wanttogohome

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Apr 6, 2008
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Hello All,

I have a few questions about matching MD/DO as an osteopathic student. I did a number of searches, but was unable to find answers to my specific questions...also I opted to post here instead of the residency forum i hope that's ok...

I am finishing up first year...recently, a guest speaker at my school scared the he** out of me by saying that for osteopathic students the most important decisions we will make for our career could be during the second year (i.e. what boards to take etc...) As an osteopathic cards fellowship PD, he said a few interesting things...

1) Many allopathic programs (IM specifically) will "lure" DO grads in or appear very DO friendly...until fellowship time. He urged us to consider only considering DO programs with associated fellowships (if this was our preferred route of course) because "we WILL take care of our own." He has seen MANY DO's finish up allo IM residencies only to never get their fellowship of choice because that 1-2 spots typically goes to the MD..."so if you really want that fellowship, statistically it's in your best interest to attend an osteopathic program with their own fellowship programs."....also, I realize he was partially trying to seel his program and push DO agenda, but much of what he said made a lot of sense.

2) He also said that most osteopathic residency programs try to determine how osteopathic you are...[they] look for students committed to osteopathic medicine (did applicant take usmle? etc..). This also concerned me. So, if you take both boards do DO programs know? I imagine that's not an uncommon question on the interview trail and I would never lie to a program even if they couldn't "see" i took both.

3) This one sorta unrelated...can you rank more than one specialty on your match list? I know I'm just a first year, but say I am interested in urology or ENT but also IM...and/or I want to hedge my bets a lil... I am an older student so regardless of disuading advice I WILL consider location and likelihood of matching when i rank due to family issues. Can I rank 2-3 "local" DO Uro programs for instance followed by only IM programs...even with overlap to the same program??

4) My last question is about traditional internship/rotating internship/transitional internship. What do they all mean? I realize that for certain residencies like neuro anesth rads etc you need to to a PGY-1 "internship" first, but how should one interpret this when looking at my schools match list? I see Radiology and Anesthesiology AND transitional...does this mean that all the transitionals didn't technically match further yet and will apply to residencies during internship year? I realize that people should go for what they really want to do, but I WILL take into account the relative certainty and location of likely matches.

Any advice on these matters would be much appreciated! Cheers.
 

SAvoodoo

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2007
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Medical Student
Hello All,

I have a few questions about matching MD/DO as an osteopathic student. I did a number of searches, but was unable to find answers to my specific questions...also I opted to post here instead of the residency forum i hope that's ok...

I am finishing up first year...recently, a guest speaker at my school scared the he** out of me by saying that for osteopathic students the most important decisions we will make for our career could be during the second year (i.e. what boards to take etc...) As an osteopathic cards fellowship PD, he said a few interesting things...

1) Many allopathic programs (IM specifically) will "lure" DO grads in or appear very DO friendly...until fellowship time. He urged us to consider only considering DO programs with associated fellowships (if this was our preferred route of course) because "we WILL take care of our own." He has seen MANY DO's finish up allo IM residencies only to never get their fellowship of choice because that 1-2 spots typically goes to the MD..."so if you really want that fellowship, statistically it's in your best interest to attend an osteopathic program with their own fellowship programs."....also, I realize he was partially trying to seel his program and push DO agenda, but much of what he said made a lot of sense.

2) He also said that most osteopathic residency programs try to determine how osteopathic you are...[they] look for students committed to osteopathic medicine (did applicant take usmle? etc..). This also concerned me. So, if you take both boards do DO programs know? I imagine that's not an uncommon question on the interview trail and I would never lie to a program even if they couldn't "see" i took both.

3) This one sorta unrelated...can you rank more than one specialty on your match list? I know I'm just a first year, but say I am interested in urology or ENT but also IM...and/or I want to hedge my bets a lil... I am an older student so regardless of disuading advice I WILL consider location and likelihood of matching when i rank due to family issues. Can I rank 2-3 "local" DO Uro programs for instance followed by only IM programs...even with overlap to the same program??

4) My last question is about traditional internship/rotating internship/transitional internship. What do they all mean? I realize that for certain residencies like neuro anesth rads etc you need to to a PGY-1 "internship" first, but how should one interpret this when looking at my schools match list? I see Radiology and Anesthesiology AND transitional...does this mean that all the transitionals didn't technically match further yet and will apply to residencies during internship year? I realize that people should go for what they really want to do, but I WILL take into account the relative certainty and location of likely matches.

Any advice on these matters would be much appreciated! Cheers.
quick reply

1) fellowship programs don't care about the letters, they care about your residency. if you do an MD residency you are fine for MD fellowships, if you do a DO residency it gets dicey (possible but it's complicated with forms/licensing etc) you can do a search for DO residency/MD fellowship and find some info on it. like i said, it's possbile but there are hoops to jump through. as for DO's being not accepted due to being DO's, even after doing MD fellowships, that's crap. fellowships by their nature are competitive, especially cards (for IM). sure, going DO then DO fellowship would be easier (you're not fighing MDs) but there are fewer spots (1 interventional cardio if i remember correctly). it boils down to a) MD fellowships are easier to get from MD residencies, regardless of degree and b) lots of fellowships take "in house" regardless of degree. in my opinion, limiting yourself at any step of the process is only hurting yourself. there's obviously more to this based on the 4 states (MI, PA, FL and 1 other) rule and other things but as far as i've seen/heard the situation is as i described
2) DO programs can't see if you took USMLE unless you report it. most don't care from what i've seen. they may ask if you applied MD and DO (i don't know if they're allowed to) and if they do i would tell the truth.
3) yes, many people do it especially when trying to get more competitive specialties (ranking ortho and gen surg)
4) look at the FAQs in each specialty and general residency forum, especially the later.

if anyone out there has better info or knows otherwise please correctly. best of luck
 

MSmentor018

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Jul 9, 2007
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1. going to the residency program that has the fellowship is always a bonus. they like knowing the people they're getting, esp if you do very well. that was part of my criteria on narrowing down choices for residencies. as for DO crossing over to MD, it's tough but do able. our dean was DO ortho, MD spine.

2. I don't know about how "osteopathic" you are. I didn't get that type of questioning during DO interviews (I only did EM). it was the standard type stuff, SLOR, grades, scores, rotations....etc. the DO didn't question my usmle stuff and the MD didn't understand the comlex. it worked out fine.

3. you can rank as many as you interviewed for, doesn't matter. but they have to be in order. you can't have a #1 surgery and #1 ent. you're going to find it's hard to interview at multiple specialties due to time, logistics of the match, and it gets expensive after a while.

4. anes, rad, few other have to do a transitional yr then they can go into their speciality. that means they have to interview for both. ex; a person in my class 2010 will be interviewing to start transition in 2010 and anes in 2011. sometimes they're in the same hospital, sometimes not. some DO programs tend to clump this together into 1 residency. and yes some people don't match at all and end up doing a transitional yr, waiting to get a shot for the match next yr.

as a 1st yr, enjoy your summer. it's the last one you're ever going to get 3 months off in a row. worry about this stuff next yr
 

IMDoc607

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Nov 22, 2009
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Go MD match if you are looking at IM....If you want a more competitive speciality then go thru both matches. In my opinion, an ACGME IM program will give you many more opportunities and IMO better training. The numbers of fellowship programs on the MD side far excedes the DO side. The guy was trying to keep you inside the DO world which I heavily urge you not to do.

I just think you are better off doing the MD route....sorry to those I offended.
 

Colbert

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Mar 23, 2007
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Definitely sounds like one of those guys, at IMDoc said, that was trying to keep you in the DO world.

You CAN do an MD fellowship after a DO residency, though it is not as easy as doing an MD residency and MD fellowship. I have not heard of anyone, however, doing a MD residency and then a DO fellowship.

I saw you listed Uro, ENT, and IM. I recommend if you're interested in uro or ENT to go balls-to-the-wall for them sooner than later. Those are tough fields to get into and some MD programs (sorry to say it) are basically off-limits for DOs. That being said, there are plenty of DO programs in both. IM is not a difficult specialty to get into, MD or DO (if you want a top-tier program though, you'll need top scores).

The very best thing you can do for yourself now is learn your preclinical material and get good board scores. Don't worry too much about the where, the how, the MD vs DO. If you have the grades and scores and maybe couple other feathers in your hat, all the doors will be open for you.
 

wanttogohome

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Apr 6, 2008
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Thanks for the replies. I swear I'm not a neurotic first year. I'm just older and prefer being informed to best plan my course of action. This first year has flown by I can only imagine how fast the rest will go!

Hmm...maybe i'll give a look at some dually accredited programs and hedge all bets :)

Thanks again.
 

MSmentor018

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Jul 9, 2007
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Thanks for the replies. I swear I'm not a neurotic first year. I'm just older and prefer being informed to best plan my course of action. This first year has flown by I can only imagine how fast the rest will go!

Hmm...maybe i'll give a look at some dually accredited programs and hedge all bets :)

Thanks again.
2 words....iserson's guide. get it, read it, read it again during interviews. you don't need the most up to date one, only the stats are diff and you can get those from NRMP
 

WestcoastMedicine

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You can do an allopathic fellowship after a DO residency. Keep in mind there are few DO fellowships which is definitely a negative. I feel like the PD you got was very anti-ACGME program, trying to boost his own program.

In my opinion, if I was interested in doing an IM specialty, I would go to a University Based IM program that has a decent number of residents and most if not all of the IM fellowships there. You will rotate with the fellows and if they like you they usually like taking their own people for fellowship...atleast it would be easier to match into their fellowship if you did your residency there provided your a good resident and don't disappoint them during your rotations on their service.

I just feel like the more exposure you get the better. I am at a university peds program and talking with our med/peds residents they get a ton of exposure. For cardio, they have a cardio inpatient service, outpatient, cardio consult service, interventional cardio service, Cardio ICU service, Adult Congential Cardio Service and a transplant service. They get to see it all ECMO, Transplant, LVADs....They have countless attendings for each service and probably 15 fellows between all the different cardio fellowships. The IM program is roughly 15% DOs so we are def friendly.

I have a friend at a small osteopathic IM program and for their cardio block he works with a groups of 3 cardiologists who staff their hospital doing consults and outpatient stuff with them, its just the 4 of them. No interventional exposure, no Cardio ICU, no transplant, adult congenital etc.... They have a fellowship and the 1 fellow rotates with them as well. Thats a HUGE difference in what you are exposed to.

I am not saying don't go Osteo for IM, I am just saying make sure you research the program thoroughly before you make your decision about where you go. There are good and bad programs for ACGME and AOA.

Best of Luck
 

wanttogohome

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Apr 6, 2008
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Very good advice. Thank you all. I like to be informed, but I'm afraid I'm a bit too trusting at times...I knew he was anti ACGME and pro AOA, but I thought maybe there was still some truth to what he was saying. Over the next couple of years I will continue to look into programs and these issues. As of now, I am looking into dually accredited programs...thanks again!