Jan 8, 2014
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Hey guys and gals,

Long time lurker, first time posting. Third year here, enjoying my clinical education. So this is been rattling around in my head all year as I have been going through my rotations and my docs are telling me that I should go into all these ROADs specialties because they are so awesome and honestly, I'm getting nervous for just any spot. First the facts.

-COMLEX Step 1 - 413
-USMLE Step 1- 185
-Honestly, my COMLEX step 2 will most likely follow the same trend.
-Honors in most my first year classes but downward trend in second year, though never failing anything (minus the USMLE)
-Doing generally well in rotations with HP and H.
-Mediocre (passes) on COMSAT's

I guess I just suck at testing, but I can't explain my downward trend as medschool progressed. Not sure.



So here is what is getting me.

It looks like my only option is the AoA match, is that correct?

If so, I'm leaning towards IM. What are some decent sites I could get through the AoA match? Are there any somewhat reputable programs? (And I know this question is arbitrary due to people rating different preferences higher than others, but I'm looking for an academic based, categorical (or not) program where I will receive decent training. Location, weather, etc. is dead last on my list due to me being a single female with no ties to person or place, though in a perfect world I would stay on the west coast and they would have fellowship options, but hey, beggars...yada yada)

It's funny, most all my preceptors tell me that I should go into internal med and then into a sub-specialty afterword because "that's the way my mind works" but I kind of just giggle and then stress out inside thinking to myself, "if they only knew." I'm usually pretty bubbly but this has been getting me down lately.

Any help would be appreciated as I am complete lost for where to go from here. Thanks in advance for all your past, present, and future help guys and gals! Love ya. :)
 

iheartsharks

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I think most people would recommend that your situation you probably especially if you don't care about location. You should apply to all DO IM programs in the United States see where you get interviews and reevaluate after going on each. I think should find residency somewhere but MD IM is certainly out of the question.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

IM2GI

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Dec 5, 2013
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You are a DO and barely passed step 1. I have no idea how competitive AoA residency programs are, but even in that world you are at the bottom of the pile.

Apply very broadly and talk to your advisors at your local program who can give you a better idea of where people with your stats from your school have ended up.
 
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OP
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Jan 8, 2014
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So what I hear you guys saying is I should most likely go anyplace that accepts me and not think about anything I want really... I though my situation was bad but I didn't know it was so dismal. Well then, just for future reference, does anybody have some info on the "reacher" and "safeties" (or i guess in my case, where I am going to go) as far as ranking AoA residencies?

Thanks for the info btw, IM2GI and Iheartsharks. <3
 
Oct 21, 2013
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Is there a reason you couldn't buckle down and do well on Step 2? Do you feel like it is an issue of not studying enough, or an issue not in your control? Did you retake the Step 1 after getting a 185 (I thought 188 was pass, and now 192)?
 
Nov 30, 2013
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Looks like an AOA residency due to your USMLE score. And West coast isn't too DO friendly, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try if you are interested. And I hope you chose IM because you want to do IM, and not because your attendings are telling you to subspecialize. I would get that crap all the time when I told attendings I wanted to do FM.

Do well on Step 2, it isn't as difficult as Step 1, just more stressful due to time constraints. Hell, take a month vacation if you need to just study. Good luck.
 

IM2GI

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Is there a reason you couldn't buckle down and do well on Step 2? Do you feel like it is an issue of not studying enough, or an issue not in your control? Did you retake the Step 1 after getting a 185 (I thought 188 was pass, and now 192)?
I had assumed a 185 was a pass because he listed the score, if its a fail thats an even bigger deal killer.

A good step 2 will not overcome such a poor step 1 at most programs.
 

IM2GI

5+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2013
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So what I hear you guys saying is I should most likely go anyplace that accepts me and not think about anything I want really... I though my situation was bad but I didn't know it was so dismal. Well then, just for future reference, does anybody have some info on the "reacher" and "safeties" (or i guess in my case, where I am going to go) as far as ranking AoA residencies?

Thanks for the info btw, IM2GI and Iheartsharks. <3
Im not trying to crush your spirits, but you need to be smart about this. I am admittedly ignorant on DO programs however. I think most of us are from MD programs as well. Your best advice will come from meeting with your faculty advisor. They should be able to tell you where people with similar scores have gone.

Is your step 1 a fail?
 
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OP
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Jan 8, 2014
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Is there a reason you couldn't buckle down and do well on Step 2? Do you feel like it is an issue of not studying enough, or an issue not in your control? Did you retake the Step 1 after getting a 185 (I thought 188 was pass, and now 192)?
I think it's out of my control. I literally spend 16 hour days studying for the Step 1 for two months straight. I cut myself off from all friends etc, except only to say "hi, im still alive" through a text every once in awhile. Even with that you see my results. So I am "hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst "as they say. I didn't retake the USMLE 1 becuase I feel that i would have barely passed it and either situation is a red flag. You are correct 188 is pass and now 192.
 
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OP
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Jan 8, 2014
13
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Medical Student
Im not trying to crush your spirits, but you need to be smart about this. I am admittedly ignorant on DO programs however. I think most of us are from MD programs as well. Your best advice will come from meeting with your faculty advisor. They should be able to tell you where people with similar scores have gone.

Is your step 1 a fail?
I understand, and I am looking for real advice, becasue the residency programs aren't going to cut me any slack either. I appreciate your forward nature. To answer your question, my step 1 COMLEX was a pass (passing is 400) but I did fail my USMLE by 3 pts.
 
OP
F
Jan 8, 2014
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Looks like an AOA residency due to your USMLE score. And West coast isn't too DO friendly, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try if you are interested. And I hope you chose IM because you want to do IM, and not because your attendings are telling you to subspecialize. I would get that crap all the time when I told attendings I wanted to do FM.

Do well on Step 2, it isn't as difficult as Step 1, just more stressful due to time constraints. Hell, take a month vacation if you need to just study. Good luck.
Thanks for the luck! I'll need it. I'm interested in IM, but also, lets face it, I don't have much choice otherwise. Peds and FP too I guess... I have been researching the tips for step 2 and have been trying to apply them although my test is 6 months out, I will do my best. It's the best I can do!
 

insidor

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From a Program Director - your chances of matching into an Allopathic IM program are pretty slim with that failing grade on Step I. The only likely way to overcome it is retake and do well on both that and Step II + an audition rotation.

That being said, with allo IM programs becoming more competitive, the quality of programs you would have a chance to match in would not be too good

Best bet is to apply DO IM and only release COMLEX scores. There are some very good Osteo IM programs, that will give you great training and the potential for fellowship afterwards

Feel free to IM me with any more specific questions
 

gutonc

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Basic, honest advice (that is worth exactly what you paid for it):
1. Cut your losses with USMLE...it's just money down the drain at this point.
2. Do the best you can on COMLEX II and don't fail (obvious advice is obvious but I'm serious here)
3. Apply to all the AOA IM programs and include low tier MD programs that accept COMLEX only. It's going to cost you some coin but not matching is way more expensive.
4. Rotate at a couple of MD places that regularly take people from your school. Kick ass and take names. Get a good LOR or 3.
5. Have a backup. As a DO, you'll have the option for a TRI in the worst case scenario. You should be able to parlay that into a residency if you play your cards right.
6. Don't psych yourself out. You can (most likely) do this. Stop pretending you can't.
 
2

235009

Basic, honest advice (that is worth exactly what you paid for it):
1. Cut your losses with USMLE...it's just money down the drain at this point.
2. Do the best you can on COMLEX II and don't fail (obvious advice is obvious but I'm serious here)
3. Apply to all the AOA IM programs and include low tier MD programs that accept COMLEX only. It's going to cost you some coin but not matching is way more expensive.
4. Rotate at a couple of MD places that regularly take people from your school. Kick ass and take names. Get a good LOR or 3.
5. Have a backup. As a DO, you'll have the option for a TRI in the worst case scenario. You should be able to parlay that into a residency if you play your cards right.
6. Don't psych yourself out. You can (most likely) do this. Stop pretending you can't.
I don't think releasing your USMLE scores in AMCAS is optional.

Either way you should completely forget about ACGME/MD residencies. Do not bother with any more USMLE exams and definitely don't waste precious elective time at an MD program. The way the matches are set up with the DO match preceding the MD match you would be insane to skip the DO match after barely passing COMLEX I! Your elective time is better spent at a more respectable DO IM program (or two) in the hopes that you'll impress them sufficiently with your clinical performance.
 

gutonc

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I don't think releasing your USMLE scores in AMCAS is optional.

Either way you should completely forget about ACGME/MD residencies. Do not bother with any more USMLE exams and definitely don't waste precious elective time at an MD program. The way the matches are set up with the DO match preceding the MD match you would be insane to skip the DO match after barely passing COMLEX I! Your elective time is better spent at a more respectable DO IM program (or two) in the hopes that you'll impress them sufficiently with your clinical performance.
To be clear (since you like to argue with me and pick my posts apart), by "cut your losses" I meant "don't take another USMLE exam because you'll probably fail it" not "don't report your USMLE scores if required to do so".
 
2

235009

To be clear (since you like to argue with me and pick my posts apart), by "cut your losses" I meant "don't take another USMLE exam because you'll probably fail it" not "don't report your USMLE scores if required to do so".
Yea, I got what you meant. My comment was in response to #3.... I might be mistaken but if you apply to MD programs you have to send a USMLE transcript if you have one even if they only take COMLEX.
 

gutonc

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Yea, I got what you meant. My comment was in response to #3.... I might be mistaken but if you apply to MD programs you have to send a USMLE transcript if you have one even if they only take COMLEX.
I didn't say don't report it. Just that it might get ignored.

But I agree that the AOA match is where it's at.
 
OP
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Jan 8, 2014
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Insidor, MeatTornado, gutonc... You guys are awesome! Thank you guys for your insight. I feel a little better now and will try to let my positive qualities shine. I received a message from an awesome SDN member, telling me of a really interesting program that I have since checked out and am excited to try and schedule an elective rotation with. I know most of you guys are MD but are there any more suggestions for good AoA programs that I should check out? I'm going through the list of all AoA IM programs but it's a slow process with my current rotation.
 

pattr

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May 26, 2009
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Insidor, MeatTornado, gutonc... You guys are awesome! Thank you guys for your insight. I feel a little better now and will try to let my positive qualities shine. I received a message from an awesome SDN member, telling me of a really interesting program that I have since checked out and am excited to try and schedule an elective rotation with. I know most of you guys are MD but are there any more suggestions for good AoA programs that I should check out? I'm going through the list of all AoA IM programs but it's a slow process with my current rotation.
Here are some solid programs that I can think of... may want to pose this question on the Osteopathic forum for more advice!:

Swedish Covenant in Chicago
Botsford General, Garden City, Genesys, EW Sparrow, St John Providence, McLaren Macomb in Michigan
Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania
Grandview in Ohio
 
OP
F
Jan 8, 2014
13
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Medical Student
Here are some solid programs that I can think of... may want to pose this question on the Osteopathic forum for more advice!:

Swedish Covenant in Chicago
Botsford General, Garden City, Genesys, EW Sparrow, St John Providence, McLaren Macomb in Michigan
Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania
Grandview in Ohio
Thanks again pattr!
 

imimimim

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Dec 21, 2013
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I don't know if your from Michigan but we have plenty of fantastic DO programs here; botsford, St. John's, Sinai Grace (dually accredited) and plus many more. The nice thing about some of these programs is that they really put a lot of emphasis on personality. So if u rotate there and they like working with u, your set.
 

imimimim

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Dec 21, 2013
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Crap Just noticed that a lot of those programs were mentioned in an earlier post..there's also oak wood south shore, Pontiac osteo hospital and Grand Rapids
 
OP
F
Jan 8, 2014
13
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Medical Student
I don't know if your from Michigan but we have plenty of fantastic DO programs here; botsford, St. John's, Sinai Grace (dually accredited) and plus many more. The nice thing about some of these programs is that they really put a lot of emphasis on personality. So if u rotate there and they like working with u, your set.
I have been checking out those programs. Thanks!

Here is a question that hopefully somebody can answer. The medical world is somewhat small. Now, I have read that if you do a rotation, for example, at on of the MI locations, other MI locations can either think you are more interested in another site and not rank you as high or if you perform poorly, word will get around that you were terrible, thereby hurting your chances at other local sites. Thoughts?

Thanks again guys!
 

Niviancer

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That is not the way to approach an audition rotation. Sure that may happen, but you have to go into these rotations with the intention to make a good name for yourself, otherwise they may not be worth it at all.
 
Nov 30, 2013
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I have been checking out those programs. Thanks!

Here is a question that hopefully somebody can answer. The medical world is somewhat small. Now, I have read that if you do a rotation, for example, at on of the MI locations, other MI locations can either think you are more interested in another site and not rank you as high or if you perform poorly, word will get around that you were terrible, thereby hurting your chances at other local sites. Thoughts?

Thanks again guys!
As long as you don't explicitly state which OTHER program you're interested you're okay. I heard this one student say during her first week on an audition rotation "Oh, I was thinking about ____(another hospital)" when asked where she was looking to do residency. Awkward. Not really much was discussed after that line.
 
Oct 21, 2013
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As long as you don't explicitly state which OTHER program you're interested you're okay. I heard this one student say during her first week on an audition rotation "Oh, I was thinking about ____(another hospital)" when asked where she was looking to do residency. Awkward. Not really much was discussed after that line.
On one hand it's a loaded question. On the other hand, why the **** would she do an audition at a place she's not looking to do residency at?
 
Nov 30, 2013
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On one hand it's a loaded question. On the other hand, why the **** would she do an audition at a place she's not looking to do residency at?
Haha, yeaaaaa. I think everyone was asking themselves that.
 
OP
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Jan 8, 2014
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OK guys and gals, I'm back and hope I can get one last bit of advice...

I met with my adviser today and she told me that with my grades, it's really important that I do some audition rotations. Well, yeah, I know! Here's the thing... I really don't have any preferences between many of the programs. They all have their pros and cons (location and weather, workload, hospital settings, good and bad reviews, affiliation, fellowships, etc.) but I would take a spot with any combination of the aforementioned factors as long as I could get the best training for what my board scores allow. How do you narrow down just 2-3 places to roll the dice with for my auditions?!
 

SLC

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On one hand it's a loaded question. On the other hand, why the **** would she do an audition at a place she's not looking to do residency at?
I have considered doing this as a way to "warm up the skills" for a subsequent audition at a place I really really want to match to.

Smart move? I have no idea...
 

pattr

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May 26, 2009
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OK guys and gals, I'm back and hope I can get one last bit of advice...

I met with my adviser today and she told me that with my grades, it's really important that I do some audition rotations. Well, yeah, I know! Here's the thing... I really don't have any preferences between many of the programs. They all have their pros and cons (location and weather, workload, hospital settings, good and bad reviews, affiliation, fellowships, etc.) but I would take a spot with any combination of the aforementioned factors as long as I could get the best training for what my board scores allow. How do you narrow down just 2-3 places to roll the dice with for my auditions?!
Go for either places that you REALLY REALLY like or ones that you feel are a REACH.

Auditions will help you get interviews at reach programs. It will also help you be ranked highly if you do well at a place you like.