How to be competitive for radiation oncology

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Hookworm, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. Hookworm

    Hookworm Junior Member
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    Hi, anyone here has been matched to his/her favorite rad-onc residency? what are your insights in making your application competitive? What board score should one aim for? How about publication and connections?

    Thanks

    HookWorm
     
  2. jason952

    jason952 Member
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    I have heard that it is a close/small field. That means doing research and rubbing elbows. It has a pretty high unmatch rate ~17% (2/3rd highest) based on some other post, prolly need 240+

    Just my observation, not a result of investigation.

    jason
     
  3. digimon

    digimon Member
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    hey,
    i've recently switched "majors" and have decided to pursue radiation. i don't know what it takes to match, but i've heard that experience in the field (through rotations), substantial research experience, and connections are essential (not unlike other competetive fields). i don't know what kind of numbers are required, but i'm sure the higher the better. i'm a believer in applying to whatever field you love, so i encourage you to apply regardless of what numbers you have if you have substantial exposure and understanding of the field to back up your application. in general, i sense there is a heavy emphasis on research (e.g. emory requires you to publish a paper as part of it's residency requirements), particularly oncology research. many programs still do not participate in eras, and many programs only offer positions on alternate years (e.g. ny med is not offering any positions for 2004). I have started an ezboard forum:
    <a href="http://pub70.ezboard.com/bradiationoncologyresidencyforum98916" target="_blank">http://pub70.ezboard.com/bradiationoncologyresidencyforum98916</a>
    and i have begun to compile useful links/program information/positions offered/etc to help those applying to radonc this upcoming year. If you're interested, please stop by and contribute. the message board is just starting out, and i haven't updated the program information i've compiled, but as soon as my medicine rotation is over, i plan on filling in the gaps. not matching is a definite possibility regardless of stellar numbers, but you gotta do what you gotta do...
     
  4. Voxel

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    1)Great step I and clinical grades
    2)Research (most programs are very research oriented)
    3)Connections (Rad Onc is an extremely small field)
    4)Apply to a large # of programs (there were 80 match spots in rad onc this year)?
     
  5. Hookworm

    Hookworm Junior Member
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    Voxel-

    What is the Step I score should one aim at to be competitive?
    You think publications (more than 3) in cancer research will help a lot?
     
  6. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Let me tell you what happened at my school and talking with some other school successfull matchees. I would say that from what I have seen this year at my school, we matched an unusual high number of rad oncs this year (and all of them matched). All applicants did significant rad onc research. About half had taken the year off to significant Rad Onc research because they had no research experience (or relevent at this level). Interestingly enough, the one who matched at a top notch program (and interviewed at top places) was not AOA but good grades, high board scores (&gt;240 is my guess), significant research at the top notched rad onc program in the area throughout med school, and I am sure got great letters and maybe even a personal phone call or two to the program directors where he/she applied.
     
  7. digimon

    digimon Member
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    i took a year and a half off and did research at a top notched institution (but i attend my state school), and had some good fortune to have some publications, abstracts, and book chapters result from my work. none of the projects/publications were related to radiation specifically, but all of them were cancer related. i have also rotated with radiation oncologists (both as a student and unfortunately in other contexts), and have a couple of rotations scheduled as electives during my fourth year. like any other specialty, scores and clinical evals are very important. I am not AOA, and my board scores aren't &gt;240, but i'm still going for it. If you looked strictly at my medschool numbers, you'd see an "average" MD. i do think you have to be committed, and show that committment in some way. I think it helps to be technically inclined and be comfortable with and enjoy math/physics. I know it's hard not to think in terms of "will I match," but I think that if you enjoy it and want to do it for the rest of your life, just show a commitment. a year off really isn't that long, and it was probably one of my most fun years ever.
     
  8. Dr.Su

    Dr.Su Member
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    just curious, what kind of residency do you have to do for rad onc? what are the hours and lifestyle. my husband had cancer 2 years ago and did not receive chemo, but radiation. his rad oncologist was v.good, but v.strict. even though his oncologist oversaw the whole treatment, it got me interested in the field. btw, besides some knowlege of optics, what physics would u have to know?
     

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