Submitting Applications

How Many Programs Should I Apply for?

This answer will depend on how competitive you are and how competitive your specialty is. In highly competitive specialties, even the strongest candidates need to apply to a large number of programs. The decision of how many residencies to apply to should be made in conjunction with your departmental advisor.

The following data is collected from the UWSOM graduating Class of 2011:

Close to 20% of the class started out the process by applying in two different specialties, sometimes to give themselves more time to sort out their first choice and sometimes as a Plan B. Most students applying in competitive specialties, such as derm and radiology had a Plan B. Combinations included: Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Family Medicine and Ob/Gyn. Internal Medicine and Rehab. Radiology and Internal Medicine. Radiology and Surgery. Orthopaedics and Surgery.

     Specialty Program
     Number of programs the students applied to
     Range - # of programs applied to
     Average - # of programs applied to
    Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine
    < 5
     24 - 72
     51
    Dermatology
     - 74 - 116
     101
    Emergency Medicine
     15   21 - 97 35
    Family Medicine
     28  6 - 38 17
    Internal Medicine
     41 6 - 61 25
    Medicine/pediatrics
     <5 - 20
    OB/GYN
     10  19 - 83 30
    Orthopaedics
     6 48 - 95 70
    Otolaryngology
     - - 76
    Pathology
     7  9 - 24  16
    Pediatrics
     18 9 - 34  24
    Plastic Surgery
     - 48 - 66  54
    Psychiatry
     10  5 - 51 13
    Radiology, Internal Medicine
     <5 48 - 63  56
    Surgery
     10 25 - 72 45