Hardbody

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
743
2
Status
Hello,

I am a pre-med (D.O.) that is hoping/anticipating that I will be a freshman in August of 2007, although the where remains to be seen. I would appreciate some advice, basically a blueprint of making all the right moves to matching at an Osteopathic Orthopedic residency. I would appreciate specifics, and I am sure others would like the information as well, perhaps if someone can articulate the steps well it will become a sticky.
 

DOctorJay

15+ Year Member
May 8, 2004
3,056
646
Status
Attending Physician
1. try to go to a school that has an ortho residency PLUS an active ortho club (get involved in the club with a board position)
2. the minute you get to school talk to upper classmen interested in ortho and find out which docs are really receptive to students hanging around the OR and clinic (everybody loves the OR, the people who really want ortho show up to clinic hours)
3. find out which docs are currently doing research or who have done research with students in the past and get to know this doc - show your interest by doing some busy work on a current project and try to get your own project with the doc in the summer after your first year.
4. NAIL YOUR COMLEX PART I
5. show up to any and all ortho lectures that students may attend (the residency at my school has meetings every Wednesday morning at 6:30am for residents and students are welcome to attend) - facial recognition is huge as well as consistent interest shown
6. find out who makes the decisions regarding acceptance into residency and spend time with those people in the clinic/OR
7. ROTATE at the programs you really want to go to and SHINE to get great LORs - you're more likely to get a spot at a place you actually rotated

I think this is a pretty good start for you as an entering first year. Hopefully others who are further along can share some more insight into the process. Good luck to you!

-J
 
OP
H

Hardbody

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
743
2
Status
DOctorJay said:
1. try to go to a school that has an ortho residency PLUS an active ortho club (get involved in the club with a board position)
2. the minute you get to school talk to upper classmen interested in ortho and find out which docs are really receptive to students hanging around the OR and clinic (everybody loves the OR, the people who really want ortho show up to clinic hours)
3. find out which docs are currently doing research or who have done research with students in the past and get to know this doc - show your interest by doing some busy work on a current project and try to get your own project with the doc in the summer after your first year.
4. NAIL YOUR COMLEX PART I
5. show up to any and all ortho lectures that students may attend (the residency at my school has meetings every Wednesday morning at 6:30am for residents and students are welcome to attend) - facial recognition is huge as well as consistent interest shown
6. find out who makes the decisions regarding acceptance into residency and spend time with those people in the clinic/OR
7. ROTATE at the programs you really want to go to and SHINE to get great LORs - you're more likely to get a spot at a place you actually rotated

I think this is a pretty good start for you as an entering first year. Hopefully others who are further along can share some more insight into the process. Good luck to you!

-J
This is exactly the post I was hoping to get on this thread, thanks a ton!
 

dawg44

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2006
300
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I agree with DoctorJay.
Be a good student (grades)
Nail your part one
Rotate- I can't stress that enough.
We rarely take someone that didn't rotate and if they didn't, they better have a damn good reason why not.
Work your tail off. Offer to take call. Do every H&P in sight. Always be available.
If you do great in your rotation, this is very important, Get out of there. Go do a rotation with a former graduate for a good letter or something else. But I think its a good idea to get out. You can be seen too much and you can reach a point where you could do more harm than good. One month is the perfect amount of time to make a good impression. I've seen some good candidates get knocked down the list, I believe they would have been higher on if they would have gotten out of town and gunned somewhere else rather than hanging around for 3-4 months.
 

Pin-Lag-Lock

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2006
18
0
Status
dawg44 said:
I agree with DoctorJay.
Be a good student (grades)
Nail your part one
Rotate- I can't stress that enough.
We rarely take someone that didn't rotate and if they didn't, they better have a damn good reason why not.
Work your tail off. Offer to take call. Do every H&P in sight. Always be available.
If you do great in your rotation, this is very important, Get out of there. Go do a rotation with a former graduate for a good letter or something else. But I think its a good idea to get out. You can be seen too much and you can reach a point where you could do more harm than good. One month is the perfect amount of time to make a good impression. I've seen some good candidates get knocked down the list, I believe they would have been higher on if they would have gotten out of town and gunned somewhere else rather than hanging around for 3-4 months.
I agree with everything that has been said. I strongly recommend that ortho rotators look up an old post (how to have a successful rotation? written some time ago) on Orthopedic Surgery Residency Ring (OSRR) when the forums are back on line. I wanted to add my own personal experiences with ortho rotators. Doing a rotation with hopes of landing a residency is a double edge sword that is your performance will either help or hurt you. I cannot not even begin to tell (who ever may be reading) the number of pathetic medical students I worked with that where gunning for an ortho spot, and they were all likable people. The concept is not a difficult one yet so many rotators fail to understand it. Here it is; having a strong work ethic and being proactive will serve you well. In the eyes of the attendings and residents it become obvious who will get a spot and who will not. Orthopedics is a surgical subspecialty, it is a blast, the most fun one can have outside of the bedroom (no bias here), yet it is alot of work. Long hours, up all night when taking call, constantly reading and preparing for cases, ect. Ortho residents work hard and the rotators that put in a half ass effort are killing themselves. In short, the people not interested in ortho, who put in the same minimum amount of work get better evaluations than the ortho gunners. I agree with dawg44 on the importance of doing well on an outside rotation. I have seen almost nothing posted on how to act and behave on an outside rotation. It may seem obvious to most, however, based on my experiences not everyone gets it. Just adding to the discussion.
 

dawg44

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2006
300
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Pin-Lag-Lock said:
I agree with everything that has been said. I strongly recommend that ortho rotators look up an old post (how to have a successful rotation? written some time ago) on Orthopedic Surgery Residency Ring (OSRR) when the forums are back on line. I wanted to add my own personal experiences with ortho rotators. Doing a rotation with hopes of landing a residency is a double edge sword that is your performance will either help or hurt you. I cannot not even begin to tell (who ever may be reading) the number of pathetic medical students I worked with that where gunning for an ortho spot, and they were all likable people. The concept is not a difficult one yet so many rotators fail to understand it. Here it is; having a strong work ethic and being proactive will serve you well. In the eyes of the attendings and residents it become obvious who will get a spot and who will not. Orthopedics is a surgical subspecialty, it is a blast, the most fun one can have outside of the bedroom (no bias here), yet it is alot of work. Long hours, up all night when taking call, constantly reading and preparing for cases, ect. Ortho residents work hard and the rotators that put in a half ass effort are killing themselves. In short, the people not interested in ortho, who put in the same minimum amount of work get better evaluations than the ortho gunners. I agree with dawg44 on the importance of doing well on an outside rotation. I have seen almost nothing posted on how to act and behave on an outside rotation. It may seem obvious to most, however, based on my experiences not everyone gets it. Just adding to the discussion.
I agree with this I've seen gunners do well on ortho then slack off when they are doing IM/ER or whatever. They fail to realize that everyone talks to everyone in a hospital and you should be constantly on alert because you are always being evaluated.
 

Orthodoc40

10+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2005
3,039
21
Between Michigan & Massachusetts
Status
Medical Student
Pin-Lag-Lock said:
In short, the people not interested in ortho, who put in the same minimum amount of work get better evaluations than the ortho gunners.
Sorry - I don't get this sentence. It seems to contradict what you said before it about working hard & being proactive. How would putting in minimum effort get you a better evaluation than ANYone??
 

dawg44

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2006
300
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think he meant if a student is doing FP and another one Ortho. Obviously the Ortho guy is held to a higher standard. And if he does the same amount of work, he's going to get a lower evaluation. One of the hospitals I rotated with there was a general surgeon, who if he found out you wanted to do anything but GS he was awesome. He would talk about anything to you sports, movies surgery whatever. The minute he found out anyone that wanted to do GS he was relentless on them. Constantly pimping into submission and sending them out of the room while inviting the FP or IM students to scrub in. It was actually pretty funny to see it happen.
 

Pin-Lag-Lock

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2006
18
0
Status
dawg44 said:
I think he meant if a student is doing FP and another one Ortho. Obviously the Ortho guy is held to a higher standard. And if he does the same amount of work, he's going to get a lower evaluation. One of the hospitals I rotated with there was a general surgeon, who if he found out you wanted to do anything but GS he was awesome. He would talk about anything to you sports, movies surgery whatever. The minute he found out anyone that wanted to do GS he was relentless on them. Constantly pimping into submission and sending them out of the room while inviting the FP or IM students to scrub in. It was actually pretty funny to see it happen.
dawg44 thanks for responding (I have seen it happen as well). Absolutely, the ortho rotators are held to a higher standard. No resident wants a colleague that is a slacker this is especially true in surgery. This translates into many painful years of working with this individual and bad relations. It becomes even more apparent as a cheif/senior resident working with a group of juniors.
 

dobonedoc

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2002
149
3
Visit site
Status
I echo those who have posted.

1. Nail Part I. I mean 93rd % and above.
2. Rotate - and work hard.
3. Get letters from ortho docs. Find out who they know, and where they trained.

Good Luck; the road to the ortho world sucks. I think that residency is the easy part.
 

dawg44

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2006
300
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
dobonedoc said:
I echo those who have posted.

1. Nail Part I. I mean 93rd % and above.
2. Rotate - and work hard.
3. Get letters from ortho docs. Find out who they know, and where they trained.

Good Luck; the road to the ortho world sucks. I think that residency is the easy part.
If you do well on part 1 and you have choice of when you can do part 2. Do it after the interviews are done. The only way you can go is down if you nail part 1. I agree the hard part is getting in. I had alot of fun during residency. Its kind of funny you beg to get into medical school. Beg to get into residency and go where ever you match. Beg for a fellowship and hope its in a cool area. Then you look at dozens of jobs and watch everyone beg for your services and pick where you want to live. Yo Ho, An Orthopod's life for me!
 

chilipina

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2001
59
0
boston
Visit site
Status
Hi, was wondering if anyone can comment on the various DO Ortho residencies (all 29 programs). Especially if you've rotated through or even trained there. I will be spending time at Riverside County, Ingham Regional, Botsford, and St. James; I'll be sure to include my comments once I've rotated through.

Any information would be great. For example, I hear some programs interview everyone who applies VS. some programs interview only those who have rotated through (so don't waste your $$$ applying). What are the strengths and weaknesses of a program. If you know what fellowships (and where) seniors are getting. Didactics existent or nonexistent. Number of out rotations (for trauma, peds, joints, for example) vs. everything being in-house. How much OR time an intern gets, etc. (scutwork.com is a pretty good website... but no one has commented on the DO ortho residencies)

Sorry if there is a similar thread out there with the info I'm looking for... if there is one, I haven't found it yet.
 

Pin-Lag-Lock

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2006
18
0
Status
chilipina said:
Hi, was wondering if anyone can comment on the various DO Ortho residencies (all 29 programs). Especially if you've rotated through or even trained there. I will be spending time at Riverside County, Ingham Regional, Botsford, and St. James; I'll be sure to include my comments once I've rotated through.

Any information would be great. For example, I hear some programs interview everyone who applies VS. some programs interview only those who have rotated through (so don't waste your $$$ applying). What are the strengths and weaknesses of a program. If you know what fellowships (and where) seniors are getting. Didactics existent or nonexistent. Number of out rotations (for trauma, peds, joints, for example) vs. everything being in-house. How much OR time an intern gets, etc. (scutwork.com is a pretty good website... but no one has commented on the DO ortho residencies)

Sorry if there is a similar thread out there with the info I'm looking for... if there is one, I haven't found it yet.
I guess I will be the first one to crack. I can understand your position, trying to gather information and finding almost no information on osteopathic orthopedic residencies. One of the problems is that the osteopathic orthopedic world is tiny, approximately 220 residents at any given time. Most people like myself want to remain honest and anonymous. One reason is the osteopathic orthopedic world is so small, it is not that difficult to figure out who the poster is. I will try to help you and others as much as I can. The following information is rough estimate and I encourage the applicant to figure out the current situation. There are approximately 300+ approved positions and approximately 220+ funded postions. This is important because the number of available positions is often related to the number of funded positions. Each year there are approximately 50-60 funded positions available, keep in mine that during my residency the number of positions increased, I suspect it was secondary to the 80 hour work week. You posted many open-ended questions so here goes with some advice. The first bit of advice is; the best orthopedic program is the program you get into. Forget about the strengths and weaknesses (beggers can't be choosy), it is all about fit. All the D.O. programs will train you to be a compent general orthopedic surgeon. Find the program that you click with and don't go with the program because they have a pediatric rotation with Harvard. A rotation will last 3-4 months whereas a residency will last 4 years. As you know by now there are no programs that offer everything "in house" this is not the D.O. model. Most residencies are based in a community hospital and depend on outside rotations to give the resident a well-rounded experience. In general, you will spend 1 year doing out rotations, typically the PGY-3 year and possibly part of your PGY-4 year. You can count on spending your PGY-2 and PGY-5 year "in house." The senior years are the "fun" years because you are off the floors and the primary surgeon on all the cases under supervision (this is the model for most programs). Fellowships are not an issue (the bottleneck is at the residency level), I have never heard of anyone not getting a fellowship in their chosen area. Take myself as an example, I ended up scrambling for a fellowship because I changed my area of subspecialization at the last minute, I was able to land a great fellowship at a big name institution. I noticed in your bio that you are a woman applying to orthopedics, if you wish, PM me and I will tell you the programs to avoid which you probably already know about and I can give you a general idea about the programs that are "female friendly" (nuff said period). I did rotate through Botsford and will post my experiences here at a later time. I encourage my osteopathic orthopedic colleagues to post their opinions (come on and help this person out).
 

Pin-Lag-Lock

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2006
18
0
Status
When I applied for an orthopedic residency, I was an intern, and none of the programs were linked. In addition, it was the last year of the orthopedic matching program which ultimately fell apart. Now most of the programs are linked that is the intern year and residency are coupled. Some programs are not linked that is they prefer to pick their residents from the intern class. Ortho rotations are the key and should be treated like a sub-internship and no less. The number of allowed ortho rotations (can range from 2-5+ months) will depend on the osteopathic school/internship (this may be one of the things to consider when trying to decide on which medical school/hospital to go to). Also if the medical school has an affilation with a hospital with an ortho program this is another thing to consider (the hospital may have a significant number of ortho residents from that medical school). Obviously an applicant should be doing everything possible to obtain a linked position (by doing ortho rotations at the hospitals with a linked ortho program). If the applicant fails to match at a linked program, then should match for an internship at the hospital that has unlinked ortho program (this has to do with rank order). The advice is applicable to both linked and unlinked programs, the difference is wheather the applicant is a 4th year MS or an intern. The chances of getting a spot outside of rotating/internship hospital is remote. An example; I knew of an applicant, nice guy, top of his class, excellent board scores, excellent LORs, active with the student body, and lots of ortho interviews. He fail to match into ortho because he did his internship at a hospital that did not have an ortho program and was considered an "outsider." When he interviewed at the different programs, nobody knew who he was, during the interview a person has 15-30 minutes to convince the program that you are "the one." This difficult to do because "in house" they have people they know and have work with for months to years. I apologize for the long winded post, many people understand this, and some don't. The person in the example should have been an ortho resident, others with lesser stats got ortho spots because they followed a plan and knew about the unwritten rule.
 

Pin-Lag-Lock

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2006
18
0
Status
I am responding to a PM with the sender's permission. As a medical student, I was allowed only 2 elective rotations. I did one ortho rotation at Botsford and another ortho rotation at a M.D. hospital. It is difficult to comment on different D.O. ortho programs out there. All I can give you is tidbits of information (personal opinions) on different programs. Your best source of information is going to come from current ortho residents. I have only been exposed to two D.O. ortho programs, one program I rotated at and the second is where I did my residency. You asked about didactics, for the most part the didactics varies from program to program from heavy to the minimum. The same can be said about the operative experience. For the most part the attendings are experienced and many have fellowship training. Keep in mind that as a resident operating at a community hospital, it is unlikey that you are going to be involved in complex tertiary type cases. Thats why out rotations are part of the program and why people pursue fellowships. One needs to ask themselve where do they want to end up, either in academics or in the community. Most people choose the latter because it truly offer the better lifestyle in my opinion (IMO). I will offer my comments on different ortho programs but the best information will come from the current residents and from an audition rotations at that program. For those of you like myself that only have 2 months of electives, you need to do more footwork in terms of investigating the different programs.
All the D.O. programs will train you well and I would have been happy to do my residency at any of the D.O. programs. IMO the better programs are the larger programs with extensive resources, where the residents work with large number of attendings, have excellent out rotations, high board pass rates and impressive fellowship placements. Also remember that at most programs, the interviews includes a test of ones orthopedic knowledge (IMO this is totally unnecessary since a residency program has 4 years to teach you orthopedics). The D.O. residencies in the upper 1/4 (in no particular order), keep in mind the following list is strictly my opinion. Also keep in mind that I am now going to be entering an orthopedic practice (the information may be outdated):

Botsford General Hospital
Doctors Hospital (Columbus)
Grandview Hospital
PCOM
Midwestern University
Genesys
St. Vincent
UNDNJ


Again, just one man's opinion. Like I said before I would have been happy to have done my residency at any of the D.O. programs.
You asked about the following (I have minimal information). I feel that if you are interested in these places then do the footwork, gather as much information as possible, and make an informed decision about wheather or not to rotate there. You can be creative, such as, using the weekend, time off, or couple of vaction days to shadow one of the resident/attending to see if you want to spend month long rotation there. Here some information on the programs you asked about:

Des Peres - there seems to be a high emphasis on board scores to get in and performance on the OITE exam (in service exam) as a resident. IMO this is unnecessary pressure on the resident since performance on the OITE does not correlate well with board passage.

Mt. Clemens - I know a guy that graduate from this program, he appeared happy with his experiences, had elective time to pursue additional outside rotations, and in the end he landed a great fellowship.

Garden City - very good program but a strange place. IMO some of the staff in the hospital have issues. The number of ortho applicants out number the number of openings, this does not give them the right to treat interviewees/interns poorly. They were dead last on my rank list.

Doctors (Columbus) a great program, however, I was turn off by the fact that they interviewed a large number of outside people and accepted their "in house" interns. The applicants were notified of the outcome of the interview on the same day as the interview.

Memorial hospital - can't tell you much except; excellent outside rotations, good overall program, probably necessary to do a rotation there or be a Penn resident to be considered for an interview.

PCOM - Again can't tell you much except; strong program and interview process is similar to a cattle call.

I will post my experience with Botsford in another post.

I hope this helps?
 

Pin-Lag-Lock

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2006
18
0
Status
Whoa the 4th post in a row, people are going to think that I have nothing better to do than sit at a computer all day. I rotated at Botsford many years ago and can offer some insight into the program. Personally I enjoyed my experiences at Botsford. Botsford without a doubt is one of the best osteopathic hospital in the nation. The residents were nice and attendings were approachable. Botsford is a large community hospital with extensive post graduate programs is almost all the specialties. When I was there the MS were given free room and board. Most of the orthopedic attendings were fellowship trained, the orthopedic volume was more than adequate, the orthopedic cases were diverse, operative experience was very good, out rotations were solid, the residents got top notch fellowships, overall a very strong program. The downside, because of their strong reputation lots of people want to do their ortho residency there. The competition for an ortho spot is intense; however, the ones that don't get a spot at Botsford do well and secure spots elsewhere. Also the Botsford interview experience was unreal, personally I think they get off on it since the interview process has ritualistic overtones to it. First they grease you up with a test of your orthopedic knowledge (you would be lucky to answer 1/3 of the questions correctly). For the actual interview, you walk into a large room with 20-30 people sitting behind long tables arranged in a U-shape configuation. The interviewee sits at a small table at the opening of the U. The lights in the room are dim with a bright light over you (no joke). The interviewers then fire questions at you from all directions that ranged from personal questions to orthopedic questions. They projected slides on a screen and asked you questions about dx. and tx., they had the interviewee walk up the the x-ray viewbox and asked questions again about dx. and tx. Overall quite an experience I went through without any regrets or negative feelings. I am currently finishing up my fellowship, I will be moving soon, and starting a new job over the next couple of weeks so I will be MIA for awhile. Take Care.
 

Pin-Lag-Lock

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2006
18
0
Status
Linked positions, 4th year MS matches with an ortho program (internship and residency)
Unlinked positions, the 4th year MS matches with an internship program and applies to an ortho residency during the intership year.
Typically an internship class is a mixed bag of people, some will continue on with their residencies (linked program). Some will do their internships and will move on to a residency somewhere else or apply to other programs during their intern year. In some cases an ortho program will have a number of linked positions and unliked positions which adds to the confusion. In general, unlinked programs have more interns than ortho spots, for example, 8 interns competing for 4 ortho spots. If you check the posts under my former user name Blade Plate, it will provide you with more information about unlinked programs (much of the information is my personal opinion). As far as I know you cannot repeat your intern year unless something has changed over the years. What does one do if they don't get a spot? I personally feel for these people because it can happen to anyone. Many people are determined and I have seen people get spots through different routes so here goes (keep in mind that each option has problems associated with it):

enter a different specialty and reapply
do a research year and reapply
complete a residency and reapply
work as a doctor or scrub tech and reapply
take an unfunded position and reapply

Whats the best thing to do? Do everything right the first time around. Take Care.
 

SOUNDMAN

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
May 16, 2004
941
2
Midwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Excellent information in this post. I just finished working for a DO orthopod who did his residency in Chicago. He loved it. I quit as an orthopedic PA, and am now beginning the journey, hopefully to become an orthopod. You provided excellent knowledge and experiences in your post, thanks for sharing it's appreciated by many not just the OP.

I love your screen name by the way. Good luck in practice, I'm sure you'll love it!
 

Buckeye(OH)

5K+ Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2004
6,168
174
Toledo, Ohio
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Great posts! Im an incoming second year that is considering ortho.

Im scared of not matching though. Premature, I know, but Im the worrying sort.
 

dawg44

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2006
300
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hey Pin Lag Lock have any tips for the Oral Boards mine are coming up in Sept. You can PM if you want.
 

BDress1227

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2004
13
0
38
Tulsa
Visit site
Status
I am a 3rd year at OSU-COM. I was wondering if anyone could give me the low down on places to go for ortho electives. Ive got 6 electives to fill w/ ortho. Im not really concerned w/ geographical limitations. I plan on going to Tulsa, OKC, KC, Des Peres... Other than that considering Botsford, Grandview, Mt Clemens, Lansing, Columbus.. Any info would be greatly appreciated.