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age and graduation

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by eastdoc, Nov 16, 2002.

  1. eastdoc

    eastdoc Junior Member
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    HELLO, I AM NEW TO THE FORUM AND WOULD LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION. I'M CURRENTLY IN MY EARLY 30S AND PLAN TO ATTEND PODIATRY SCHOOL NEXT YEAR. ARE OLDER GRADUATING PODIATRISTS AT A DISADVANTAGE WHEN IT COMES TO OBTAINING QUALITY RESIDENCIES. I'M CONSIDERING PODIATRY OR THE CARRIBEAN FOR AN MD. ?????NOT CERTAN YET. ANY FEEDBACK WOULD BE HELFUL. THANKYOU:clap:
     
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  3. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student
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    I started pod school when I was 32 (and finished). Like anything else, there's going to be a spectrum out there. I, personally, thought that there was some discrimination in the residency process, but that's just my opinion. I had excellent grades, have a good personality and interview well, but I ended up getting a useless residency, which, ultimately, has contributed to my displeasure with the profession and led to my re-applying to DO school.

    If I had to do it over again, I would NOT go to pod school. Despite what many pod students or DPMs may tell you, the majority of pod students and young DPMs entered pod school because they couldn't get into MD or DO school. Again, just my opinion. If you're able, I would suggest overseas MD school before pod school. Others wouldn't.

    I'll also add that it's never, ever too late to chase your dreams. I'm 41, in debt from pod school, but I'm looking forward to going to DO school next year (with a decided advantage) and actually have a CHOICE as to what type of doctor I should be.

    Good luck
     
  4. eastdoc

    eastdoc Junior Member
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    Thanks, Toejam. That's very encouraging. I'm not yet sure if I want to give up the rest of the body. My grades are great but 50% of my MCAT scores came back a bit low. I could study for the MCAT and take it again and apply for next year or go for the Carribean....or Pod school. As far as DO's are concerned, I've always been happier with them than with MDs. And, of course, that has just been my personal experience. I've always had very good and personable DO physicians. I wish the best to you!
     
  5. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    Eastdoc,

    I am also mid 30's, but am amost through with my DPM program. I'm in the residency process right now. (Toejam, I would be interested with your comments ergarding the interviews. Specifically, more info as to how you decided on which programs to interview for and why. And your retrospective opinions on the CRIPs process.) By the way, I am not the oldest in my class, and I don't think any of those older than I am are having any difficulties with it. In fact, I think most of them will match with their choices of residencies.

    I put a lot of time and effort into researching my opitons. I considered PA, BSN, PhD, MD, DO and DPM programs. It was a long process and a lot of time was involved. I talked to a lot of people, and when I look back on it it was really a period of about 8-10 years before I came to a decision. Some of that time was spent picking up requirements, but I considered all of those courses among others along the way.

    I am happy with my decision, but fully agree with Toejam that it is not right for many people. there are a large number of people who get into this with the wrong end goals. And they generally end up displeased with their choices in the long run. So I would urge you to put some more time into it. Make sure you are doing what you want to for the reasons you want. And that goes for decisions beyond the DPM degree.

    From reading between the lines, I get the feeling that overseas schools are a second choice for you and DPM programs along side that. You might be better off looking into DP programs, though I would not rule out MD programs. Carefully consider the schools that you want to apply for. In general DO schools are easier to get into, especially for older students. MD programs can be done, but some are more selective as far as in-state, out of state. The age thing is a minor issue, though DO programs are more likely to look favorably on this. Not sure how this sits with the residency selection folks.

    I wouldn't worry much about the age issue. I would put more of my efforts into thinking about long term goals, and decididng which type of program might offer the things that would help meet those goals.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. eastdoc

    eastdoc Junior Member
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    Thanks Eric, That was very encouraging! One of my goals is to become involved in missionary work as a doctor overseas or even in the US. Do you now of any DPMs who are involved in this? I know that in many countries people may not even where shoes. Therefore, they may have many foot problems that need attended to. Thank you
     
  7. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student
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    east doc

    Eric and I are probably the two best people to address your concerns and questions on this forum. He's decidedly pro-podiatry and I'm pretty much negative-podiatry. Mind you, I'm not negative-PODIATRIST, I just have a lot of gripes with the process and the end-product.

    Eric brought up a lot of good points. Age should NEVER be a concern. Only achieving your goals. And you MOST DEFINITELY need to do your research before you embark on any of these quests. Do not listen to any of the schools (MD, DO, DPM, DDS, etc.) because they are all in the business of recruitment. They will never tell you any of the pitfalls and will always play up the positives even to the point where they'll fudge on the truth. The best thing to do is hit the pavement. Talk to a good number of docs representing all of the specialties. Know what your goals are. If anything is a 2nd or 3rd choice I would strongly suggest avoiding it.

    From what I read, you seem to be a good candidate for DO school. Like Eric said, they are less concerned with age and raw scores. MD schools are pretty much ONLY concerned with these criteria. I have my DPM, had a 3.6 in pod school, graduated from UCLA with a 3.2 and have a huge amount of relevant experience, yet I have not heard one peep from an MD school that I applied to. I did hear from a DO school and interviewed last week. My MCAT was very average (23S) and I know that this wouldn't make the cut in almost any MD school despite the fact that I would most certainly be in the top 10 of applicants in terms of experience and maturity. The real purpose of any medical school is to choose the student who will best complete the program. Unfortunately, MD schools are lazy and assume that this is always the students with the best GPAs and MCATs.

    If you're seriously considering pod school, you must be absolutely certain that you want to be a podiatrist for the rest of your life. These loans will never go away. You will most likely take out around 170k and payback's a bitch. Finding work is also a bitch. And post-graduate training is kind of a crap shoot, though they SAY that it's improving. You will also have virtually no way to get your loans forgiven through the Govt. or any other private enterprise.

    Foreign MD school is a better option than podiatry, in my opinion, but only 3. I would only suggest Ross, AUC and St. George's. But, I think that DO school is better than either of those.

    Now, to answer your question, Eric. I went to CRIP's in Los Angeles and Philly. Both experiences were nothing but BS pimping and even some ridicule (I interviewed for a spot at an RPR/PSR in L.A. and when I couldn't come up with the obscure answer for some jerk DPM's obscure question about podopeds, he openly chastised me in front of a dozen interviewers. That experience pretty much sealed my dislike for podiatry and the entire, pointless process). I thought CRIP's was a dog and pony show and that many of the residency directors already had who they wanted in mind (nice boobs, jock, quiet Asian, Validectorian, etc.). I knew one of the directors personally and he said that it's pretty common that the selections are based on nothing much more than these type of criteria. Thankfully, since I knew him, I got one of the 12 spots in his residency. If nepotism didn't exist, I would have ended up with nothing. The number 6 person in my class ended up with nothing. The class President ended up with nothing and he had to take an UNFUNDED position in AZ (and he has 2 kids in L.A.). Lots of meritorious students either ended up with crap or nothing. Many undeserving students ended up with relatively choice residencies (I know of one guy who clearly should never have been admitted to any sort of post-graduate program, but matched with a PSR-24 in L.A. because his daddy is a DPM and was very good friends with the director. He finished in 2001 and had yet to pass his surgery boards).

    My selection criteria was a lot like my method of choosing med schools. I picked some outside shots, some in-betweens and some safes. I was realistic as to how much travel I could afford and how likely I was to earn a spot in a competitive residency. I chose most of the programs that had at least one year of surgery included. I only picked two one-year programs. I made sure that the program wasn't new or didn't have a bad rep. I referenced a residency info manual (can't remember the name, but you probably know which one I'm talking about) to make sure there weren't any restrictions for applications. I checked out the past trends (like do they accept any CCPM students, etc.). Basically, it was a mixture of the places I thought I wanted to go together with reality....can I actually get a spot. I interviewed with A LOT of programs. I spent a LOT of money on travel, etc. This is also a reason that I have problems with the process. I ended up with a PPMR in L.A. (L.A. County) which was great for real medicine, but sucked for podiatry. It also only paid 10k a year, which necessitated me working weekends as a waiter. One more reason to hate podiatry.

    My advice for the CRIP's is to RELAX. If you're nervous, it won't do you any good at all. Don't appear too cocky because they'll hate that. So much of the interview has to do with whether or not they LIKE you and not so much on what your answers are. Remember, they're looking at you like "can I spend the next 2 years with this guy"??? Ask for the position at the end of the interview. Tell them how you're the perfect match. Tell them that you're planning to devote every waking hour to the program. And, lastly, make sure you slip them a $100 bill as you're leaving.

    Good luck!
     
  8. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    I agree with pretty much everything Toejam posted here. (How's that for scary.)

    As far as DPM "missions" overseas, there are a few. The one I am most aware of is the Baja Project in Mexico. Some of the residencies send people there on a regular basis. I know there are others, I just can't come up with them off the top of my head.
     
  9. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student
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    Eric,

    Funny you should mention the Baja Project. One of the main attendings for it (I think his name is Weinstein) was the jerk who pimped me during my aforementioned interview.

    I wouldn't really call it a "mission", though. You don't get a whole lot of experience unless you match with one of the handful of residencies in SoCal that sponsor it. And, even then, only when you're the senior resident. Other than Baja, I can't think of any other overseas residency experience.
     
  10. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    I seem to recall another one that visits Ecuador on a regular basis, but I can't come up with any specifics. In following the Podiatry Online stuff I think I have seen references to others, but they were not as often.

    I think there are some other DPMs out there doing this, but it has not been brought into light as a big topic.

    If you are interested in doing this type of thing, I am sure it can be done as the need is there. It would just be a matter of working out the details.
     
  11. eastdoc

    eastdoc Junior Member
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    THANKS AGAIN FOR THE ADVISE AND FOR THE INFORMATION. IT'S ALL VERY HELFUL. PERHAPS I COULD START MY OWN PODIATRIC MISSIONARY OUTREACH PROGRAM. I'LL ALSO SEE WHAT I CAN FIND ON BAJA AND EQUADOR.

    I HAVE MY APPLICATION READY TO BE SEND OUT TO THE PODIATRY SCHOOL. HOWEVER, I'M GOING TO DO SOME ADDITIONAL RESEARCH FIRST IN THE AREA OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE AND ROSS U. HOW LONG DO YOU USUALLY HAVE BEFORE THE PODIATRY SLOTS FILL UP? I DON'T WANT TO WAIT TOO LONG BEFORE SUBMITTING MY APPLICATION.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY!

    :)
     
  12. ussdfiant

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Take the caps lock off.
     
  13. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student
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    Quite frankly, podiatry slots filling up is the least of your concerns. The schools failed to attract sufficient numbers of applicants last year so I doubt it'll be much different this year. Honestly, you could probably still find a spot at the end of next summer, but you might as well send it in when you can.
     
  14. goldenpheasant

    goldenpheasant Junior Member
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    Podiatry is a crap shoot. I had 3.8 gpa, 96 ave board scores and ended up with a psr 12. I flew around the country for 2 years after that looking for another year, so were a bunch of others, and I got nothing.

    There are not enough prs 24+ residencies to go around. Not then, not now. If you have any doubts, call the schools and ask them. If you do not get psr 24 you CAN NOT get boarded. If you can't get boarded you can't get on staff at hospitals or insurance panels. If you can't do that you will starve. Or you could cut toenails in nursing homes, boy 8 years of college and 150k in debt to cut toenails.

    A few lucky ones make it. But more than a few deserving ones DO NOT. Are you going to gamble 150k on a profession that DOES NOT GUARANTEE adequate training? If you are MD/DO you may not get the first choice but you will get adequate post graduate training to become boarded and have the opportunity for a viable practice. Podiatry DOES NOT have enough psr 24 residencies to go around. DO YOU want to gamble the rest of your life on this?

    Think long and hard. Do not listen to students. They have no idea what it is like in the real world. Life is glamourous because they are "Doctors" They are arguing the finer points of PMSIV and MSIV, who cares????

    The students tell of all the greatness of podiatry, they refuse to believe anything negative because they do not want to admit the profession they chose is anything but the greatest thing since sliced bread. To admit it is not would be to admit they willfully chose poorly, and who among us wants to admit that. Not me, and I have been out a few years, but I did choose poorly.

    I had it all good grades, personality and all that other crap that gets you voted most likely to succeed, but it was not enough in podiatry. Heck, I got straight A's in my first year except for one class, can you guess which one? Yes folks that's right I got my only B in 1st year Podiatric Medicine. What does that tell you about this profession? Or was it just that I didn't work hard enough on those essay questions for the washed up toenail clipper who taught the class?

    Find another career, forget podiatry.

    My agenda: To help save future prospective students from gambling on this career.

    Good Night
     
  15. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    Sure glad to see that you figured out how to use your cut and paste functions to post the same thing multiple times on the same list and be able to cross post it on other lists as well.

    May dilute the message though.
     
  16. cg2a93

    cg2a93 Senior Member
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    Since when did we start getting board scores? I happen to see my file at my externship and only score there was "pass". Correct me if im wrong, but I think board scores are pass or fail
     
  17. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    My score was also a PASS. I think they used numerical scores some years ago, but I think it was at least 3 years since they started using pass/fail.
     

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