if all that I had worked for and thought was just in my reach was suddenly pulled away from me into a distant future that I couldn’t access.
People were slowly and painfully dying around me, but I felt like my world was over.

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The Million Dollar Question

Interview season. The time of year that roads and skies swarm with the best and brightest medical students to all corners of the country taking aim at the next step in their training – residency. Believe it or not, behind the shiny brochures, extravagant dinners and polished powerpoint slides, residency programs are just as nervous about attracting top talent as you are about getting your top choice.
The interview trail is usually a blur of dry cleaning bills, rental cars, and the smell of breath mints masking cheap coffee mixed with nervous sweat. The broken record of the obligatory “strengths and weaknesses” question loops in your head. One of the more terrifying moments in the day comes when an interviewer asks: “What questions do you have for me?” Regardless of who asks it–the intern only four months above you in training or the gatekeeping program director–you know you have to ask something. So why not make it count?

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What You Should Know: Connecting With Pediatric Patients

What You Should Know is an ongoing series covering a range of informational topics relevant to current and future healthcare professionals.
Even for student doctors who are in training to be pediatricians or specialists in pediatric health, connecting meaningfully with these small patients can sometimes be difficult. However, this connection is necessary to establish if a doctor’s goal is to give their patient the best care possible.
It is helpful, then, to take a look at what experts say about how doctors can connect to their pediatric patients.

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The Other Preparations to Make For Clinical Clerkships

The transition to clinical clerkships in medical school comes after two years of lectures, in-class exams, and national board exams. Without a doubt, it is an exciting transition. It is a key stage in the development of a physician, allowing the student to see real patients and to learn from practicing professionals. Clinical rotations requires the student to critically think and to apply the vast amount of information learned in the classroom to new situations. The goal is to learn to come up with a list of differential diagnoses, use the correct confirmatory test, and develop a treatment plan. This is what many students believe will be the bulk of their clinical learning during the third and fourth years. As a result, many students spend most of their time focusing only on the academic preparation for clinical rotations and do not sufficiently prepare themselves to stand out in equally important, but non-academic ways.

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Five Ways to Make Your Audition Rotation in Anesthesia (or Other Specialty!) a Success

It is that time of year again. Medical school students across the country are preparing applications for residency and pursuing audition rotations at residencies they are hoping to woo into an interview and hopefully to match into their program.
Any audition rotation is a challenge. This is especially true for the anesthesia audition rotation. For medical school students who look great on paper, the audition rotation can either confirm they are a great candidate or confirm the program should not interview/rank them. For medical school students who do not have a stellar record, the audition rotation can open up doors.

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How to ace your first patient encounter

As a medical student, you spend four years of college and the first two years of medical school studying non-stop for what feels like thousands of hours, cramming your brain with knowledge. But when the time comes to conduct your first face-to-face patient encounter, your confidence is rocked by the challenge of having to establish rapport, extract all the relevant medical history, and complete a physical exam, all while showing compassion, answering patient questions, and developing a differential diagnosis list and treatment plan in 30 minutes or less. Clinic is even worse with a meager 12 minutes scheduled for each patient encounter. 

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5 Mistakes I Made in Med School (So You Don’t Have To)

It has been nearly a year now since I walked across the stage at Carnegie Hall to accept my diploma. Now approaching the end of internship – let’s say that again, one more time, with appropriate emphasis: the end of internship – I can look back with a little more objectivity on my four years of medical training. As with everything else, hindsight is mostly 20/20 and, while there are a lot of things I did right in medical school, I now realize I made some mistakes, or, if they weren’t outright blunders, at least things I would do differently if I had to do it again. Let that these not be your mistakes:

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An Introvert’s Survival Guide: How to function (and flourish) in medical school as an introvert

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle Even at the time, I … Read more

Getting the Most Out of Your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) make up a major portion of the pharmacy school curriculum, and are an opportunity for pharmacy students to see the practical application of what they have learned in their classroom coursework. Most schools require a total of one year of APPE, although some schools may require more or longer rotations. APPE rotations provide students with opportunities for active learning through exposure to actual pharmacy practice settings and allow students to refine and reinforce their knowledge and skills in patient care, problem solving and decision making.

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The Successful Match: Getting into Pediatrics

We recently discussed the pediatric residency selection process with Dr. Su-Ting Li, program director of the University of California Davis pediatrics residency program and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Pediatrics. After graduating from the UCLA School of Medicine, she completed her pediatrics residency at the University of Washington. Following this, she remained at UW as a National Service Research Award Fellow in General Academic Pediatrics and pursued a MPH in epidemiology. She then joined the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California Davis where she has also held the title of Clerkship Director.
Dr. Li has been heavily involved in medical student and resident education on local, regional, and national levels. She has also been recognized for her research contributions. In 2008, her paper “Primary Operative Management for Pediatric Empyema” was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Articles in Pediatric Hospital Medicine.” She has been highly sought after as a journal reviewer, and is currently a reviewer for 12 prestigious publications, including Academic Medicine and Pediatrics.

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Choosing an International Elective

Originally published October 19, 2007
The international elective, whether done in the summer after first year or in an elective block during fourth year, has become a virtual staple of medical school. The rising number of medical students who participate in such experiences reflects an increased awareness amongst medical students of global health issues such as access to health care for under served populations.
Many students spend long hours researching such opportunities, since so many diverse types of experiences exist worldwide. Choosing one of these opportunities can be a daunting process, particularly for students with a newly minted interest in global health who are trying to find a meaningful first experience.

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