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Anyone still browse on here? How do you like UB? Am interested in applying through early assurance program (need 3.75+ and no mcat)

(From a recent graduate):

For the dinner before your interview, dress business casual or one small step down from this. Jeans are fine, but no t-shirts. Drink some alcohol if you like, but don't overdo it. Watch what you say because even the interns can have some say in the ranking panel in some residency programs. SEND THOSE THANK YOU CARDS ASAP! I know that some programs will meet every few weeks to review the most recent applicants before their impressions slip from memory. Write cards and/or emails. Both are fine. Keep in contact with some nice resident or program director if you are really interested in the program. During the interview, have a talking agenda and make sure that you hit all your points before the 30 minutes is up. Make sure you get a good sense of the resident life before you leave that day. Make sure you trust the program director and the attendings you meet to mold your future career! Jot down notes of proram highlights and oons when you get home. Save money by emailing programs to ask
for residents to house you, and don't feel badly about asking.

Good luck!

Interview Donts by rampagez99rampagez99, 06 Dec 2009 04:38

Posting is relatively simple. Here are some steps:

1. You look through the forum and find a category you would like to ask a question about, or provide some insights to.
2. To make a new post, open up that category and click "Create a New Thread", then make up a title and summary and write at will.
3. To respond to an existing post/thread, click on the thread and press "New Post" and then write your reply.

Making a Post by rampagez99rampagez99, 08 May 2009 15:31
UBmedUBmed 24 Apr 2009 02:11
in discussion MS Year 1 / 1st year » Housing

I recommend against boulevard towers in Amherst… unless you like living in a nursing home setting. It is about 90% elderly people and the long hallways make it feel like a nursing home or hotel. And forget about getting your full deposit back. The place is run by stingy old ladies who are known to always take 'damage' money out of the deposit. They are also very inflexible if you want to leave your lease early. The location is not great either. It is only about 10 minutes from school but is in the wrong direction from downtown, the restaurants, bars, and hospitals! You will definitely have to move for third year. Live closer to the city— much more lively and many more things to do!

Housing by UBmedUBmed, 24 Apr 2009 02:11

An email written to the Class of 2009 from Dr. Nancy Nielsen

This is not intended to freak you out about matching, as the vast majority of you will get a
nice "You matched" email on 3/16. But a few of you have asked how it works if you don't. Here's the way it goes.

Noon on Monday: email notification that you didn't match. Or that you matched to a prelim year (if you listed some on your primary list but not to any of the advanced programs you applied to), or that you matched to an advanced program but not to a prelim program. In the latter two cases, I will be told where you matched for the one program, so you have some geographic guidance in scrambling for what you need (either the prelim or the advanced position you're lacking). Note that I will know that day how many openings there are in each field and the broad geographic location - no specifics till 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. For example, 3 openings in psych in the Northeast.

Monday afternoon: I meet with each unmatched student, separately. We go over the possible scenarios for the scramble, and the student then gathers any new documents needed. For example, suppose you didn't match in Surgery and you decide to scramble for a position in Family Med, you'll need to madly get someone in Fam Med to write you at least one LOR, right? You'll also need to write a personal statement directed toward a career in Fam Med rather than Surgery. So there's work you will need to do after we meet. And the preparation of the documents is critical.

Tuesday morning: you come with a team of people (two more is good, three is also OK, more than that is just confusing) to help you. EVERYONE should bring a cell phone! We go through the drill as a group (no shame, no worries about privacy, this is Team UB!), as there are very important directions and advice you will each need to negotiate this successfully. We will give you copies of your documents, as faxes will be at a premium and your "team" will be helping you on the phone.

Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. I find out the exact openings. We duplicate it and give the right section to each team (so if you're looking for a Fam Med position, I give your team that section of the openings, for example). Your team disperses to search FREIDA for the descriptions of the programs that have openings.

Tuesday: Noon: you begin calling programs and sending your documents electronically or by fax. Then we all help you make decisions as programs do phone interviews and hopefully) offer you a contract. We have a location chart in OME, so that when the offer comes in, we can find you! That includes bathroom breaks - you let us know. We will feed you lunch.

Wed: If everyone isn't matched Tuesday afternoon, the same thing goes on Wed. It will all work out.

Thurs: Noon: Match ceremony!

Important: If you find out that you matched on Monday, please be prepared to help out a classmate who didn't. That's what friends do. It really is important. You will be surprised at the comeraderie that develops.


The 3rd year Clinical Skills Exam is very much like the actual Step 2 exam and will overprepare you for the real thing. The following is an overview:

* One of the exam proctors will give you a brief orientation and provide you with a clipboard, scrap paper, and a pen.
* On each door, you will be provided with patient's name, age, gender, chief complaint, and vital signs.
* You will spend 15 minutes on History/Physical and then 15 minutes typing out your H&P, Differential Diagnosis (5), and Plan (5) on the computer outside of your room.
* The H&P is very focused and it is best if you just go through the motions for times sake. Remember to…
o Wash hands
o Do a problem focused-history i.e., OLD CARTS, HEEADSSS, SIGECAPS, etc.
o Auscultate under clothes
o Always drape
o Sum up impression/plan with patient (communcation/compassion points)
o Note: You will never have to do a rectal, breast, genital or corneal reflex exam. If appropriate, you can ask the patient if you may do this, and they may give you an index card with the "findings", or you can tell them that your plan is to do a pap smear or whatever.
* For the write-up, no "template" is provided other tan the aforementioned categories, so you'll have to remember & type out PMH, Surg, soc hx, etc. (see First Aid Bk for exact layout). DDx and Plan are simple lists (do not need to explain)

After each case and at the end of the test day, you will realize how many little things you may have forgotten. Be reassured that there is plenty of room for error and I think average/passing for the school was something in the 60s, and almost everybody passes. The "big" & "easy" points are in communication and compassion.

Regarding preparation: If you feel pretty comfortable in outpatient clinic, then you don't really need to prepare much. If you are feeling rusty, it is a good idea to review First Aid Step 2CS and practice with someone.

Clinical Skills Exam by (account deleted), 09 Feb 2009 21:21
Step 2 CS
(account deleted) 09 Feb 2009 21:14
in discussion Clinical Clerkship Year 4 / USMLE Step 2 CS & CK » Step 2 CS

Schedule CS EARLY because dates fill up fast. Spend a max of 1-3 days reviewing First Aid for CS (i.e., read on the plane). Oh, and lunch is provided.

Step 2 CS by (account deleted), 09 Feb 2009 21:14

Q: What resources to use?
A: Depends on your foundation:

1. Average to Strong Step 1, decent to awesome shelf scores: USMLE World +/-Step 2 Secrets
2. Little rusty, not feeling that confident: Above + First Aid
3. Looking for a big improvement from Step 1 to 2: Above could be sufficient, maybe add Case Files

Q: Why so few resources?
A: Because much of your learning takes place throughout clerkships and most of your review should be practice questions.

1. USMLE World - MOST important, the primary learning tool, format virtually identical to real thing, and definitely had deja vu on many questions (either the UW question writers were psychic or somebody memorized actual test questions for UW)
2. Step 2 Secrets or Crush Step 2 (similar books, the difference is that Secrets is in question format) - quick overview, high yield, hone in on major points - note that it is NOT comprehensive
3. First Aid Step2 CK - I did not personally use this, but I have heard that in contrast to Step 1, this is not as comprehensive and not as helpful, but it is still the most "comprehensive" book. You will still do most of your learning from UW questions.

Q: How much time to allocate for studying?
A: Depends on your foundation:

* Average to Strong Step 1, decent to awesome shelf scores: 1-2 wks (some people claim to have only spent 3 days), definitely can be done during a light rotation (don't need to take a whole month off for this)
* Little rusty, not feeling that confident: 2-3 wks
* Looking for a big improvement: take a month off, do UW twice.

Q: When to take CK?
A: The most optimal time is July (early 4th year while you are still in test-taking mode) through October (before interview season). Personally, I felt too burned out after 3rd year, wanted to enjoy summer, and learned a bunch after a sub-I and took it in October (though I wish I got it out of the way earlier). Studying for anything during traveling and irregular schedule of interview season is a set up for failure i.e., postpone test. Most programs don't interview during holidays so that's a possibility. January is an undesirable time because you'll be out of test-taking mode and have senioritis.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Re: CK - same stuff as my previous post, just more organized by (account deleted), 09 Feb 2009 21:12
Re: buy the textbook?
(account deleted) 05 Feb 2009 21:44
in discussion MS Year 2 / Psychiatry » buy the textbook?

I respectfully disagree with the previous poster. I did very well on the shelf exam with just Case Files + First Aid for Psychiatry and learning from my and my classmates' patients. But also, I am neither a textbook nor psychiatry person…

Re: buy the textbook? by (account deleted), 05 Feb 2009 21:44

I'd recommend buying the textbook (old editions are probably the same as the newer) because I thought it explained things pretty simply and very well. It's a dense read but worth it if you have the patience. For a subject like psychiatry where much of the subject material is more understanding ideas and philosophies rather than memorizing lists, physiology, and tables, a good reading book goes a long way. If you're remotely interested in psych you should get Andreasen and Black, or one that fits your preference. If you're really not psych-inclined and you know it, then I know plenty of my friends got by without and just used Dr. Pessar's lecture notes. (Personally, I trust Dr. Pessar's recommendations and understanding of psychiatry…so if she recommends this book, I'd consider.) So if you're a textbook person, consider borrowing/buying. If you're really not, then you'll need to be creative with your reading resources later when you're in 3rd year clerkship. I think a lot of the psych residents like and use this book too.

Re: buy the textbook? by wakka_x_3wakka_x_3, 01 Feb 2009 18:59

Did any of you 3rd and 4th years buy the psych book? The professor mentioned that it was required for 3rd year anyway. Did you use it?

The book is Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry by Andreasen and Black. Thanks.

buy the textbook? by KupfferKupffer, 28 Jan 2009 16:08

(anonymous reply)
Hm. in terms of scheduling your 4th year…doing ad med, then step2, then the 4 away…you can do this (I think you can do max of 2 rotations at the same institution, you might only be able to do 3 national, 2 international but double check with OME) but make sure that the OME has the proper affiliation agreements in place for the school that you're looking to rotate in. If they don't, make sure you do this ASAP. This was an enormous problem for my class, and I don't want you to have the same problems I did. ( might help you out. Hopefully my class paved the way for yours.

It sounds like you want to do a lot of aways. I've heard that sometimes schools will ask you what programs you've done aways at, and may not like it if you say you're rotating through a whole bunch because it sounds like you're not committed to theirs. I wouldn't lie to them in case they find out somehow. So if you can find students/residents from that school, maybe you can talk to them first and make sure you definitely want to rotate there so it's not a wasted month. And remember that if you're always away from Buffalo it might cause some difficulties if you need to ask for LORs and the person wants to meet with you in person to discuss your CV or something, or if you want to meet with Dr. Nielsen for questions or guidance (not usually necessary).

And if you really like the program, make sure that you try to do an away there! I sincerely feel that it helps your chances if you're not horribly inept…2 of my friends have already early-matched in amazing places where they did away rotations!

(anonymous post)
I am wondering if you can offer any advice on how to schedule 4th year. I would like to take adv. med first and step II right after, then do 4 back to back away rotations?? I dunno…Im so confused as to how everything works.

thanks redsox!!! I appreciate the advice.

Re: Clerkship Order? by ILovePinkILovePink, 24 Jan 2009 16:19

2008 NRMP Program Director Survey

This is a useful updated report from residency program directors of all specialties detailing the importance (percentage-wise) of many aspects of your ERAS application. Helpful to look at, but don't put all your eggs on this survey as it's the average of all programs and I can already list some friends who "beat the odds" of the current results.

Hey Pink,

If you already know what specialty you're interested in (or if you want to learn more about it in order to rule it in or out) I'd definitely suggest taking an elective in it as soon as is possible. The advantage is knowing sooner how you feel about the specialty, not to mention establishing earlier contact with the "right people." Right people = potential mentors and LOR writers, possible networkings so that you can do a 4th year sub-internship later on with the field leaders/bigshots, etc. If you're 75% sure about the field, do the elective early, and if you had a good time then take another 4th year sub-I next year. If you do the sub-I with the same attending your LOR from her/him will be even stronger.

The disadvantage is if you take this elective too early that you haven't yet developed the necessary skill basics (ie. you try out a neurosurgery elective before having taken your 3rd year surgery clerkship). So I'd at least recommend taking the basic 3rd year clerkship, or at least being IN that clerkship at the time you're taking the elective. Still, showing an interest early is usually more beneficial than it is harmful. And many of your attendings will be understanding of your inexperience if you're taking it really early in 3rd year, but will also be pleased with your proactiveness. Obviously everyone loves it when you say that you are considering their field! (But wouldn't recommend going around telling EVERY specialty that you are interested in their field…word gets around.) Just put on your eager-beaver face every morning, be on time and interested, read up on things afterward, and work well with your team — you'll do great! Good Luck!

Re: Clerkship Order? by RedSox_RuleRedSox_Rule, 04 Jan 2009 23:40

Our school permits visiting electives during fourth year only. Residency apps can be submitted as early as Labor Day, and as late as November/December 1st (of course, the earlier the better b/c interviews are granted on a rolling basis), so some people try to do away electives during July, August, September, or October to get letters of recommendations. Some people do aways during the winter months or even after interview season if they have a particular city they'd like to be in.

Re: timing of away rotations by (account deleted), 03 Jan 2009 04:16

so if you want a certain field subspecialty) should you do an elective 3rd year? I guess I am confused on how all this works

Re: Clerkship Order? by ILovePinkILovePink, 20 Dec 2008 04:20

Now that I have been to several programs on the interview trail, I am definitely seeing what redsox has also been seeing: women with non-matching jacket & skirts, the skirt that was too short, ruffles, stilettos (and I am pretty sure that was her first- ever attempt in heels!), & a small purse; and men with pink ties, ties with little puppies on them, and even a green-and-orange-striped tie. I am sure these US students will still be able to match successfully (depending on the specialty of course), but the idea is that your uniqueness is expressed through your personality & accomplishments, not your flashy wardrobe. That being said, I think it is great to wear some color so that we all don't look like we are attending a funeral (hopefully the interview season is more fun than morbid!)

Re: residency interview attire for women by (account deleted), 06 Dec 2008 01:22
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