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Need honest opinion about my chances :(

Discussion in 'Otolaryngology' started by DrKeys, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. DrKeys

    7+ Year Member

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    So I'm in the middle of my 3rd yr on clinical rotations

    Try to setup Away Rotations for 4th yr. I have already encounter issues of allopathic/ACGME programs that outright said "we do not take osteopathic medical students for oto rotations", regardless what my credentials were.

    I find it kind of odd, where their associated hospital further away affiliated with the same allopathic/ACGME program that only offered primary care takes osteopathic medical students.

    Then i proceeded to look up NRMP matching data and charting outcome from last year. so only 1 osteopathic senior matched into otolaryngology out of 360-something spots.

    I have graduated with B.S. and Masters from First tier school, done a lot of research, did a lot of work for pharmaceutical company. Good grades in Osteopathic Med School. Honored Surgery and two other rotations that I have been on so far at Allopathic Hospitals with good letter of rec from Dept Chair.

    USMLE Step 1 was 225/94
    I'll be taking USMLE Step 2 CK hopefully by Aug/2009
    My C.V. is 2+ pages long with significant activities and experiences + past research/pubs

    So what are my chances? According to NRMP if i'm a allopathic u.s. senior i'd have at least 85% chance of matching somewhere (doesn't have to be brand name oto residency) with the stats i have. however, as grouped as "independent applicant" by NRMP (osteopathic, FMG, IMG) are all grouped as 1 has less than 5-8% chances of matching with the same stats.

    So what's really preventing me (who is a U.S. senior rotated at allopathic hospitals and received U.S. medical education and took the same USMLE) from matching to an ACGME oto residency?

    I'm planning on rotate at the programs I'm interested in. If you guys have some feedback of potential obstacles or is it a good idea/bad idea to rotate at the program i'm interested in? i would really appreciate it. Thanks

    Let's say , if I rotated at your program (resxn or the throat) with my stats as an osteopathic student and worked really hard and get along with most people, would I at least able get an interview/or be ranked at your program for match?
     
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  3. dgruntledmizzou

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    I had to be the buzzkill here but it doesn't look good. (Please take my comments with a grain of salt, I'm a student so I probably don't know what I'm spewing out)

    But being an osteopathic student usually isn't a good start.

    Your Step 1 score is above the national average but within the field of ENT, I'd say it might even border on substandard.

    That being said, if you couldn't see yourself doing anything else, you probably should go ahead and persevere and not pay attention to what forum members are saying about your chances.
     
  4. DrKeys

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    I think otolaryngology/E.N.T. is what i like, i have already had two month of E.N.T. preceptorship , and first assisted few head & neck cases. I like the bitter sweet of E.N.T where you can get easy cases or extremely difficult cases, I enjoy both surgery and the clinics. Especially the people who are in the field.

    I love the variety of patient population and variety of procedures that are all very different. I like being careful and detailed work instead just chop and dice and cutting through tissues quickly. I have first assisted at least 3 cases in each surgical subspecialty (plastic, ortho, E.N.T. uro, and OB/GYN). then i have tons of general surg first assist experiences.

    So even afterall these, i still like surgery and i really like ENT the best. So I'll pursuit it regardless, however, i would like to know how the program/residency "from the other side" perceive a candidate like me who is from an Osteopathic school with little bit above average stats .

    Any feedback will be very much appreciated. thanks
     
  5. resxn

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    I think the easy answer is that you're in an uphill battle, but if you want it go for it.

    It's sort of like the cancer patient that asks me what his chances are. I can give the overall numbers and say for all H&N cancer patients, there is a 40% chance of 5 year disease-free survival, but for that one guy, his chances are either 100% or 0%. So are yours. If you're going all in, chances don't matter anyway. Just do your best, bust your hump, and you have a chance.

    It's like on Dumb & Dumber when Jim Carrey says, "So you're telling me there's a chance!"
     
  6. DrKeys

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    That's a good feedback,

    However i would like to know let's say if you're the Program director, and have two students with the same stats, and both are well liked, and both rotated with you. One being a allo-senior and the other osteo-senior. Would you choose the osteo applicant or allo applicant? or would your program would even look at the osteo applicant's application? or would the osteo-applicant be rejected at the door for being osteopathic?

    I mean I have rotated at few places both allo and osteopathic hospitals/medical centers. What I've observed so far is that the doc/attending/residents doesn't really care who is allopathic and who is osteopathic, however, the institution (university/hospital/program) maybe the program director would reject osteopathic applicants outright without even looking at the application. Similar to when i called up programs to rotate for next year, they told me outright we do not allow osteopathic students to rotate here.

    i think that's like the feedback i would also be interested in. so I can see if it is just here in the New England Area that this is happening or is it pretty much else where?

    thanks in advance.
     
  7. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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    I'm in a unique position to give you realistic advice. I'm a DO student and entered the allo ENT match this year. The unfortunate reality is that almost every program in the US will reject you immediately. Your degree and school is written on the 1st and 2nd page of ERAS. It's the first (and only) thing they'll see. With so many great candidates, they look for any reason to throw out an application. My board score is over 20 points higher than yours and I too have research to fill pages. I've honored classes and rotations and all that stuff. I received only a few interviews after applying to many programs. It does sting that my MD colleagues with similar and worse stats are deciding which of their 15 interviews to cancel due to date conflicts or geographical preferences. But on the other hand I'm happy to get even the few chances that I have. As for you, the reality is that the DO bias in the field will kill your application, and if you apply you might be sitting on your ass without interviews come next december. Or, you may get lucky. But be very careful and have a strong backup plan. I wish I had someone tell me this a year ago. Oh wait, I sorta did but stubbornly proceeded anyway.
     
  8. DrKeys

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    Wow ,


    That's kind of feedback that I'm kind of afraid of, however, it'll be good to know ahead. I guess from my calling programs to schedule rotations, your experience currently applying for allo-ENT, and NRMP match data and charting outcome data, This is probably the reality and not just an isolated event.

    However like you, i'll probably be stubbornly proceeding the course....... hahaha because i love ENT. I'll take your advise on having a strong backup plan, do you mind if I PM you on some more specific questions?

    I guess from Resxn, and your comment, for allo-senior's it is already an up-hill battle , and for osteopathic-seniors, it is a mountain to climb. however, if this is what I love, then i'll have to take a chance no matter what, but make sure i have something else maybe an alternate route of (either prepare to rotate at more places, prepare to apply next year, do a research fellowship at an ENT program for a year, or go into Gen Surg then apply as PGY-2 since first here of ENT is probably gen surg) So i guess i'll be interviewing both Gen Surg and ENT and rotate at gazillion places.

    sigh..... :( So out of above mentioned backup/alternate plans? which one is more helpful for what I'm looking to do? I mean rotate a gazillion places would help? or hurt me?, interviewing Gen Surg/ENT is also kind of dangerous too because you might cross someone on the trail and they rat you out , and ENT might be turn off by the fact i'm applying to Gen Surg and think i'm not genuine? ahhhhh another double-edge sword .... :(
     
    #7 DrKeys, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  9. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    if you love ent that much, then you wont mind going to a osteo ENT program. i presume you're applying to those
     
  10. andexterouss

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    To the OP,
    Have you considered DO programs? Your USMLE score is lower than the ENT average and as a DO that's double whammy. The Midwest might not be too enticing but there are great DO ENT programs there that will allow you do what you love. DO programs tend to require audition rotation so you better plan ahead carefully and make sure you are not wasting your 4th year sub-i's doing rotations at MD programs that have no interest in you.
     
  11. DrKeys

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    Thank you Exmike and Andex.

    I'm planning on rotating at DO ENT programs also. I'm very aware of that one would have to rotate through the program to be even considered at DO ENT Programs.

    However, even with DO ENT Programs (most of them are in Michigan and OH). I'm looking only for east coast programs which means that only limits me to NJ and PA there are exactly 4 programs (2 per each state, and each program accept exactly 1 student, maybe 2 max). I'm already planning on rotate at these programs. however, it does not make me feel very safe when i can count the spots that i can apply to with 1 HAND.

    I need to apply to many programs as I can both allo and osteopathic ENT programs. (If it comes down to it, i'll even rotate through OH or MI). One thing i did learn from following few osteopathic trained ENT in the past is that, there is a difference of how they get treated by the hospital/given priviledges compare to their ACGME board certified ENT peers. (some hospital won't even recognize the ACOGME ENT board certification, which banishes a lot of DO ENT to private practice/community medical centers).

    i just feel a little sad to see why there is such thing as osteopathic bias that still exist today. I mean we all went through the same U.S. clinical education at U.S. hospitals, took the same boards, and read the similar books, and have the same practice rights of medical licensure at federal and state level.

    How am i at such disadvantage? when all else is being similar except one is M.D. and one is D.O. and basically do the same thing practice the same medicine and see the same patient.

    i mean Where is this bias come from? i really just at a lost for what is going on for real, and there is probably nothing i can do to change it.? Does having a D.O. increases the liability to the hospital/institution?
     
    #10 DrKeys, Dec 19, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  12. andexterouss

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    I've had very miniscule contact with DO ENTs so you're probably more knowledgeable about their work than I. If what you said is accurate, then, that's very unfortunate. However, that shouldn't deter you though. You can always do an MD fellowship after your residency which should most likely neutralize any doubts about your skills.
     
  13. DwightKShrute

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    That's just the way the system is.

    Right or wrong, residencies will ask, "If you're so bright, why not an allopathic medical school?"

    There are more than enough qualified allopathic applicants that ENT residencies can and will overlook qualified osteopathic applicants.
     
  14. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    I have to say that your battle is uphill and steep.

    Many MD students with your scores are flat out rejected prior to the interview. So, this doesn't separate you from MD students who are not as qualified as others. On top of this, your DO degree does stick out.

    In order to increase your chances, you have to rotate at a program, have good research, and get strong letters from allopathic program residencies. I normally don't advise away rotations since they are the best way to ruin your chances, but they might increase your chances if you don't face prejudice based on your degree. Having said that, there are MANY MD students who do the above and don't get in either.
     
  15. DrKeys

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    Thanks Neutro, Dwight, Andex,


    I think you guys are all correct that it's an uphill battle and my DO degree would definitely stick out. So i believe I'll have to do away rotations or SubI's as many as possible.

    So I have potential 5 4-week time-slots for away rotation or 10 2-week time slots. Would you guys recommend 2-week rotations? or stick with the 4-week? I just don't want the away rotation to backfire, however, i'll do the best i can to bust my ass... but also don't want to burnout and look bad either. :( do you think 2-week rotations will hurt? or help? what about 4-week rotations?
     
  16. staphaureus

    staphaureus New Member
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    DrKeys,

    I think I'm a fairly average applicant (according to the successfully matched data anyway) for Oto.. with part of my app weak and part strong. So far, I think the most helpful thing to my application are strong letter of recommendations (not necessary from big wigs). I think to get good letters, you have to spend at least 4 weeks at a place for them to really get to know who you are. Keep in mind that some places do not give out courtesy interviews, so I'd be careful before going there. good luck.
     
  17. DrKeys

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    Staph,


    thanks for your comment on the importance of obtaining a good LOR, I think with my application being on the weakside, LOR will definitely have to be good.

    Regarding the Courtesy interview, how do i find out if the program gives out courtesy interviews or not? Do i go by the history of past applicant of the program? or do i ask straight out front with PD or medical education office or Registrar of the University afflicated hospital.

    Would it look bad if i ask about that upfront (it makes the PD think that i'm doing the away rotation only for the interview) would this backfire, for which that PD will just deny my application to rotate there?

    please comment on that, i would appreciate it. thanks
     
    #16 DrKeys, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  18. Pir8DeacDoc

    Pir8DeacDoc Cerumen Extractor
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    I have to assume that when you applied to and accepted a position in a DO school that you knew the road might be a little more bumpy. To all of a sudden complain about the injustice of it all after the fact is annoying. It's like going to the Caribbean for medical school and then expecting to be treated the same as medical students in the US. Reality is it probably shouldn't make a difference, but truth is that it does. Many fine residents and doctors are trained at DO and caribbean medical schools but in highly competitive fields like ENT anything to differentiate you from the next guy can and will be used against you.


    Keep your chin up and go for what you want, but trying to convince some random residents/attendings on a message board of the merit of osteopathic education is likely a waste of time and falls on deaf ears.
     
  19. DrKeys

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    I'm not trying to convince anyone, except maybe to see if there are any feedack on if anyone has any insight on how they deal with a difficult situation or if anyone has tried anything/went through a difficult situation and able to came out on top.

    The road for D.O. i knew was difficult, however, the reality takes on a more detail shape as one go from Pre-med to year1/2, and then gets more realistic to year 3/4, and i'm sure once i'm a resident situation would be different. All i can do is to ask people before me who has went through similar issues or had experience with someone who went through similar issues or had students they met who went through the similar issues. Ask for feedback, on what happened? what was the outcome? if they were given a chance to try something different what would they do?

    Residency application process is like a job interview, nobody really has a good formula or a book to read on what to do. its all based on people's experience and words that gets passed down from one year to another. So that's all i'm doing is to get a better feel and to better prepare for what I need to do. I'm not asking for a "hand-me down" or asking for acceptance or to convince anyone. I hope you understand.
     
  20. docmd2010

    docmd2010 Senior Member
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    I'm a DO student and am very sorry to hear your unfortunate predicament. My best advice to you is this.

    I completely agree with others that your chances are probably much less than the average 240+ US MD ENT applicant. I think that you need to assess your goals. What's more important? Being an ENT? or living in the East Coast? If it's being an ENT, go very strongly for the osteo programs. You have a MUCH MUCH better chance of getting in there. I have heard, that on average, the DO ENT programs don't carry the caseload and diversity that the MD's do. However, If your goals are to do private practice ENT, i'm sure that osteo ENT programs will provide more than adequate training for that. If you wanna do academic ENT, as the above poster said-do an MD ENT fellowship-that would be easier to get into than an ENT residency.

    If you want to live in the East coast, then i guess either try to get really lucky in the allo ENT match or maybe look for a different field, maybe general surgery if you want to be a surgeon. i would think that MD gen surg might be more reasonable for you to obtain.

    I feel your pain though man. I want to do allo IM, but I would like to do at a top tier program. My USMLE scores are well above the average matched IM applicant, but i'm sure columbia will throw my application in the garbage just as soon as they see that i'm an osteopathic student. I guess i'm kind of glad that i don't want to do surgery as I would be in your shoes at this point in time. I think i will be able to match into a pretty solid IM program but def. no top-tier.

    Good luck to you, i wish you the best in the match and hope you are able to achieve your career goals.
     
  21. docmd2010

    docmd2010 Senior Member
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    I'm a DO student and am very sorry to hear your unfortunate predicament. My best advice to you is this.

    I completely agree with others that your chances are probably much less than the average 240+ US MD ENT applicant. I think that you need to assess your goals. What's more important? Being an ENT? or living in the East Coast? If it's being an ENT, go very strongly for the osteo programs. You have a MUCH MUCH better chance of getting in there. I have heard, that on average, the DO ENT programs don't carry the caseload and diversity that the MD's do. However, If your goals are to do private practice ENT, i'm sure that osteo ENT programs will provide more than adequate training for that. If you wanna do academic ENT, as the above poster said-do an MD ENT fellowship-that would be easier to get into than an ENT residency.

    If you want to live in the East coast, then i guess either try to get really lucky in the allo ENT match or maybe look for a different field, maybe general surgery if you want to be a surgeon. i would think that MD gen surg might be more reasonable for you to obtain.

    I feel your pain though man. I want to do allo IM, but I would like to do at a top tier program. My USMLE scores are well above the average matched IM applicant, but i'm sure columbia will throw my application in the garbage just as soon as they see that i'm an osteopathic student. I guess i'm kind of glad that i don't want to do surgery as I would be in your shoes at this point in time. I think i will be able to match into a pretty solid IM program but def. no top-tier.

    Good luck to you, i wish you the best in the match and hope you are able to achieve your career goals.
     
  22. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    I'm not sure how you can be so specific about your geographic and academic needs when you don't have, at first glance, an application to support such. the northeast id NY is probably the most desirable location save for CA. Plenty of well above avg allopathic applicants dont even get all the NY interviews they want. I'd have to question your desire to become an oto-hns if you're that self-limiting on what/where you'd apply.
     
  23. redsoxdave

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    Im a DO ENT resident and just had to add my two cents. Its true that a few programs have a low caseload and poor diversity but to say in general that all programs are that way is untrue. At PCOM our caseload and diversity in cases is much more than adequate. We train with excellent attendings some of which are world renowned such as Dr. Sataloff (laryngology). Our graduating residents have been amply prepared and have most recently landed great fellowships at Pitt in peds, plastics fellowship at Bama and UCLA. That said, its not easy to get into a DO ENT residency either. I scored in the 96th percentile with research and good CV and still felt lucky to land my spot. Anyway, I had enough of the garbage about DO ENT programs sucking. There's quite a few programs I know of on the MD side that don't even match our caliber.
     
  24. Fah-Q

    Fah-Q Senior Member
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    To the OP: I am just curious. Why have you decided to abandon your osteopathic education and pursue allopathic training?
     
  25. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    Such as...
     
  26. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    "quite a few".. considering how few there are already and how most match one or two applicants, I'm going to have to call you out on that one.
     
  27. DrKeys

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    I'm not abandon my osteopathic training at all, and i'm also NOT just ONLY pursuing Allopathic residencies either. I'm applying BOTH osteopathic and allopathic ENT residencies. I just want to make sure this message is straighten out and not misintepreted.

    I appreciate your feedback RedSoxDave, I just want to hear from various applicants about their own experiences. ENT is just so competitive for BOTH osteopathic and allopathic programs, that one will really have to cast a really WIDE net to be safe. At this point from various feedback that you guys have provideded, I would put away all my preferences and applying to DO and MD ENT residencies doesn't matter what region.

    So one question for you RedSoxDave, when you applied to PCOM ENT residency (it is a very reputable osteopathic ENT program) and the quality is comparable to many allopathic programs, did you also apply to allo-ENT residencies? or did you only apply to DO-ENT residencies? what did you have to do differently to land a DO-ENT residency? I know that you'll have to rotate through a program in order to be considered. Even so, what's your recommendation for a student rotating through the program? what would the program look for in a student to be considered for interview candidate? I would really appreciate your feedback. Thank you!
     
  28. andexterouss

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    What's your COMLEX score like? If you have the right number, you should match and not have to worry about MD programs as much. If a hospital has problems with your credentials down the line, look for another one. Hospitals are a dime a dozen and there are not too many ENTs to begin with
     
    #27 andexterouss, Jan 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  29. DrKeys

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    Check your PM Andex
     

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