doc2be245

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Hey All. I'm a 2nd year and was hoping to get a few answers from recent grads. I know that there are many posts on SDN regarding grades/board scores, but they all seem to be from over 5 years and I feel like things may have changed.

So long story short, I'm an average student at my school even though I put in a huge effort and am planning on taking the USMLE in order to hopefully get into an ACGME program. I was hoping to get some feedback on how realistic a goal that is. Will my average grades be a hinderance at getting those top competitive programs in EM, IM, or Anesthesiology (current interests).

Thank you for your input in advance.
 

AlteredScale

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Preclinical grades arent as important (note they still count and am not discrediting them) in the grand scheme of things unless youre top or bottom 10%. Usmle/comlex, clinical rotation grades, strong lors from faculty or preceptors that actually have status or position in academic medicine and arent just docs at a community hospital no one has heard about, and research usually shape the an application much more steongly then just being an avg student in preclinical coursework.

By top competitive programs, especially in IM, im assuming you mean academic/uni med centers, and in that case it wont matter if your usmle is 260 simply on the basis that you are coming from a DO school. It sucks.


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doc2be245

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Preclinical grades arent as important (note they still count and am not discrediting them) in the grand scheme of things unless youre top or bottom 10%. Usmle/comlex, clinical rotation grades, strong lors from faculty or preceptors that actually have status or position in academic medicine and arent just docs at a community hospital no one has heard about, and research usually shape the an application much more steongly then just being an avg student in preclinical coursework.

By top competitive programs, especially in IM, im assuming you mean academic/uni med centers, and in that case it wont matter if your usmle is 260 simply on the basis that you are coming from a DO school. It sucks.


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Well that sucks.
 

IH8ColdWeath3r

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Well that sucks.
Not true, there are a lot of large academic institutions who are DO friendly. No, their entire class isn't filled with DO's, not even the majority. But, you can definitely get into some academic programs if you work hard, have good letters, and good board scores in the specialties that you mentioned.

Just try your best in school and do well on boards. Good luck.
 
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AlteredScale

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Not true, there are a lot of large academic institutions who are DO friendly. No, their entire class isn't filled with DO's, not even the majority. But, you can definitely get into some academic programs if you work hard, have good letters, and good board scores in the specialties that you mentioned.

Just try your best in school and do well on boards. Good luck.
I was adressing specifcally the OPs idea that good board scores well get them into a top tier IM program.

There is a large swath of academic IM programs that have never and probably will never take DOs. UCLA-RRMC, UCSD, UCSF (not fresno), Tufts, Hospital at Mt Sinai/Icahn SOM, Montefiore, UChicago (not northshore), Mcgaw/Northwestern, NYU Langone, MGH, BWH, BIDMC, BMC, Duke, Yale, Stanfrod, UNC.


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Mad Jack

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Not true, there are a lot of large academic institutions who are DO friendly. No, their entire class isn't filled with DO's, not even the majority. But, you can definitely get into some academic programs if you work hard, have good letters, and good board scores in the specialties that you mentioned.

Just try your best in school and do well on boards. Good luck.
He specifically wanted top tier programs. Most top IM programs won't even look at a DO application- they're simply filtered out. EM is the same way, largely, as are top anesthesia programs- though there are a couple of notable exceptions in each field, the vast majority of their top programs do not consider DOs, period.
 

IslandStyle808

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He specifically wanted top tier programs. Most top IM programs won't even look at a DO application- they're simply filtered out. EM is the same way, largely, as are top anesthesia programs- though there are a couple of notable exceptions in each field, the vast majority of their top programs do not consider DOs, period.
Agree with IM and EM. Upper-mid tier in anesthesia is still in the range of doable for DOs.

**Hopkins anesthesia, a top program, has taken DOs several times in the past (this is one is an exception). I make no judgement on MGH, since it has only taken DOs in the past 2 years (I would wait until another two years worth of DOs match, before I say MGH is an exception).
 
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Mad Jack

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Agree with IM and EM. Upper-mid tier in anesthesia is still in the range of doable for DOs.

**Hopkins anesthesia, a top program, has taken DOs several times in the past (this is one is an exception). I make no judgement on MGH, since it has only taken DOs in the past 2 years (I would wait until another two years worth of DOs match, before I say MGH is an exception).
Like I said, there are exceptions in EM and anesthesia- IM, not so much.
 

IslandStyle808

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Like I said, there are exceptions in EM and anesthesia- IM, not so much.
Of course, but many upper-mid tier anesthesia programs have DOs in them (I have check the anesthesia forums on this point). This is definitely in the realm of reason.
 

Goro

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If your grades are B+ or better, then go for USMLE. I strongly recommend if that you're < 80%, then you stick with COMLEX only.

PDs don't care about your grades; they do care about Board scores. Gas and EM tend to be DO friendly...IM is all over the place.



Hey All. I'm a 2nd year and was hoping to get a few answers from recent grads. I know that there are many posts on SDN regarding grades/board scores, but they all seem to be from over 5 years and I feel like things may have changed.

So long story short, I'm an average student at my school even though I put in a huge effort and am planning on taking the USMLE in order to hopefully get into an ACGME program. I was hoping to get some feedback on how realistic a goal that is. Will my average grades be a hinderance at getting those top competitive programs in EM, IM, or Anesthesiology (current interests).

Thank you for your input in advance.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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The bad news is most top tier residencies are out of reach for most DOs.

The good news is that it professionally is of little consequence. Plenty of US MD residents are in community programs or low tier university affiliated programs of their own volition as well. Not everyone wants to or is built around needing to be at the top of the mountain or being an academic physician and some people choose programs based on other things such as lifestyle and family.



It's also worth mentioning that medicine exists outside of the conventional highly sought fields like IM. Path, FM, Neuro, PM&R, and many more are good fits for many people and are much more DO friendly than IM or surgery.
 

hallowmann

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The bad news is most top tier residencies are out of reach for most DOs.

The good news is that it professionally is of little consequence. Plenty of US MD residents are in community programs or low tier university affiliated programs of their own volition as well. Not everyone wants to or is built around needing to be at the top of the mountain or being an academic physician and some people choose programs based on other things such as lifestyle and family.



It's also worth mentioning that medicine exists outside of the conventional highly sought fields like IM. Path, FM, Neuro, PM&R, and many more are good fits for many people and are much more DO friendly than IM or surgery.
I think there's also a big question about whether or not being in academic medicine is being at the "top of the mountain". It really depends on your goals and what you want in life.

In the end we all live, and we all die. For those DOs that want really hardcore top tier academic IM, it's tough. Still there are people there. They didn't do residency there, but they worked their way up to at least be in some of those centers.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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I think there's also a big question about whether or not being in academic medicine is being at the "top of the mountain". It really depends on your goals and what you want in life.

In the end we all live, and we all die. For those DOs that want really hardcore top tier academic IM, it's tough. Still there are people there. They didn't do residency there, but they worked their way up to at least be in some of those centers.
I think SDN really needs to stop pushing this culture of ultra competition and buying into the notion that everyone not in a high tier residency is a disgruntled doctor.
 

Mr Roboto

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Preclinical grades arent as important (note they still count and am not discrediting them) in the grand scheme of things unless youre top or bottom 10%. Usmle/comlex, clinical rotation grades, strong lors from faculty or preceptors that actually have status or position in academic medicine and arent just docs at a community hospital no one has heard about, and research usually shape the an application much more steongly then just being an avg student in preclinical coursework.

By top competitive programs, especially in IM, im assuming you mean academic/uni med centers, and in that case it wont matter if your usmle is 260 simply on the basis that you are coming from a DO school. It sucks.


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So if we have the ability to be in the top 10% of our class, is it worth chasing?
 

hallowmann

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So if we have the ability to be in the top 10% of our class, is it worth chasing?
Why not? What are you losing? If its an extra episode of that show you're binge watching that you're losing, I'd say sure. If its sleep, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with your family, then I don't know that its worth it.
 
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doc2be245

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If your grades are B+ or better, then go for USMLE. I strongly recommend if that you're < 80%, then you stick with COMLEX only.

PDs don't care about your grades; they do care about Board scores. Gas and EM tend to be DO friendly...IM is all over the place.

Yeah. Generally I hit the A or miss it and get the B (more B's than A's). I tend to be at the class average or slightly above it. I'm going to see how I perform 2nd year since I have learned more about my studying style and make the decision as I come closer to boards.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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I think SDN really needs to stop pushing this culture of ultra competition and buying into the notion that everyone not in a high tier residency is a disgruntled doctor.
This is something that gets me every time. Honestly like 90% of graduating physicians just become good community docs and very few actually want the ivory tower. Same as how if you had no other exposure to medicine besides SDN you would think that an okay MCAT would be a 35 and a below average board score was anything less than 245.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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This is something that gets me every time. Honestly like 90% of graduating physicians just become good community docs and very few actually want the ivory tower. Same as how if you had no other exposure to medicine besides SDN you would think that an okay MCAT would be a 35 and a below average board score was anything less than 245.
Well they actually showed a while ago that on the medical school reddit forum their average USMLE was a 241. People like that are bound to be a bit out of touch.

Personally I want to have some academic aspects to my career, but I'm also not exactly aiming for MGH or a major hospital in an ultra competitive city. For me a kush position in the Midwest or South would be nice.
 

shadowlightfox

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This is something that gets me every time. Honestly like 90% of graduating physicians just become good community docs and very few actually want the ivory tower. Same as how if you had no other exposure to medicine besides SDN you would think that an okay MCAT would be a 35 and a below average board score was anything less than 245.
In all fairness, on the flip side of the coin being told that DOs can't get good spots is also very disheartening. If there are DO's that want that ivory tower, what's wrong with them chasing it? Anything that helps them become better doctors in the long run, right?
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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In all fairness, on the flip side of the coin being told that DOs can't get good spots is also very disheartening. If there are DO's that want that ivory tower, what's wrong with them chasing it? Anything that helps them become better doctors in the long run, right?
You should aim for it. However be realistic about your chances. But also remember that you've got to apply smart. SDN may be overblown, but occasionally some truth exists.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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In all fairness, on the flip side of the coin being told that DOs can't get good spots is also very disheartening. If there are DO's that want that ivory tower, what's wrong with them chasing it? Anything that helps them become better doctors in the long run, right?
There is nothing wrong with chasing it, but you should also be realistic. For example, it is not realistic to think you will be doing ortho at HSS, Neurosurgery at the Barrow Institute, or IM at BWH. There are actually some DOs in high places though, I believe that there is a DO who is a professor of cardiology at Harvard.

I would be very cautious with the assumption that an ivory tower place = better doctors and training, contrary to what some SDNers would have you believe. I have personally talked with attendings who trained at some of these ivory tower places in a number of competative fields and they have all been unanimous in saying that the training you get will be very similar wherever you go because accreditation standards are so stringent in the US. How good of a doctor you are is much more your personal drive to be good and constantly learn than the place you train. It also depends on what it is you consider "better." For example, some ivory tower programs produce excellent surgeons in the sense that they are very intelligent academically but the graduates might not have the best technical skill. Some community programs produce surgeons who are technical masters, but they might not do the crazy zebra cases seen at major academic centers. It basically comes down to what you want out of your career, and you should aim to go to a program that will help you get where you want to do. The honest truth is that of you really want an ivory tower and know you won't be happy anywhere else then you should do everything you can to go to a MD school.
 

hallowmann

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There is nothing wrong with chasing it, but you should also be realistic. For example, it is not realistic to think you will be doing ortho at HSS, Neurosurgery at the Barrow Institute, or IM at BWH. There are actually some DOs in high places though, I believe that there is a DO who is a professor of cardiology at Harvard.

I would be very cautious with the assumption that an ivory tower place = better doctors and training, contrary to what some SDNers would have you believe. I have personally talked with attendings who trained at some of these ivory tower places in a number of competative fields and they have all been unanimous in saying that the training you get will be very similar wherever you go because accreditation standards are so stringent in the US. How good of a doctor you are is much more your personal drive to be good and constantly learn than the place you train. It also depends on what it is you consider "better." For example, some ivory tower programs produce excellent surgeons in the sense that they are very intelligent academically but the graduates might not have the best technical skill. Some community programs produce surgeons who are technical masters, but they might not do the crazy zebra cases seen at major academic centers. It basically comes down to what you want out of your career, and you should aim to go to a program that will help you get where you want to do. The honest truth is that of you really want an ivory tower and know you won't be happy anywhere else then you should do everything you can to go to a MD school.
I agree with this assessment. That said, you can catch plenty of zebras at non-ivory towers as well. Some of the best physicians I've met were in ivory tower institutions, but so were some of the worst. Training and exposure is very important, but it is not the only thing that makes a great physician.

As far as surgeons, even in ivory towers, a lot of surgeons specialize in a handful of procedures to the point where that's all they do. Its good because they become ridiculously proficient in it, but just because they can do that one specialized procedure in their sleep doesn't mean they're great at "more" procedures, it just means they have that unique skill in that/those procedures.
 
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