Sep 10, 2014
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Hello all,
I posted this in the neurosurgery thread but have not got any responses back so I thought I would try here. I was wondering if anyone could give me advice about applying to AOA neurosurg. this cycle? To make a long post short, I was interested in applying to NS 3rd year, talked myself out of it and set up my 4th yr schedule toward matching gen surg. During my current away rotation I have been scrubbing a lot of NS cases and I absolutely love it. I've decided to try and apply, however I do not have any auditions set up in NS. I have reached out to a few programs about trying to set up an away but, as I am sure you all can imagine, everything is full. I would appreciate any advice someone could give that would help set myself up to at least have a shot at matching. Thanks
 
Mar 23, 2014
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If you haven't done any sub-I's by application time then its too late. Sub-I's/LOR are a must. All your LORs need to be from Neurosurgeons (preferably chairman). I believe there are only 12-14 spots per year in the AOA. Its extremely difficult to match. A lot of these applicants you're going up against knew they wanted to be neurosurgeons from day 1. Also I would be weary that matching AOA Neurosurgery at this point is a risk/gamble. The AOA programs are from the standard/quota for ACGME standards and will likely not survive the merger. If they do, the ABNS will likely not recognize graduates from these programs and will not board certify them. This is huge especially when looking for jobs.
 

DrEnderW

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I don't think DO boarding entities are going to cease to exist with the merger, however. I may be incorrect about this, but it is directly what I was told from the current AOA president. Wouldn't you be board certified as you would be now?
 

AlbinoHawk DO

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If you haven't done any sub-I's by application time then its too late. Sub-I's/LOR are a must. All your LORs need to be from Neurosurgeons (preferably chairman). I believe there are only 12-14 spots per year in the AOA. Its extremely difficult to match. A lot of these applicants you're going up against knew they wanted to be neurosurgeons from day 1. Also I would be weary that matching AOA Neurosurgery at this point is a risk/gamble. The AOA programs are from the standard/quota for ACGME standards and will likely not survive the merger. If they do, the ABNS will likely not recognize graduates from these programs and will not board certify them. This is huge especially when looking for jobs.
I seriously doubt these programs are going to die. Merger will be full by 2020 and they still have 5 year probationary accreditation after that. Even in your gloom scenario, OP has plenty of time to graduate from the program while its accredited.
 
Mar 23, 2014
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I seriously doubt these programs are going to die. Merger will be full by 2020 and they still have 5 year probationary accreditation after that. Even in your gloom scenario, OP has plenty of time to graduate from the program while its accredited.
That is true. I think the Osteopathic accreditation body will still exist board certifying those that graduate but it will be fairly difficult securing a job without ABNS board certification IMO. I looked into this and spoke to a lot of people with regards to this topic when I was initially interested in NSG/Ortho. None of the current residents at any DO program are eligible to join CNS/AANS or any other society which is heavily involved with board certification and standards set by the ACGME. I'm just giving my two cents. If you attend any of these meetings and the topic comes up, you see exactly what I'm talking about. I don't believe any of these programs will exist after the merger. It's important to note that in order to have an ACGME program all the ancillary services/residencies must first be present. Neurosurgery is almost always the last program to be built at any institution. Also each program has strict research requirements (as its a requirement to publish during residency), this will be difficult for the AOA programs to adjust. Every MD program has University affiliation or strong clinical research/laboratory funding (ie. Cedars, Barrow). There is no such thing as a community neurosurgery program and the people at the top are adamant about keeping it that way

People who graduate from these programs will likely maintain their osteopathic board certification but it will be especially difficult securing a job after residency. The one program that met the criteria (LIJ) is now an allopathic program and only matching MD students.

Getting back to the original question, I think it will be very difficult for the OP to match into any program without having done a Sub-I or securing LORs from neurosurgeons (PDs/chairmans). If the OP has his/her heart set on Neurosurgery I would recommend you delay your graduation or spend time doing research and reapply again next year. It's important that you do your sub-I's and secure LORs from PDs/Chairman only. Also many of the AOA applicants have some form of research experience. I would recommend you seek out the same.
You also need high board scores of course. Neurosurgery is a great field and very appealing for so many reasons but its also arguably the most competitive specialty out there. It was hard for me to find an alternative, but I would suggest that you keep your options open and apply to gen surge as well
 
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OP
K
Sep 10, 2014
4
0
Thank you to all that replied. I know it is going to be an up hill battle but I am still going to try and apply. I have been able to set up a few visiting rotations at 2 programs, although I will only be there a couple of days it will at least give me some exposure. The rest of my application is ok, but it could be improved.
COMLEX1: 600
COMLEX2: 678
Several years on neuroscience research before and during medical school
2 publications
some other experiences pretty unique to neurosurgery
If anyone has any ideas how maximize my visiting experiences or any other advice would be much appreciated. Thanks again.
 

HoboCommander

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So you are applying to some other specialty and applying neurosurgery on the side? Most people I know are basically doing 4-5 straight months of neurosurgery audition rotations at this time. I only have 3 months of audition rotations in neurosurgery and have been told it does not look good.

I think you are in a difficult position where if you go all out for neurosurgery, it is risky in case you don't match in a spot. If you are clearly using neurosurgery as a backup, then it will be looked down upon by program directors.
 

SurgeDO

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That is true. I think the Osteopathic accreditation body will still exist board certifying those that graduate but it will be fairly difficult securing a job without ABNS board certification IMO. I looked into this and spoke to a lot of people with regards to this topic when I was initially interested in NSG/Ortho. None of the current residents at any DO program are eligible to join CNS/AANS or any other society which is heavily involved with board certification and standards set by the ACGME. I'm just giving my two cents. If you attend any of these meetings and the topic comes up, you see exactly what I'm talking about. I don't believe any of these programs will exist after the merger. It's important to note that in order to have an ACGME program all the ancillary services/residencies must first be present. Neurosurgery is almost always the last program to be built at any institution. Also each program has strict research requirements (as its a requirement to publish during residency), this will be difficult for the AOA programs to adjust. Every MD program has University affiliation or strong clinical research/laboratory funding (ie. Cedars, Barrow). There is no such thing as a community neurosurgery program and the people at the top are adamant about keeping it that way

People who graduate from these programs will likely maintain their osteopathic board certification but it will be especially difficult securing a job after residency. The one program that met the criteria (LIJ) is now an allopathic program and only matching MD students.

Getting back to the original question, I think it will be very difficult for the OP to match into any program without having done a Sub-I or securing LORs from neurosurgeons (PDs/chairmans). If the OP has his/her heart set on Neurosurgery I would recommend you delay your graduation or spend time doing research and reapply again next year. It's important that you do your sub-I's and secure LORs from PDs/Chairman only. Also many of the AOA applicants have some form of research experience. I would recommend you seek out the same.
You also need high board scores of course. Neurosurgery is a great field and very appealing for so many reasons but its also arguably the most competitive specialty out there. It was hard for me to find an alternative, but I would suggest that you keep your options open and apply to gen surge as well
you are misinformed on several issues, but i will not be the one to stop you from discouraging others to apply.
 
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you are misinformed on several issues, but i will not be the one to stop you from discouraging others to apply.
actually dofutureem22 is right. I can verify everything he/she mentioned. I think its important for applicants to apply knowing the risks
 
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NontradCA

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you are misinformed on several issues, but i will not be the one to stop you from discouraging others to apply.
Gunner recognize Gunning.

But in all serious, I'd be interested to hear @Cubsfan10 take on this.
 

SurgeDO

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actually dofutureem22 is right. I can verify everything he/she mentioned. I think its important for applicants to apply knowing the risks
If you want to listen to a medical student who was once interested in nsg at a certain point about the employment opportunities of an AOA trained neurosurgeon, be my guest. I will trust more reliable sources, and I would encourage those who are serious about the field to do the same.
 

THH

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That is true. I think the Osteopathic accreditation body will still exist board certifying those that graduate but it will be fairly difficult securing a job without ABNS board certification IMO. I looked into this and spoke to a lot of people with regards to this topic when I was initially interested in NSG/Ortho. None of the current residents at any DO program are eligible to join CNS/AANS or any other society which is heavily involved with board certification and standards set by the ACGME. I'm just giving my two cents. If you attend any of these meetings and the topic comes up, you see exactly what I'm talking about. I don't believe any of these programs will exist after the merger. It's important to note that in order to have an ACGME program all the ancillary services/residencies must first be present. Neurosurgery is almost always the last program to be built at any institution. Also each program has strict research requirements (as its a requirement to publish during residency), this will be difficult for the AOA programs to adjust. Every MD program has University affiliation or strong clinical research/laboratory funding (ie. Cedars, Barrow). There is no such thing as a community neurosurgery program and the people at the top are adamant about keeping it that way

People who graduate from these programs will likely maintain their osteopathic board certification but it will be especially difficult securing a job after residency. The one program that met the criteria (LIJ) is now an allopathic program and only matching MD students.

Getting back to the original question, I think it will be very difficult for the OP to match into any program without having done a Sub-I or securing LORs from neurosurgeons (PDs/chairmans). If the OP has his/her heart set on Neurosurgery I would recommend you delay your graduation or spend time doing research and reapply again next year. It's important that you do your sub-I's and secure LORs from PDs/Chairman only. Also many of the AOA applicants have some form of research experience. I would recommend you seek out the same.
You also need high board scores of course. Neurosurgery is a great field and very appealing for so many reasons but its also arguably the most competitive specialty out there. It was hard for me to find an alternative, but I would suggest that you keep your options open and apply to gen surge as well
From what I have heard, the top 3 or 4 programs on the AOA side should probably take the merger in stride. Have you heard anything that directly refutes that? Just curious because the thinking that the strong programs will be pretty safe seems to be predominant opinion on the matter.
 

HoboCommander

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There are a couple programs that are safe, and there have also been programs that already shut down
 

bajastapler

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lets not start fear mongering. if you are going to state something so boldly as "job prospects suck for AOA grads" "general doom gloom" please cite your sources.

here's my advice about the "quality of a program" look up each individual program and see how successful their candidates are in fellowship matching.
 

IMDoc607

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The AOA didn't seal our doom. Everyone needs to relax. There is NO WAY they would of went along with this if this meant that programs would close in mass. Everyone you speak is throwing around "Oh that IM program isn't going to survive." or "The AOA NSG programs are doomed." If that would be the case they would of stayed separate. Also, why do you guys assume that our programs are so inferior to the big bad ACGME programs. I have trained at both and can say with absolute certainty that the AOA programs are training as good physicians as the ACGME. In many circumstances, I can say that the AOA programs are giving better training. I come from an ACGME IM residency and now in AOA fellowship. With 100% certainty the AOA grads are way more advanced than us that came from ACGME programs. The ACGME programs are to fellow driven. The AOA programs are resident driven which lends to a much better learning environment. Everyone needs to chill.
 

IMDoc607

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I think it will take time but once everyone becomes accredited an Osteopathic Focused ACGME will be equal to an original ACGME program. Times are changing for the better and for the worse. I think the osteopathic profession is actually one of the only parts of medicine moving in the right direction. I am the furthest thing from a DO promoter. I can't stand those people. On the flip side, I am not a hater either. I find myself to be more realistic with the way things are. The DO profession is going to flourish. I would prefer that our MD counterparts join with us. With numbers there is power. Instead of this infighting why can't we band together to demand the respect and reimbursements we deserve?!?! I am sick of being the whipping boy of society and make sure to educate everyone on the path we take to become doctors, MD or DO.