Some readers have expressed interest in knowing how to make their rank list. I have a tentative rank list in my head, but, since it’s not due until February 20th, I have scheduled a serious talk with myself at the end of January (because so much can change in a month, right?). Until then, I am enjoying 4th year- the calm before the storm. I’d like to say I don’t think about my rank list every day, but that would be a lie.
There are many factors that I am considering when making my rank list. I’ve referred to these in past blogs, but here are my top three:
2. Residency Training
3. Fellowship acceptance potential
I need to live in a big, fun city with lots of young professionals. I have lived in places without this and that just does not appeal to me. I love socializing and feeling like I belong to a community. Under the “location” umbrella lies “proximity to family members.” Both friends and family will get me through residency and I need some close. And then there is also my boyfriend. Oops yea that happened in the last few months. Luckily, he is the coolest and wants me to choose a residency knowing that we will figure out how to make it work no matter where I am. So, I’m doing that. I strongly believe you should follow your dreams and everything else will fall into place.
Obviously residency training is hard to evaluate as a medical student. I really think your training will be good wherever you go. It is up to the resident. You will get as much out of training as you put into it. I want to make sure that my programs have a good balance of surgical skills training and clinical training. Every program says they do. They gave us the numbers of different cases that residents average every year, but I don’t really know how accurate and standardized the reporting is.
I am pretty sure I would like to pursue an REI fellowship. I have done research, papers, and presentations on REI and I really love it. I want to have the ability to pursue REI if I continue to love it. Typically, programs that offer fellowships in your field of interest are the best choices. You have the faculty available to mentor you, help you construct research projects, and possibly make important phone calls to fellowship programs on your behalf when the time comes. If they do not already have fellowships, the program should allow you time during your training to have exposure to that field and access to specialty physicians. Some programs even let you do an elective month at a residency program or hospital that does offer your fellowship interest. If a program does not offer your fellowship, you should find out if any past residents have applied for and received fellowships in the specialty. It is important to do research during residency in your field of interest. Some programs have protected research time; others have required research projects; others give you stipends for conferences and presentations during residency. These are all things I take into consideration.
FYI: My cousin went to a small community program. She worked extremely hard and was chief resident. She is now completing a critical care fellowship at Cornell.
It’s a hard decision, but making a list of your top 3 priorities is important and may give you a place to start from. What are your top 3 considerations when making your rank list?
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All of the opinions expressed here are the author’s and hers alone, and do not represent necessarily those of Kaplan or its employees.