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Assessing your Competitiveness

  • Competitiveness for residency is not just your board scores – service, leadership, grades in clerkships, and research are important aspects, as well
  • Some specialties are more competitive than others and it is important to understand where you fall on the spectrum of competitiveness
  • There are many resources you can use to help you understand how good of a fit you are for a specialty or program
    • IUSM Career Mentors and specialty fact sheets
      • Your career mentor will be your BEST resource to help you understand your competitiveness and plan your application in a way to be most advantageous for your scores/activities/etc.
    • Residency Explorer
      • Residency explorer allows you to input all of your activities, research, and standardized test scores to see how you compare to other residents at individual programs
      • It is important to apply to a range of programs to maximize your chances of matching; the majority of your programs you should be a solid fit for (middle 50% or better)
      • Residency Explorer only allows you to enter different step scores only three times before locking. Be sure to save one profile for your actual Step scores!  Your experiences can be updated as many times as needed

Applicant X:

Step 1: 230

Step 2: 246

Publications: 1

Research: 2

Volunteer: 8

Work: 2

Applicant X is a good fit for most programs in this list, but Northwestern and UMich would be “reach” schools.