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Best Osteopathic Neurosurgery Programs

Discussion in 'Neurosurgery' started by postbacpremed87, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. postbacpremed87

    postbacpremed87 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    How do they compare to ACGME programs? How many cases are done in osteo NS residency and how does that compare to ACGME.

    Are you limited to osteo hospitals for practice afterwards or is there such a low supply of NS that you can work anywhere?
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  3. Cubsfan10

    Cubsfan10 Physician 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2013

    I can try to answer this for you, and I'll be as honest as I can. I'm sure a couple of other DOs will chime in as well. As a reference, I am a candidate this year who applied and interviewed at both MD and DO institutions.

    The "simplest" answer in a broad sense is that the DO programs focus on surgical skill and floor management - "private practice" type material. Almost all DO neurosurgeons are in private practice. Even if they are affiliated with a DO neurosurgery program, these aren't exactly academic centers. The ACGME programs obviously have a huge leg up on research/facilities/etc. when it comes to that arena. If you want to be a chairman or whatnot then ACGME is the obvious route, but if you are a DO then they probably wouldn't want you as a chairman of an MD place anyway. Despite what some may say, there is still a huge bias in neurosurgery toward DOs. However, one DO program (St. John's -Providence) has a big research base and their research arm is run by Dr. Walters who is a very prominent neuro-researcher. Another program (Carilion Clinic) has some opportunities for great research due to their affiliation with Virginia Tech but hasn't really gotten it going in full swing yet.

    As far as how many cases are done, there are certainly programs that do a TON of cases. In all honesty, the top 3-4 DO programs can hold themselves against most of the MD programs in terms of surgical training. If you want a better opinion of which programs I think are "best" or a better assessment, you can PM me. I'd rather not start a "flame-war" of sorts with our MD brethren. It is certainly true that a few DO programs are "iffy" but that is also true of some MD programs I visited.

    Practice is not limited in any way by being a DO other than what I mentioned before about academic medicine at a big university hospital.
  4. postbacpremed87

    postbacpremed87 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    I have heard that if one is thinking of going into NS that they should prepare in their first year. I will definitely apply to select ACGME programs as well. What are some things I can do in my first two years other than being in the top 1% of my class and scoring well on boards? DO schools typically have a limited research apparatus. How would you recommend getting involved in research?
  5. SurgeDO

    SurgeDO 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2013
    i would spend your first 2 years trying to develop an interest in anything other than neurosurgery.

    if that does not work:

    1. do well in your classes. be in the top 10% of your class.
    2. rock boards.
    3. produce publications.
    4. network with neurosurgery department heads.
  6. DrPapa

    DrPapa 2+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    If you graduate from a neurosurgery residency, be it ACGME or AOA, you will be able to practice pretty much anywhere you want. You will have a tough time getting employment in an ACGME academic center if you graduate from an AOA program, and, as someone mentioned above, you will never be a chairman of an ACGME program as a DO, regardless of where you train.

    I also wouldn't listen to SurgeDO (no offense). If you like neurosurgery, go for it. If you are hard working, personable and driven, you can make it.

    I would modify the steps listed by SurgeDO:
    1. Do well in school and on boards. This is a given
    2. Do 3-4 away rotations and be the most hard working & dedicate med student they have ever seen. Show you have a great personality and get along well with everyone. Get three amazing letters out of your aways. Become a known commodity.
    3. Get some research out if you can but don't compromise #1&2.
    4. Be lucky. Even the best students run into bad luck and any DO matching neurosurgery (either AOA or ACGME) will need a little luck.
  7. SportsDOc2251

    SportsDOc2251 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2013
    Thanks for the info DrPapa, do you have any information on any of the AOA Neurosurgery Residencies?

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