ocean11

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Hi everyone,

I heard from someone at my school that if one dosn't get AOA they are screwed for competitive residencies like derm or plastic surg. Is this true?

What if you don't get AOA can you kiss plastic surgery goodbye?!

thanks for the advice
 

Doc 2b

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No, read Iserson's Guide to getting in residency
 

klubguts

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While i didn't apply to these specialties, i agree with the above (Iserson's is a good read). There are several schools who don't even have AOA....in addition, many other factors are important in determining the competitiveness of your residency application....class rank, Step 1, LORs, personal statement, research, etc...if you want to do either of these, the go for it. Don't let not being AOA stop you(if this were to happen)...improve your application in some other way. Talk to people who applied or faculty in these areas to get an idea of what you need to do. Good luck.
 

salsadoc44

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being AOA is overrated. yes it does help, but it won't kill your chances either. clearly not all AOA students apply to all competitive specialties and competitive specialties do not only take AOA students. for example, ~37% or so of those matching into ENT this year are AOA. i including many others are not, and we're not bothered by it one bit.
 
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ocean11

ocean11

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thanks guys,

it's just this one girl in my class keeps going on and on AND ON about how she 'has to be in AOA' or else she won't get her surgical residency. It made me a little concerned.... but I suppose it's not the end all or be all....

Anyhow, while we're on the topic, how does one get selected to get into AOA? is it through GPA alone, of the first two years?!? etc...... how many people are selected each year from each class.

Thanks!!
 

Lara

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At Temple, the top five students from the basic science courses are automatically selected for "junior" AOA (most prestigious and a real door opener, but obviously requires a *ton* of effort + luck considering our class size is 190). I don't think Step 1 is considered for this, but chances are those students score great anyway. I have no idea if this is standard at most schools.

After third year, students within the top 25% can be considered for senior AOA. As far as I know this is standard, but politics can come into play depending on how the school selection works. I think in the end no more than 16% of the class can be AOA according to organization regulations.
 

sunkists

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getting into plastics is rough, AOA or not. there are many ways to get into cosmetic/reconstructive procedures - like ENT with a plastics fellowship... but with the most straightforward way of getting into plastics straight out of med school, there are only about 80 positions open every year. with about 125 med schools with probably an average of 150 per class... it comes out to 1 or 2 plastics residents for every 3 schools. even at a school as academically driven as mine, when i hear someone talk about plastics - an awkward hush goes over the crowd because typically people aren't that confident enough to say things like that. good luck anyway.
 

scootad.

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I think AOA can be a huge help for your application. I applied rads this year, I was not AOA but had 245+ step 1 (and step 2 altho step 2 results didnt come out till after interview invites were received), research, etc. and was shut out of all "elite" programs. I would say being AOA is used to screen apps for the most elite of programs of competitive specialties, but if you're ok just matching at an avg academic program or community program its ok if your not AOA. For derm, rad onc, plastics, which are more competitive AOA is even more important for getting into any program in a reasonably desirable location (either coast), but i suppose you can find a less competitive spot (or location) if all other aspects of your application are top notch. All my classmates who were AOA were getting all the interviews they wanted.

I wouldn't necessarily underestimate AOA.
 

salsadoc44

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i agree w/ scootad, AOA is a huge help if you have it for all the reasons he stated. but it's not the not the only factor that'll get you into the residency of your choice. i matched on the west coast at a great institution in a very competitive specialty b/c of my away rotation (of that i am 95% certain). if i was AOA, i probably would have had more interviews at the "elite" programs, but since i got my #1 choice it ultimately did not matter to me. yes this is all in retrospect, but nevertheless. if you want to match at an "elite" program, don't let not being AOA stop you. you might has to have faculty make phone calls for you, etc...but it is possible, just harder...
 

cadoc

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While AOA will help you (NO doubt about it.) Students often overlook the politics/connections that are required to get into a competitive specialty at a competitive program. This means: doing away rotations, getting to know the program director, it doesn't hurt if your program director knows theirs (and your's likes you of course). Think about it. You are a program director and you have 2 spots for derm. Would you rather take the unknown person with the 250 Step1, AOA, and risk that he/she may be an a-hole or worse psychotic OR would you rather have the 235 step1, non-AOA, who worked in your research lab, and came to your kids bat mitzvah (okay, I'm exaggerating, but you get the point.) CONNECTIONS MATTER from now until the end of your career. BE NICE TO EVERYONE...the lady that sits behind the desk in the office may be screwing the program director...now that you were rude to her...well your correspondence with the PD just got thrown in the trash!
 

Bevo

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we don't have AOA our at school :|

Dunno if I'd get it anyways, but my opnion is. Everything helps. but it sounds like its not necessary.
 
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ocean11

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thanks once again guys:

Last question: DO YOUR THIRD YEAR CLINICAL GRADES matter for AOA? or is it just your pre-clinicial years?

thanks alot :)
 

klubguts

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This depends on your med school policies with regard to AOA. Junior AOA is based on your preclinical grades, while senior AOA includes all your grades during the first three years. As far as I know at my school, we have only senior AOA (that's all i've ever heard anyone talk about). I suspect you can find out what your school does from upperclassmen or the dean's office. Hope this helps...
 

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ocean11 said:
Hi everyone,

I heard from someone at my school that if one dosn't get AOA they are screwed for competitive residencies like derm or plastic surg. Is this true?

What if you don't get AOA can you kiss plastic surgery goodbye?!

thanks for the advice
AOA is for gimp gunners anyway. Don't worry about it.

Buy a t-shirt that says:

**** AOA

And wear it proudly to class every time you have a test.
 

carrigallen

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sunkists said:
with the most straightforward way of getting into plastics straight out of med school, there are only about 80 positions open every year.
Hmmm... correct, there are about 78 positions per year, with about 275 applicants. It comes out to about one student in integrated plastics per major medical school. I recall that your odds of entering a fellowship after general surgery are actually worse - about 1 in 4.

Remember though, a sizable fraction from this number also double match for general surgery as well. So, it is conceivable that a certain population of the 275 applicants are "shooting the moon", so to speak.
 

bigfrank

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ocean11 said:
thanks once again guys:

Last question: DO YOUR THIRD YEAR CLINICAL GRADES matter for AOA? or is it just your pre-clinicial years?

thanks alot :)
I think this really depends on your school. My school, for example, takes preclinical years and ~2/3 of the M-3 year (3-4/6 rotations) into consideration. Every school is different, I hear.

Best of luck to all