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Just Medicine
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2004
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Hey all...I hope everyone's interview season is going well. I realize as I read this forum that even top notch residents from top notch places are having a (relatively?) difficult time with obtaining interviews and such, which is something that's making me even more nervous (more on this later...:laugh: ). I also realize that all you folks are also REALLY busy pursuing your interviews and have a general lack of time to guide "us" (i.e. those who are currenly in residency thinking of pursuing a fellowship in GI). I have already spent a good deal of time reading through various threads here and given my due diligence, but I was hoping for some advice from you guys who are already "in the mix" and are techinically out there in the battlefields of the GI interview season! :laugh: :)

I am a DO/JD doing my residency in an average IM program in NYC. I was reading through another post that stated that in 2006, only 5% of spots went to DOs, which was lesser than that given to FMGs (7%). I realize that there is a general sentiment against DOs in the medical field (let's be serious here folks, this is (unfortunately) the reality of things), more so in the midwest and south (which is where I wanna end up). I would prefer to do my fellowship in the mid-south (i.e VA, NC, SC), but alas, beggars can't be choosers, so I'll take whatever I can get! :laugh: :) I have also heard people say that the best chances of fellowships in general are at your home institution, however the confounding issue in this is that my program has only 2 spots/year of which 1/2 are outside.

Anyways, after the long winded introduction (can't help it...it's the lawyer in me), some of the issues/questions I have for you guys, I am hoping you can shed some light on sincerely. Do you guys think it's harder as a DO to apply for GI fellowships, and if so, how much more of an "effort" would I need to put it to be camparable to a US MD? Are DOs worse off that FMGs (it seems so from the stats, granted the difference is likely insignificant)? In general, what makes a strong applicant in GI (I know "research, research, research" and "the more publications, the merrier," but approx how many publications do you guys have that would be considered a strong candidate...heck, maybe not even a strong, but at least a running candidate! :laugh: Also, do you think having a law degree is of any benefit when applying for fellowships (from my experiences, it seems like the cards folks are more "impresse/interested" w/ my JD that the GI guys, who are like "eehhhh...whatever....freakin' lawyer!:laugh: ) Also, do you think that doing a residency in NYC carries at least some advantage when applying to fellowships in the mid west/ south, etc. (I realzie I posed that question in a really awkward way, but I hope you understand what I mean by the question)?

Lastly (and this is probably one of the most important questions I am asking, and I would SINCERELY appreciate some advice on this question), I am NOT looking for some high powered, academic "MGH-esque" type of fellowship (sadly, I will never be qualified enough) and am realistically focusing in on average/below average programs (would like to mention a few names, but don't wanna create bad blood). Is the competitiveness at these places the same quality as other places that are more academically based? What "credentials" are these places looking for? Are these places also research/publications hell bent as well?

Thanks once again for all your responses! I TRULY appreciate all your inputs, especially since you guys are also VERY busy this time of the year. I sympathize with your situations and wish you all good luck in your interview trails!

Thanks once again for your inputs! Have a nice day


New Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2005
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First off, please note that I too am in the process of applying to fellowship and though I have been given some interviews, ultimately, my words will carry more weight once I have matched.

As for my own application, I will start off that I am a PGY2 at a well-known residency. I am a US grad. I have 4 publications, with 2 pending. I have also presented at ACG and DDW. Step scores in the 220s, but not AOA, though I have several honors in my medical school transcript.

If I had to pinpoint reasons why I have been granted interviews, I would suspect the following:
1. Research with actual publications and presentations.
2. LOR from well-known faculty in Medicine and GI.

Personally, I do not think being a DO has much to do with anything. If you are a DO with very good board scores, in a fairly well-known residency and have done research with well-known faculty who can write effective LORs then you should be in good shape. During my interviews, the majority of the interview centered around my work with so-and-so and how I plan to continue what I have already began as a resident. Most programs are looking for individuals who have shown a committment to academics. With rich traditions in developing academic physicians and so few training spots, it is no wonder programs are looking at applicants with scrutiny to ensure we are not academicians in sheep's clothing.

From my own standpoint, I am very interested in a career in academics therefore it has been very easy for me to intiate projects and see them to completion because I already view this as something I want to do as a career and not for the sake of fellowship application.

In summary, I would recommend that you identify a faculty member who is well-known in GI and plan on developing a project that can be completed relatively quickly. Hopefully, you will be able to present it at a meeting, or more importantly, develop it into a manuscript. This is a process that is easier said than done, hence program directors put a lot of weight into this as it serves as an indicator of at least some committment towards academics.

I wish you well on your future endeavours.