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Aug 24, 2001
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Hey guys, I was wondering if you can answer this question. I've never heard of Rad onc being extremely competative, but someone told me it was. Is it on the level of competativeness of things like Ortho, Ophtho, ENT???
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May 28, 2003
The caliber of the candidates is probably relatively similar, but it's probably more competitive because it's such a small field with few positions available each year.


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I would say that in terms of overall competitiveness (applicant:positions ratio), there are only 2 residencies more competitive: derm and plastic surgery (combined programs). From what I know, nearly everyone is AOA who's applying for those fields (or who's being seriously considered), whereas in Rad Onc, there are a wider range of applicants. Plenty of people who aren't AOA can get into Rad Onc.


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The field has become very competitive in the last 3-4 years. Rad onc had the highest unmatched rate of any specialty last year. The quality of the applicant pool should also be considered in this equation. While everyone applying or matching in radonc may not be AOA. I feel since there are so few programs, almost all university programs research is very highly valued more so than in Derm or Plastics. One of my interviews had four MD-PhDs out of the 7 people there. I was talking to my residency director and she felt that the applicant number this year was about the same as last but every year the applicants become more competitive. This would make sense. As the field becomes more competitve it becomes known to more medical students. The competitiveness self selects the applicant pool (some less qualified applicants don't apply due to the fear that they will not match). This keeps the number of applicants every year similar and the quality increases every year until the curve begins to plateau. I feel RadOnc is just as competitive or more than Derm and probably very comparable to plastics. This is just my opinion.
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