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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I contact with more questions about residency preparation?

The residency advising team will be happy to assist you with any questions related to residency application, competitiveness and specialty choice. You may contact us at

Which programs require the USMLE?

Specialties which typically require USMLE are: Anesthesiology, Diagnostic Radiology, General Surgery, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, OBGYN, Orthopedic Surgery, Ophthalmology, and Urology. However, students should also consider individual program requirements and personal factors (i.e. COMLEX score, exam readiness).

What is the difference between an advanced and categorical residency?

A Categorical Residency offers all years of residency training required for board certification and does not need a separate preliminary year. An Advanced Residency requires one year of preliminary or transitional clinical training. Specialties which are typically considered advanced are: Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Radiology and Urology. Students are encouraged to look at individual program websites for more information.

How many programs should I apply to for residency?

The number of programs students typically apply to for residency varies depending on the competitiveness of the specialty, the availability of positions nationwide, and aspects related to each students’ situation (i.e. geographic restrictions, lower board scores, etc).

How can I improve my competitiveness for residency?

Students can enhance their application for residency by obtaining strong letters of recommendation from physicians in their specialty choice, having an engaging personal statement and CV, and presenting themselves as a well-rounded candidate through research, extracurricular or leadership positions, and volunteer experiences.