shocker

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I am a 1st year student that is extremely interested in Radiology. I worked in a film hanger/do anything that makes us more efficient type capacity for 4 years before going to med school. I got to know all the rads(30 partners) very well and learned a lot about what they do.

Radiology is my top choice but my school is very primary care focused and there are not a lot of opportunities for specialty stuff. There is no Radiology residency at my school. I have tried contacting the Rads that run the program, they are private practice, and I am not getting any response.

I have been down to the dept. and looked over a couple of guy's shoulders but that is the extent of it. I e-mailed one of the 2 guys in charge of the Radiology courses but he didn't respond. I caught him in the hall afterwards and he said "Oh yeah I got it, I am going to get you in touch with Dr.?" that was over a month ago and I have not heard anything.

I can see this sounds like I am whining but I am just trying to be proactive and get involved in Radiology early. I have read thru this column and I know that it takes a lot to match.

I don't think there are any research opportunities at my school and it looks like that will really hinder me. Any input would be very helpful. Thanks.
 

TheDudeabides

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shocker said:
I am a 1st year student that is extremely interested in Radiology. I worked in a film hanger/do anything that makes us more efficient type capacity for 4 years before going to med school. I got to know all the rads(30 partners) very well and learned a lot about what they do.

Radiology is my top choice but my school is very primary care focused and there are not a lot of opportunities for specialty stuff. There is no Radiology residency at my school (ECU). I have tried contacting the Rads that run the program, they are private practice, and I am not getting any response.

I have been down to the dept. and looked over a couple of guy's shoulders but that is the extent of it. I e-mailed one of the 2 guys in charge of the Radiology courses but he didn't respond. I caught him in the hall afterwards and he said "Oh yeah I got it, I am going to get you in touch with Dr.?" that was over a month ago and I have not heard anything.

I can see this sounds like I am whining but I am just trying to be proactive and get involved in Radiology early. I have read thru this column and I know that it takes a lot to match.

I don't think there are any research opportunities at my school and it looks like that will really hinder me. Any input would be very helpful. Thanks.

sounds like you are SOL. Maybe try to do some research in a rads department elsewhere in the summer between 1st and 2nd year, otherwise you will have to wait until your 4th year to spend any significant time in an academic rads deparment
 
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shocker

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Research is a must huh?

I did u-grad molecular bio research and have 1 pub, but i am like 3rd or 4th author.

This stresses me out b/c I want to go into Radiology because I have seen a lot of interesting stuff, not b/c I will make $$$$$. I see all these posts about going into it for lifestyle or money and nothing about interest in the field, and I may not make it b/c lack of opportunity.
 
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shocker

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I don't know why I listed u-grad stuff, I know it means nothing when applying for a residency.

Dudeabides, would you say "I am out of my element"?
 

TheDudeabides

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shocker said:
Research is a must huh?

I did u-grad molecular bio research and have 1 pub, but i am like 3rd or 4th author.

This stresses me out b/c I want to go into Radiology because I have seen a lot of interesting stuff, not b/c I will make $$$$$. I see all these posts about going into it for lifestyle or money and nothing about interest in the field, and I may not make it b/c lack of opportunity.
I didnt mean research was a must, but it definately helps come application time. I guess you could try to do some sort of elective somewhere, but i wouldn't think other places take on externships until you are at least a 3rd year. Maybe I didnt understand your original Q, you are just looking for some kind of exposure that will help get you an "in" with a rads department where they actually have a residency program right? why not do some reasearch while there, even if it is just looking up old cases for a case report or something to get to know they vips in the department
 

TheDudeabides

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shocker said:
I don't know why I listed u-grad stuff, I know it means nothing when applying for a residency.

Dudeabides, would you say "I am out of my element"?

didnt catch this post as I was typing my last post, and no you arent out of you element as you have spent tons of time around rads it seems, probably a lot more so than most of us here...actually, "I like your style man"
 
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shocker

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My apologies, I wasn't very clear. I am just a little frustrated with my schools Radiology support. To my classmates it is just something they have to do and generally talk trash about. So I guess that there usually are not many students trying to do Rad stuff during school.

This is pure speculation, but I think I should finish in top 10-15% of class. I just don't think that will help that much considering I go to ECU not Duke.

I guess I need to crush step 1.
 

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dude, it sucks going to a primary-care school because we all know that the coolest specialties aren't primary-care. You should spend some time in an academic rads dept. during the upcoming summer. keep in touch with them afterward, and then return for an elective in 3rd/early 4th year. good luck.
 
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shocker

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Thanks for the ideas. I will have to look to visit somewhere during this summer.
 

Lara

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I would definitely search ASAP for good summer research opportunities in rads (some have fairly early deadlines).

The other best advice I can give is to study your classroom material (especially physio) well now, because crushing Step 1 probably *is* the best thing you can do for your chances.
 

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I second the above opinion, re: boards. I am a 4th year D.O. student and as such, my school also focuses on primary care. I did not enjoy primary care, and I guess any significant patient care oriented specialty my third year, so I chose radiology. I went to a couple Radiology conferences to learn more about the specialty, and that helped to a very small degree but it came up at a couple of interviews. I am currently working on a radiology research project and that came up a couple times on the interview trail, but nothing has been published yet, and might not. My school obviously doesn't have a radiology department either so I had to rotate through programs that I was interested and maybe get good LORs. I was very fortunate to get some great letters and since I only did slightly better than avg. on USMLE Step 1, and a bit better on Step 2, my LORs helped a great deal. If I had done 10-20 points better on Step 1 I think I would have had double the interviews.

Being a first year student, you should only have one goal right now, and that is to crush USMLE Step 1. You need to focus 99% of your energy on this exam because it will be used as a screening tool, and everything else is secondary. I definitely recommend rotating somewhere early in your 4th year or late in your 3rd year where you want to do a residency and maybe get a LOR at the very least. If you want to do something radiology oriented 1st and 2nd year, join your school's Radiology Club or start one up....I wish I had done that, but again it probably won't help much. Try to do some research as a 3rd or 4th year if you can, but since you've already had some experience with research, that's good. Boards are #1. One more thing, you need to get A's/Honors or whatever the best grade that you can get on ALL your rotations. Don't give interview committees any reason not to consider you.

If you are a DO student(since you didn't mention it), you HAVE to take USMLE Step 1 and I think it best to take USMLE Step 2 as well, if you want any chance of matching to an allopathic Rads residency. If you want ANY chance whatsoever of matching to a DO Radiology Residency (currently only 10 I believe), you HAVE to have rotated through their department.

I read a lot of radiology books over the summer before I started my fourth year, and when I was on rotations, I knew any question that was asked...well most of them anyways. Show you are interested and you'll make a good impression on rotations. I don't see any point in rotating with a private practice radiologist b/c unless they have a lot of pull with a specific program you are interested in, you are better off rotating somewhere that has a residency.

In the end I got 7 interviews, 6 academic university oriented, and 1 community program. I wish I had had alot more, as most people I interviewed with had been on 15-20, but if you make a good impression at a couple, hopefully you won't need that many. I feel pretty good about my chances of matching somewhere, and my best chance is with my #1 program, but its competitive and very difficult to judge your chances objectively. There isn't another specialty that I would even consider right now, so I just gave it my all and gave myself the best possible chance of matching. I am nervous/anxious/scared about not matching, but there's nothing more I can do right now.

31 days till Black Monday....

Good Luck!