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OMS 4 here and I was just wondering what my chances are of gen surg.

COMLEX 594/641 USMLE 225/237
Honored all my clerkships, 3 surg/ 1 IM letter for surgery, plenty of volunteer and education work. No research. SOSA E-board memeber.

I plan on doing both AOA and ACGME programs.

Thanks for any responses guys!
 

jw3600

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OMS 4 here and I was just wondering what my chances are of gen surg.

COMLEX 594/641 USMLE 225/237
Honored all my clerkships, 3 surg/ 1 IM letter for surgery, plenty of volunteer and education work. No research. SOSA E-board memeber.

I plan on doing both AOA and ACGME programs.

Thanks for any responses guys!
I feel like surgery is notorious for being rough on DOs. I think roughly 50/100 who applied ACGME last year matched. I definitely think it's worth a shot. Just make sure you apply to enough AOA programs with the intention of matching there if you have to.
 

Bobcat18

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You're all set for AOA but low chance for ACGME based on board scores...

OMS 4 here and I was just wondering what my chances are of gen surg.

COMLEX 594/641 USMLE 225/237
Honored all my clerkships, 3 surg/ 1 IM letter for surgery, plenty of volunteer and education work. No research. SOSA E-board memeber.

I plan on doing both AOA and ACGME programs.

Thanks for any responses guys!
 
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You're all set for AOA but low chance for ACGME based on board scores...
Question for those of us marching in 2021, what's would you say is a general ball park we need to hit to be competitive for gen surg? from what I've seen if you score >230 with a well rounded app you have a good chance. Is that correct?
 
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68PGunner

Question for those of us marching in 2021, what's would you say is a general ball park we need to hit to be competitive for gen surg? from what I've seen if you score >230 with a well rounded app you have a good chance. Is that correct?
If you score above 230 on your Step 1, you will have a solid chance to match at virtually all specialties with the exception of Derm/Ortho.
 
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68PGunner

Wait....you know he's a DO right? A 230 as a DO means that ortho, optho, urology, dermatology, ENT, rad/onc, IR are out. Gen surg is borderline. Would be tight.
My apology. Yeah, take out Derm, ENT, IR, and Urology. It's not impossible to match to these mentioned fields. But, your Step 1 needs to be like 240-245+ in order for your application to even be read. My mind is empty on the kind of specialties out there at this moment. As for Optho and Rad/Onc, the job markets for both of these fields nowadays aren't doing so good. Therefore, I don't think that it's as hard to crack as in previous years.
 

jw3600

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My apology. Yeah, take out Derm, ENT, IR, and Urology. It's not impossible to match to these mentioned fields. But, your Step 1 needs to be like 240-245+ in order for your application to even be read. My mind is empty on the kind of specialties out there at this moment. As for Optho and Rad/Onc, the job markets for both of these fields nowadays aren't doing so good. Therefore, I don't think that it's as hard to crack as in previous years.
Rad/onc is weird and I'm probably not qualified to comment. As for ophtho, someone posted the SF match results last year and I'm pretty sure it was a blood bath for DOs. And overall the step 1 average was mid 240s. Still very hard to get.
 

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My apology. Yeah, take out Derm, ENT, IR, and Urology. It's not impossible to match to these mentioned fields. But, your Step 1 needs to be like 240-245+ in order for your application to even be read. My mind is empty on the kind of specialties out there at this moment. As for Optho and Rad/Onc, the job markets for both of these fields nowadays aren't doing so good. Therefore, I don't think that it's as hard to crack as in previous years.
Even with a bad market, the fields have been just as hard to crack as ever. I've seen optho scores only going up and DO matching last year was around 20% percent. The challenge of matching as a DO has been same so far.
 

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I'm not by ANY means saying it's not harder to match competitive fields as a DO.

That being said, I think when people throw statistics around, they have to keep in mind there are ~143 MD schools while there are only ~36 DO schools (I took stats from 2015; I know both numbers are slightly higher.) With that drastic difference in student populations applying for residency, MDs will always be the majority.

A smaller proportion of those matching into optho being DO grads makes total sense in my mind.

EDIT: I thought someone said 20% of those matching optho were DO's. Doesn't change the overall point of my comment though.


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What are you talking about? There are 5/19 DO matched. The 20% is the match success rate of total 19 applicant.


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Goro

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OMS 4 here and I was just wondering what my chances are of gen surg.

COMLEX 594/641 USMLE 225/237
Honored all my clerkships, 3 surg/ 1 IM letter for surgery, plenty of volunteer and education work. No research. SOSA E-board memeber.

I plan on doing both AOA and ACGME programs.

Thanks for any responses guys!
Gen surg is hard even for MD students! About 5% of my grads have gone into the field, solely by AOA.

MD schools tend to have ~10% of their grads go for ACGME Gen Surg. But I've seen one school where < 5% went that route (fewer than mine!)
Oddly, one of the smaller state MD schools sent ~20-25% of its grads into the field. Go figure.
 

NecrotizingFasciitis

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What are you talking about? There are 5/19 DO matched. The 20% is the match success rate of total 19 applicant.


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There were 472 MD applicants vs. 19 DO applicants. The sample size for MD applicants is 24.8x larger than that of DO students applying to optho; 95% of those that applied optho were MD students.

I'm saying if the proportion of DO students applying were closer to that of MD applicants, then maybe w'd get a much more accurate statistic.

Know who else made conclusions based on poor sample sizes? Andrew Wakefield. Now what do we have? A disgustingly large population of pro-measles advocates.

That's all I'm saying.


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Peach Newport

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TBH I don't think a DO with a 240-250 is gonna match ortho/IR/plastics/derm. An MD might, but not a DO.

There's no real data on the subject, but it seems like a DO who wants to match those ACGME fields realistically needs 260+.

Last DO to match ACGME derm was from my school, and based on upper class men rumor, they had a step 1 of about 270.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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TBH I don't think a DO with a 240-250 is gonna match ortho/IR/plastics/derm. An MD might, but not a DO.

There's no real data on the subject, but it seems like a DO who wants to match those ACGME fields realistically needs 260+.

Last DO to match ACGME derm was from my school, and based on upper class men rumor, they had a step 1 of about 270.
I agree, maybe Optho with a 240-250, but Ortho/IR/Plastics/Derm are 250+ for DO, and probably 260 just to try and stand out a little.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Question for those of us marching in 2021, what's would you say is a general ball park we need to hit to be competitive for gen surg? from what I've seen if you score >230 with a well rounded app you have a good chance. Is that correct?
A 230 with a broad application and research will probably be successful more times than not. To be safe I would say aim for 235+.


Gen surg is hard even for MD students!
It's really not.... below average MDs can get gen surg without much difficulty. It's just not that popular in the MD world.

TBH I don't think a DO with a 240-250 is gonna match ortho/IR/plastics/derm. An MD might, but not a DO.
Eh I used to think this but after seeing some of the CVs of some of the "wow" DO matches of the last year or two if changed my opinion on board scores. None of the people I know of had board scores over 250, one derm match was barely over 240, but they all had very good research, made connections, and did away rotations. On top of that they are just cool, nice people. If someone is going to try and break into these fields then once their board score hits a certain level then the app becomes a lot more about the other stuff and less about that number. Obviously the higher the better, but it is a lot more than just board scores. Also something to be said about having the stones to try, as in sure a lot of people balk at the idea of taking such a big risk skipping the AOA match (this is no longer pertinent fo obvious reasons).
 

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A 230 with a broad application and research will probably be successful more times than not. To be safe I would say aim for 235+.




It's really not.... below average MDs can get gen surg without much difficulty. It's just not that popular in the MD world.



Eh I used to think this but after seeing some of the CVs of some of the "wow" DO matches of the last year or two if changed my opinion on board scores. None of the people I know of had board scores over 250, one derm match was barely over 240, but they all had very good research, made connections, and did away rotations. On top of that they are just cool, nice people. If someone is going to try and break into these fields then once their board score hits a certain level then the app becomes a lot more about the other stuff and less about that number. Obviously the higher the better, but it is a lot more than just board scores. Also something to be said about having the stones to try, as in sure a lot of people balk at the idea of taking such a big risk skipping the AOA match (this is no longer pertinent fo obvious reasons).
You mean they matched AOA ortho with those scores right?

I asked because each DO school, if they're lucky, produces 1 "impressive" ACGME match per year, tops. Whereas I've been told most DO schools have 10-15 people who break 240 on step 1
 

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You mean they matched AOA ortho with those scores right?
No, I'm talking extremely competitive ACGME matches like derm, surgical subs, and IR
 

AnatomyGrey12

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I asked because each DO school, if they're lucky, produces 1 "impressive" ACGME match per year, tops. Whereas I've been told most DO schools have 10-15 people who break 240 on step 1
Eh the established schools generally have anywhere from 1-4 but you need to know how to view certain matches, like it's easy to overlook certain peds or anesthesia matches as competitive matches. Anyhow I am specifically talking about competitive ACGME specialties.
 

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You mean they matched AOA ortho with those scores right?

I asked because each DO school, if they're lucky, produces 1 "impressive" ACGME match per year, tops. Whereas I've been told most DO schools have 10-15 people who break 240 on step 1
Its not the scores that hold them back it's how dumb they are about the application processs. The 10+ phenomenon is ridiculously perpetuated on this site because of the n=1 stories that you see here. Yes, it happens but not nearly to the level that SDN makes it out to be. I've seen multiple people match into ACGME ophthalmology with a 230 for several years on this site. I can even show you a 2013 charting outcomes radiation oncology match, where I can confirm one DO had a 230. It wouldn't surprise me if there are DOs actually applying to these ACGME residencies with USMLE scores below 230.

The truth is that most DOs are terrible at planning out how to apply for these hyper competitive fields. They do it without specialty specific research. They do it without sending enough applications. In rare cases, they do with rather low scores. All these factors hinder DOs. Once you breach the 250 mark, your chances would be the same whether you had a 260 or 270. Its not that your scores weren't high enough, they just didn't want a DO in the first place...

RVUs 2013 match list seems to have 3 years worth of good luck based on what you say...

Here is the newest Rocky Vista match list. The director of student services sent it out to incoming students. It looks solid to me but please share your opinions.

RVUCOM 2013 MATCH RESULTS BY DISCIPLINE, NUMBER MATCHED AND RESIDENCY LOCATION
DISCIPLINE
MATCHED
RESIDENCY LOCATION ANESTHESIOLOGY 13
Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX
George Washington Univ-DC
U Michigan Hosps-Ann Arbor
U Kansas SOM-Kansas City
Riverside County Regional, Moreno Valley, CA
McLaren-Greater Lansing, Lansing, MI
Med Coli Wisconsin Affil Hosps
Mayo School of Grad Med Educ-MN
B I Deaconess Med Ctr-MA
U Iowa Hosps and Clinics
U Colorado SOM-Denver
University Hosps-Jackson-MS
U Colorado SOM-Denver

EMERGENCY MEDICINE 18
St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, NY
Botsford Hospital, Farmington Hills, MI
Southwest Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK
LECOM/UPMCE Hamot, Erie, PA
St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, NY
Oklahoma State University Medical Center, Tulsa, OK
LECOM/UPMCE Hamot, Erie, PA
Botsford Hospital, Farmington Hills, MI
Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, Wyandotte, MI
St. John Providence Health System, Warren, MI
UMDNJSOM/South Jersey Healthcare, Vineland, NJ
U Kentucky Med Ctr
Central Michigan University COM
U Kentucky Med Ctr
Baystate Med Ctr-MA
Christus Spohn Mem Hosp-TX
Morristown Mem Hosp-NJ
Indiana Univ Sch Of Med

FAMILY MEDICINE 28
Oregon Health & Science Univ
U Colorado SOM-Denver
North Colorado Med Ctr
U Kansas SOM-Wichita
Valley Hospital Medical Center, Las Vegas, NV
Blessing Health System, Quincy, IL
Detroit Wayne County Health, Detroit, MI
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Sierra Vista Regional Health, Sierra Vista, AZ
Riverside Regional Medical Center, Newport News, VA
Lakeside Medical Center, Belle Glade, FL
Maine-Dartmouth FM Residency, Augusta, ME
Maine-Dartmouth FM Residency, Augusta, ME
Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, Camp Lejeune, NC
Largo Medical Center, Largo, FL
Darnall Army Medical Center, Ft. Hood, TX
Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, NV
Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, Camp Lejeune, NC
St Anthony North Hosp-CO
Central Maine Med Ctr
Aurora St Lukes Medical Ctr-WI
Advocate Lutheran Gen Hosp-IL
Alaska Family Med/Providence Hosp
North Colorado Med Ctr
North Colorado Med Ctr
Ft Collins Fam Med-CO
Marshall University SOM-WV

GENERAL SURGERY 14
Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA
Travis Air Force Base/UC Davis Medical Center, Travis AF Base, CA
Wycoff Heights Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Doctors Hospital, Columbus, OH
Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI
Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS
Doctors Hospital, Columbus, OH
Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA
Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA
William Beaumont Army Medical Hospital, El Paso, TX
South Pointe Hospital, Warrensville Heights, OH
Good Samaritan Hosp-Cinn-OH
University of MaryLand
Oregon Health & Science Univ

ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY 5
Texas Tech U Affii-Lubbock
Summa Western Reserve Hospital, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Plainview Hospital, Plainview, NY
Plainview Hospital, Plainview, NY
St. Mary's Hospital Blue Springs, Blue Springs, MO

INTERNAL MEDICINE 18
Sky Ridge Medical Center, Parker, CO
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO
Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO
Grandview Hospital & Medical Center, Dayton, OH
Sky Ridge Medical Center, Parker, CO
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO
Sky Ridge Medical Center, Parker, CO
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO
Danville Regional Medical Center, Danville, VA
Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago, IL
Sky Ridge Medical Center, Parker, CO
Northside Hospital & Heart Institute, St. Petersberg, FL
Genesys Regional Medical-Health Park, Grand Blanc, MI
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO
San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium
Texas A&M-Scott & White

INTERNAL MEDICINE/EMERGENCY MEDICINE 1
Aria Health Systems, Philadelphia, PA
OBSTETRICS/GYNECOLOGY 10
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
McLaren-Greater Lansing, Lansing, MI
Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals, Clinton Township, MI
St. John Providence Health System, Warren, MI
Mercy Health Partners, Muskegon, MI
St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland, Pontiac, MI
Good Samaritan Hospital, West Islip, NY
South Jersey Healthcare, Vineland, NJ
Baylor Coli Med-Houston-TX
University of Toledo-OH

OPTHALMOLOGY 1
Henry Ford Hospital - Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

PEDIATRICS 8
(Civilian Deferred)/ OMECO Teaching Health Center, Tulsa, OK
Madigan Army Medical Hospital, Fort Lewis, WA
Doctors Hospital, Columbus OH
U Nebraska Affil Hosps
Madigan Army Medical Hospital, Fort Lewis, WA
Orlando Health-FL
University of Hawaii
U Texas Southwestern Med Sch-Dallas

PATHOLOGY 2
San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium
U New Mexico SOM

PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION 2
Med Coli Wisconsin AffilHosps
Barnes-Jewish Hosp-MO

PSYCHIATRY 5
Erie, PA
U Texas HSC-San Antonio
U Arizona COM at South Campus
University of Hawaii
U Utah Affil Hospitals

RADIOLOGY-DIAGNOSTIC 3
U South Florida COM-Tampa
Hershey Med Ctr/Penn State-PA
U Kansas SOM-Wichita

RADIOLOGY 1
McLaren-Oakland, Pontiac, MI

RADIOLOGY-ONCOLOGY 1
Baylor Coli Med-Houston-TX

TRADITIONAL ROTATING INTERNSHIP 6
Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, PA
Samaritian Regional Medical Center, Corvallis, OR
Palisades Medical Center, N. Bergen, NJ
St. Anthony Hospital, Oklahoma City, OK
LECOM/Arnot Elmira, NY
Madigan Army Medical Hospital, Fort Lewis, WA
Genesys Regional Medical-Health Park, Grand Blanc, MI
 
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Peach Newport

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Its not the scores that hold them back it's how dumb they are about the application processs. The 10+ phenomenon is ridiculously perpetuated on this site because of the n=1 stories that you see here. Yes, it happens but not nearly to the level that SDN makes it out to be. I've seen multiple people match into ACGME ophthalmology with a 230 for several years on this site. I can even show you a 2013 charting outcomes radiation oncology match, where I can confirm one DO had a 230. It wouldn't surprise me if there are DOs actually applying to these ACGME residencies with USMLE scores below 230.

The truth is that most DOs are terrible at planning out how to apply for these hyper competitive fields. They do it without specialty specific research. They do it without sending enough applications. In rare cases, they do with rather low scores. All these factors hinder DOs. Once you breach the 250 mark, your chances would be the same whether you had a 260 or 270. Its not that your scores weren't high enough, they just didn't want a DO in the first place...

RVUs 2013 match list seems to have 3 years worth of good luck based on what you say...
Interesting perspective. I wonder what MeatTornado, SouthernSurgeon, and the rest of the negative nancies would have to say about that?

How necessary is research? I don't think I'll have any. I couldn't find any in my oms1 summer, and I'm pretty none of my school's rotations offer any.
 

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Its not the scores that hold them back it's how dumb they are about the application processs. The 10+ phenomenon is ridiculously perpetuated on this site because of the n=1 stories that you see here. Yes, it happens but not nearly to the level that SDN makes it out to be. I've seen multiple people match into ACGME ophthalmology with a 230 for several years on this site. I can even show you a 2013 charting outcomes radiation oncology match, where I can confirm one DO had a 230. It wouldn't surprise me if there are DOs actually applying to these ACGME residencies with USMLE scores below 230.

The truth is that most DOs are terrible at planning out how to apply for these hyper competitive fields. They do it without specialty specific research. They do it without sending enough applications. In rare cases, they do with rather low scores. All these factors hinder DOs. Once you breach the 250 mark, your chances would be the same whether you had a 260 or 270. Its not that your scores weren't high enough, they just didn't want a DO in the first place...

RVUs 2013 match list seems to have 3 years worth of good luck based on what you say...
Interesting perspective. I wonder what MeatTornado, SouthernSurgeon, and the rest of the negative nancies would have to say about that?

How necessary is research? I don't think I'll have any. I couldn't find any in my oms1 summer, and I'm pretty none of my school's rotations offer any.
If you want someone's input, it's polite to use the "@". Otherwise you're just name calling.

I think @IslandStyle808 is pretty right on, and I'm not sure how his post disagrees with anything I've said in the past.

I tend to think in general this site is too stiff in their thinking, and too rigidly focused on the numbers such as board scores.

I would also agree that many/most DO's are terrible about planning how to apply for these fields. But that begs the question of why? Are they getting bad advice (or just no advice?) from their schools? Are they willfully ignorant of the advice out there? It's not exactly secret knowledge.

12 years ago when I started med school, everyone in my first year class knew what it took to match into fields like plastics and derm. Research, research, research. Making connections in the field. Mentors. Apply everywhere. The bench markers for competitiveness were well known to us from early on. I'm not saying it's easy to do, but the path to success is well known.

I've seen a lot of DO applications, because I've been on review committees for some national grants/research awards/etc, as well as the ERAS apps (my program refused to interview DOs, but that's beside the point). The areas where they are lacking compared to their MD peers aren't boards or grades, it's all that other stuff. And it makes a huge difference...the DO's just by and large were not near competitive.
 

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OMS 4 here and I was just wondering what my chances are of gen surg.

COMLEX 594/641 USMLE 225/237
Honored all my clerkships, 3 surg/ 1 IM letter for surgery, plenty of volunteer and education work. No research. SOSA E-board memeber.

I plan on doing both AOA and ACGME programs.

Thanks for any responses guys!
General surgery is a difficult field. For whatever reason (most likely tradition/old fashioned chairs and program directors) it is one of the most biased fields against DOs. According to the Program director survey (which is a bad survey, with well less than a 50% response rate, but it's all we have), only about 1/2 of program directors will consider a DO. (Source: http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NRMP-2016-Program-Director-Survey.pdf)

Your Step 1 and Step 2 are both 10 points below the average for Gen Surg. However it is difficult to know how to interpret that comparison as a DO applicant, since it isn't an apples to apples comparison with the Charting the Outcomes data.

Charting outcomes for DOs (http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Charting-Outcomes-US-Osteopathic-2016.pdf) gives a pretty bleak overall picture. 100 applicants, 49% match rate. I don't know much about interpreting COMLEX scores (neither do most surgery PDs according to the survey results), but the tipping point for improved odds of success appears to be a >600 COMLEX 1.

The Charting outcomes for DO results are, of course, significantly skewed by the nature of the AOA match - since many good candidates will take themselves out of the ACGME match in favor of the AOA match. How this will change in the future with the combined match, I do not know.


Anyways, concrete things you can do now:
1. Letters: Ditch the IM letter. Surgeons don't care. All your letters should be from surgeons. The more academic, the better. You should try to get a letter from a surgical departmental chair. Presuming your school does not have a home surgical department, this should be done through an away rotation.
2. Away rotations: The general advice for gen surg is that aways aren't always helpful/necessary. This is decidedly not so for DOs. Especially for the AOA residencies where they are de facto necessary. Be prepared to do several.
3. Research: Get some. As I said above, this is where most DO applications fall apart.
4. Apply broadly when the time comes.
 

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Are they getting bad advice (or just no advice?) from their schools? Are they willfully ignorant of the advice out there? It's not exactly secret knowledge.
From what I have seen with my classmates, it's both.

The areas where they are lacking compared to their MD peers aren't boards or grades, it's all that other stuff. And it makes a huge difference...the DO's just by and large were not near competitive.
And this is exactly what I have seen among the successful applicants that the unsuccessful ones lack. It is definitely not a board score issue.

General surgery is a difficult field. For whatever reason (most likely tradition/old fashioned chairs and program directors) it is one of the most biased fields against DOs. According to the Program director survey (which is a bad survey, with well less than a 50% response rate, but it's all we have), only about 1/2 of program directors will consider a DO. (Source: http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NRMP-2016-Program-Director-Survey.pdf)

Your Step 1 and Step 2 are both 10 points below the average for Gen Surg. However it is difficult to know how to interpret that comparison as a DO applicant, since it isn't an apples to apples comparison with the Charting the Outcomes data.

Charting outcomes for DOs (http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Charting-Outcomes-US-Osteopathic-2016.pdf) gives a pretty bleak overall picture. 100 applicants, 49% match rate. I don't know much about interpreting COMLEX scores (neither do most surgery PDs according to the survey results), but the tipping point for improved odds of success appears to be a >600 COMLEX 1.

The Charting outcomes for DO results are, of course, significantly skewed by the nature of the AOA match - since many good candidates will take themselves out of the ACGME match in favor of the AOA match. How this will change in the future with the combined match, I do not know.


Anyways, concrete things you can do now:
1. Letters: Ditch the IM letter. Surgeons don't care. All your letters should be from surgeons. The more academic, the better. You should try to get a letter from a surgical departmental chair. Presuming your school does not have a home surgical department, this should be done through an away rotation.
2. Away rotations: The general advice for gen surg is that aways aren't always helpful/necessary. This is decidedly not so for DOs. Especially for the AOA residencies where they are de facto necessary. Be prepared to do several.
3. Research: Get some. As I said above, this is where most DO applications fall apart.
4. Apply broadly when the time comes.
SS thanks for your advice, it really is invaluable and this above is more than what most DO students will ever get with regards to surgery applications.
 
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General surgery is a difficult field. For whatever reason (most likely tradition/old fashioned chairs and program directors) it is one of the most biased fields against DOs. According to the Program director survey (which is a bad survey, with well less than a 50% response rate, but it's all we have), only about 1/2 of program directors will consider a DO. (Source: http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NRMP-2016-Program-Director-Survey.pdf)

Your Step 1 and Step 2 are both 10 points below the average for Gen Surg. However it is difficult to know how to interpret that comparison as a DO applicant, since it isn't an apples to apples comparison with the Charting the Outcomes data.

Charting outcomes for DOs (http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Charting-Outcomes-US-Osteopathic-2016.pdf) gives a pretty bleak overall picture. 100 applicants, 49% match rate. I don't know much about interpreting COMLEX scores (neither do most surgery PDs according to the survey results), but the tipping point for improved odds of success appears to be a >600 COMLEX 1.

The Charting outcomes for DO results are, of course, significantly skewed by the nature of the AOA match - since many good candidates will take themselves out of the ACGME match in favor of the AOA match. How this will change in the future with the combined match, I do not know.


Anyways, concrete things you can do now:
1. Letters: Ditch the IM letter. Surgeons don't care. All your letters should be from surgeons. The more academic, the better. You should try to get a letter from a surgical departmental chair. Presuming your school does not have a home surgical department, this should be done through an away rotation.
2. Away rotations: The general advice for gen surg is that aways aren't always helpful/necessary. This is decidedly not so for DOs. Especially for the AOA residencies where they are de facto necessary. Be prepared to do several.
3. Research: Get some. As I said above, this is where most DO applications fall apart.
4. Apply broadly when the time comes.
Many thanks for the sage advice, colleague!

And to the rest of you, giving realistic advice and input is NOT being a negative nancy.
 
6

68PGunner

General surgery is a difficult field. For whatever reason (most likely tradition/old fashioned chairs and program directors) it is one of the most biased fields against DOs. According to the Program director survey (which is a bad survey, with well less than a 50% response rate, but it's all we have), only about 1/2 of program directors will consider a DO. (Source: http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NRMP-2016-Program-Director-Survey.pdf)

Your Step 1 and Step 2 are both 10 points below the average for Gen Surg. However it is difficult to know how to interpret that comparison as a DO applicant, since it isn't an apples to apples comparison with the Charting the Outcomes data.

Charting outcomes for DOs (http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Charting-Outcomes-US-Osteopathic-2016.pdf) gives a pretty bleak overall picture. 100 applicants, 49% match rate. I don't know much about interpreting COMLEX scores (neither do most surgery PDs according to the survey results), but the tipping point for improved odds of success appears to be a >600 COMLEX 1.

The Charting outcomes for DO results are, of course, significantly skewed by the nature of the AOA match - since many good candidates will take themselves out of the ACGME match in favor of the AOA match. How this will change in the future with the combined match, I do not know.


Anyways, concrete things you can do now:
1. Letters: Ditch the IM letter. Surgeons don't care. All your letters should be from surgeons. The more academic, the better. You should try to get a letter from a surgical departmental chair. Presuming your school does not have a home surgical department, this should be done through an away rotation.
2. Away rotations: The general advice for gen surg is that aways aren't always helpful/necessary. This is decidedly not so for DOs. Especially for the AOA residencies where they are de facto necessary. Be prepared to do several.
3. Research: Get some. As I said above, this is where most DO applications fall apart.
4. Apply broadly when the time comes.
Thank you for taking the time to educate us on the intricacies of the process.

In general for DOs, what's a good number of away rotations with good LORs in order to be a competitive candidate?

As for research, what kind of research are we talking about? Are we talking about just case studies that one could pump out during third rotation?
 

Peach Newport

board certified in jewish dermatology
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If you want someone's input, it's polite to use the "@". Otherwise you're just name calling.

I think @IslandStyle808 is pretty right on, and I'm not sure how his post disagrees with anything I've said in the past.

I tend to think in general this site is too stiff in their thinking, and too rigidly focused on the numbers such as board scores.

I would also agree that many/most DO's are terrible about planning how to apply for these fields. But that begs the question of why? Are they getting bad advice (or just no advice?) from their schools? Are they willfully ignorant of the advice out there? It's not exactly secret knowledge.

12 years ago when I started med school, everyone in my first year class knew what it took to match into fields like plastics and derm. Research, research, research. Making connections in the field. Mentors. Apply everywhere. The bench markers for competitiveness were well known to us from early on. I'm not saying it's easy to do, but the path to success is well known.

I've seen a lot of DO applications, because I've been on review committees for some national grants/research awards/etc, as well as the ERAS apps (my program refused to interview DOs, but that's beside the point). The areas where they are lacking compared to their MD peers aren't boards or grades, it's all that other stuff. And it makes a huge difference...the DO's just by and large were not near competitive.
Apologies. I didn't know it was an etiquette thing.

How would you recommend DOs find research? All the MD school PIs I contacted in oms1 summer in the area said that they either didn't take DOs, or that they only took students from their school. My school only offers bench/basic science research, which (I've heard) can take years to be published, is extremely time consuming, and on top of all that is looked down upon by PDs. Upper classmen have told me that none of our rotation sites offer research either.
 

Milotic

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Gen surg is hard even for MD students! About 5% of my grads have gone into the field, solely by AOA.

MD schools tend to have ~10% of their grads go for ACGME Gen Surg. But I've seen one school where < 5% went that route (fewer than mine!)
Oddly, one of the smaller state MD schools sent ~20-25% of its grads into the field. Go figure.
I go to a "low tier" MD school and Gen Surg is fairly easy to match for us. Half the people who applied had Step 1 in the 220's and matched somewhere in America. Boston/LA/SF or major coastal cities is a different story.
 

SouthernSurgeon

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Apologies. I didn't know it was an etiquette thing.

How would you recommend DOs find research? All the MD school PIs I contacted in oms1 summer in the area said that they either didn't take DOs, or that they only took students from their school. My school only offers bench/basic science research, which (I've heard) can take years to be published, is extremely time consuming, and on top of all that is looked down upon by PDs. Upper classmen have told me that none of our rotation sites offer research either.
I think you just have to be doggedly persistent. I'm not saying it's easy but people do manage to do it successfully. There is a PGY2 (?I think...maybe PGY3 at this point) integrated plastics resident at Penn who spent a year there doing research and then matched, and that's a department that had previously been in the firm "No DO" camp.

As a DO, if your goal is anything more ambitious than gen surg (i.e. Any surgical sub specialty, rad onc, derm) - you should seriously consider a full research year.

Thank you for taking the time to educate us on the intricacies of the process.

In general for DOs, what's a good number of away rotations with good LORs in order to be a competitive candidate?

As for research, what kind of research are we talking about? Are we talking about just case studies that one could pump out during third rotation?
Number of aways: DO posters can comment better than me, but from what I have seen here 3 seems a reasonable number.

Research: As in all things, the more the better, and the better quality the better. Case studies - honestly, most people don't even consider that research. The major surgical journals for the most part don't even accept case reports anymore. Most of them end up in a non pubmed indexed open access (i.e. Pay to publish) journal.
-Reasonable research goals: Retrospective studies, either of single institution data (i.e. Large case series, cohort studies, etc), or national data (NSQIP, NCDB for example). Many of these resources you can readily access the data with the aid of a mentor. But you need an academic surgical faculty to be willing to guide you and help form a research question, write a paper, etc.
-Basic science research takes time, a lot of it. Surgical specific bench research will likely require a prolonged time period at an institution with surgeon scientists (i.e. Probably a research year, if being ambitious).

It all depends on your goals. If your goal is simply to match gen surg and you have good scores, I think the route is to do some aways and go through the AOA match. If your goal is an ACGME match and specifically a match at a university program, you gotta go through these other hoops.
 

Goro

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I go to a "low tier" MD school and Gen Surg is fairly easy to match for us. Half the people who applied had Step 1 in the 220's and matched somewhere in America. Boston/LA/SF or major coastal cities is a different story.
Out of curiosity, how many of your grads went into Gen Surg. PM me if needed. These numbers always fascinate me.
 

Milotic

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Out of curiosity, how many of your grads went into Gen Surg. PM me if needed. These numbers always fascinate me.
8-10 each year for the last 2 years. Interestingly enough we total more people matching into surgical subspecialties than gen surg as a whole every year - probably due to the bad rep gen surg gets nowadays with the lifestyle and pay cuts.
 
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Mbeas

Hi I'm Kate
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OMS 4 here and I was just wondering what my chances are of gen surg.

COMLEX 594/641 USMLE 225/237
Honored all my clerkships, 3 surg/ 1 IM letter for surgery, plenty of volunteer and education work. No research. SOSA E-board memeber.

I plan on doing both AOA and ACGME programs.

Thanks for any responses guys!
a few things:

1. The majority of acgme programs don't know what SOSA is, so that's nothing special. you're basically a surgery club member which means nothing.

2. the IM letter needs to go. you absolutely should have all surgeon letters for acgme programs. you should have done some away rotations at acgme programs (not sure if you did) and had program directors write letters for you. surgery is a relatively small field and everyone is connected. program directors know eachother.

3. you have no research which is a huge blow to an acgme surgery application. honestly, it's way too late to jump on a project. this is something that would need to be pre-planned.

i would go AOA if I was in your shoes. you're chances of acgme surgery are not very good with those scores either. you can apply broadly to acgme programs and you may get some bites from some of the community programs. with your comlex, you should be fine for AOA programs.
 

Mbeas

Hi I'm Kate
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If you want someone's input, it's polite to use the "@". Otherwise you're just name calling.

I would also agree that many/most DO's are terrible about planning how to apply for these fields. But that begs the question of why? Are they getting bad advice (or just no advice?) from their schools? Are they willfully ignorant of the advice out there? It's not exactly secret knowledge.
You would be surprised. Most DO schools don't know anything about AGME programs. There is no public knowledge on applying and all of your "mentors" are AOA trained and only know the process to apply AOA. For anyone applying ACGME, it is all on you. This is worse if you are applying to surgery or some specialty. The main thing is to be proactive. If you want to apply to something competitive as a DO, you need to research all of this stuff yourself. The information is out there, but none of your medical school faculty will have any clue.
 
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electrolight

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Apr 27, 2016
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M3 here. Not to steal this thread or anything, but would it be reasonable to apply ACGME surgery with a 243 usmle step 1 and 697 comlex level 1? Literally nothing else cool on cv as of now.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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M3 here. Not to steal this thread or anything, but would it be reasonable to apply ACGME surgery with a 243 usmle step 1 and 697 comlex level 1? Literally nothing else cool on cv as of now.
From what residents tell me yes.
 
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