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matching in ortho and 4th year electives

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by orthoman5000, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    First of all let me say that I'm probably being extremly anal asking about these things this early in my medical education (I start med school in August) but here goes.

    I am interested in the field of orthopaedic surgery and I have read that to match into a particular program it's almost an unwritten rule that you must have done an orthopaedic rotation there during your 4th year. Is this really the case or just for the very top programs? Would AOA, USMLE scores, research, and LOR be enough to get one a spot in a program or is an "audition" rotation an absolute must?

    How would one determine which programs to take a 4th year rotation at, since one will be limited to only a few specialty rotations? Should one apply to do a rotation at top notch dream programs (ie Johns Hopkins, MGH, or HSS) or only at programs they think they have a shot at based on other criteria?

    I ask these questions because this notion of an "audition" rotation seems to severely limit the number of programs that an orthopedic hopeful could apply to with much hope of getting a spot.

    Thanks for any feedback, I will really appreciate it.

    I know for now though that my first priority should be to enjoy myself this summer and then ace the basic science years and the USMLE.
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  3. squeek

    squeek Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    First of all, don't worry about being anal. It helps to ask as many questions as you can throughout the process--that way you minimize unpleasant surprises, and you maximize success. So I'm all for asking questions. :)

    I just finished my 2nd year, so I'm not in the residency process yet, but I did research at HSS last summer and asked a lot of residency questions.

    Regarding "audition" rotations--from what I've heard, these can be good OR bad. If you are a star and you get along well with the attending, it bodes well. If you make a mess of it, it can be very, very bad. Doing rotations (and getting recommendation letters) at a high-power institute (or with a high-power name) is better for the application IF you get a good letter and get to know people (but it can be difficult to get to know the surgeons. You'll have better luck with residents and research associates).

    One thing that IS a "must" for ortho is published research. Let me say it again: published research. I know many orthopod-hopefuls who are taking an entire year off to do research. The research associate I worked with last summer took two years, and will be applying for residencies this year. Because the field is so competetive, research makes a very big difference in your application--especially at HSS, etc.

    But you haven't even started school yet. Give yourself a year or two--you may change your mind on your specialty. Many students do. :)

    Good luck!
  4. BacteriaER

    BacteriaER Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Should the published research be in ortho-related? What if a person has 2-3 publications in ovarian cancer research? How do these publications count in ortho application?

  5. squeek

    squeek Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    All of the 4th years and orthopods I've talked to say research in orthopedics. For residency applications, people have told me that any research is a plus...but if you apply to ortho residencies with only ovarian cancer research, you can bet they'll ask "Why didn't you go into gyn-onc surgery?"

    It's the same for all of the competetive specialties--I know a 4th year just accepted into ENT, but she did ENT research in the early summer prior to sending in her residency applications.

    For really competetive specialties, I've been told, you need to do research in that field.

    For the summer after my first year, I did research that would be applicable to both of my fields of interest: ortho and geriatrics. You CAN cover your bases if you plan it well. :)

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