Im a 3rd year student so take what I say with a grain of salt. Still remember from the process of med school applications that people with super high MCATs used to get rejected from some schools because those schools used to think why waste an interview on someone who will definitely get in in a better school. Could some programs think this way?
Anonymous User wrote: stop whining. Its not all about board scores.
maybe the "much smaller" programs dont get 400 applications and can spend more time thoroughly reading through the applications and letters of recommendation and determine who would be a good fit. there is more to the application than board scores (as objective a measure as that may be) and that's partly why the personal statement and letters of recommendation that are personalized carry a lot of weight because they can comment on the intangibles.
I'm starting to think that LOR's and the school you come from count just as much as board scores....after speaking candidly with an ex-program director of 7 years, I realize how much it truly is about "who you know" and who THEY know..meaning, they'll see a letter from a big-name, go "hey, I know and trust this guy", and then BAM, they invite you to interview. Urology is a small world. I was conflicted before the beginning of 4th year whether to take away rotations at "big-name" places for a "big" letter, or do aways at places where I thought I'd be a good fit. I did the latter. We'll see how it turns out :-O
Anonymous User wrote: Anonymous User wrote: I agree, this totally sucks. How are schools picking out interviewees?? Why do you get interviews to some of the top 10 programs and then middle tier schools reject. Step I >250 Step 2>270 Talk about frustrating. I do not know if I will match into urology, but I certainly hope that whatever should come to pass, that I will enter a field with colleagues who believe in a tincture of humility and an ounce of decorum.
Anonymous User wrote: I agree, this totally sucks. How are schools picking out interviewees?? Why do you get interviews to some of the top 10 programs and then middle tier schools reject. Step I >250 Step 2>270 Talk about frustrating.
yes... alot to be said for friends of the program
Not to beat a dead horse, but there are a couple of additional comments to be made about the application process (and mid-level programs).Keep in mind that each program has a minimal number of interview spots and ALL programs vet each applicant fully. Also, it is pretty well known that with the ERAS system, many applicants apply to over fifty programs and, given the competitive nature of Urology, most applicants look phenomenol on paper. Hence, mid- and lower level programs try to evaluate how competitive they are for the applicant knowing that the top applicants will generally choose top programs if given the opportunity. Most programs use multiple factors when deciding which applicants to interview. These include the applicant's medical school, his/her board scores, his/her transcripts, his/her "C.V." (accomplishments), and the letters of recommendation. Urology is a sufficiently small enough field that most faculty know each other; many have gone to school with one another, trained in residency/fellowship together, or even worked together on faculty somewhere. Hence, key phrases in letters of recommendation from friends/colleagues and/or phone calls from these friends/colleagues hold tremendous weight and can often help a candidate with lower grades/scores and occasionally hurt a candidate with stellar grades/scores/research history. While scores are important, many programs use them as a baseline screening test (a cut-off below which no-one is offered an interview). Then the other issues come into play.An applicant's "fit" is crucial. Faculty (and residents in the program) are looking for candidates who will "fit" into the program. They often are looking for candidates who might show similar personality traits, hobbies, passions, academic interests, location, etc. Tangentially, some programs might put more weight on collegiate/professional athletes (allegedly better at being team players) or those with a military background (allegedly better at not rocking the boat) or those with an accomplished history of research. In regards to the latter, programs that might have minimal opportunities for research might feel that candidates with such a background or stated interest in research might not be interested in a program with minimal research activities. Programs also try to assess how happy a person would be at that program. For example, an applicant who writes that surfing is his/her passion and spends every minute outside of medical school at the beach surfing might be viewed with some skepticism at a program in a land-locked state. The process is far from perfect and often seems unfair and illogical. Still, rest assured that each program is trying to attract the best applicant they can just as each applicant is trying to get into the best program that they can. Just wait until interviews; ultimate decisions are based on a very brief and often forced twenty minute interview.