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Specialty competitiveness data CaRMS 2022


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Interesting to see little change in ophthalmology despite people saying it was a particularily difficult year? 

Have they posted how many ppl chose it as first discipline and how many people got the spot? applicants/spot

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The overall matching odds are better with 1.06 residency spots available per CMG - it hasn't been this good since 2013!  Somehow the number of participating CMGs have decreased also - maybe this the result of the QC seat cuts?  At 2821 that's the smallest number since 2017.

Like last year, about 50 unmatched CMGs from the first round decided to sit out the second and mostly trying again next year.  Still about 35 unmatched CMGs after the second round - while at the same time an improved success rate (64%) for residents re-applying to CaRMS in that round.   Hard to know exactly what's going on given a number of unfilled English-speaking positions - could be residency programs are getting more picky for unmatched applicants?  Or are these applicants "gaming" their schools for extra support?

And we finally have an answer for the success rate of unmatched applicants that go for the same discipline the next year (after sitting out the second round)!..  40% last year- which is likely significantly lower than the odds the first time round, but non-negligible considering these are very competitive disciplines..

For the big specialties, both psych especially and pediatrics are having a competitiveness drop-off with psych now becoming less competitive than IM.  Still more competitive than it was 10 years ago, but may be moving into the non-competitive range.  Peds has also had a dip, although still a competitive discipline.  FM is continuing it's long-term slide in competitiveness - slightly fewer people are ranking FM first and about 25% of matches are now "back up".  

I like how the number of spots available is published which explains a lot the year to year variability.  Last year neuro-peds was very competitive and this year it moved into the non-competitive range but that makes sense given that there's only 6 spots.  Falling from 12 to 6 first choice applicants would make the difference.  The reverse looks like it happened in vascular sx with only 10 spots.

I also like how CaRMS is at least looking demographics including income, race etc..  I think sometimes the stats are slightly misleading though for the average applicant, because obviously even after hundreds of years, legislation like Bill 96, shows that language is still a somewhat divisive barrier within Quebec and Canada.  QC student group does publish it's own version of stats tailored to QC and I wonder what some of the stats would look like when exclusively English speaking residency positions are looked at.  For example about 1/3 of the ophtho spots are in QC where it's much less competitive (on par with general sx) - but that means in the rest of English speaking Canada, the ratio of spot/first choice applicant is probably around .31 which would mean it's by far the most competitive discipline outside of QC.   

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Hey! They did my job for me lol

20 hours ago, dooogs said:

Interesting to see little change in ophthalmology despite people saying it was a particularily difficult year? 

Have they posted how many ppl chose it as first discipline and how many people got the spot? applicants/spot

It will be in the full data when it's released but from the second slide in the OP you can see the ratio was 0.47 for 36 positions which can be mathed to come up with 76 or 77 applicants.

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11 minutes ago, bearded frog said:

Hey! They did my job for me lol

It will be in the full data when it's released but from the second slide in the OP you can see the ratio was 0.47 for 36 positions which can be mathed to come up with 76 or 77 applicants.

Excited for your full analysis when the data's out @bearded frog

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21 hours ago, dooogs said:

Interesting to see little change in ophthalmology despite people saying it was a particularily difficult year? 

Have they posted how many ppl chose it as first discipline and how many people got the spot? applicants/spot

I feel like the big thing here that's missing is the total # of applicants. Schools will usually offer the same number of interviews year to year and so maybe the first choice applicant number may not change too much, but there was a chunk of very qualified applicants without a single interview this year who are missing from this equation. I feel that we will get a better sense of how crazy this year was (not just for ophtho but other competitive specialties too) once we get the total number of applicants. 

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16 hours ago, indefatigable said:

Like last year, about 50 unmatched CMGs from the first round decided to sit out the second and mostly trying again next year.  Still about 35 unmatched CMGs after the second round - while at the same time an improved success rate (64%) for residents re-applying to CaRMS in that round.   Hard to know exactly what's going on given a number of unfilled English-speaking positions - could be residency programs are getting more picky for unmatched applicants?  Or are these applicants "gaming" their schools for extra support?

It's an individual choice to apply second round vs. 5th year (which not all schools have). I have a feeling it depends quite a bit on what is offered in the second round. To suggest unmatched applicants are gaming anything is a very unfortunate way of wording it, it is a devastating experience. 

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22 minutes ago, -D- said:

It's an individual choice to apply second round vs. 5th year (which not all schools have). I have a feeling it depends quite a bit on what is offered in the second round. To suggest unmatched applicants are gaming anything is a very unfortunate way of wording it, it is a devastating experience. 

I've experienced the devastation of being unmatched, in the worst way possible, and am well aware of how difficult a situation it is which is why I like to focus on the matching stats and the unmatched to help ensure that CMGs have a chance to match and shed light on a difficult problem.  I personally didn't have any chance of additional electives, etc.. but do understand that the situation is very challenging whatever opportunities and approach one takes.  My opportunities within CaRMS were very limited.  

People have suggested in the past that some unmatched CMGs in the second round are "going through the motions" of applying in that round in order to gain school support for further electives, etc.. that is "gaming" the system as these supports are clearly intended for applicants that have no other recourse to match to any discipline, anywhere vs strengthening applications for some very competitive discipline.  I'm not sure if it's true or not, but it's one alternative as to why there were still a number of open English-speaking positions after the second round.  Another alternative that I mentioned is that programs are actually foregoing to pick some of the unmatched applicants that may be applying.  I don't really know where the truth lies, but thought it was prudent to mention both to highlight and bring attention to the data.

 

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I know what you mean about being eligible for the support being required to go through the motions of the second iteration. Makes sense why you said gaming in this context, my misunderstanding. It's unfortunate that Faculties force this. 

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20 hours ago, Med2000 said:

I feel like the big thing here that's missing is the total # of applicants. Schools will usually offer the same number of interviews year to year and so maybe the first choice applicant number may not change too much, but there was a chunk of very qualified applicants without a single interview this year who are missing from this equation. I feel that we will get a better sense of how crazy this year was (not just for ophtho but other competitive specialties too) once we get the total number of applicants. 

That's how it is for a lot of competitive specialties, I'm not sure if people who don't get interviews (and don't rank those programs) are captured in these data.

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2 hours ago, jb24 said:

That's how it is for a lot of competitive specialties, I'm not sure if people who don't get interviews (and don't rank those programs) are captured in these data.

I think I remember seeing on the CaRMS interactive data in the past that it had total applicants and first choice applicants on a graphic. My interpretation was that was applicants who applied for an interview, perhaps it might just be people who put it on their rank order list. Either way, would love to see that data lol.

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On 5/27/2022 at 2:57 PM, bearded frog said:

Hey! They did my job for me lol

It will be in the full data when it's released but from the second slide in the OP you can see the ratio was 0.47 for 36 positions which can be mathed to come up with 76 or 77 applicants.

They did! they are learning :)

Don't think that general trend down for family medicine is going to win any favours for anyone. 

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7 hours ago, AB27 said:

Well I really like vascular but theres no way I'm a derm/optho level gunner so RIP

There's like 8 English spots for vascular across the whole country, therefore hugely variable. A few extra people apply and these smaller disciplines become way more competitive. Just like peds neuro was one of the most competitive last year and now has a 1:1 ratio. Too variable to really judge yearly competitiveness in these small disciplines. It's perfectly possible Vascular will have more spots than applicants next year. It's also possible it gets even more competitive lol. When there's 8 spots, each individual applicant changes the ratio significantly.

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3 hours ago, yohohoy said:

There's like 8 English spots for vascular across the whole country, therefore hugely variable. A few extra people apply and these smaller disciplines become way more competitive. Just like peds neuro was one of the most competitive last year and now has a 1:1 ratio. Too variable to really judge yearly competitiveness in these small disciplines. It's perfectly possible Vascular will have more spots than applicants next year. It's also possible it gets even more competitive lol. When there's 8 spots, each individual applicant changes the ratio significantly.

Yes that's true, I guess I should just take the USMLEs to open up the odds a bit :unsure:

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7 hours ago, yohohoy said:

There's like 8 English spots for vascular across the whole country, therefore hugely variable. A few extra people apply and these smaller disciplines become way more competitive. Just like peds neuro was one of the most competitive last year and now has a 1:1 ratio. Too variable to really judge yearly competitiveness in these small disciplines. It's perfectly possible Vascular will have more spots than applicants next year. It's also possible it gets even more competitive lol. When there's 8 spots, each individual applicant changes the ratio significantly.

yeah it doesn't take much to flip that in any direction. Cardiac surgery had the same issue a bit back - in a few years - the apparent demand would bounce around like a yo you as a handful of people wanting it or not was enough to flip things around. 

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3 hours ago, AB27 said:

Yes that's true, I guess I should just take the USMLEs to open up the odds a bit :unsure:

You are going in in the last year where the old USMLE rules work? If I am reading this right things are going to be more interesting with the changes to the IMG status coming up. 

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1 hour ago, rmorelan said:

You are going in in the last year where the old USMLE rules work? If I am reading this right things are going to be more interesting with the changes to the IMG status coming up. 

Yes I heard of something regarding USMGs being considered IMGs for CaRMS from 2026 grad, but I wast sure if it was reciprocal

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16 minutes ago, AB27 said:

Yes I heard of something regarding USMGs being considered IMGs for CaRMS from 2026 grad, but I wast sure if it was reciprocal

It is, unfortunately. I emailed them a while ago and the rep from AFMC and LCME said this:

 

"Canadian medical students graduating in 2026 and beyond will be considered International Medical Graduates by the United States which would require them to apply for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification. Canadians graduating from an American Medical School in 2026 and beyond will be considered an International Medical Graduate in the residency application process in Canada."

 

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2 hours ago, who_knows said:

Why is IM becoming more competitive? Is this an artificial phenomenon simply because of virtual interviews, everyone backs up with IM?

IM has become progressively more competitive since 2015/2016 (graph is in previous post), so earlier than the pandemic.  At that point FM started becoming progressively less competitive suggesting that part of the switch was away from FM into IM - before that they were tracking each other pretty closely.  

Probably push (away from FM) & pull factors-  I think people are recognizing that IM has some flexibility and good to excellent income which makes the longer training worthwhile and it doesn't have any of the midlevel issues facing FM.  Finally, I think the job market for GIM has been really good too - it could be that saturation in more subspecialties eventually brings down the competitiveness, but for now it seems like it's a good career choice if it's something you like.  It's spot/1st choice applicants is 0.98 so reasonable - but still 40+ IM keeners matched into FM instead of IM this year suggesting that it's not automatic.  

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