Hematology/Oncology 2020-2021 Fellowship Application Cycle

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Robotneurologist

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    Hey guys,

    I'm excited to finally be participating in this.

    Same idea as always of posting questions and advice for others/tracking interviews and opinions later on in the season. Especially in this season which will be extremely different than previous seasons.

    I hope everyone is staying safe out there.

    I'll start off then; so opinions on if video interviews will be generally a net positive vs a net negative?
     

    Aspyn

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      I think virtual interviews will be a big advantage to those trying to stay at their home program, who maybe weren't as competitive before. Virtual interviews will be a bummer for those who wanted or needed to match somewhere far for personal or professional reasons
       
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      gutonc

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        Whats the news regarding virtual IVs, are we certain that this is going to be the case?
        Yes.

        I haven't seen anything official from ABIM, ACGME or NRMP, but I've heard about numerous institutions requiring all residency/fellowship interviews to be virtual this year. Sucks for sure, but it is what it is.
         

        Nespresso

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          Yes.

          I haven't seen anything official from ABIM, ACGME or NRMP, but I've heard about numerous institutions requiring all residency/fellowship interviews to be virtual this year. Sucks for sure, but it is what it is.

          Given that top applicants are going to be less likely to cancel interviews, are programs looking to possibly invite more people to the virtual interviews (ie 15 per spot vs 10 per spot) to avoid not filling?
           

          bobow98

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            Given that top applicants are going to be less likely to cancel interviews, are programs looking to possibly invite more people to the virtual interviews (ie 15 per spot vs 10 per spot) to avoid not filling?

            I've always thought that applicants should only be allowed 10 interviews for this very dumb reason. You can only go to 1 place, why take up an extra 15 interview slots at places that other people might actually end up at?
             
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            HemeOncHopeful19

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              I found my email from ERAS last year in the quote below. I would imagine that is how it will work this year too but I guess I don’t know for sure.

              Dear Fellowship Applicant,

              Programs are given access to applications and supporting documents at 9 a.m. ET on Monday, July 15, 2019. All applications submitted between July 5 and July 15 will display an application date of “July 15, 2019” for programs. Applications submitted after July 15 will be date-stamped on the day they are submitted.
               

              CaesarRO

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                I found my email from ERAS last year in the quote below. I would imagine that is how it will work this year too but I guess I don’t know for sure.

                Sooner is always better.

                The last two posts seem to contradict each other.

                If the applications are all time stamped for the same day, it shouldn't matter when you submit as long as it's in that period before they are released to programs. I just can't find any similar statement for this cycle.
                 
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                Oncolizumab1

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                  It definitely doesn't matter, but you should aim to have it in early in case your schedule gets busy, you have random internet errors, gives cushion times for letter writers, etc
                   

                  gutonc

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                    The last two posts seem to contradict each other.

                    If the applications are all time stamped for the same day, it shouldn't matter when you submit as long as it's in that period before they are released to programs. I just can't find any similar statement for this cycle.
                    My point was that you should just submit your app and be done with it.

                    The whole thing should take you one or two evening(s) of work. Fill out ERAS (hopefully you saved the version you did for residency so you can easily fill things out). Edit your residency PS and change "IM" to "Hem/Onc". Make sure your LOR writers have your CV, the link to submit the LOR. Bust out the VISA card and make it happen.
                     
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                    CaesarRO

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                      My point was that you should just submit your app and be done with it.

                      The whole thing should take you one or two evening(s) of work. Fill out ERAS (hopefully you saved the version you did for residency so you can easily fill things out). Edit your residency PS and change "IM" to "Hem/Onc". Make sure your LOR writers have your CV, the link to submit the LOR. Bust out the VISA card and make it happen.

                      Appreciate the input.

                      The real dilemma is scrambling to submit a paper before July 1 so it can be on CV vs having some extra time, submitting it by July 15, having it on the fellowship application and not feeling guilty/worried in either direction
                       

                      gutonc

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                        Appreciate the input.

                        The real dilemma is scrambling to submit a paper before July 1 so it can be on CV vs having some extra time, submitting it by July 15, having it on the fellowship application and not feeling guilty/worried in either direction
                        That's an easy one. Submitted papers are cheap (and worthless on your CV). Accepted papers are gold. And your paper, even under the best of circumstances, won't be accepted for 2-6 months.

                        So fill out your app, work on your manuscript when you're done, and have it in your back pocket down the road.
                         

                        CaesarRO

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                          I believe the submission date has been moved to August 12th this year no?

                          Yes, that was the crux of my original question.

                          From ERAS Timeline:

                          1593197561442.png
                           

                          LotsaLove

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                            Just commenting to get a sense; a lot of the people I have been in contact with are IMGs who applied quite broadly (50-70 programs).

                            I am an AMG, academic midwest residency program with a home fellowship, wanting to stay academic. Step 1 240s, step 2 260s, step 3 240s. Have one or two first author pubs (one submitted but unlikely to be finished unfortunately), three or four 2nd/3rd authors, and a few posters. I want to stay midwest ideally Have a couple of coastal connections but really not strong ones. I had 35 programs so far for the initial application submission.

                            Just wanted some thoughts on how many programs to apply to.
                             

                            gutonc

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                              Just commenting to get a sense; a lot of the people I have been in contact with are IMGs who applied quite broadly (50-70 programs).

                              I am an AMG, academic midwest residency program with a home fellowship, wanting to stay academic. Step 1 240s, step 2 260s, step 3 240s. Have one or two first author pubs (one submitted but unlikely to be finished unfortunately), three or four 2nd/3rd authors, and a few posters. I want to stay midwest ideally Have a couple of coastal connections but really not strong ones. I had 35 programs so far for the initial application submission.

                              Just wanted some thoughts on how many programs to apply to.
                              10. Don’t spend more time or money than that. You’ll be fine.
                               
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                              gritsngravy

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                                Just commenting to get a sense; a lot of the people I have been in contact with are IMGs who applied quite broadly (50-70 programs).

                                I am an AMG, academic midwest residency program with a home fellowship, wanting to stay academic. Step 1 240s, step 2 260s, step 3 240s. Have one or two first author pubs (one submitted but unlikely to be finished unfortunately), three or four 2nd/3rd authors, and a few posters. I want to stay midwest ideally Have a couple of coastal connections but really not strong ones. I had 35 programs so far for the initial application submission.

                                Just wanted some thoughts on how many programs to apply to.

                                Strongly agree with 10-15 too. Very similar application to yours last year and I applied to 35. Got 20+ interviews and went on 11. Ended up matching at my home institution, which I ranked 2. Not a math guy, but you can imagine how much money was wasted on all that b/c of fear/unknown. Promise you'll be just fine with half of that!
                                 
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                                HPF

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                                  Just to share some perspective on the application process that I would have found helpful as a run-of-the-mill applicant last year who’s now a first year heme-onc fellow at an academic center:
                                  - My background stats were US mid-tier(?) med school, Step 1 220, step 2 230-ish, step 3 250), well known mid to top tier(?) residency at an academic program
                                  - Pub history was minimal, I had 1 non-first author case report on a medicine topic, no ASCO/ASH posters, 3 other posters from residency and 1 project that I was working on and was able to talk about
                                  - I assume good LORs as I ended up with plenty of interviews and at my first choice program. Since I’m just average in terms of charm, clinical ability and the like so I assume most of you would have LORs like mine
                                  Applied to 20 or 25 programs. Got 16 interviews but only went on 12 after realizing I was being overly paranoid about my chances of matching. I prioritized culture, training opportunities and my intended career goals when selecting and I was very happy with my interview invitations and stoked to get my first choice.

                                  Hope this is helpful for any applicants this cycle who feel very average, like I did. You will be ok.
                                   
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                                  Mir2zapine

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                                    Would love to hear thoughts from any DO applicants - I'm at a mid-tier academic program. It sounds like IM program "ranking" and research are king, letters are important, and a chief year may or may not be valuable depending on the program director. Thoughts?
                                     
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                                    JTB4EA

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                                      Hi! I’m a first year fellow who went through this process last year. Saw some questions pertaining to virtual interviews, so I thought I’d let you know that in my program we are absolutely interviewing more people per spot than previous years, and we’re hearing from several other PDs that they are doing the same. We also have no internal applicants this year. I’m at Baylor Scott & White in Temple TX. We’re also looking at hosting some virtual happy hours before apps are even due so people can decide before paying to apply whether they think we might be a good fit. (@BSWHTEMPLE_HOnc).
                                       
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                                      JTB4EA

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                                        Would love to hear thoughts from any DO applicants - I'm at a mid-tier academic program. It sounds like IM program "ranking" and research are king, letters are important, and a chief year may or may not be valuable depending on the program director. Thoughts?
                                        I’m not a DO, but half in my program are, and I interviewed with many DOs. It just totally depends on where you want to end up. I had other marks against me even as an MD applicant (and I hope the days are soon coming to an end that the DO thing matters at all)—low step scores, only QI for research (quite a bit of it), relatively non-famous IM program...but I did have outstanding letters and a very strong personal statement (Strangely, several people who interviewed me said that’s what helped them look past step 1). I was very open about the fact that I wanted to be a clinical oncologist and would not be one to churn out research after fellowship (though I have lots of plans in the QI realm). I had zero difficulty matching and even got emails from PDs at two well-known centers (ranked 2 and 3 for me) telling me they were disappointed I hadn’t matched there. My DO colleagues did really well in the match too. It’s all about marketing yourself to places that are truly a good fit for you. Many, many places wouldn’t have taken a second look at me. I didn’t apply there, and wouldn’t have wanted to match there. If I wasn’t a machine of productivity With research in residency, I don’t see that changing now. If they haven’t taken DOs before, they likely won’t now (although if you’ve really got your eyes on a place, just go for it). I don’t think I went to more than a few interviews that didn’t have DO applicants in the group with me.
                                         
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                                        bobbyknightranger

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                                          Since I derived quite a bit of help from this board last year and found it very helpful when those who had similar stats to me, I wanted to share a bit of my experience. I am currently a first-year fellow at a non-academic program. Steps were all 230s, US MD, class rank in med school was not great, community/academic hybrid residency program. Had 1 published paper in the radiation oncology realm, 1 first author case report that was submitted at the time of application submission, 7 posters, and a few "fill out the CV" research "experiences" where nothing was published. Several volunteer experiences as well.

                                          Because I felt that interview season was not the time to be chintzy and I wanted to lower the risk as much as possible (within some reason) of ever having to go through an exhausting and stressful and expensive interview/match season again I applied to 50 programs, mostly in the south, and only a few "big name" places. Mostly I applied to places where I wanted to live, which ruled out the northeast immediately. As a former mentor told me, when possible and when it's not harmful, "Choose to be happy." Was 50 overkill? In retrospect, of course it was, but the peace of mind was absolutely worth it. The flip side is I was shooting for 10 interviews as my magic number (from the requisite Charting Outcomes reviewing), so maybe it was a good number to apply to. I got 12 interviews and went on 11. I interviewed with several DO candidates. I matched at my first choice.

                                          Interview experiences ranged from a quick sit-down overview of the program with the PD + 2 relatively quick interviews to a 2-day affair that left me exhausted and irritated. At some programs I couldn't tell if they actually wanted me or not which was quite odd, especially at those that were not in the most desirable of places to live, so be prepared for that. As was the previous esteemed poster, I was quite upfront about wanting to be a clinical oncologist in a not big city. At an academic institution one of my interviewers actually commended me for being honest about that. I got the impression that he hadn't heard that too often. Now, to some degree you have to "play the game" but at some point it just becomes you spewing bull**** and you know it. Multiple interviewers commented on my rec letters. I thought my PS was good but it was probably right in that middle range of not awful and not amazing because it didn't really get commented on. Have a good answer/question for when you get asked if you have any questions for them.

                                          I've thought about posting specific interview experiences because there is a dearth of information on here regarding non-major programs in the south (there's more than just Anderson and UTSW, folks!), but I would not be able to contain my snark on some of them and felt it best just to keep my mouth shut.

                                          tl;dr Very average candidate who applied to 50, interviewed at 11, and matched at top choice. Be honest and go somewhere where the people are nice and you (and your s/o) will be happy.
                                           
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                                          Dr.KitKat

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                                            Hii all! Long time lurker here. Very excited to be finally participating!

                                            Trying to gauge my chances: NON-US IMG from a well known European med school. Very low steps scores. Barely passed step 1. Mid-high tier community-based residency program, that is university-affiliated. Lots of research experience prior to residency and 7 publications (during residency), including ASCO abstract. Good LORs.

                                            What do you guys think? how many programs should I apply to?

                                            Thank you in advance
                                             

                                            Robotneurologist

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                                              Hi! I’m a first year fellow who went through this process last year. Saw some questions pertaining to virtual interviews, so I thought I’d let you know that in my program we are absolutely interviewing more people per spot than previous years, and we’re hearing from several other PDs that they are doing the same. We also have no internal applicants this year. I’m at Baylor Scott & White in Temple TX. We’re also looking at hosting some virtual happy hours before apps are even due so people can decide before paying to apply whether they think we might be a good fit. (@BSWHTEMPLE_HOnc).
                                              So I have heard that multiple programs are doing virtual happy hours sometime before the season starts. Does anyone know where they're posting them/information about them? I've been looking at the websites of programs I'm interested in and haven't seen anything on the main websites.
                                               

                                              collegestud2013

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                                                Hii all! Long time lurker here. Very excited to be finally participating!

                                                Trying to gauge my chances: NON-US IMG from a well known European med school. Very low steps scores. Barely passed step 1. Mid-high tier community-based residency program, that is university-affiliated. Lots of research experience prior to residency and 7 publications (during residency), including ASCO abstract. Good LORs.

                                                What do you guys think? how many programs should I apply to?

                                                Thank you in advance

                                                Save your money and don't apply to that many, probably 20-30 at the most. Being an IMG and very low USMLE scores means you'll be screened out at most programs. Apply to only the programs that frequently take IMGs AND whose USMLE screening cutoffs are below your scores. Applying to others means you'll just be wasting more money.
                                                 
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                                                collegestud2013

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                                                  Would love to hear thoughts from any DO applicants - I'm at a mid-tier academic program. It sounds like IM program "ranking" and research are king, letters are important, and a chief year may or may not be valuable depending on the program director. Thoughts?

                                                  It's often an uphill battle for DOs and IMGs applying to fellowship. There was a DO applicant from my program last year who applied heme/onc broadly, had good scores, had an in-house heme/onc program, and still didn't match. As a DO the issue is that you need to find programs that will accept COMLEX scores, which is a very small percentage of DO programs and thus severely limits the number of programs you can apply to (unless you're among the very few DO graduates who took and did well on ALL 3 USMLE Steps, which is rare since to take USMLE Step 3 you need to pass USMLE Step 2 CS and very few DO students take both USMLE Step 2 CS and COMLEX Step 2 PE).
                                                   

                                                  Oncolizumab1

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                                                    It's often an uphill battle for DOs and IMGs applying to fellowship. There was a DO applicant from my program last year who applied heme/onc broadly, had good scores, had an in-house heme/onc program, and still didn't match. As a DO the issue is that you need to find programs that will accept COMLEX scores, which is a very small percentage of DO programs and thus severely limits the number of programs you can apply to (unless you're among the very few DO graduates who took and did well on ALL 3 USMLE Steps, which is rare since to take USMLE Step 3 you need to pass USMLE Step 2 CS and very few DO students take both USMLE Step 2 CS and COMLEX Step 2 PE).

                                                    I don't think programs expect DOs to have USMLE Step 3, just Steps 1 and 2
                                                     
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                                                    smarts1

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                                                      For people who have submitted already, did you get a confirmation email saying your payment was received? I submitted but didn't get a confirmation email and my programs are still listed as saved instead of applied to...
                                                       

                                                      Oncolizumab1

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                                                        For people who have submitted already, did you get a confirmation email saying your payment was received? I submitted but didn't get a confirmation email and my programs are still listed as saved instead of applied to...
                                                        I got an immediate receipt after I paid. You have to certify/submit and then go to the payment center and pay. I didn't get the receipt until after I paid.
                                                         
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                                                        ShuperNewbie

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                                                          Hey, does anyone know about the status of Howard university program ? I didn’t see it on the ERAS program list. And nothing specific on their website.

                                                          I thought it was integrating with a larger system? https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...e26ec8-4928-11ea-bdbf-1dfb23249293_story.html

                                                          Which is strange because their cards program is still taking folks. I'd def go on eras and find the medicine coordinator and email them for more information. FYI here's the accreditation ID: 1551012157. Quick search makes it seem like they're not participating yet but that could easily change tomorrow when the application "opens"
                                                           

                                                          famedoc19

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                                                            I thought it was integrating with a larger system? https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...e26ec8-4928-11ea-bdbf-1dfb23249293_story.html

                                                            Which is strange because their cards program is still taking folks. I'd def go on eras and find the medicine coordinator and email them for more information. FYI here's the accreditation ID: 1551012157. Quick search makes it seem like they're not participating yet but that could easily change tomorrow when the application "opens"
                                                            Thanks!
                                                             

                                                            tutreteetee

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                                                              Good luck everyone!
                                                              IMG with step scores >250, big name letters, mix of pubs and abstracts in a mid tier uni in the midwest
                                                              I applied broadly being an IMG needing J1
                                                              Hope everyone matches well
                                                               

                                                              BiffT

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                                                                Is this where people will post interview invitations when they start rolling in? Would be curious to know when certain programs send out batches of invites to stress about if I made the cut or not hahaha
                                                                 

                                                                marcheline88

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                                                                  I see members talking about importance of step scores for hem-onc fellowship. Does any one have any inside track( via some fellow or pd etc) if scores really matters?

                                                                  I am a FMG doing IM in community program. Step1 224 step2 234 and step3 225, two peer reviewed publications, 5 porter presentations, 5 oral presentation. I applied to 83 programs. I would be curious to hear members take on my chances.
                                                                   
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                                                                  boxin

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                                                                    I see members talking about importance of step scores for hem-onc fellowship. Does any one have any inside track( via some fellow or pd etc) if scores really matters?

                                                                    I am a FMG doing IM in community program. Step 224 step 2 234 and step 225, two peer reviewed publications, 5 porter presentations, 5 oral presentation. I applied to 83 programs. I would be curious to hear members take on my chances.

                                                                    Step scores are used a screening as there are more applicants than interview spots that can be given but doesn't always close doors.
                                                                     

                                                                    ertugrel

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                                                                      Congratulations everyone for taking this step forward. I have been following heme onc thread for past few years. Very informative and collegial. Hoping for a great year.
                                                                      I finished residency in IM in 2014, didn't match in heme onc. Went on to do fellowship in transfusion medicine. Had some family obligations and joined oncology hospitalist at big name academic institution. had to pick up a lot of extra shifts to meet financial needs.

                                                                      Med school : Carribbeans
                                                                      USMLE Scores: 207/225/pass/210
                                                                      Residency: Community program - 0 publication, 3 posters
                                                                      Fellowship: internationally known institution - published 3 peer reviewed papers. 5 poster presentations nationally and international.

                                                                      As a hospitalist: did some healthcare disparity research, 1 ASH poster. No publications in heme onc. 1 peer reviewed publication this yr in general medicine and 1 editorial. Presented at CME's nationally and internationally on the topic of transfusion medicine. Working on 2 projects that may not be published soon.

                                                                      Applied to 70 heme onc programs since I have seen lower usmle scores come up quite often as a screening tool.

                                                                      Pretty nervous about my chances. Will see how this year goes.
                                                                       
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