“Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.” ~Carlos Castaneda

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Let's play the odds ....

“In all things it is better to hope than to despair”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The residency application year is about to begin and the same questions are being asked. "What do I need to score to get into an orthopaedic residency?" "Do I need research?" "How competitive am I?" I think these are the questions that we all had or have when applying to residency. I know I did. It seems like everyone wants the formula. If you have X honors with Z USMLE step 1 and Y letters of recommendation, you will be guaranteed a residency spot somewhere. I wish it were that simple.

I happened upon the statistics from last years match when looking through SDN. It was distributed by a young radiology resident trying to prove that they are as competitive as the big boys. I think he failed to actually look at the statistics and concentrated on the fact that the average USMLE step 1 & 2 score was 1 point higher than the average orthopaedic board score. But, that in itself does not make you competitive and I don't think that the 1 point difference reaches statistical significance. The competitive residencies have more applicants than spots, supply and demand. That is what makes them more competitive. So, he was a little misguided. I will give him the props that it is more competitive than I originally thought.

I think some of the interesting statistics from this report are that they looked at the the probability of matching based on USMLE score, number of programs ranked, and research and publications. They split things up based on U.S. Seniors in "other specialties" and in "Highly Competitive Specialties", and Independent Applicants in "Other Specialties" and Independent Applicants in "Highly Competitive Specialties" The highly competitive specialties are defined as specialties where the ratio of the number of U.S. seniors who ranked the specialty first to the number of available positions was 1 to 1 or greater. These specialties include: Dermatology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, and Radiation Oncology. This is an interesting document. It is all about statistics.

For those who want to know how competitive they are and want the actual numbers, this is the document you want. Good luck to you all.

“Doubt can only be removed by action.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi all. How are you?