Is the DO path still a safe one?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by dohopeful13, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. dohopeful13

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    As someone entering DO class of 2023, I’m a bit nervous with all of the uncertainty regarding the merger as well as proliferation of more and more schools. I was and still am excited, but the more I’ve read about matching since my acceptance the more worried I have become. I even read a thread about possible making USMLE pass/fail, which I imagine would make it even tougher for DOs. I have no delusions about matching ortho or neurosurgery and I am fine with primary care (my main interest is FM or IM( but my worst fear is busting my butt for 4 years w/ 300k of debt and not matching at the end of it. I’m not looking to beat a dead horse or spark debate - I just wanted to ask if this is still a safe path for my goals in the face of so much uncertainty, provided I pass everything and take the USMLE.
     
  2. MightBeACylon439

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    Uuuuggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
     
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  3. DrStephenStrange

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    I'm class of 2022, and IMHO I think it's still a safe option for now since we still have more residency spots than we have medical students (MD and DO) overall. I believe things will get harder as this gap becomes smaller and smaller, and that probably won't happen till maybe 10 years from now. Even then, residency programs aren't stationary either, new residency programs are being opened every year as well just not at the same rate as the growing of medical students.

    Edit: also hoping something will be done by our leaders on both sides before we get there maybe slowing down the opening of schools or opening more residency programs. If USMLE become P/F, how is that gonna make things harder for DOs though?

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    #3 DrStephenStrange, Dec 30, 2018
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  4. DPTinthemaking15

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    I have the same concerns. I’m hoping I’ll get out before the ceiling falls. :(
     
  5. libertyyne

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    Its going to be fine. Work hard, dont collect any red flags, be realistic come match time, interview broadly.
    It would be bad because then residency selection would be on criteria other than standardized tests, so it would be based on research, connections, pedigree. All of which t20 schools and MD schools have more of.
     
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  6. Ho0v-man

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    It’s good to be scared of this now. It means you’re not stupid and delusional and already know you need to bust *** from day one. No one can predict the future and if you think you could reapply and hit MD I definitely would. But the folks who really need to be worried are typically the ones who never seem to realize how serious this is. You’ll be fine.
     
  7. QueenJames

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    Just be prepared to end up in FM or IM or Peds. These will encompass 70% of your match list.

    The bull**** that many DO schools make you do second year and beyond is unfathomable and makes you think they do it on purpose to **** you over in the long run by diverting ur attention in ten different areas.

    And don't get me started on the ****ty rotation qualities.

    I'm FINALLY getting to see patients on my own, present, and come up with assessment and plans.

    Oh... and I'm 6 months in to my third year. 6. It took a WHOLE HALF YEAR for me to see patients on my goddamn own.

    :)

    You'll see.

    I'm not happy with my program but it is what it is.

    Only a year and a half left.

    Good luck to you!
     
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  8. Goro

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    FTFY
    To be accurate, about 50% of grads will end up in Primary Care. It's not like this is a hidden secret.

    Overall, if you're a B student or better, you'll do fine.
     
  9. QueenJames

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    Yeah I hope so Goro. With all these crappy programs opening with subpar rotations and lackluster resources, I'd be surprised if even THOSE will be accessible.
     
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  10. LukeCage

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    LOL may delete my sdn account after this post :smack:
     
  11. DrStephenStrange

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    I feel you my brother Luke Cage lol. Sometimes I wanna do the same thing.

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  12. Spectreman

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    There are more than enough primary care jobs to go around, it’s the rest of the gunners that need to get their panties in a bunch.
     
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  13. AlbinoHawk DO

    AlbinoHawk DO PeeGeeWai Osteopath
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    Safe for primary care or pathology, definitely. Anything else is a toss up with more surgical specialties being unlikely.
     
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  14. _Rod_of_Asclepius_

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    Yes. The sky is not falling, you will be a doctor.
     
  15. Scrubs101

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    Proliferation of new schools should be your biggest fear. Competition will indeed be worse for every year more and more DO schools open with absolute max enrollment. Still safer option than carib, still not as safe as MD. Be open to primary care, dont be in the bottom quintile, know youll deal with more bs than your MD peers, and work your butt off and its still a fine path becoming a doctor.

    Risk adverse enough that 90%+ placement rate scares you or want something competitive and want to make it “easier” on yourself (itll be hard either way)? Take time to better your app and try for MD.
     
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  16. hallowmann

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    US MD will always be safer, Carib will always be worse. Basically if you couldn't get in US MD and you are sure you want medicine DO remains the safest option for you. Just keep in mind the wanting to work hard, prevent red flags, and go FM/IM.
     
  17. AnatomyGrey12

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    Because it is literally the only way that we can be compared apples to apples to MD students. If it becomes P/F then the residency selection process becomes far more focused on the stuff DO schools don't have, i.e. research, prestige, big names to write LORs, etc.

    Easy there Queen, put down the wowie sauce, People who build competitive apps for whatever field they are applying ("competitive" being relative to the specialty) will continue to match just fine, particularly in those fields. We are already seeing it actually, the people with crappy apps are having harder and harder times while the people with competitive apps (again, this means different things for different fields) are actually matching better than they ever have.
     
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  18. Goro

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
    :woot::woot::woot:
    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::hello:
     
  19. rg2o3

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    This is the first time I have been on this site basically since the beginning of my first semester, and I'm glad to see that the world is still collapsing around us!

    Be excited about your acceptance, work hard, and be realistic. Also, don't blindly follow what your school says, do your own digging. They generally have no idea what they're talking about.
     
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  20. AnatomyGrey12

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    FTFY
     
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  21. Dr.Bruh

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    what DO school do you go to? About 40-45% of my class ends up in Peds, IM, FM. Add EM, gas Psych and you probably have 75-80%
     
  22. _Rod_of_Asclepius_

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    I think those are always the most common specialties you see across school’s match list . GS isn’t terribly competitive because most don’t want to endure the pain. Diagnostic Rads is another one that I see with similar numbers as GS. PM&R isn’t competitive from what I know but is also not as highly desired.
     
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  23. sabsaf123

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    There’s currently like ~6 students in my grade that started the previous year but had to remediate. Also like 8 students from my class went to repeat 1st year. What happens to these students?

    Unfortunately some of these students seem to be completely oblivious to how this may impact their future as some of them seemed to be happy to redo 1st year.

    I know a second year IM resident at my DO schools IM residency (he ranked it like 3rd on his match list). He repeated 1st year and failed both level 1 and COMLEX PE on the first try. If he was graduating in ~2021 would his life be very different?
     
  24. rg2o3

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    This is very similar to my school. They have no idea how serious this is. They are even still verbalizing that they want something other than FM. It's mind boggling to say the least.
     
  25. AnatomyGrey12

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    Some people are delusional. I know a person redoing first year who is convinced they are still going to be a breast surgeon.
     
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  26. rg2o3

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    Honestly, its scary talking to the students in my class. They truly have no idea what's going on. I try to show them the charting outcomes/PD survey and they still just listen to their anecdotal evidence.
     
  27. AnatomyGrey12

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    "see someone matched plastics at UW this year!" neglecting the fact that the rumor I heard was that the person had a 270 and around 15 pubs lol. Likely was top of their class.
     
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  28. rg2o3

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    But have no fear, their ability to hardly get Bs/Cs while studying 24/7 definitely indicates their ability to get 90th percentile step 1
     
  29. DrStephenStrange

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    How does someone go about having 15 pubs in Med School? I'm interested in doing research to better my chances for residency, but I can only do it during summer break at my school, and I'm not even sure I'll get a pub out of it. It bothers me to hear people with so much under their belt, and I'm here trying my best but not even close to the level of someone like that. I'm interested in IM with possibilities of doing a fellowship (in Cards, Med onc, immunology, or infectious diseases) in the future. And to do that I need to land a good IM program with fellowship in house. Do you think I'm worrying to much? Should I just focus on school and boards?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
     
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  30. DrStephenStrange

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    I get Bs and As, and I'm hardly even studying 2 to 3 hours a day. I see people at my school putting so much hours into studying that sometimes I feel guilty lol.

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  31. rg2o3

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    It's wild. I agree. I get A's and some Bs but I mean I put in some hours. Maybe it seems like more since I have required lecture and am in the lecture hall all day, but people just need to be realistic about goals!
     
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  32. DrStephenStrange

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    Yeah, same here. I make it a habit of going to class whether it's mandatory or not. I found out that I learn at least 40% of the materials while I'm in there.

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  33. AnatomyGrey12

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    Lots of hard work. I know someone with 20+ (and in fantastic journals too) but they put in a ton of effort from day 1. I personally already have 3+ and can tell you that with research you get out what you put in generally. Unless it's basic science crap, ain't no one got time for that.

    Don't. There will always be someone out there with more accomplishments than you, all you can do is try and take care of your own business and reach your own goals. Don't forget that someone who matches plastics at UW very well could be the best DO student in the country. Not everyone can be LeBron.

    I mean I would try and do some research. Mid-tier IM programs will want to see at least some research productivity.
     
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  34. rg2o3

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    Over break I have been sending out e-mails to find some research. Definitely hitting my roadblocks at the moment.
     
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  35. DrStephenStrange

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    How do you go about finding research opportunities? Do you do it with your school, or outside of your school? Is it bench work or clinical research? Do you only do it in the summer or also during school time? I'm gonna make it a goal to find a good research opportunity before the end of OMS1. Though, I already have one of my professors interested in having me in his lab for the summer in his ongoing cancer research.

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  36. QueenJames

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    CAN I PLEASE BE NEGATIVE ???!! JEEZ.

    But facts.

    DO isn't the BEST option but it's still a legit option for like everything besides surgical stuff. Even if u want that, just kill boards, research and publish, and do good aways.

    The only question is how much your bull**** DO program gives you a hard time to do these things well.
     
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  37. BorntobeDO?

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    Disclaimer: I think you are fine for FM and IM even if the number of grads = positions (which should be a year or two after you). Anything else and you need a backup.

    Its people who are trying to do something else without a backup plan that will get bit by this. For instance, I know 4th years who only have 4 interviews in their desired specialty right now. Thats not enough. Currently they might be able to SOAP/scramble into IM or FM after the match. In the near future those SOAP spots will be a lot less, and the competition will be stronger for the scraps that remain.

    The MD's who fail to match ortho will have first shot at the SOAP for gen surg/anesthesia (if these have any spots open, which I doubt in another 5 years), which will push the people who would have been able to scramble into those in the past down to IM/FM. And suddenly you are competing with MD's who might not have been competitive for whatever they went for, but are very competitive for the specialty you are trying to SOAP into. And your a DO who didn't match. If only 1/6 DO's were able to SOAP last year, how does that bode for you in the future?

    If I am 2023, no matter what my real interest is, I am picking out IM or FM and deciding which one I like better as a backup prior to the match and trying to get 10 interviews in it. The SOAP/scramble are not your friends.
     
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  38. rg2o3

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    I’m referring to a small select amount of students who struggle every step of the way barely getting by. I wasn’t saying that I show them data that directly highlights red flags. More so that I show them data of students who match certain specialties and they refuse to acknowledge that. Sure, I’m sure there are a few who can pull it off and match some other specialties, but I think it’s not unrealistic to believe that many will have to apply FM/community IM.
     
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  39. rg2o3

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    Also, if I’m misinformed, then that’s awesome. I don’t want anyone to have to pursue a career path that they dislike.
     
  40. hallowmann

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    Probably (regarding the guy in the AOA IM residency graduating in 2021). I know multiple people who repeated first year. They struggled to get interviews at their ideal programs and ultimately saw the light, applied more broadly FM and matched. The people you listed will be able to find community IM or FM programs if they apply realistically and work hard on interviews/aways. Other fields will be more of an uphill battle, but not necessarily impossible. If their only redflag is first year, they might find programs that are more forgiving, but patterns of difficulty is harder to ignore.
     
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  41. Goro

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    Depends upon why they're repeating. Keep in mind that, at least for my students, the major cause of academic trouble is due to mental health issues. IF these students can get help, they can finish in five years and still go on to match. However, Primary Care will be their most common fate.

    Also, again based upon my school (and a few others that I know about), people coming back from LOA are held to a higher standard, and so if they start failing again, they get the boot, rather than dragging their agony out over two years and then having them fail COMLEX and be some $100-$150K in the hole.

    I suspect that your resident would still match into PC, in 2021, but I have my concerns about 2025 or so. Then again, if more schools start creating their own residency spots, it might be less of an issue.
     
  42. IsWhat

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    You say this like every UW plastics resident isn’t somewhere in that ballpark as well. We are talking about a top 10 plastics program in one of the most desirable cities in the country. I doubt they interview anyone under 250 step 1/2. Hell, the average plastics step 1 is approaching 250. There is this weird defeatist attitude among DO students right now which makes it sound like MD students just walk into these top tier residencies and DOs need to be a god among medical students to match. MD students around the country work ridiculously hard to build astronomically good applications, and if a DO student wants to play with the big boys - they need to build an application that is competitive with the big boys. A 270 step 1 with 15 pubs (if true) probably wasn’t even the best application to cross the desk of the UW Plastics PD. I’m not saying it isn’t harder to build a top notch application as a DO - it is. But I don’t know one DO student in real life who did not match within the realm of their competitiveness.
     
  43. Dwan

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    Contrary to popular belief, these perfect applications are extremely rare even among US MDs going into these fields. There wasn't a single person from my MD school who had those qualifications last year, although we had matches at highly competitive programs. Students who scored around 270 were relatively weak in research, while others had research-heavy applications but did not score as high on boards or get AOA. Someone with neither great scores nor great research matched at a "top 5" place in one of the competitive surgical specialties with a stellar away performance. That isn't to say UW plastics isn't extremely competitive, but they do interview people with sub 250 steps. In fact, someone who matched there last year from the east coast was sub-250 on both Step 1/2 with only a few publications, no AOA. That being said, I agree building a proper application goes a long way towards matching well. Most (both DO and MD) don't understand anywhere as much about the application process as those of us on SDN.
     
  44. _Rod_of_Asclepius_

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    I agree. While DO IS at a disadvantage these posts often begin creating the notion that the lowest ranked MD students can walk into whatever specialty they want while only putting in 50%.

    I heard one (successful) DO say it’s like a picnic in the park on a windy day for everyone, DOs just have to park the car further away and carry a few more items. Kinda lame at the time but now makes complete sense to me.
     
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  45. AnatomyGrey12

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    I think you missed the point..... and no, MDs that match these programs aren’t all 270+, 15 pub superstars. I personally have multiple acquaintances interviewing at multiple top programs in surgical subs and they don’t fit the profile above.

    I don’t know how you got “defeatist attitude” out of my post.

    Literally no one says that. Ever.
     
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  46. Mass Effect

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    Some of you have a lot of growing up to do and by that I mean you need to get out of the pre-med mentality and stop assuming that people who end up in "FM or IM or Peds or PM&R or Neuro or Psych or EM or Path or Gas" didn't choose to do so. In fact, there is a large portion of FM, IM, Peds, PM&R, Neuro, Psych, EM, Path, and Gas docs out in the world who came from top tier MD schools and likely boasted scores and letters and research better than the majority on this thread who long for the more "prestigious" fields.

    Until you free yourself of the mindset that you're only successful if you do surgery or plastics or ortho, you will never be happy, even if you end up doing plastics at MGH.
     
    #46 Mass Effect, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  47. SynapticDoctah

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    The one detail that no one seems to mention is that most students (I would say >90%) that go into primary care at DO schools self select for primary care. It's not like all these DO students are applying to gas, rads, surgery and then scrambling into primary care because they didn't match. The notion that if you go to DO school you are STUCK in primary care is BS. Our school average for USMLE was close to the average for MD schools...meaning about half of MD schools had a lower average than ours (I am not saying a 230 MD is looked at the same as 230 DO, btw). If these students wanted to do gas, rads, etc...it's doable. The fact is that most just don't go into those specialties because they don't care to. They go into school not really caring about being super competitive. They just want to do decent, pass, get through school and become a doctor. I guess the thought process and drive for DO students as a whole is different from the MD thought process. If you ask students in my class if they want to do surgery, gas, etc they say that they love kids and want to do peds, or just want to do FM, or even ER. There are multiple people I know with 260+ USMLE going into peds, FM, ER, but this never gets talked about.
     
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    #47 SynapticDoctah, Jan 1, 2019
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  48. libertyyne

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    yes are correct,however you conveniently left the part out where only the upper half or quarter of the class takes step 1.
     
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  49. AnatomyGrey12

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    This. People neglect this all the time. I literally know a person with an 800+ Level 1 and fantastic Step who went AOA EM. Applied to one program. That's all they wanted.
     
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  50. SynapticDoctah

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    My point is that even the students that take Step 1 and do well don't all WANT to be an aerospace neonatal knee specialists. If you go to a DO school, your climb will be steeper than MDs. However, the doom and gloom about not being able to match into a non-primary care field is bs. i know this is one example, but I have a buddy with a below average USMLE for rads who has 15+ interviews at ACGME institutions. My point being, if you wanna do something somewhat competitive, you will be the person to put yourself in a position to have a good shot at anything (outside of ACGME ortho, ENT, neurosurg).

    IDK why this same concept keeps coming up over and over. Put your damn head down, study, do your best on boards, get research and don't be a d*ckhead and you may just get into a...drumroll please....NON-PRIMARY CARE SPECIALTY!
     
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    #50 SynapticDoctah, Jan 1, 2019
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