Medical Specialty

How Competitive is a Vascular Surgery Residency? Updated for 2023

If you want a career as a vascular surgeon, here is how competitive the medical specialty is to match into a vascular surgery residency. Vascular surgery is the branch of medicine that involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the vascular tree, including arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels, exclusive of those within the cranial cavity and the heart. It is a surgical subspeciality, but you can match into a direct vascular surgery program.

Statistics on the Vascular Surgery Match

In 2022, vascular surgery had a total of 143 applicants and 84 spots. This equates to 1.7 applicants per position. Of the 95 U.S. MD seniors who applied, 23 did not match.

Total Positions Total Number of Applicants Number of Applicants per Position
84 143 1.7

Osteopathic (DO) Students Matching into Vascular Surgery

In 2022, the total number of DO Senior Applicants was 13. Of those, 1 matched, for a 7.69% match percentage. This makes vascular surgery a Not Friendly field for osteopathic students.

Total DO Applicants Matched DO Applicants DO Match Percentage
13 1 7.69%

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Matching into Vascular Surgery

Because there are 1.13 U.S. MD applicants per 1 program spot, vascular surgery is considered to be Not Friendly for IMGs students.

Honors, Research and Awards for Vascular Surgery Residency Candidates

The average matched U.S. applicant had 6.5 volunteer experiences and 3.3 work experiences. They had 4.7 research experiences and 10.5 abstracts, presentations and publications. That makes this specialty on where the number of publications needed is High.

Research Experiences Abstracts, Presentations and Publications Work Experiences Volunteer Experiences
4.7 10.5 3.3 6.5

Average Step 1 and Step 2 Scores for Vascular Surgery

The mean U.S. Step 1 score for matched medical students in vascular surgery was 241. The mean USMLE Step 2 CK score was 250.

Overall Competitiveness of Vascular Surgery Residency and Chances of Matching

The overall competitiveness level of vascular surgery is Very High for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 42%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 81%.

How long is a residency in vascular surgery? What is the lifestyle like for a vascular surgery resident?

Compared to other residencies, vascular surgery has a Long training length. As far as lifestyle, vascular surgeons generally have a High stress lifestyle. Of course, lifestyle is very subjective and if you love what you do, it does not matter! And if you hate what you do, it can still be rough no matter what. In medicine, you should find the specialty that makes you enjoy your everyday interactions with patients, staff and colleagues.

What is the average salary for a vascular surgeon?

The average salary post-graduation from a vascular surgery residency is $485,000, provided one does not go on to sub-specialty training which can change the salary substantially. Academic versus private practice as well as location also play a large role in physician compensation.

What are fellowships one can do from a vascular surgery residency?

Vascular surgery can be a fellowship from general surgery, but if you matched into the residency no further fellowship is required.

What are the best vascular surgery residencies in the country?

The best residency for vascular surgery, or any specialty, is very driven by personal preference and situation. How close you are to family, loved ones, the type of training environment, the opportunities available are all things to take into consideration above and beyond name recognition of a program. However, there are some highly regarded names in the world of vascular surgery including:

    • University of Minnesota Medical School
    • University of Pennsylvania Health System
    • University of South Florida Morsani
    • University of Washington School of Medicine
    • UPMC Medical Education
    • USC/LAC+USC Medical Center
    • Massachusetts General Hospital

Much of the data above is available from the AAMC Charting the Outcomes report.

Explore Other Specialties:

SpecialtyAverage Step 1 Score (Matched)Average Step 2 Score (Matched)
Child Neurology233246
Diagnostic Radiology241249
Emergency Medicine233247
Family Medicine221238
General Surgery237249
Internal Medicine235248
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics236250
Interventional Radiology247255
Neurological Surgery248252
Obstetrics and Gynecology232248
Orthopaedic Surgery248255
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation228241
Plastic Surgery249256
Radiation Oncology243250
Vascular Surgery239247


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