Top 5 Things Residency Programs Consider During Evaluation

Top 5 Things Residency Programs Consider During Evaluation

Are you in the midst of preparing for your residency application? Looking to touch up and improve the content of your application? We’ve rounded up the top five things program directors look at when they’re evaluating applicants. The list below might help you in emphasizing and convincing the program that you are highly qualified and competent to be a resident. Check it out below:

1. Research Experience

According to the National Resident Matching Program Survey held last 2016, 44% of program directors of different medical specialties cited that involvement and experience in research are considered an advantage to residency applicants. Most of the time, applicants with clinical research are highly favored because it involves actual work with patients; thereby indicating that this applicant knows how to deal with people and progressions of diseases. Having research experience as a student provides a foundation and learning curve - an easier understanding of the stages of illnesses, patient management, new clinical findings as well as comprehension and understanding recent medical literature.

What To Do:

There are many ways to gain research experience while you’re still doing medical school. But note that gaining such an advantageous experience will require tremendous hard work and excellent time management. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Discuss it with your professor or adviser. If you have a mentor or adviser, it’s best to discuss with him what’s the best approach for you to get research experience. He might offer you to be a research assistant or refer you to another professor who is in need of assistance.
  • Apply for summer programs. Some medical hospitals and centers offer summer programs for medical students. These summer programs include participation in undergraduate research programs and assistance to funded research led by doctors and scientists.
  • Participate in your school’s science department research projects. The science department of most universities has funded research and accept assistance that can provide assistance for the completion of the research. This is a good start if you want something that’s convenient and something that can fit easily to your medical school schedule.

2. School Organizations Affiliation

Aside from being a resident, program directors look at the other activities the applicants are involved in during medical school. As much as possible, they tend to favor students who are involved in other activities as this is an indication of excellent time management and a balanced lifestyle. Being a member of a medical organization indicates that applicants are highly motivated to learn beyond the classroom and are truly passionate about pursuing medicine. Other organizations that lean towards arts, community development, and environment are also considered as an advantage because program directors are also looking for applicants who are eager for holistic development during their residency.

What To Do:

  • Check out organizations during school fairs. During school fairs, most school organizations showcase their respective activities and programs - this is the best time for you to see if anything fits your interests or is aligned with your goals. There are many organizations within your school that you can join and most of them are for a good cause - environmental protection awareness, animal wellness and even humanitarian organizations that you can join. Even as a medical student, you can offer your knowledge to these groups by sharing some basic good health and community practices. School organizations are also a good venue to widen your network by meeting people who have the same interests as you - may it be related to medicine or not.
  • Research about organizations that are connected with your interests. There are many organizations within your school that you can join and most of them are for a good cause - environmental protection awareness, animal wellness and even humanitarian organizations that you can join. Even as a medical student, you can offer your knowledge to these groups by sharing some basic good health and community practices.

3. Community and Medical Volunteerism

Community health education and medical missions are considered to be one of the most fulfilling activities doctors can participate in. These activities tend to widen a person’s perspective and enthusiasm towards medicine - as they realize that one of the purposes of a doctor is to be of help to others, especially those who are in dire need and are in poverty. Program directors of residency programs consider applicants who have such experience with the community and medical missions because this indicates enthusiasm to learn not only within the hospital or classroom but also in communities. Involvement in communities is also a good venue to learn and motivate students to excel in fields that are needed by the mass population.

What To Do:

  • Research about organizations that are within your community. Some hospitals accept volunteers and organizations such as the Red Cross are always conducting medical missions to remote areas. As a medical student, you will usually take part in sharing knowledge about good practices to maintain a safe and healthy environment within the community.

4. Outstanding Curriculum Vitae

Having spent the majority of your life studying, program directors will surely look at your educational accomplishments. Most applicants mistake this as an indicator of how good or competent a resident applicant is - that could be possibly right. But most program indicators look at the progress as a medical student or does the field wherein you excel the most needed by the residency program. These are the questions usually answered by your curriculum vitae:

  • As a student, are your grades improving or declining?
  • Are you able to maintain a good academic standing after so many years of studying?
  • What fields or subjects do you excel the most?

5. Away Rotations

Away rotations are a great venue to gain experience from a different hospital setting, different mentors and patients. This is a major plus if you’re someone who is set to apply to a competitive field. This is also another indicator that an applicant is flexible and adaptable to a different work environment. Away rotations might be costly due to transportation and living expenses, time-consuming and can be stressful at times - so better make sure that if you try this, set your mind into finishing your rotation.