Making a choice of specialty of residency is a very crucial phase. The impact of residency selectionis not only limited to determining your chances of making a residency match, but extends till establishing your career in medicine.While choosing for a particular specialty, always ask certain questions to yourself. What you will be doing every day after choosing a particular specialty? Are your skills really meant for the specialty of your choice? What would be the future prospects of the specialty of your choice?
Although it is undoubtedly true that one must pick a specialty that he is inclined towards, one also needs to be pragmatic about the odds of securing a match. Along with the most popular and high earnings specialties come the most competitive residencies. You may take help from your faculty and clinical advisors as they are the ones who can provide you with an honest assessment of your academic performance, clinical abilities and examination grades as well. Or you may get in touch with the current residents or those physicians who are into practice in the similar field via Facebook or Linkedin. This can give you a deep insight of the specialties of your choice and how will it be work within your desired specialty. This will further enhance your procedure of decision making and will introduce you to such specialties which you haven’t come across before and you would probably end up considering the one that fits your career goals and residency match profile.
HOW CAN YOU SELECT THE UTMOST RESIDENCY PROGRAM FOR YOUR SPECIALTY?
After you have set your eyes on a particular specialty, you should research for the residency programs
for the potential application. Below are some of the factors which may help you in identifying residency programs
that would match your capabilities-
- Interaction with the past residents who can give you an overview of the daily aspects of a particular region and evaluate your capabilities to determine whether they would match the residency programs you are willing to go for.
- You can find the information for family medicine residency programs in the residency directory of ACGME (Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education).
- The records of NRMP match results of the past years would assist you to filter your choices as these are solely based on the yearly competitiveness. Also, you will be able to see the programs which were accepted at a higher rate and those too which were chosen by very few doctors.
As the general rule speaks, the candidates should apply for all types of residency programs, be it a hospital program or a university and community-based program. The more competitiveness the specialty of your choice holds, the more residency programs you seek for. No matter how strong your academic records you possess or how excellent your USMLE grades are, wise would be to keep some less competitive or less known specialties as back up.
Usually the residency programs are available in University, University-affiliated programs, or freestanding residency programs. Out of these, the University residency programs are considered the largest as they accept the applications in abundance during the first year of post-graduation. The residency selection process involves the submission of a statement of inquiry from the applicants along with their application for a particular residency position. It would be suggested to carefully examine the policies regarding employment and whether you meet the eligibility requirements or not and details of the deadline of your application. There are residency programs which will not accept the applications at any cost once the deadline is crossed.
You may have come across the term ‘Green Book’ officially known asDirectory of Graduate Medical Education. This globally recognized source incorporates the entire information to assist medical students in assessing specific medical residency programs. It further shows the geographical representation of all the accreditedresidency programs covering every medical specialty. And you can even find in the Green Book the essentials for the accreditation of each program and the various figures of graduate medical education in the USA. You can easily access this directory in many medical libraries in the United States and if you can’t find it there, obtain it from the AMA's Book and Pamphlet Fulfillment section.
RESIDENCY DATABASE SYSTEM (FRIEDA)
The AMA's Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database system
is another feasible alternative to seek a potential residency position. You can consider the FRIEDA as an onlinemeans to access the directory of graduate medical education. The FRIEDA enables you to interact with its content that possesses information about graduate training program incorporating around 76 specialties and subspecialties. You can find FRIEDA in the form of CD-ROM at the medical libraries, medical schools, medical coaching institutions, etc. Or log onto the official website of AMA to gain access to FRIEDA.
NRMP (NATIONAL RESIDENCY MATCH PROGRAM)
In the recent years, the figures of medical student graduates have been growing by leaps and bounds, the outcome of which is more competitiveness prevailing in the residency selection process. Thus, getting into your desired residency programs is no less than a challenge for you as there are a handful of seats provided for a specific residency program every year. So to enhance this selection process, NRMP is introduced as a matching program to find the capable candidates for the residency training program. The NRMP bring outs a directory on an annual basis providing with the lists of all the hospitals that have entered into an agreement with the NRMP to take part in the residency match process in the following year. The medical students usually apply for the match process in the fourth year of studies. Moreover, they are briefed about the result of their selection in the spring season of the same year.
You can reach out to Moksh Consultants who can help you with unique module offered called as Residency Match Service assisting with profile building, ERAS Application Review, NRMP ranking and Mock Interviews.
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