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Iserson's Getting Into a Residency: A Guide for Medical Students, 7th Edition 7th Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1883620097
ISBN-10: 1883620090
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 627 pages
  • Publisher: Galen Press, Ltd.; 7th edition (July 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883620090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883620097
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Copeland on December 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking that I needed it to be able to apply for residency programs. I found the book, even the most recent edition, to be very outdated in terms of the matching process and what programs are looking for. I don't think much went into updating the new edition because for a few years now, the Board exams have been computerized and the book still refers to the old 2 day process and it also stated that the osteopathic residency process was not through ERAS, which it is and has been for the last few years also. Another very minute example: the book recommends that women should only wear a skirt suit to interviews. I know women who have, but it is just as common if not more so to wear pants-the author must be a dinosaur to think that women have to wear a skirt in order to appear professional. I know these are not the most important things when applying but I feel that they are a good gage on the quality of the rest of the information provided.

I also wanted information on what to include in my personal statement but the most I got out of this book was 1 paragraph stating that medical school students put more stress on this aspect of their application than is necessary-not helpful. In the end, now that my interviews are over, I realize that this book is useless for applying to residency programs. There is much more current and apropos information on the internet or through your school's administration. Luckily, I was able to return it for a full refund.

Don't get suckered into spending another $50 on useless books in med school just because they say you need it!
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The most valuable thing in this book is the list of anticipatory RESIDENCY INTERVIEW questions at the back, with example "ways to answer" difficult interviewing questions. By the time I purchased this book, much of my academic fate had already been sealed.
There are some nuggets in here that are helpful, but I had received similar advice just from chatting with current residents.
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I want to preface this review by saying that I have not read this entire book, but only some of the sections I thought were important to me as a late year MS3. There are sections on choosing a specialty etc. that I did not read that may or may not be valuable. What I can say from what I have read is that this book is somewhat outdated (as of May 2011) despite its 2006 release date. For example, it says that programs may use a cut off of 210 on the USMLE Step 1 when deciding whether to interview applicants... Um are you kidding? A large number of programs in Orthopaedic Surgery are using a cut off of 240 and I'm sure its the same in other competitive specialties! That is a drastic difference. It also does not necessarily focus on the most important aspects of applying to residency in detail enough. For example, the section on the USMLE Step 1, arguably the most important thing you will do to get into residency, is only a page or so long! There is also a lot of useless fluff like a section on how to sign up for the exam etc. which you honestly do not need a book for. The book that I have to compare it to is The Successful Match: 200 Rules to Succeed in the Residency Match, which is an amazing book, one of the best and most useful I have read during medical school. I honestly wrote this review after reading portions of this Iserson book specifically to steer people toward "The Successful Match" which I find far superior. The Iserson book doesn't use concrete data and the results of studies in the same way "The Successful Match" does and it doesn't really tell you HOW to succeed in med school.Read more ›
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There is a lot of good numerical information and details about where to find more information, but the book sounds like it was written by the Queen Bee of the gunner hive. Here is a quote:

"Extend your hand to the other person with the thumb up and out. Make sure that the web between your thumb and index finger meets the other person's web. Try to shake hands from the elbow, not the shoulder or wrist. It is also desirable to have reasonably dry hands."

If you can stand all the nagging "should haves" and "oughts" and "absolutely critical that you do this," then it's worthwhile to flip through and read the important bits. Just don't let it raise your blood pressure too much.
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this book has been recommended to me by many mentors so I had to buy it - however i find it a little heavy of a read (I'm in med school, I don't have time for this) and most of the info seems pretty intuitive. However, I plan to keep it around as interview season approaches.
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I think the most beneficial aspects of Iserson's Getting Into A Residency are the strategy and etiquette sections about how to plan your clinical rotations, build your resume, and act throughout the application process. In my opinion, those are the most important sections for US applicants because the rest of the information can be found on the AAMCs general website or on the Careers in Medicine website. Overall, it is a solid book with a unique view on getting into residency and I recommend it.
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