How do DOs obtain competitive specialties?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by matteaton81, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. matteaton81

    matteaton81 Member
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    Hello, I will be entering an osteopathic medical school in Fall 2006. I was wondering, what are my chances of landing a competitive residency, such as dermatology, ENT, orthopedic surgery, etc.? What factors will residency committees be looking at when it comes to assigning specialties? As an osteopathic medical student in eastern Kentucky, will I be comparatively disadvantaged to a osteopathic student in say, New York? Will I have as good a shot at getting a competitive residency as an MD would? Thanks.
     
  2. electra

    electra SDN Moderator
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    The way you land a competitive residency is to be a competitive candidate - this is true for allopathic and osteopathic students. Depending on the specialty, being competitive may mean several different things...

    1. your board scores are considerably more important for specialties like derm, radiology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, orthopedic and urologic surgery.
    2. your grades (if you are graded vs a pass no-pass system) are also looked at, both in your classroom and clinical years.
    3. your dean's letter (MSPE)
    4. your letters of recommendation
    5. your CV
    6. your personal statement
    7. your interview and interactions with programs

    Never think that what you do on campus and in the classroom is unimportant!
     
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  3. dr.z

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    :thumbup:
     
  4. matteaton81

    matteaton81 Member
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    What if an MD and a DO with equal credentials were vying for the same slot?
     
  5. docbill

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    Then the MD will get it.

    It is the same question as: one if a foreigner and an american are applying for the same positions. They both have same qualifications.. who gets it? It is an MD world. GET IT- ACCEPT IT - GET OVER IT
     
  6. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I can only say, judging from my own research, it is more difficult as an DO to get a competitive residency. When you do a search on the residency boards, the only time a poster posts specifically wondering how much scrutiny their DO degree would get, it's usually in one of the more competitive residency forums.

    If you are 'only' aiming for a 'competitive' residency (rad, derm etc), it seems attending a top MD school would be best, and attending an MD school would be best over a DO school if you are hoping to do residency in the east coast and it seems, in California (despite their two DO schools?!). That's the impression I got from what I've seen and read.

    Of course, some of this could be just wishful thinking on the part of some MD students---I've noticed that there is agreement that your MD school won't matter, just your degree, yet some tend to think DO students will get kicked to the curb---all of which seems to make no sense: if a PD is willing to discriminate based on your school (MD/DO), why wouldn't they also discriminate based on the top MD schools vs. the bottom MD schools? So in a nutshell, my personal belief is that go to the best med school you can, schools like Harvard and Hopkins will probably help a lot more than your DO or state MD school.

    However, if you don't mind tending to primary care or the 'less' competitive residences like ER, then any MD or DO school would be good enough.
     
  7. matteaton81

    matteaton81 Member
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    My family doctor, who is an MD, makes around $400,000 a year, which is just flat-out astronomical to me. If I could be a family practice DO and make that, then I would be satisfied.
     
  8. docbill

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    The amount of money you earn play a big role in the lifestyle you will lead.

    It doesn't guarantee satisfaction!!!
     
  9. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Just curious, but how do you know how much he makes?

    Regarding your original question, it depends on the specialty. I actually think DOs have an easier time matching derm, unlike most other specialties, because of the availability of AOA programs. One thing that is extremely helpful when applying to AOA programs in these highly competitive specialties, and some say mandatory, is doing audition rotations during your 3rd/4th year.
     
  10. matteaton81

    matteaton81 Member
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    My cousin used to work over in the billing office of my family doctor and his associates.

    What is an audition rotation, if I may ask?
     
  11. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Doing an elective rotation at the program you're interested in. Called an "audition" because the student and the program get to try each other out, so to speak. All programs are more likely to interview applicants who have rotated at their program, but I have heard that AOA programs particularly take this into consideration.

    Not to quibble, but I'm not sure one could tell a doctor's income from being involved in the office's billing. At best, such a person may know the offices grosses - but you have to subtract overhead and possible differences in the proportion of the gross that the various physicians in the office receive. 400k for an FP is highly unusual. I know someone that insists they know an internist that makes 700k - I find these anecdotes hard to believe. Dept of Labor statistics, since they are based on income tax returns, would seem to me to be the most accurate indication of average incomes.
     
  12. DrB

    DrB Family Medicine Resident
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    How does a DO obtain competitive specialties... by working hard, by being in the right place at the right time, by knowing someone.

    Don't discredit post residency felowships, you can do anything you want to do.

    Remember, DOs can apply for Osteopathic Residency and Allopathic Residency, MDs can only apply for Allopathic Residency (last I checked).

    -Get in, work hard and worry about residency when the time comes...

    :luck:
     
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  13. electra

    electra SDN Moderator
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    Uhhh.. Take a look at where I'm going. This is just not true. In SOME cases, the above statement may be true. But that is NOT a true statement.
     
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  14. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    I agree. :thumbup: It is a simple case of numbers. There are by far more MDs than DOs. That is a fact. If two applicants have identical stats and they apply for a spot that is being managed/supervised by a DO then the DO will probably get the spot and vice-versa with the MD. "Like dissolves like" Of course they will take their own first, when the situation is too close to call. Luck of the draw. ;)
     
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  15. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    PMR is the exception. Obviously osteopathic training relates exceptionally well to physical medicine. Besides, there's no way you could know the credentials of the other applicants to your program, or their own rank lists.
     
  16. DOctorJay

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    MD Anesthesia also seems unbiased to DOs (along with PM&R). If you want Derm, Ortho, or ENT there are DO residencies for all of these and you can also apply to the MD programs as mentioned above.

    Just drop a hot smash on the USMLE and COMLEX and you'll be able to do what you want (may not be through MD training but you'll be able specialize in what you want).

    -J
     
  17. MedNut

    MedNut Oblivious Bystander
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    If I may add one, Connections DEFINTATELY help, sometimes it all about who you know...
     
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  18. Krazykritter

    Krazykritter Senior Member
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    Personally I think that there is a much greater stigma given to DO's here on SDN than in the medical world. Just as electra said in the first response...you attain a competitive residency by being a competitive applicant.
     
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  19. djnels01

    djnels01 "You're the man now dog!"
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    AMEN!

    AMEN!
     

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