Ost3oclast

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Hey all,

I'm a 4th year med student here in the U.S. who has recently decided to apply to FM programs after ruling out MICU through internal medicine. Strongly considering a sports med fellowship after residency. I had a question for you all... how important it is to go to an academic residency program in order to gain entrance into a sports med fellowship? For my application to residency, my stats are strong (step I 234, step II 249), I managed to honor all of my 3rd year clerkships and I have some research with posters (one in a sports med related subject) and an upcoming publication. However, one thing I'm worried about in my application is getting academic family medicine letters as all of my experience with FM docs in medical school have been in rural settings. I have FM letters, but nothing like a department chair or anything academic like that. I'm worried that not having an academic letter will ruin my chances at a university based residency program which could ruin my chances at a sports med fellowship. Have you guys seen people get into these fellowships without an academic residency done prior? Sorry for the noobie questions, just trying to get everything sorted out.
 
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The first thing I would do is specifically target FM programs that also happen to have a Sports Medicine Fellowship, if that's indeed what you want to do. Don't worry about where your letters came from, just make sure that they are strong, supportive letters and describe why you would be an asset to their program. You can't get too far ahead of yourself. You need to get into FM residency first before even considering tailoring your elective rotations and residency for a Sports Medicine fellowship & career. My program (an Academic Program) has its first elective rotation that you can do a sports medicine related rotation was in second-year. Also depends on your personality, some people aren't good fits at large academic university residency settings, and prefer smaller, community based settings. Personally speaking, I wanted a larger institution, so I chose a Program that had over 10 different residencies (which is in the middle of the pack, some have up to 15-20). Its really up to you & where you think you will feel most comfortable. You have the scores to get into ANY FM Program, just expressing interest and proving to them that FM is not your backup, but instead your primary choice. Hope this helps.
 

Freezeout

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I didn't go to a big academic program or even a program with a fellowship. I can't really advise on how it's going to work out since I'm in the application cycle now, but I'm pretty optimistic. The opportunities will be there for SM no matter where you go; it's just about finding them. In some ways, I think it shows more desire to go somewhere that the opportunities don't come easily. I think the best advice is go somewhere where you become a great family medicine physician first and foremost.
 
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galactus

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I did an academic residency that had a Division 1 undergrad, and it had a sports medicine fellowship. As a resident it was good exposure to elite level collegiate athletes to bring to my application.
That being said, I do agree with the above post; go somewhere where you'll be an awesome family doc (or whatever primary specialty) first, and everything will fall into place.
 
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Ost3oclast

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Great thanks for the advice everyone. Met with my residency advisor today and he seemed to echo a lot of what you guys are saying. Pretty confident going into the cycle so we'll see what happens. Thanks a ton
 

JonMonkey

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I would say that it would be more important to attend a residency that has a fellowship than a big academic program. By doing that you have a much easier time getting involved, covering teams and events and building your CV for your fellowship application. I went to a community program that has a community based fellowship, our program covers more high schools than I can count, 2 NCAA division I colleges and MLS soccer. You have to ask yourself what do you want to do with a CAQ in sports? You don't have to have to attend an academic program to cover higher level sports you just need to build connections.
 
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ShowtimeKaner88

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I would say that it would be more important to attend a residency that has a fellowship than a big academic program. By doing that you have a much easier time getting involved, covering teams and events and building your CV for your fellowship application. I went to a community program that has a community based fellowship, our program covers more high schools than I can count, 2 NCAA division I colleges and MLS soccer. You have to ask yourself what do you want to do with a CAQ in sports? You don't have to have to attend an academic program to cover higher level sports you just need to build connections.
What community based program is this? If you don't mind me asking! I really would ultimately like to work at the D-I and or professional level and I've been looking for any and all programs (both residency and fellowships) that have these connections/opportunities.
 

teacherman84

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I'm a pgy-3 applying now. One thing i would change is being at a program with no fellowship. I've had great FM training, I'm happy with it, but i have had to fight for sports exposure. Hopefully my efforts make it easier for those behind me but its a battle I wouldn't have faced at a program with an established fellowship. I'd apply for residencies with solid fellowships in geographic areas you could see yourself ending up.
 
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Freezeout

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I'm a pgy-3 applying now. One thing i would change is being at a program with no fellowship. I've had great FM training, I'm happy with it, but i have had to fight for sports exposure. Hopefully my efforts make it easier for those behind me but its a battle I wouldn't have faced at a program with an established fellowship. I'd apply for residencies with solid fellowships in geographic areas you could see yourself ending up.
Agreed, though gonna try like heck to spin it as a positive on the interview trail.
 

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I would say that it would be more important to attend a residency that has a fellowship than a big academic program. By doing that you have a much easier time getting involved, covering teams and events and building your CV for your fellowship application. I went to a community program that has a community based fellowship, our program covers more high schools than I can count, 2 NCAA division I colleges and MLS soccer. You have to ask yourself what do you want to do with a CAQ in sports? You don't have to have to attend an academic program to cover higher level sports you just need to build connections.
I disagree with this.

Academic programs bring marketability. Name of institution/forte in sports will make your CV glow and stand out. I.e. Going to Alabama and covering some football there will make you much more eligible vs. someone going to a non-academic/non "namebrand" instutition when applying for jobs. or going to UK and covering some basketball etc. etc.

(also, to the OP, sports docs don't get compensated by teams, infact afik, the larger teams/universities pay the teams to be their "official" team doc, inreturn get to see their players).

Note marketable does not equate to having a "good" experience. Some places, won't let you touch a million dollar knee (makes sense) as a fresh fellow anyways, so weigh that in as well, but you'll get a sense of how things are done at the NCAA Div 1 level.

My institution has several D1 teams we cover, one of them top 10 in the nation in the sport, and just seeing how the system works/players/rehab etc. is worth the experience of not being able to see an ACL injury (they're all the same anyways haha).
 
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Ost3oclast

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I disagree with this.

Academic programs bring marketability. Name of institution/forte in sports will make your CV glow and stand out. I.e. Going to Alabama and covering some football there will make you much more eligible vs. someone going to a non-academic/non "namebrand" instutition when applying for jobs. or going to UK and covering some basketball etc. etc.

(also, to the OP, sports docs don't get compensated by teams, infact afik, the larger teams/universities pay the teams to be their "official" team doc, inreturn get to see their players).

Note marketable does not equate to having a "good" experience. Some places, won't let you touch a million dollar knee (makes sense) as a fresh fellow anyways, so weigh that in as well, but you'll get a sense of how things are done at the NCAA Div 1 level.

My institution has several D1 teams we cover, one of them top 10 in the nation in the sport, and just seeing how the system works/players/rehab etc. is worth the experience of not being able to see an ACL injury (they're all the same anyways haha).
See this is why I'm really considering bigger name schools for residency. I'm almost finished making my list for ERAS. Have 24 programs so far. Are there any programs you guys would recommend that would have more of a sports med emphasis during residency before fellowship? I've searched through ERAS and come up with atleast a handful that offer sports medicine AOC's and also have fellowships but I figured I would ask you guys to. The last thing I want is to go to a program with hardcore OB training when I'm not looking to do inpatient deliveries etc. and get left out in the cold when it comes to applying to fellowship
 

JonMonkey

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Your residency will have preset requirements to comply with ACGME so you will have OB regardless of program, assuming you go family medicine. The sports med experience a lot of times is what you make of it however there are some programs that have dedicated sports tracks. I would recommend the Houston Methodist family medicine program. I think my program is one that goes under the radar as far as sports exposure. I am in the process of creating a sports med track but this will not be done by the time you match. We are the 4th largest city in the country and have only 1 primary care sports medicine fellowship. You have the ability to rotate at 3 different sites (Medical center, Sugar Land and Willowbrook which is the of the fellowship program). We cover 2 NCAA Div 1 schools (Prairie View A&M and Rice University), We have physicians that cover the Houston Dynamo (MLS) and Dash (Women's MLS), we also cover the Houston Astros and Houston Texans however those are harder experiences to get. You have the ability to cover your own high school football team as a third year but have longitudinal coverage opportunities as a 2nd as well. There are 2 full marathons and an IronMan event every year as well. We have 2 fellows to cover all of that so the residents that are interested can have their share. Good luck.
 

JonMonkey

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What community based program is this? If you don't mind me asking! I really would ultimately like to work at the D-I and or professional level and I've been looking for any and all programs (both residency and fellowships) that have these connections/opportunities.
Houston Methodist Primary Care Sports Medicine (Willowbrook).
 
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Ost3oclast

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Your residency will have preset requirements to comply with ACGME so you will have OB regardless of program, assuming you go family medicine. The sports med experience a lot of times is what you make of it however there are some programs that have dedicated sports tracks. I would recommend the Houston Methodist family medicine program. I think my program is one that goes under the radar as far as sports exposure. I am in the process of creating a sports med track but this will not be done by the time you match. We are the 4th largest city in the country and have only 1 primary care sports medicine fellowship. You have the ability to rotate at 3 different sites (Medical center, Sugar Land and Willowbrook which is the of the fellowship program). We cover 2 NCAA Div 1 schools (Prairie View A&M and Rice University), We have physicians that cover the Houston Dynamo (MLS) and Dash (Women's MLS), we also cover the Houston Astros and Houston Texans however those are harder experiences to get. You have the ability to cover your own high school football team as a third year but have longitudinal coverage opportunities as a 2nd as well. There are 2 full marathons and an IronMan event every year as well. We have 2 fellows to cover all of that so the residents that are interested can have their share. Good luck.
Wow will definitely be adding this to my list of programs, that sounds great. I'm really interested in distance running/cycling so that is icing on the cake. Thanks for the heads up!
 

galactus

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We are the 4th largest city in the country and have only 1 primary care sports medicine fellowship.
Correction: There are 2 PCSM fellowships in Houston, however the other one is for pediatrics only (Baylor/Texas Children's). A third primary care sports medicine fellowship is starting at UT-Houston and will start next year.
 
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JonMonkey

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Correction: There are 2 PCSM fellowships in Houston, however the other one is for pediatrics only (Baylor/Texas Children's). A third primary care sports medicine fellowship is starting at UT-Houston and will start next year.
I had heard UT was starting a program but did not realize that it was that far along. This city could definitely use more. Also the AMSSM site list 2 Houston Methodist programs but our Sugar Land program is no more due to some ACGME issues unrelated to the program.
 
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Ost3oclast

Ost3oclast

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Thanks for all the advice you guys gave me. I've managed to get 18 FM interviews so far, all of which have PCSM fellowships associated with their residency. A lot of these programs have a sports medicine "area of concentration" as well. I do have a question regarding interviews though. How much (if at all) should I talk about sports medicine as a reason why I applied to these residencies? Obviously there are other reasons why I chose to apply to each of these schools but should I bring up my interest in sports medicine at all or will that be a turn off to residency programs? I've heard mixed things from some of my advisors.....
 

teacherman84

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Thanks for all the advice you guys gave me. I've managed to get 18 FM interviews so far, all of which have PCSM fellowships associated with their residency. A lot of these programs have a sports medicine "area of concentration" as well. I do have a question regarding interviews though. How much (if at all) should I talk about sports medicine as a reason why I applied to these residencies? Obviously there are other reasons why I chose to apply to each of these schools but should I bring up my interest in sports medicine at all or will that be a turn off to residency programs? I've heard mixed things from some of my advisors.....
Not a residency PD, but I've sat in on residency interviews and discussions of applicants. We like people who are passionate. You can have people very passionate about womens health or international med or sports. I wouldn't dwell on it entirely...someone who wants nothing but aports, at the expense of the remainder of FM would be a turn off but I don't think expressing interest in sports would ever be frowned upon.
 
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Ost3oclast

Ost3oclast

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Not a residency PD, but I've sat in on residency interviews and discussions of applicants. We like people who are passionate. You can have people very passionate about womens health or international med or sports. I wouldn't dwell on it entirely...someone who wants nothing but aports, at the expense of the remainder of FM would be a turn off but I don't think expressing interest in sports would ever be frowned upon.
Yeah I certainly wouldn't go the sports or nothing route. I was going to mention it as a draw to the program and mention that I view sports as a way of potentially incorporating variety into my workday in the future, while still practice FM. Nothing more than that
 

teacherman84

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Yeah I certainly wouldn't go the sports or nothing route. I was going to mention it as a draw to the program and mention that I view sports as a way of potentially incorporating variety into my workday in the future, while still practice FM. Nothing more than that
I think it's totally appropriate. I talked about it in my residency personal statement. Especially at a place which has a track in place.
 
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