Amount of programs to apply to

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4 years 8 months ago #35637 by AylaM
How many are you all applying to? Our school's advisor said any more than 60 would not be worth it, but I still think I'm leaning on applying to 80 or so just in case

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4 years 7 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #35651 by badorthopun
This may be too little too late...

The worst thing that can happen is not matching, so apply to however many you want. The only thing I would advise is not applying to programs you don't reasonably have a chance (e.g. either coast if you're in the south) and don't skip applying to places because you don't like the location. I know great applicants who applied to over 100 programs

It sounds obvious but when you're actually picking programs its easy to tell yourself you don't need to apply somewhere because you've applied to enough "reasonable" programs.

EDIT: I don't think it's too late to apply to more if you want. It will still be transmitted to programs
Last edit: 4 years 7 months ago by badorthopun.

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4 years 7 months ago #35652 by Stork
One of the problems with the ortho residency app process is that too many people apply to way too many programs. When programs get 1000 applications (because people are applying to 80-100 programs) the natural thing for the program to due is to pare it down with a computer to a manageable number of files that a group of human beings can review. The only standardized and objective thing that a computer can use to cut down the number of applications is our step 1 score. So all the people who complain about the step 1 score being an unjust measurement of your potential success as an orthopedic surgeon (which I agree with) should be concerned with the current culture of over-applying to programs.

Another outcome from over-applying is that people who truly have a genuine interest in a specific program (and who were unable to rotate there) get diluted with applications from people who are applying to a given program "just because". If you truly don't see yourself in Tennessee (for example), then don't apply there! Don't be the reason that someone who really wants/needs to be there gets screened out. This defensive application mentality places undue stress on medical students to rotate at several programs in an attempt to "prove" their interest. We all know and complain about how expensive it is to spend part of 4th year rotating around the country. If every applicant applied to every program then the only way programs would know who is truly interested are those who rotate and if you can only afford to rotate at 1-3 places then you have essentially been limited in your options.

Listen to your advisor and dont apply to more than 60. 50-60 well-chosen programs is much better than shotgunning your app to 100 programs.

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