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Which is more competitive? Ent vs. Uro

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by jr264, Mar 10, 2003.

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  1. jr264

    jr264 Junior Member

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    Hi,

    I am in the process of making a decision. I am not a very competitive applicant and would like to gauge myself to these specialties. I know I want to be a surgeon but still have a decent lifestyle. Which is more competitive Uro or Ent ? I think there a lot of variables in each of these specialties but generally.

    thanks
  2. dr.evil

    dr.evil Senior Member

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    Overall, the general consensus is that ENT is more competitive than Urology. Board scores for ENT are usually about 10 points higher that Uro (low 230's vs low-mid 220's). ENT is more research oriented on the whole also.

    Just an aside but I'd say urology is more fun than ENT. Of course that's coming from a general surgeon who loves to have his hands in someone's belly.;)
  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    They are pretty similar in terms of % of seniors matching. For the years for which I can find data:

    ENT % U.S. seniors matched
    2000 - 83%
    1999 - 75%
    1998 - 72%
    1997 - 71%
    1996 - 62%

    Urology % U.S. seniors matched
    2003 - 71%
    2002 - 80%
    2001 - 76%
    2000 - 76%
    1999 - 71%
    1998 - 73%
  4. FireAway

    FireAway Member

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    I think ENT has traditionally been more competitive, but as you can see from the numbers below Uro ratcheted things up this year. Didn't I see somewhere a match rate of 84% for US allopathic seniors in ENT? Also, I don't know how many residency slots there are in the country, I suspect its comparable to Uro.

    Suffice it to say that both are extremely competitive. The similarities end there though. These are vastly different fields, and I wouldn't make a career decision on the basis of "I wanna be a surgeon but want a good lifestyle too."
  5. DuneHog

    DuneHog Senior Member

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    I would agree with the above posters. Both Otolaryngology and Urology are quite competative. Which one more so? I'm not sure it matters. Applicants to both fields have high boards, good grades, often AOA etc. The unmatch rate for every field varies year to year, and you never know what it's gonna be like the year you apply! I also agree that ENT is more research oriented, and is especially oriented towards basic science research.

    Both are great fields with some of the most laid back personalities in surgery. If I were trying to decide between the two, I would focus on the differences between the two fields. Differences I can think of:

    - In general, Otolaryngology seems to favor people that are more meticulous, as much of the anatomy is small and quite complex.

    - A future otolaryngologist should not be bothered by snot or ear wax. A future urologist should not mind urine or examining people where the sun don't shine.

    -General urologists tend to see older, male patients since prostate is the bread and butter of urology. A general otolaryngologist has a wide variety of patients, but kids are seen commonly, since tubes and tonsils are bread and butter for them.

    -Otolarynogology is also nice because you have the option of doing cosmetics, either by doing a ENT/Facial Plastics fellowship (very popular among graduating ENTs these days) or going the traditional plastics route. Some urologists do cosmetics/reconstruction, but the market isn't as big for plastic surgery of the genitals.

    maybe others can add to the list?
  6. houston

    houston New Member

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    I think as far as competitive goes they are about equal and if anything in the last few years Urology is more competive. In numbers matched, last year it was the second most competive(2nd to derm) and this year it will probably be the most competitive. However, this is not really important to your decision.

    I went through this decision last year around this time (I chose urology.)
    You have to chose based on many factors, not the least of which is the anatomy or patient base.
    In the end most things seemed equal to me but I liked the people I worked with in Urology better. They seemed more laid back and relaxed, and fit my personality.

    While stereotypes of people in both fields are not true of everyone, they do seem to hold water.

    During my interviews, I was always asked what I would do if I didn't do uro, and I answered ENT.

    In the end, you can't go wrong between the two.
  7. maxheadroom

    maxheadroom Rhinestone Cowboy Moderator

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    The real question is which one do you like more? Pick the specialty based upon what you want to do, not your perceived ability to get in. Lots of underachievers make it in competitive fields.
  8. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus

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    I think actually the integrated plastic programs have had match rates in the 50-60% range which would make it the most competative NRMP match
  9. jt999

    jt999 Member

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    This year 468 people applied for the urology match. 365 people submitted ranks lists and 235 matched. Does that mean the match rate is 50.2% (235/468) or 65% (235/365)?
  10. DuneHog

    DuneHog Senior Member

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    I'm curious where you got these numbers. As far as I know the NRMP doesn't make these data available (at least not specific to US seniors). As jt999 pointed out, the key number to look at is the match rate for US Seniors. If you include IMGs + previous grads, the match rate is much lower. Both ENT and urology would show numbers similar to the 50-60% figure you quote for integated (aka general :laugh: ) plastics if you look at the match rate for all applicants. However, you may be correct that plastics is the most competative NRMP match by overall match rate, since Otolaryngology and Urology are both early matches.

    Also keep in mind that match rate doesn't necessarily correlate with competativeness. Specialties with a reputation for being difficult to match in attract more competative applicants. Ideally one should look at avg. board scores, % AOA etc. for those matched to determine the overall caliber of applicants applying to a given specialty. Unfortunately much of that information isn't available.
  11. houston

    houston New Member

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    droliver,

    Integrated plastics may have the highest unmatched rate??

    However, there are only about 80 positions in the country, and most of the people who don't match can do plastics in one of the 4 or 5 other "tracks to plastics" (ie general surg + fellowship, ENT etc.)

    Maybe I should clarify to say the most competitive specialty with >200 postions offered?

    I'm not really sure what the point of your post was?
  12. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel Moderator Emeritus

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    Dune Hog,
    From the NRMP site, "Data about the 2002 Main Match can be found in the NRMP Results and Data 2002 Match book available for purchase from the AAMC Publications Department at (202) 828-0416." The book has all sorts of tables, many of them about US Seniors only. Your library probably has a copy of the book.

    Houston,

    The point of Dr. Oliver's post was to address a factual inaccuracy. You make good points why the inaccuracy is not of major consequence, but that doesn't make it any more correct. (Assuming Dr. Oliver is correct - I don't have the stats at hand.)
  13. DuneHog

    DuneHog Senior Member

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    Thanks for the reference Pilot Doc - I'm aware of this book, although I admit I have never looked at it. There have been several discussions on this message board from people that have though. Everyone that has tried to find the US senior unmatch rate or calculate it from that data in the tables listed in the NRMP Match Data book has been unsuccessful. That's why I was curious where Dr. Oliver got his numbers. As far as I know, only the early matches make the US senior unmatch rate available.
  14. DoctorDoom

    DoctorDoom Witch King

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    Hey Junior,

    If you want to be in the most competitive residency, use your not very competitive grades to get into a mediocre gen surg program. Don't do any research while you're there. Then try to get into pediatric surgery. When I checked it out there were 11 fellowship positions in the country. Now that's a challenge.

    Do what you like. Urologists can tailor their practices and have great lifestyles. ENT's buy boats simply by clearing cerumen. Don't be a surgeon for the rep or to be able to puff out your chest.

    If you want a good lifestyle and have a "competitive" fellowship under your belt, go into ophtho or derm. You want just a good lifestyle, go into radiology. Lifestyle and OR? be anesthesia or a scrub nurse. Don't take a spot from some one who isn't a good student but loves urology or ENT for more reasons than just because it's competitve, or makes them sound cool, and will be a late bloomer and contribute, while you're on a golf course.
  15. houston

    houston New Member

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    Pilot,

    That was a rhetorical question. There are many very competitive specialties with very small numbers of positions; I know rad onc is very competitive lately. As are many fellowships, ie interventional rad etc.

    Play with the numbers and stats they really don't amount to a hill of beans! For example all the applicants in one field may be superior to all in another field but if it has a higher unmatched rate, is it more competitive?

    Or furthermore, I know there is alot of competition within each specialty so Harvard FP may be more competitive than MiscellaneousCounty Urology.

    I meant to offer some constructive advice, and not get into a pissing contest.

    Oh, and Dr. Doom offers some good advice.
  16. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel Moderator Emeritus

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    At least for the 2000 NRMP data book that I can get my hands on, the US Senior Unmatch rate by specialty is Table 12. The data just include applicants who ranked one specialty only. e.g. the derm unmatch rate is for applicants who only ranked derm programs; it doesn't include those who ranked derm and medicine.
  17. peckerchecker

    peckerchecker Junior Member

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    jr264,

    if you want to read about some of the pros and cons of urology, go to www.urologymatch.com.

    the site also has all the stats (w/ links to sources) for this year's Urology match (see Overview section under "Becoming a Urologist").

    as far as deciding which to choose GU vs ENT, I agree w/ most of the above posts: if you like belly surgery, go GU; if you enjoy more of the meticulous plastics-type work, ENT is for you. both specialties have so much to offer, though, that you can't go wrong.

    -PC

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