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MS1 wants to be most competitive for Neuro

Discussion in 'Neurology' started by EdLongshanks, Feb 1, 2012.

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  1. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks

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    Hello, I am an older MS1 at a DO school. I am currently taking Neuro and find it both fascinating and a nice match for my particular personality and strengths. I'd like to ask, firstly, if my view of neurology is accurate, and secondly, if I am making a mistake to push this direction so soon, and thirdly, what I can do, right now, to make myself the best possible Neuro candidate. Finally, the school does not have an associated Neuro residency, so the residencies in town are all allopathic instead of osteopathic. I need some advice on how to navigate that particular maze.

    I am, as I said, non-tradition. I am 48 years old. I was a software engineer for several decades and my main motivation for a mid-life switch to medicine is because I interested in doing self-supported medical missions work as a sideline to state-side medical career. As a practical matter, Neuro seems to be a good choice because it is associated with internal medicine and medical missionary work requires a generalist and secondly, makes enough money so that the few weeks a year spent away from the job is not a financial hardship. In the matter of intellectual skill/fit, I find that the analysis/diagnostic skill set is fascinating for me. This is the class in medical school in which the answer lies in my hand almost intuitively and the formal step-by-step is merely a secondary, mathematical proving of what I already knew. It's like using physics to throw a ball instead of learning to pitch.

    MS1 students are not encouraged to make up their minds about specialties early on. However, this feels like love-at-first-sight to me. 24 years ago, I married my wife 15 weeks after meeting her, and I haven't regretted it. I am checking into doing some shadowing during spring break and summer to verify this.

    I have asked my physician mentor (an anesthesiologist) for help in this direction and he has given me the name and a referral to a neurologist friend. I have also spoken to the neuro instructors at the school and informed them of my interest. They have some interested research going on that I may get involved with in later years. Our school does not have a SIGN club, and I am not terribly interested in spending my time in the busy work of club-starting rather than studying. So, unless I am strongly advised to do so, this is not a step I will take.

    As I said, my school does not have an associated DO residency in Neuro. This is the only osteopathic school in the state, so I think we don't even have an osteopathic neuro spot in the entire state. I understand that getting a rotation at an allopathic hospital can be a little challenging. How hard should I work at this? Could you all help me out with advice on this set of hoops?

    I would appreciate any suggestions/advice/correction that you all might offer.
  2. judasreznor

    judasreznor

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    I'm really interested in hearing about this, too. I'm in exactly the same situation.
  3. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks

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    I just saw that my school DOES have SIGN and that I am already a member. We are meeting tomorrow.
  4. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig

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    Being a DO won't be a problem. Do well in class, study hard for boards and you will match just fine. I'm a DO at an allopathic residency. Someone in the class ahead of me matched at Johns Hopkins neurology. At least one other person in my class matched an osteopathic neurology residency. Most of us chose allopathic programs, however.

    Its always a good idea to shadow a neurologist. One other idea you could try is shadowing a neurology resident on-call. Heheh, which is exactly what I'm doing right now. (heheh, a rare moment of down-time...) Try contacting the local programs in your area and see if they'd be ok with that.
  5. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks

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    A visiting neurology who spoke for SIGN today said that I should read up on recent advances in the field so that I could discuss them.
  6. HarveyCushing

    HarveyCushing

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    Advances in the field of neurology? Didn't narrow it down for you? Lol. Maybe you should focus on one aspect of neurology; stroke, MS, ALZ, critical care...etc. Also depends how you define "advances". Much of what we do is small steps at this point.
  7. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig

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    Well, it doesn't hurt to show interest. I think volunteering would be more than enough of a conversation starter. Maybe think of a couple of questions regarding a career in neurology. The bottom line is you want to find out if this is something you can see yourself doing. Unfortunately, you really don't have much time in medical school to decide on a specialty so learn as much as you can now.

    Good luck.

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