Feb 8, 2013
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Pre-Medical
When I was little on my third halloween I was a skeleton. It became my favorite outfit, I would walk around the house day and night with it on, haunting my twin sisters and my younger brother :scared:.

The costume shaped my nick-name in my family, how I am known by relatives and that memory has always been in the presence of my thoughts. I have always been interested in anatomy of the skeletal structure even at such a young age. When I broke my thumb and I had to get surgery, I was so fascinated that I ripped off my cast to see what the doctor had done to my hand, I was fascinated, intrigued, in awe of what we can do as humans to heal. Thankfully I didn't get an infection from taking off the cast :thumbup::eek::thumbup:

I recently made a post about my grades, I have never been an excellent student from the get-go. However, this realization hit me not too recently and since then I've been busting work in school. I would like to ask about any suggestions for my journey to become a orthopedic or neuro (spine surgeon). I am planning on applying to DO schools when I do grade replacements, and bring my cGPA up past the 3.2 mark (currently 2.9 cGPA). I have a 3.46 GPA right now with around 40 credits at my current college, obviously the GPA isnt great, but it's not "bad" either. I know that in order to be competitive I will have to bring it up past a 3.6 for my sGPA. I'm working really hard right now, and will do whatever it takes to make this happen. I have a couple of years devoted to making this a possibility, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, not just for undergrad but for when I get into medical school. I'm highly optimistic.

Thanks.
 

Law2Doc

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When I was little on my third halloween I was a skeleton. It became my favorite outfit, I would walk around the house day and night with it on, haunting my twin sisters and my younger brother :scared:.

The costume shaped my nick-name in my family, how I am known by relatives and that memory has always been in the presence of my thoughts. I have always been interested in anatomy of the skeletal structure even at such a young age. When I broke my thumb and I had to get surgery, I was so fascinated that I ripped off my cast to see what the doctor had done to my hand, I was fascinated, intrigued, in awe of what we can do as humans to heal. Thankfully I didn't get an infection from taking off the cast :thumbup::eek::thumbup:

I recently made a post about my grades, I have never been an excellent student from the get-go. However, this realization hit me not too recently and since then I've been busting work in school. I would like to ask about any suggestions for my journey to become a orthopedic or neuro (spine surgeon). I am planning on applying to DO schools when I do grade replacements, and bring my cGPA up past the 3.2 mark (currently 2.9 cGPA). I have a 3.46 GPA right now with around 40 credits at my current college, obviously the GPA isnt great, but it's not "bad" either. I know that in order to be competitive I will have to bring it up past a 3.6 for my sGPA. I'm working really hard right now, and will do whatever it takes to make this happen. I have a couple of years devoted to making this a possibility, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, not just for undergrad but for when I get into medical school. I'm highly optimistic.

Thanks.
My main suggestion is to have an open mind about medical specialties, or not bother. Ortho and NS are among of the more competitive surgical paths, particularly so if coming from DO. You can have a leaning as to what fields you find most intriguing, but you don't really want to focus in on specialty choices that might prove to be out of your reach once you get through two years of med school, and end up miserable the rest of the way. The ranks of PM&R and FM/sports med are filled with people who couldn't put up the numbers for ortho. And that's on the allo side, where there are many more spots.

I would also suggest that your own experience as a patient doesn't give you enough insight as to what an ortho surgeon or NS Actually does. You need to shadow a bit. The hours can be brutal. It's not a choice for everyone, regardless of how cool they think it is.
 

yossarian444

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My main suggestion is to have an open mind about medical specialties, or not bother. Ortho and NS are among of the more competitive surgical paths, particularly so if coming from DO. You can have a leaning as to what fields you find most intriguing, but you don't really want to focus in on specialty choices that might prove to be out of your reach once you get through two years of med school, and end up miserable the rest of the way. The ranks of PM&R and FM/sports med are filled with people who couldn't put up the numbers for ortho. And that's on the allo side, where there are many more spots.

I would also suggest that your own experience as a patient doesn't give you enough insight as to what an ortho surgeon or NS Actually does. You need to shadow a bit. The hours can be brutal. It's not a choice for everyone, regardless of how cool they think it is.
Ortho and NS may actually become more difficult for DO's if we go toward a combined DO/MD match, which is the way it is looking given that the ACGME is taking over the osteopathic residencies. MD grads desparate to match anywhere in ortho or NS will undoubtedly apply to all the DO programs making more competition for the DO's. And spine fellowships are ridiculously competitive.

If you're set on something competitive and can't see yourself happy in a variety of competitive and non-competitive specialties, I agree with law2doc and you really consider whether med school is right for you. Nobody heads into med school thinking "I'm going to finish in the bottom 25% of my class and/or boards." Yet, amazingly, a quarter of students out there manage to do exactly that, despite giving it their best efforts.
 
OP
S
Feb 8, 2013
18
0
Status
Pre-Medical
This is true, thanks for the advice. I actually wouldn't mind falling back on internal medicine as the sub-specialty possibilities seem fascinating to me, or EM (but I hear that's also competitive).

I actually don't sleep many hours, and tend to work better on less sleep.. sounds weird I know.. so I have a feeling that a surgical specialty would be something for me. But who knows things will change in a couple of years from now when I actually get to see what it is really like...
 
Last edited:
OP
S
Feb 8, 2013
18
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Since, the differences in placement for MD or DO will be strictly the same in terms of available spots (as I hear that DO and MD is merging into one residency placement program). Obviously some MD programs are insuperior than some DO programs, and vise versa so the most important thing for me is the quality of education...Not whether I am Allopathic or Osteopathic.

Then again, does it really matter all that much as far as MD vs DO in terms of chances in placing in such a residency, or is it entirely dependent on board scores. Thanks.
 

Law2Doc

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...
Then again, does it really matter all that much as far as MD vs DO in terms of chances in placing in such a residency, or is it entirely dependent on board scores. Thanks.
as of today allo has a leg up in landing allo residencies. This may change to the extent training ultimately merges.
 

Gfliptastic

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Based on my day today, w/ my time in the OR w/ my 1st C-section, definitely make sure you know! It is ALL 5 SENSES. Cauterized flesh, etc. No cadaver can ever substitute for the awe of a live person's flesh being cauterized. You will probably NOT be able to get any OR time, but at least maybe try a vet and get some surgery time that way.

That said, I agree w/ the others. DO is a tough road to get to surgery. And those specialties are even tougher. And you've got quite a bit standing in your way before that even matters.

a) Get some time in the OR
b) Get a great MCAT score
c) Get into med school<----MOST IMPORTANT
d) Study your @#% off cuz you are going for an uber competitive field
e) Pass Step 1 w/ probably at LEAST a 240
f) Do great in all of your clinical cores to get great LOR's
g) Do exquisitely well in your Surgery rotation
h) Do great on Step 2 CK and CS
i) Submit your ERAS early
j) Do awesome on your interviews
k) Match into surgery


Push yourself and good luck!
 

ChE04

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Based on my day today, w/ my time in the OR w/ my 1st C-section, definitely make sure you know! It is ALL 5 SENSES. Cauterized flesh, etc. No cadaver can ever substitute for the awe of a live person's flesh being cauterized. You will probably NOT be able to get any OR time, but at least maybe try a vet and get some surgery time that way.

That said, I agree w/ the others. DO is a tough road to get to surgery. And those specialties are even tougher. And you've got quite a bit standing in your way before that even matters.

a) Get some time in the OR
b) Get a great MCAT score
c) Get into med school<----MOST IMPORTANT
d) Study your @#% off cuz you are going for an uber competitive field
e) Pass Step 1 w/ probably at LEAST a 240
f) Do great in all of your clinical cores to get great LOR's
g) Do exquisitely well in your Surgery rotation
h) Do great on Step 2 CK and CS
i) Submit your ERAS early
j) Do awesome on your interviews
k) Match into surgery


Push yourself and good luck!
Yes, there are a lot of opportunities along the way to Plaxico yourself and close the doors to the more competitive specialties. As others have said, I would recommend not picking a specialty before actually starting medical school, even more so if it's something like spine surgery and you're planning on DO. You'll likely change your mind after you get started anyway, so it's good that at least IM or EM appeals to you also.
 
OP
S
Feb 8, 2013
18
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Based on my day today, w/ my time in the OR w/ my 1st C-section, definitely make sure you know! It is ALL 5 SENSES. Cauterized flesh, etc. No cadaver can ever substitute for the awe of a live person's flesh being cauterized. You will probably NOT be able to get any OR time, but at least maybe try a vet and get some surgery time that way.

That said, I agree w/ the others. DO is a tough road to get to surgery. And those specialties are even tougher. And you've got quite a bit standing in your way before that even matters.

a) Get some time in the OR
b) Get a great MCAT score
c) Get into med school<----MOST IMPORTANT
d) Study your @#% off cuz you are going for an uber competitive field
e) Pass Step 1 w/ probably at LEAST a 240
f) Do great in all of your clinical cores to get great LOR's
g) Do exquisitely well in your Surgery rotation
h) Do great on Step 2 CK and CS
i) Submit your ERAS early
j) Do awesome on your interviews
k) Match into surgery


Push yourself and good luck!
Thanks, I'll keep these steps in mind. I'm going to ask the ortho that did my hand back in highschool, seemed like a nice guy and he would probably be happy to see me wanting to push in the direction of medicine.
 
OP
S
Feb 8, 2013
18
0
Status
Pre-Medical
as of today allo has a leg up in landing allo residencies. This may change to the extent training ultimately merges.
Yea, I'm pushing for allo because I am a bit worried about the future with the whole merger situation. It will either hurt DO's or benefit them, there's no real way of telling until seeing the outcome and comparing the statistics.
 
Jan 13, 2013
56
18
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I think I'm in a somewhat similar situation to you, striveth. I'm really interested in neurosurgery (in spite of not really knowing much about it), and I find myself having to face the reality of the competition. Fortunately, the more I read and learn, the more my interests broaden. The MD path really does give way to a wide variety of rewarding careers.

Nice work bringing up your GPA, keep it up!