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Interested in Otolaryngology?

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ashasnarf

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I have recently been accepted to medical school and my past experiences in medicine have me leaning toward ENT (Otolaryngology) as a field I would like to practice. I have heard that ENT is an extremely competitive field to get into, and was wondering why? What kind og grades and USMLE scores does one have to achieve to get in? Please tell me what additional factors one should consider when going after the really competitive fields? Is AOA designation and research a must? What about letters of recc, whom should you get them from when the time is appropriate. I am inquiring because I would like to begin building a competitive application for such residencies! Thanks!!

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ENT is extremely competitive because of the variety of surgical procedures, good pay and lifestyle (ie, for a surgical specialty you have relatively little call, often home call and better hours). But I'll move this over to Rotations and Residencies Forum where it might get more responses...
 
Hello.

I recently matched in otolaryngology.

Regarding scores, etc., here's what I consider to be the low down. For the 2002 match, the AVERAGE Step I score of an applicant who matched was 233. The average Step I score of an applicant who DID NOT match was 214 (incidentally, the national average on Step I). You can make your own assumptions regarding those numbers, but they should say something about how competitive the match is.

Most people (I would say 80% or more) have AOA on their resumes, and most of them got exceptional grades throughout medical school.

Letters of recommendation are critical. Otolaryngology is a small community and the attendings of all the major programs know each other. A fabulous letter from John Q, MD or even the chair of Rheumatology at XYZ Medical School isn't going to mean much when the next guy has letters from major ENT folk. (In other words, do away/visiting/audition rotations.)

Research: not doing it may hurt you since so many others do it. I'm not suggesting that you go out and publish 1/2 dozen articles (although many with and without PhDs have), but getting on board shows your interest in the field and may demonstrate that you have an interest in research.

With respect to Kim's statements, I generally agree; the operative word is "relative," however.

-NB
 
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I am an Oto PGY-1 at Iowa, now doing my general surgery internship.

Why is Oto so competitive? It is a small residency, with only 1-4 positions per program, so therare less positions available. All the surgical subspecialities are competitive, I believe, secondary to the fact that they allow one to perform surgery while living a relatively normal lifestyle (as compared to the average general surgeon).

To get into a program, being in the top half to top quarter of your class is a good idea, and doing well on the Step I is also standard issue. That said, I don't know of specific USMLE scores that will get you in a program. I think that sfmatch.org has statistics on the average Step I scores for those who matched last year.

The most important "other factor" is research.
The applicantion for Oto residency leaves small spaces for honors, extracurricular activities, work experiences, and then leaves about 3/4 of a page for research experience. That should give you an idea of its importance.

Recs: Get a rec from an Oto MD in the department of you school. If you think that your dept. is weak, then do a rotation at another school and get a rec there. I don't think that this is as important as research or your grades.

AOA at my school was mainly based on grades, so good grades = AOA. Other than that, I don't know of how one could "go for" AOA without just trying hard at grades.

Hope this helps.
 
I'm an MS3 interested in Otolaryngology. I don't have any research experience related to Otolaryngology. What do people think the value of research done at the start of the 4th year will be? Obviously it will be unlikely to yield any publications or even conference presentations in time for residency applications. I'm worried that it will it be seen as an attempt to squeeze in some research at the last minute. Would my time be better spent doing an away rotation at a program of interest?

Also, is it possible to match in ENT without ENT research (I presented some research at a national conference unrelated to ENT)?
 
•••quote:•••Originally posted by DuneHog:
•I'm an MS3 interested in Otolaryngology. I don't have any research experience related to Otolaryngology. What do people think the value of research done at the start of the 4th year will be? Obviously it will be unlikely to yield any publications or even conference presentations in time for residency applications. I'm worried that it will it be seen as an attempt to squeeze in some research at the last minute. Would my time be better spent doing an away rotation at a program of interest?

Also, is it possible to match in ENT without ENT research (I presented some research at a national conference unrelated to ENT)?•••••If you haven't done any research by now, I wouldn't start any, unless you happen to latch on to some really exceptional project.

In your situation, I think your time would be better spent focusing on your away rotations. If you're really determined to get into a particular place and would be unhappy elsewhere, then take a year off to do research at that place. Otherwise, forget about the research.

In terms of matching without research -- yes. I have a friend who matched without ANY publications (although he has an MPH...) and know of people who have never stepped into a lab who matched.

-NB
 
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