FatPigeon

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Nov 10, 2008
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Hey everyone, I'm a third-year med student at a good US allopathic school. I'd really been considering going into neurosurgery, but a conference on treatment of brain tumors with the gamma knife provoked some interest in rad onc. I've now looked into the field and I'm at a real crossroads, undecided between the two fields with little time left to figure it out. The most interesting thing in neurosurgery, for me, has been the technology, which rad onc offers in abundance without unnecessarily beating my @$$ into the ground and robbing me of any tidbit of normal life.

My question is this... is it even an option for me? Step one is 245, and I'm third author on a basic science paper on rheumatoid arthritis, the result of about 9 months of labwork. I realize that this doesn't count for much in a field like rad onc.

Do I have a chance as I am now? Could I grab a quick project and then have a good chance? Or do you think I'm pretty much left with either my original plan (neurosurg) or taking a year off to do some research?

I hate "what are my chances" threads as much as the next guy, but with radiation oncology it seems really hard to gauge the level of competitiveness. Any responses are appreciated.
 

KYLove

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Yes, 245 is fine, u will make the cut at all places, but u need more research so get involved now. If you can't figure out bewteen the two, then get involved in Rad Onc CNS research....it is very applicable to both rad onc and neurosurg and will serve its purpose equally well.
 

RetroX

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You are in the right general direction. You should rotate through your school's rad onc program and get some good recommendations. 9 months of basic research is enough (you don't need a PhD... MD with basic research will suffice), and one publication is better than no publications at all, and I have known applicants with sub-220 Step I scores and no publications matching into rad onc. You have the numbers, the rest depends on your personality. Interviews are really important. We have seen many applicants with great numbers but horrible interpersonal skills (most were just arrogant)... Since most arrogant candidates can fake a humble appearance for at least 24 hrs, and those who can't even do that usually do badly on the match despite a long list of interview offers.
 
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acepoint

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I asked this question before but i'll try again. for someone with non md/phd and not a 280 and 4 first authors, matching might certainly be a good possibility but it probably wouldn't happen at the big name programs. how are the smaller programs in terms of education and experience? anyone have any insight into these programs?
 

medgator

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Yes, 245 is fine, u will make the cut at all places, but u need more research so get involved now. If you can't figure out bewteen the two, then get involved in Rad Onc CNS research....it is very applicable to both rad onc and neurosurg and will serve its purpose equally well.
I agree --- Neurosurgerons will appreciate this research as much as rad oncs. It will serve you well in applying for both fields. A good area of overlap is intracranial stereotactic radiosurgery (gamma knife has been around the longest).
 
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