AZCOM match at Hopkins? Is this for real?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Nanook, Feb 13, 2001.

  1. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member

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    If you look through the NRMP match list for AZCOM's 2000 graduating class (NOTE: it's inaugural class!), you will find a lot of familiar stuff: Internal Med, Family Practice, Joe's Community Hospital, etc, etc.

    Then, right in the middle of all that stuff, is this: Surgery, Preliminary Year, Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

    Allright, so somebody cough up the goods: How did someone from a DO school, a brand-spanking-new DO school at that, land one of the most presitigious residencies in the world?

    Possible suggestions:
    1. They knew someone. "Connections" seem to be the most common explanation for things like this.
    2. Hopkins weeds a lot of people out of surgery, so they are less picky about who they take (that's a weak one).
    3. This person was truly an exceptional student, and Hopkins decided to give them a try.

    Sooo..... does anyone at AZCOM know the story?
     
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  3. Cottontop

    Cottontop Member

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    YES, It is called MERIT!!!
     
  4. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Why are you surprised? DO students match at top spots EVERY year. It just so happens that because there are so few DOs compared to MDs they're hard to spot in a crowd. The "formula" for matching at a top program, regardless of whether you're a DO or MD student is simple:

    1) Good grades during basic science years (at very LEAST top third of the class)
    2) Excellent grades during clinical years
    3) Very good board scores (take both the USMLE and COMLEX if you're a DO student)
    4) WORK HARD DURING ROTATIONS---WORK, WORK, WORK! Show up early and stay late. Ask for more work to do when you finish your daily notes and scut work, then do it ENTHUSIASTICALLY. ACT LIKE YOU LOVE TO WORK AND NEVER WANT TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL.
    5) Know when to keep your mouth shut; which is most of the time. Be pleasant, curteous, and call attendings and nurses "sir" and "'mam."
    6) And, most importantly, letters of recommendation from other residency program directors or well known individuals in your future field of endeavor.

    Believe me, these six little pieces of advice will take you far.


    [This message has been edited by drusso (edited 02-14-2001).]
     
  5. Ponyboy

    Ponyboy Senior Member

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    Remember that the position is also just a preliminary year spot, which are relatively easy to get as there is no guarantee that you'll have further training at that institution once the year is completed. What you might want to look at is what that person is doing after that year at Hopkins.
     
  6. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member

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    drusso-- I suppose you're right, I shouldn't be so surprised. I went to AZCOM earlier this year and I was actually very impressed with the school.

    I guess I was just sort of surprised because it stood out amongst a glut of ordinary, mostly community-based residencies. This was, after all, their first graduating class. I would have been less surprised if it had been, say, Michigan State or Texas.

    To Ponyboy: your explanation is sort of what I meant by #2 (above). Does anybody know what happens to people who don't make the cut past a "preliminary" year?

    Case in point: Several surgical residencies that I have looked at (on opportunities.aoa-net.org or FREIDA) say that they have, say, 7 first year residents, 4 second years, and 3 each for years 3-5. Where do these "cut" residents go? Into other specialties? Or are there less prestigious surgical programs that will take the cast-offs of places like Hopkins?
     
  7. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member

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    I think that most prestigous surgery places don't even recieve applications from DO students. I think that a lot of DO students who want to do surgery, ortho, etc talk themselves out of competing for these spots simply because they just don't believe that they can be competitive. That said, if you look you will find a number (not huundreds) of DO folks matched to surgery, ortho, OB, neurosurg, etc around the country in "gold-plated name" programs.

    I also would tend to agree with the aforementioned six points. If you are good, they will be interested in you. If you are good and you "click" with the personality of the program, then you are in most likely. This is regardless of where you went to school.




    ------------------
    Johan Aasbo
    M3 CCOM
     
  8. Rusty

    Rusty Member

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    drusso,
    This is an excellent summary of the essential elements needed to match at a top program. Also, I would add 2 additional points which should be considered:
    1) Try to schedule a rotation in your specialty of interest at the hospital(s) you would like to match. Then, work extra hard to show them the type of resident you will be. This tidbit was very useful for me.
    2) Cultivate some extra-curricular activities. I was asked about either my research, volunteering or other outside interests at every residency interview.



    [This message has been edited by Rusty (edited 02-14-2001).]
     
  9. RollTide

    RollTide Senior Member

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    I would like to second what PonyBoy said. It is not very difficult to get a preliminary year spot. In fact many of these spots go unmatched every year, even at top programs. I will give you some data from a copy of the 1999 scramble list: 2 spots left unmatched for surgical-categorical Johns Hopkins Hosp-MD... then under Surgery-Preliminary, there are more than 200 unmatched spots nation wide at just about every hospital you can think of. UCLA, Emory, Duke, Clevland Clinic, Vandy, Baylor and just about any other program you can think of. They have a hard time giving away these spots because of the difficult position it puts the students in one year later. You could literally sit out the match, wait for the scramble list to come out, and just take your pick if you were really interested in doing a prelim year. But my hats off to the guy/girl..just hope they find a PGY2 spot.
     
  10. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member

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    So I repeat my question:

    What happens to those folks that don't find a PGYII spot?

    And what is the difference between a categorical and a preliminary spot in a residency?
     
  11. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire

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    Some surgery programs are known as "pyramid" programs, in that they'll take: 6 PGY1, 5 PGY2, 4 PGY3, etc. In other words, they cut a person EACH year. I don't know what percentage of programs are structured this way, but I've heard that a fair number of neurosurg programs are like this. What happens to these folks? I don't know, but my guess is that they have to change specialties if they can't get a spot in another program.

    A categorical program is one in which the entire residency is guaranteed. A preliminary spot is one year only (med or surg). However, some specialties, like neuro, derm, psych, anesth, etc., require one year of IM prior to beginning specialty training, so those of us going into these fields are actually trying to match to a prelim year. Prelim years also serve as "plan B" for those really interested in categorical programs.
     
  12. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member

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    I did some research, and the above posters are right--matching to a "preliminary" surgical position does not appear to be difficult. Looking at the .pdf file for the NRMP, it appears that many (most?) of these positions are unfilled each year, even at prestigious places. The reason? Who wants to go through all that stress again next year, worrying the whole time whether you will be "cut" or not? And having to match into another program next year?

    Interestingly, most "categorical" spots (the ones that appear as "General Surgery", not "Surgery-Preliminary" appeared to be very competitive. They were almost always filled.

    Hey Neurogirl (or others)--do people matching into neuro or anesth (or similar) apply in their 4th year of med school, or after their 1 year internship in medicine?
     
  13. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire

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    Neuro is a "two-tiered" match, meaning that the spots that don't fill during the "main match" (during the 4th yr) are frozen and offered the following year to interns and physicians with prior residency training. I'm not sure about anesth, but I think most of the specialties that require a prelim yr have early matches. However, all the specialties that utilize the NRMP allow you to scramble if you don't match. In neuro, there is no scramble. If you don't match you have no choice but to reapply the following year and participate in the "short match".
     
  14. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Not to poo-poo on the MS4 at AZCOM's accomplishment in getting into Hopkins' surgical program, but as others have noted, it's not all too difficult to get a preliminary spot in a surgical program even if it's at Hopkins.

    So what happens to this person? If the prelim spot is all this MS4 has at the moment, then he'll do a year as a general surgeon and hope for the best.

    Most people who take prelim positions have something lined up afterwards, such as a program which starts in the second postgraduate year (PGY2). Such programs are optho, PM&R, ortho, etc.

    This MS4 has two options:

    1) Hope that Hopkins decides to keep him as a PGY2.
    2) Hope he finds a program which starts PGY2 with a spot for him.

    The term "pyramid" was mentioned. Few surgical programs nowadays are pyramid programs, according to a surgical resident I spoke with. A pyramid program is exactly as described by neurogirl, one in which someone or more than one resident is cut every year. This could be based on any number of criteria. A pyramid program sucks because when you're cut, you're left with nothing.

    Prelim is NOT equivalent to a pyramid. Most MS4s will want something a little more solid than a prelim spot because everyone likes certainty in their lives. The MS4 in question, at the end of his PGY1 year, will be left to look for some program that will take him. He may even have to redo his PGY1 year if he decides to get into something like medicine or something that starts PGY1.

    While I think it's great that a DO can match at a prestigious program like Hopkins, I think this MS4 is in a pretty crappy position.


    W.
     
  15. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Unless they plan to do derm, radiology (tracking into interventional), or PM&R (again, with a procedural emphasis). I know two DO graduates who matched into surgery prelim. spots who had no intention of doing 4 years surgery but wanted some more "hands on" training before doing radiology. Both eventually want to do fellowships in interventional radiology. Makes sense to me...


    [This message has been edited by drusso (edited 03-07-2001).]
     
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  17. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    I believe that match lists will show where a person is doing his prelim and where he'll be starting PGY2, if that's already been set up. The original poster makes no indication that the DO at the prelim Hopkins surgical program has anything else listed next to his name -- that makes me think that he 1) scrambled to get that spot after failing a tougher match or 2) had no idea what to do with his life and wanted to try to break into the Hopkins categorical program.


    W.
     
  18. Dr. P

    Dr. P Member

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    Johns Hopkins has taken many osteopahs in many different specialties, as has the Mayo Clinic, Harvard, Yale, etc. NYCOM matched people into Hopkins, Mt. Sinai in New YOrk, U. of Rochester, Yale, Vanderbilt, U of North Carolina, this year, to name a few, and in all different specialties and all categorical.

    So, don't be so surprised.

     

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