Step 1: Data
The NRMP [National Resident Matching Program] publishes data on matching outcomes every 2 years. This resource is known as "Charting Outcomes in the Match", and it's an extremely valuable data set. For each specialty, the NRMP includes remarkably specific data points, such as how many applicants with a USMLE score below 220 were able to match into orthopedic surgery in the 2018 cycle.
The NRMP also surveys program directors (PDs) in every specialty. The PDs report on the factors that are most important to them in deciding whom to interview and whom to rank.
Step 2: Advance Planning
When we speak with pre-clinical students, one of the questions we're asked most frequently relates to residency planning. "I'm an MS1, and I'm interested in orthopedic surgery. How can I learn more about the field and meet potential mentors? And how can I start to strengthen my credentials? I'm still in the basic sciences, and I have yet to meet a single orthopedic surgery faculty member."
We were asked this question often enough that we created an E-book on this topic. Many students with whom we've worked have instituted the recommendations in this book. In doing so, they've been able to significantly strengthen their residency application. In dermatology, for example, these students have a notable advantage over classmates who may be scrambling to locate mentors, identify research projects, complete research projects, and work on publications---all during a very busy span of a few MS3 months.
Register below to receive a free copy of "Head Start: Exploring Specialties and Establishing Credentials as a Pre-Clinical Student."
Step 3: Take Action
Are you an MS2 interested in exploring dermatology as a career choice? Or an MS3 working on strengthening your credentials because you've decided on neurosurgery as a career choice?
Or are you an MS4 getting ready to apply to the top internal medicine programs in the country?
If any of these apply, you need to take action. And that involves a series of steps to bolster your credentials and strengthen your application.
Our specialty-specific action items walk you through the process. These recommendations are applicable to both pre-clinical and clinical students.
Step 4: Residency Interview Resources
Step 5: Future Directions
We're constantly reviewing the literature on future directions in medicine, and especially as these relate to particular specialties. What is the future jobs outlook for radiology? What are some of the changes in store for the field of anesthesiology? If you're planning to enter a particular field, these articles make for fascinating, thought-provoking reading. They can also serve as valuable preparation for residency interviews.