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D.O. surgery?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by docJohn, Mar 26, 1999.

  1. docJohn

    docJohn New Member

    Mar 25, 1999
    Buffalo, NY USA
    I'd your opinion on this one. I want to be a surgeon. I know I won't be happy if I don't do surgery. I'm in a Carribean med school at St. George's Univ. I'm worry about coming from a foreign med school since it's difficult to get competitive specialties from here. So I'm thinking of reapplying to osteopathic medical schools. Do D.O. students have an easier time getting surgical residencies than foreign meds? Or it doesn't really matter what school you come from as long as you kick butt on the USMLE?
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  3. edgar

    edgar Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 1998
    Pomona, CA

    I just visited SGU's website and they show the residency positions attained by graduates in 1998. There were several people who got into surgery programs. I think the big issue is whether you feel the education at St. George's is going to prepare you for a surgery residency, and whether you want to start all over again. I'm not sure if you can get advanced standing if you apply and get accepted into a D.O. program.

    Most D.O.s who go into surgery do D.O. residencies or ACGME-approved programs in the military. There are a few D.O.s who match into civilian ACGME programs, but they are rare. Surgery is still an elitist field, and I have e-mailed a DO who says that an interviewer at Loyola closed his file immediately after he found out he was a D.O. This doctor's name is Adam Goldstein, and he is a 1st year surgery resident at University of Illinois. You can find his e-mail by going to "Gregory's Osteopathic Links" on this website and can talk to him directly.

    From what I hear, it is very difficult for IMGs to match into surgery. Most IMGs, whether or not they are American citizens do primary care residencies. And I've read that the government is thinking about replacing IMGs with DO graduates to fill ACGME residency positions.

    Good luck with your decision.

  4. edgar

    edgar Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 1998
    Pomona, CA

    What I meant to say in the last sentence of the previous post was that the government is thinking about replacing IMGs with DO graduates for ACGME-approved primary care residencies. Sorry about the confusion.

  5. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 1999

    First, I disagree somewhat that MOST ACGME surgery programs discriminate against DO applicants. I am sure that there are a number that do, but I have heard too many success stories in too many places to think that this continues to be the case. Taking USMLE for a surgery residency might be prudent, but I do not think that you are limited to just AOA surgery programs. Secondly, I do not neccesarily see a reason to paint ACGME surgery programs as "better" than AOA ones. Edgar, I don't think you did that, but I want to make that point.

    As for transfering from St. Georges to a DO school, I don't think that DO admissions committees would look upon that too favorably, but then I might be wrong. DO admissions committees look for, among other things, interest in osteopathy and its tenets. They don't always suceed in selecting candidates with those qualities. However, I think that trying to transfer from a carribean MD program into a DO program would certainly draw scrutiny to your "osteopathic motivation" if you know what I mean.

    I met a bunch of student recruiters from St. Georges at the National AMSA Convention the other week. Both their statements and their literature conveyed that St. Georges graduates are quite capable of securing nice residencies, even in surgery.

    But alas, I too have heard of the burgeoning trend of Medicare not reimbursing residencies for IMGs in their program. And I believe that the AMA has all but outright made the statement that the forecast 25% cut in total US residency slots will be aborbed by IMGs (who currently fill about 25% of US residency slots).

    I do not know what to think...

    Johan Aasbo
    MS-1 CCOM
  6. Deb

    Deb Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 1998
    The AMA HAS said that the goal is to restrict ALL ACGME residencies to graduates
    of US MD/DO schools. I've heard nothing about "replacing" IMGs with DOs in primary
    care programs. This info comes from the AMA electronic news letter that I get.
    Also, at least at some schools, IMGs are NOT allowed to transfer, although they are
    of course allowed to apply. If accepted they ARE NOT given advanced standing. This
    info comes from one of our pathology TA's (an IMG) who recently tried to transfer/
  7. Alma

    Alma New Member

    Mar 22, 1999
    Frankford, WV, USA
    My home copy of the AOA directory is slighly old (1996), but says under College Accreditation Standards, Standards for students, "Credits may be transferred only from medical schools and colleges accredited either by the AOA or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)".
    Don't have JAMA here; its Sept. "Education Issue" usually had a table which, among other things, lists the number of DO residents in each allopathic specialty. (If this year's doesn't, check back a year or too.)
    In the future, it will be increasingly hard to get into residency programs in which there is no evidence of a physican shortage, both for MDs and DOs. I expect even more residency slots to be moved to primary care.
  8. VM

    VM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 1999
    DocJohn, If you can get accepted to a D.O. school, by all means do so (Most likely, they will NOT give you advanced standing, or not much of one). I know quite a bit about the IMG subject. Two of my friends went to St. George, and they just recently said to me that I would be MUCH better off in a DO program. This was not news to me, of course. They felt that it is getting tougher to get residencies (they are in residency) and licensure (have to also take CSA clinical skills evaluation test). They felt that ECFMG is making this test harder to weed out IMGs. Also rumor has it that legislation is out there that would limit the number of IMG residency positions. Of course, this has been talked about for years. Surgery is pretty much out of the question, unless 1)you do great on the USMLEs 2)you find programs receptive to IMGs. You can also try to transfer to a US allopathic medical school if you do well in school or on the USMLE. It is VERY hard, but one of my friends transferred to Columbia University from St. George's University.
  9. rob2002

    rob2002 Junior Member

    Apr 13, 1999
    Philadelphia, PA, USA

    You have to be careful when you read stats about St Georges and where there students match. There are two type of slots for surgery one is easy to get the other is hard.

    There are catagorical and preliminary surgical residency positions. Only the categorical positions guarantee you will complete the residency and be able to sit for the boards. The preliminary spots are filler, people who will go into other residencies (anesthesiology, radiology) and wanted a year of surgical experience. Or for people who didn't get a categorical position and they hope someone will drop out of the program.

    I can guarantee you if you look closely most of those who matched (from St. Georges) to "surgical" residencies where actually preliminary positions. If you want a surgical residency in this country you must graduate from a US (osteopathic or allopathic) medical school.

    I've known plenty of DO's who have done ACGME surgical residencies. I've known plenty of DO's who have done osteopathic surgical residencies and have gone on to do ACGME fellowships. The distinction has blurred. Yes you will get resistance from older docs who are stuck in their ways, but times are changing.

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