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DO Ortho Competitiveness


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
  1. Medical Student
    With the recent release of Step 1/ Level 1 scores, I assume these posts will be more common, but I'm trying to judge my chances at landing a coveted ortho spot--just to see if it's even something I should keep on the table as a realistic career option.

    Current stats:
    Level 1: 593
    3.7 GPA (~30th percentile)
    TA'd 2 classes
    Research with institutional and AOA presentations, working on publication (not ortho related, though)
    SSP member
    Lots of EC service and conferences attended

    No letters or clinical grades yet.

    Obviously, this question assumes that I can maintain my GPA, get solid LOR's, and score 600+ on Level 2. If all those things were to happen, what are the chances of landing a spot? FWIW, location isn't much of a factor, as I would go (most) anywhere.



    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    May 18, 2015
    1. Medical Student
      I think you are an averagely competitive applicant. I think it comes down to if you do well on elective rotations.

      But don't listen to what I say cause I don't know anything since im not even in med school.


      Full Member
      May 7, 2015
      1. Resident [Any Field]
        You can basically divide DO programs into 2 groups. Board heavy or IDGAF about your boards. Having rotated at both with excellent board scores, I will say that this year the competition has been stiff at the board heavy programs, with many high 600 to 700 scores rotating through the well known programs. Even at those programs, your scores are still good enough for an interview if you have a great rotation. I will also say that your board scores are also plenty good to land interviews and be considered at other programs that are still great but do not give a crap about what your board scores are (unless you failed of course).

        It comes down to this.
        #1 Be normal, I didn't believe other people when I read this before auditions, but man are there weirdos out there.
        #2 Be helpful, be observant, note how you can help, anticipate what residents need, be busy.
        #3 Be knowledgeable, you got to know your bread and butter ortho. It's not end all be all, but you can look like an idiot fast if you don't at least read your handbook, netters, or at least brush up on a case with orthobullets the night before.

        All the other stuff is pretty irrelevant, I received a lot of interviews and was not asked once about my extracurriculars (which I had many, and probably spent too much time on my first 2 years), and only once about my research. So, I guess I haven't really answered your question, you stats are good enough to land a spot, but not good enough to GET you a spot, so it really will come down to how good you are as a rotator.
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