TOMFighter

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I hear that since it's a fellowship out of internal medicine, there's a lot of corruption in the selection process. So your grades are pretty irrelevant for this spot???? Is this true?

I'm thinking of Cards or ortho surg., but I'm fearful of doing IM and not being able to match into Cards, especially the 1-yr interventional Cards program after Cards.

What do you think?
 

Depakote

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I hear that since it's a fellowship out of internal medicine, there's a lot of corruption in the selection process. So your grades are pretty irrelevant for this spot???? Is this true?

I'm thinking of Cards or ortho surg., but I'm fearful of doing IM and not being able to match into Cards, especially the 1-yr interventional Cards program after Cards.

What do you think?
I think you've got plenty of time before you need to worry about that. You'll probably change your mind a few times before then.
 
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Blade28

Big difference between Interventional Cards and Ortho - what appeals to you about each of those fields?
 

J1515

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But there are fields with much more money, with a much better lifestyle. :confused:
Yeah but saying "I'm an interventional cardiologist" or "I'm an orthopedic surgeron" just rolls right off your tongue and impresses people.
 

Depakote

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Yeah but saying "I'm an interventional cardiologist" or "I'm an orthopedic surgeron" just rolls right off your tongue and impresses people.
Why not do an Emergency Interventional Radiation Dermesthesiology and Orthohabilitation residency?
 

njbmd

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Moving to Cardiology forum for more comment.
 

dragonfly99

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Congrats.
If you are thinking cardio or ortho you must have good grades in medical school. I don't know what year you are, but if 2nd or 1st, then try and get to know at least one cardiology and one orthopedics attending this year. Just know them enough so they will remember you when you become a 3rd year.
For both residency and fellowship match, unfortunately it's "who you know" as much as "what you know" and how hard you work. It's just the way of the world. People don't see it as "corruption" it's just kind of the old boys' network. I don't really like it personally, but it just is how the world is. Now that I'm over 30, I just realize this (* sigh *).

Here is what I would do. I'm assuming you have good grades and your Step scores are OK (like USMLE step 1 average or better). 230+ is good but contrary to popular belief not mandatory and it won't necessarily get you in. Good grades = more important, although there is LOTS of subjectivity in 3rd and 4th year grading. If you want to do ortho, you've GOT to find 2 ortho surgeons who LOVE you and want to write you good letters of recommendation. If they don't love you yet, MAKE them love you. No amount of kissing up is too much. If you want to do cardiology, then start scoping out one of the "ABIM research pathway" schools for internal medicine residency. If you match into one of these, then you only have to do 2 years of medicine residency, then straight into fellowship (though doing 4 rather than 3 years of cardiology fellowship). This is good because (A) you get a GUARANTEED cardiology spot with no need to spend thousands of dollars and lots of money on cardiology interviews with no guarantee of a fellowship, and
(B) you get to skip your 3rd year of IM residency. IM residency can be fun, but honestly by the time I got to my 3rd year I had learned what general med I would need to be a cardiologist, and also the once/week resident clinic is a huge pain and I would have been oh so happy to avoid it. Also, no reason to take a 3rd year of call as a resident (read: scut monkey) when you could be learning stuff and doing call as a cardiology fellow.

Just my 2 cents, but it is definitely worth your consideration.
 
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TOMFighter

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Congrats.
If you are thinking cardio or ortho you must have good grades in medical school. I don't know what year you are, but if 2nd or 1st, then try and get to know at least one cardiology and one orthopedics attending this year. Just know them enough so they will remember you when you become a 3rd year.
For both residency and fellowship match, unfortunately it's "who you know" as much as "what you know" and how hard you work. It's just the way of the world. People don't see it as "corruption" it's just kind of the old boys' network. I don't really like it personally, but it just is how the world is. Now that I'm over 30, I just realize this (* sigh *).

Here is what I would do. I'm assuming you have good grades and your Step scores are OK (like USMLE step 1 average or better). 230+ is good but contrary to popular belief not mandatory and it won't necessarily get you in. Good grades = more important, although there is LOTS of subjectivity in 3rd and 4th year grading. If you want to do ortho, you've GOT to find 2 ortho surgeons who LOVE you and want to write you good letters of recommendation. If they don't love you yet, MAKE them love you. No amount of kissing up is too much. If you want to do cardiology, then start scoping out one of the "ABIM research pathway" schools for internal medicine residency. If you match into one of these, then you only have to do 2 years of medicine residency, then straight into fellowship (though doing 4 rather than 3 years of cardiology fellowship). This is good because (A) you get a GUARANTEED cardiology spot with no need to spend thousands of dollars and lots of money on cardiology interviews with no guarantee of a fellowship, and
(B) you get to skip your 3rd year of IM residency. IM residency can be fun, but honestly by the time I got to my 3rd year I had learned what general med I would need to be a cardiologist, and also the once/week resident clinic is a huge pain and I would have been oh so happy to avoid it. Also, no reason to take a 3rd year of call as a resident (read: scut monkey) when you could be learning stuff and doing call as a cardiology fellow.

Just my 2 cents, but it is definitely worth your consideration.

Thanks for the great response. My Dad was actually a cardiologist (passed away when I was in H.S.). His partner and group is still around, so I have reasonably good connections, I think. I did not know about the guaranteed cardiology spot. That's really awesome to know that it exists! I'd rather do 2 years IM and 4 yrs cards than 3 and 3.

How about interventional Cards? Is that tough to secure?
 

VCMM414

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Thanks for the great response. My Dad was actually a cardiologist (passed away when I was in H.S.). His partner and group is still around, so I have reasonably good connections, I think. I did not know about the guaranteed cardiology spot. That's really awesome to know that it exists! I'd rather do 2 years IM and 4 yrs cards than 3 and 3.

How about interventional Cards? Is that tough to secure?
The 2 + 4 arrangement is almost always for research track candidates. The extra year of cardiology is spent in the lab, with minimal clinical work (such as 1 half day of clinic weekly).
 

jayjay1978

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if you got into medical school, went through it without problems and are at a decent internal medicine program; matching in cardiology is not that difficult (for an American medical graduate that is).

it's true that it needs some work including coming from a decent internal medicine program, good recommendation letters, some research etc., but when one thinks about the hoops people jump through to get in medical school and finish it; matching in cardiology is no biggie. that's not to say it's easy, but given the context and how most doctors will be type A; it's totally doable.

as far as third year medical residency is concerned, I am about to graduate and I had a great time working with interns and other housestaff, teaching, and leading. I wouldn't change it for anything.

as for people who see a lot of different opinions on these forums; it's always a style/personality etc issue. Just like there is a whole number of ways you can hold the needle to put in a central line (and each and every resident will teach you differently), there will always be different opinions out there since everybody's own experience is unique.
 

mjordan23

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Well if you want to use your brain, choose cardiology. If you want to use your hands and ignore your brain, choose ortho...
 

Fexofenadine

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No contest...Cardiology all the way. If money appeals to you, my sister is doing very well as a dermatologist (even better than her orthopod husband).
 

dragonfly99

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Tomfighter,
interventional cards is one of the harder cardiology subspecialties to get in to. More folks want to do it than, say, heart failure.
However, right now you should concentrate on getting to know some cardiologists and orthopods, and get a good USMLE score.

I disagree with the post above that said it is easy to get a cards spot if you go to a good IM program. I went to a top 10 med school and a top 20 IM residency program and I didn't match in cards last year. I'm known for being a hard worker. I did match this year (outside of match). It is true that most US medical gras will match into cards on their first try, but there were several at my institution (besides me) who did not match, and also there were several who didn't match in GI. There are a lot of good applicants so someone will always lose out every year, and it's not just people from weak programs with weak board scores or who have personality issues. That said, usually on the 2nd try people will get in, if they didn't make it the first time.

I still say the 2 year IM/4 year cards guaranteed research track spots are a good deal. Not all the folks who do research do it in the lab. I enjoyed residency also, including the 3rd year being OK, but I think it is definitely worth a look at diving into one of the ABIM research pathway spots if Tomfighter becomes sure he wants to do cards. He could even do interventional cardiology related research - the cardiologists would eat that up if he says he wants to do that.