Mar 25, 2020
18
11
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
With the recent news of the USMLE Step 1 exam becoming P/F for the Class of 2024, I was wondering if you guys could help shed some light on this unique situation. I will be starting medical school at NSU's KPCOM this August and will be impacted by this change.

Nova Southeastern, and other DO schools, were successful in helping their students match into competitive specialties in great locations after the merger. This success can definitely be correlated to the students having excellent resumes, with high Step 1 scores. I will, however, not have the ability to aim for a high Step 1 score and am worried that this will significantly reduce my competitiveness for certain specialties.

Although I know that my interests may change in the future, I am currently interested in General Surgery and Anesthesiology. From reading through these threads I have come to understand that other areas of my application, such as LOR's and research, will be paid more attention too. However, some SDN threads have made big claims stating that the chances of matching into GS/ Gas/ Ortho/ etc. are basically 0 and that the overwhelming majority of DO students will end up in a primary care specialty. At the same time, other SDN threads have said that the Step1 grading change will not limit residency chances as much.

My question is that if I work hard to best prepare my application (high class rank, multiple quality productive research projects, strong LOR's and rotations, etc.) will I still be able to match into a speciality such as Gas and GS? I know nobody can give me a solid answer as the future is all but written. However, any insight and help would be much appreciated!

Thank you for the help!
 

Sardonix

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2010
799
2,128
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Although I know that my interests may change in the future, I am currently interested in General Surgery and Anesthesiology. From reading through these threads I have come to understand that other areas of my application, such as LOR's and research, will be paid more attention too. However, some SDN threads have made big claims stating that the chances of matching into GS/ Gas/ Ortho/ etc. are basically 0 and that the overwhelming majority of DO students will end up in a primary care specialty. At the same time, other SDN threads have said that the Step1 grading change will not limit residency chances as much.

I lol'd that someone made a blanket statement about all DOs being relegated to primary care. Gunner SDN worry warts clutch their pearls at the idea of being damned to primary care for literally any reason--the merger, Step1 being P/F, the person next to them farting during a test, the Ribwich returning to McDonald's... it's hilarious. There's reasons to be anxious as now there is more uncertainty, and competitive surgical subspecialties like ortho and urology will be even more dicey, but no it is does not mean being DO is FM or bust.

My question is that if I work hard to best prepare my application (high class rank, multiple quality productive research projects, strong LOR's and rotations, etc.) will I still be able to match into a speciality such as Gas and GS?

Yes. Get good letters during 3rd year. Study hard and honor what rotations you can. Then make sure to take Step2 and knock it out of the park. Hit the 4th year application cycle sprinting.

Bada bing, bada boom, ignore doom and gloom.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 15 users
Mar 25, 2020
18
11
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I lol'd that someone made a blanket statement about all DOs being relegated to primary care. Gunner SDN worry warts clutch their pearls at the idea of being damned to primary care for literally any reason--the merger, Step1 being P/F, the person next to them farting during a test, the Ribwich returning to McDonald's... it's hilarious. There's reasons to be anxious as now there is more uncertainty, and competitive surgical subspecialties like ortho and urology will be even more dicey, but no it is does not mean being DO is FM or bust.



Yes. Get good letters during 3rd year. Study hard and honor what rotations you can. Then make sure to take Step2 and knock it out of the park. Hit the 4th year application cycle sprinting.

Bada bing, bada boom, ignore doom and gloom.

For sure haha seeing those posts made me low-key tense up, but yea I completely agree with everything you said! Thanks for your input.
 
About the Ads

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I read somewhere that Step2 is taken to late to be a big part of the residency application? Not sure tho, do you have more information on that?
In a normal cycle, applications are submitted ~September 15th so as long as someone has their score back by then, they're good to go. Most people take Step 2 around May-July anyway. It'll suck for the people who want to do a competitive specialty though because they won't really know how competitive they are
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

FutureDoctor5000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2018
874
1,271
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
With the recent news of the USMLE Step 1 exam becoming P/F for the Class of 2024, I was wondering if you guys could help shed some light on this unique situation. I will be starting medical school at NSU's KPCOM this August and will be impacted by this change.

Nova Southeastern, and other DO schools, were successful in helping their students match into competitive specialties in great locations after the merger. This success can definitely be correlated to the students having excellent resumes, with high Step 1 scores. I will, however, not have the ability to aim for a high Step 1 score and am worried that this will significantly reduce my competitiveness for certain specialties.

Although I know that my interests may change in the future, I am currently interested in General Surgery and Anesthesiology. From reading through these threads I have come to understand that other areas of my application, such as LOR's and research, will be paid more attention too. However, some SDN threads have made big claims stating that the chances of matching into GS/ Gas/ Ortho/ etc. are basically 0 and that the overwhelming majority of DO students will end up in a primary care specialty. At the same time, other SDN threads have said that the Step1 grading change will not limit residency chances as much.

My question is that if I work hard to best prepare my application (high class rank, multiple quality productive research projects, strong LOR's and rotations, etc.) will I still be able to match into a speciality such as Gas and GS? I know nobody can give me a solid answer as the future is all but written. However, any insight and help would be much appreciated!

Thank you for the help!
Sorry bro in 2024 I think you will most likely have to scramble to match Family Medicine in South Dakota..... RELAX, step scores just get your foot in the door anyway, for some specialties like EM other factors like the SLOE are more important anyway. The alumni at my school who have matched competitive stuff like derm, urology and ortho and even gen surgery said that their step scores were above average but nothing crazy, it’s just one part of the application, they went to conferences in that specialty, did research and killed their away rotations and 3rd year clerkships, they said the #1 thing for them was the letters of rec that got them in. Step scores have always been overemphasized, a bad step score can however limit your chances though but you do have step 2 to redeem yourself, which you will have as well, so take it early and do your best. If you decide to do something super competitive start building your app early and do stuff to stand out. Also anesthesia isn’t crazy competitive anymore just FYI. Very doable with just comlex scores, for the top programs you will need good steps and letters no doubt but to just match Gas in any program isn’t too hard...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Sorry bro in 2024 I think you will most likely have to scramble to match Family Medicine in South Dakota..... RELAX, step scores just get your foot in the door anyway, for some specialties like EM other factors like the SLOE are more important anyway. The alumni at my school who have matched competitive stuff like derm, urology and ortho and even gen surgery said that their step scores were above average but nothing crazy, it’s just one part of the application, they went to conferences in that specialty, did research and killed their away rotations and 3rd year clerkships, they said the #1 thing for them was the letters of rec that got them in. Step scores have always been overemphasized, a bad step score can however limit your chances though but you do have step 2 to redeem yourself, which you will have as well, so take it early and do your best. If you decide to do something super competitive start building your app early and do stuff to stand out. Also anesthesia isn’t crazy competitive anymore just FYI. Very doable with just comlex scores, for the top programs you will need good steps and letters no doubt but to just match Gas in any program isn’t too hard...
Anesthesiology is still more competitive than most and Step 1 is a pretty big deal. If you’re okay with matching at a rinky dink DO program, Comlex might be okay to match but the vast majority of programs will require Step scores. Away rotations can be helpful but are less important for gas than most specialties
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

FutureDoctor5000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2018
874
1,271
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Anesthesiology is still more competitive than most and Step 1 is a pretty big deal. If you’re okay with matching at a rinky dink DO program, Comlex might be okay to match but the vast majority of programs will require Step scores. Away rotations can be helpful but are less important for gas than most specialties
There are around 15ish DO programs that made it to acgme and even if they are rinky dinky they still let you become an anesthesiologist, some like OSU and doctors are actually really good, also post p/f step scores will mean less so letters of recs will be more important, while anesthesia is more competitive than primary care or psych, I was just trying to correct the notion that OP believes that’s it’s as hyper competitive as Derm, ortho or even general surgery for that matter and that’s simply not the case, also n=1 but I know of alumni at my school who matched into traditional university Gas prorgams without a step 1 score.. they would not have been able to do that with ortho or derm.
 

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
There are around 15ish DO programs that made it to acgme and even if they are rinky dinky they still let you become an anesthesiologist, some like OSU and doctors are actually really good, also post p/f step scores will mean less so letters of recs will be more important, while anesthesia is more competitive than primary care or psych, I was just trying to correct the notion that OP believes that’s it’s as hyper competitive as Derm, ortho or even general surgery for that matter and that’s simply not the case, also n=1 but I know of alumni at my school who matched into traditional university Gas prorgams without a step 1 score.. they would not have been able to do that with ortho or derm.
Oh yeah, I agree that it's not even close to the difficulty of matching into a surgery or a surgical subspecialty. Step 2 will become the new Step 1 so it's best to take it to keep their options open. I'm sure there are better DO programs than others but I wouldn't bank on those if I was OP
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
A

AnatomyGrey12

Not having a Step will hurt for anesthesia. Sure it's possible but I personally wouldn't do it, too many programs will screen you out. Even a Step 2 in the 230s would greatly increase your interview yield and quality for anesthesia.

OP while currently many people take Step 2 after apps go out, it is fully expected this paradigm will change and programs will start requiring Step 2 scores to be considered. DO's largely took Step 2 before apps went out regardless, because it would help our apps overall. It was pretty much only MD's that were taking it later.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users

Neopolymath

Renaissance Man
7+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2014
2,564
9,003
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Not having a Step will hurt for anesthesia. Sure it's possible but I personally wouldn't do it, too many programs will screen you out. Even a Step 2 in the 230s would greatly increase your interview yield and quality for anesthesia.

OP while currently many people take Step 2 after apps go out, it is fully expected this paradigm will change and programs will start requiring Step 2 scores to be considered. DO's largely took Step 2 before apps went out regardless, because it would help our apps overall. It was pretty much only MD's that were taking it later.
This is a good reminder for the DO underclassmen on SDN to understand that some advice you see in Allo is for their students specifically. All DOs should take step 2 before apps go out. Make sure to understand who certain advice is catered to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 12 users

Shov

Jokester
10+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2011
347
527
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
It's hard to predict exactly how the next app cycle will play out if step 1 is p/f - it's a unique situation without any recent historical equivalents. Anesthesia has traditionally been somewhere in the middle to slightly below average in terms of competitiveness. However, it's been getting more popular recently, and hence, more competitive. Ideally, you should have a step 1 pass, and a step 2 score before you apply sept 15th or whenever ERAS opens nowadays.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads
Mar 25, 2020
18
11
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Thanks for the input! I am equally as interested in GS as of now, so what do you guys think about GS chances for a DO student with USMLE being P/F? Any tips on how to stand out besides grades/ rotation performance/ research ?
 

Kr#36

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2016
469
931
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Thanks for the input! I am equally as interested in GS as of now, so what do you guys think about GS chances for a DO student with USMLE being P/F? Any tips on how to stand out besides grades/ rotation performance/ research ?

The search function and the charting outcomes are your friend. This has been discussed for every specialty over and over again. The only difference now is that step 2 is more important than step 1 and where you go to school is more important than it was in the past.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

Deecee2DO

Medical Student
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,823
3,412
New Jersey
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Anesthesiology is still more competitive than most and Step 1 is a pretty big deal. If you’re okay with matching at a rinky dink DO program, Comlex might be okay to match but the vast majority of programs will require Step scores. Away rotations can be helpful but are less important for gas than most specialties
Anesthesiology is literally not competitive at all
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

FutureDoctor5000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2018
874
1,271
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Anesthesiology is literally not competitive at all
It’s not as competitive as derm or ortho or even gen surgery but it is mid competitive, definitely higher than FM or community IM. It’s very D.O. friendly though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Deecee2DO

Medical Student
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,823
3,412
New Jersey
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
It’s not as competitive as derm or ortho or even gen surgery but it is mid competitive, definitely higher than FM or community IM. It’s very D.O. friendly though.
More competitive than FM and Peds but literally anything is. Agreed its not competitive just avg competitive. If you simply just want to do gas and dont care where, you have a very high chance of doing it
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

genessis42

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2012
314
92
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
But would research still be needed for a Gen Surg match?

Or would it depend if you're going for Community Vs academic programs?
 

Spectreman

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 9, 2016
842
2,281
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
I’m going to keep a running journal of every 1-2 years listing each new thing the DO world is lamenting. So far I have...
Merger announced!
DO programs will all shut down!
DO schools opening too fast!
STEP 1 P/F!?
Level 2 PE STILL HAPPENING!?

Very excited to see what next year brings.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 1 users

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Anesthesiology is literally not competitive at all
Is it difficult to match anesthesiology if you have the stats? Not really. It’s about mid-level in competitiveness but I think it’s as competitive as 1/2 of the other specialties. 75% of DOs matched to anesthesiology last year (327/433). My point was that to match, one should take Step 1 do okay on it- at least a 220 (which percentile correlates to ~235 on Step2)

The only specialties I would say are "not competitive at all" are primary care and maybe EM but it's all subjective.
 
Last edited:
A

AnatomyGrey12

But would research still be needed for a Gen Surg match?

Or would it depend if you're going for Community Vs academic programs?

It would be better to have it than not. Is it “needed” just to match? No, but more and more people will at least have some crappy posters on their apps so yours would stick out in a bad way if it was completely blank. There are even former DO programs that would give you a hard time if you didn’t have anything at all.

Remember most people have posters, case reports, and other low level research fruit on their apps. So don’t think you need peer reviewed pubs just to match GS, although those are always a good thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
About the Ads

Billroth_III

Full Member
Feb 13, 2020
81
89
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
It would be better to have it than not. Is it “needed” just to match? No, but more and more people will at least have some crappy posters on their apps so yours would stick out in a bad way if it was completely blank. There are even former DO programs that would give you a hard time if you didn’t have anything at all.

Remember most people have posters, case reports, and other low level research fruit on their apps. So don’t think you need peer reviewed pubs just to match GS, although those are always a good thing.
Hey Grey,
What are some of the "better" former DO programs you think any DO applying to GS should apply to/aim for? Mini thread hijack but OP and others Im sure would like to know
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
A

AnatomyGrey12

Some of the former DO programs that are highly regarded and pretty much on par, or getting that way, with many MD community programs are places like Doctors, Mercy St. Vincent Toledo, Grandview, St. Joes (Paterson, NJ), Genesys, PCOM, Mclaren Macomb, Henry Ford Allegiance, John C. Lincoln (this one is honestly more of an MD program, it was in the DO world for a very short time and takes MD's now fairly frequently).

There are others but those are some of the more well known ones off the top of my head. I haven't delved too deeply into the differences between the 500 Michigan programs outside of a handful. Doctors and PCOM match pretty well to most fellowships and are probably the most "MD like" programs out there. All programs will get you where you need to get to, even though some places kind of have weaker volume or other various issues or will have trouble placing you into certain fellowships.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

Royvioli

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2017
21
16
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Is it difficult to match anesthesiology if you have the stats? Not really. It’s about mid-level in competitiveness but I think it’s as competitive as 1/2 of the other specialties. 75% of DOs matched to anesthesiology last year (327/433). My point was that to match, one should take Step 1 do okay on it- at least a 220 (which percentile correlates to ~235 on Step2)

The only specialties I would say are "not competitive at all" are primary care and maybe EM but it's all subjective.
Well if that’s the case I just pulled a 219 on Step I, Comlex pending. How boned am I
 
A

AnatomyGrey12

Well if that’s the case I just pulled a 219 on Step I, Comlex pending. How boned am I

I suspect you'll still match, albeit probably to a community or university program in not highly sought after locations. We'll have to wait for the charting outcomes to say for sure.

You aren't out of the running.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

docbsb2015

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2014
387
617
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Well if that’s the case I just pulled a 219 on Step I, Comlex pending. How boned am I
Matched mid tier uni anesthesia with that score. Feel free to PM if you were referencing anesthesia. Happy to help.
 

Royvioli

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2017
21
16
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I suspect you'll still match, albeit probably to a community or university program in not highly sought after locations. We'll have to wait for the charting outcomes to say for sure.

You aren't out of the running.
That’s what I like to hear! Itching to see the charting outcomes. I’m also not picky about match locations either, beggars can’t be choosers after all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

Prehealth1011

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 29, 2015
602
1,215
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I suspect you'll still match, albeit probably to a community or university program in not highly sought after locations. We'll have to wait for the charting outcomes to say for sure.
You aren't out of the running.

Little off topic but any idea when this will be released? I think we were expecting a July-ish release. Who really knows now with COVID..
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Royvioli

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2017
21
16
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Welp, the 2020 Charting Outcomes are out and so am I apparently :/
 

Spectreman

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 9, 2016
842
2,281
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
CC33CEAA-0E83-437E-9BD8-AC0557501CA5.png
Woo baby. I’m a 22x/23x going for community GS and I’m feeling so much better about my chances. Clearing 230 would make me feel ultra safe, but I think I can make this happen y’all!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I stand by saying gas is mid-level in competitiveness. Really just need to have the scores for it
 

Deecee2DO

Medical Student
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,823
3,412
New Jersey
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I stand by saying gas is mid-level in competitiveness. Really just need to have the scores for it
I agree that its mid-level but definitely wouldnt say its “competitive”. For instance, do you have a good chance of matching FM with a 208 Step? Yes. Would you have a good chance at matching anesthesia with a 208? little more challenging
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

FutureDoctor5000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2018
874
1,271
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Take a look at charting outcomes 2020 and you'd be surprised. Ton of DOs got BONED compared to 2018

View attachment 314644 View attachment 314645
Nah it just got slightly more competitive that’s all but overall not very competitive, 42 people with less than 220 matched more than double that didn’t match in that cohort but the field had more competitive people applying in 2020 compared to 2018 as there were more people applying and matching with >240 step 1
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I agree that its mid-level but definitely wouldnt say its “competitive”. For instance, do you have a good chance of matching FM with a 208 Step? Yes. Would you have a good chance at matching anesthesia with a 208? little more challenging
Depends on one’s idea of competitive, 21% unmatched DOs to me is competitive.

A 208 is like 15th percentile, obviously that person is limited to primary care. Why throw out an arbitrary number like that?
 

FutureDoctor5000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2018
874
1,271
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Depends on one’s idea of competitive, 21% unmatched DOs to me is competitive.

A 208 is like 15th percentile, obviously that person is limited to primary care. Why throw out an arbitrary number like that?
Yet 13 people matched with less than 210 into anesthesia, almost double the number unmatched so yea I wouldn’t say anesthesia is really that competitive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Yet 13 people matched with less than 210 into anesthesia, almost double the number unmatched so yea I wouldn’t say anesthesia is really that competitive.
The same number matched into OB/GYN and Gen Surg with <210. Are you saying these specialties aren’t competitive?

Judging by those with the lowest scores isn’t representative of the whole
 
Last edited:

FutureDoctor5000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2018
874
1,271
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
The same number matched into OB/GYN and Gen Surg with <210. Are you saying these specialties aren’t competitive?

Judging by those with the lowest scores isn’t representative of the whole
I am just saying that none of those specialties in fact are “competitive “, because if you have a significant number of people(>10) being able to match into it with step 1’ s less than 210 and without any real significant research it’s not competitive, you can’t base competitiveness off the match % because that is also heavily dependent on the application strategy of the individual applicants among other things. Bottom line is no one(or very few people) are matching into ortho, derm or ent with less than a 210, to me those are the competitive specialties and the charting outcomes prove that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

ritts

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2016
354
755
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I am just saying that none of those specialties in fact are “competitive “, because if you have a significant number of people(>10) being able to match into it with step 1’ s less than 210 and without any real significant research it’s not competitive, you can’t base competitiveness off the match % because that is also heavily dependent on the application strategy of the individual applicants among other things. Bottom line is no one(or very few people) are matching into ortho, derm or ent with less than a 210, to me those are the competitive specialties and the charting outcomes prove that.
I know of someone who matched Gen Surg with a below average COMLEX this year. People match with low scores to specialties they have no business applying to every year.

Either way, I don’t think that’s a good metric to gauge competitiveness because those are the outliers. But agree to disagree.
 
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.