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Neurology Residency - D.O.?

Discussion in 'Neurology' started by StringerBell, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. StringerBell

    StringerBell It's the final countdown!
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    Hey all, please pardon my putative "n00b" status.

    I have been accepted at one D.O. school this year, waitlisted at two others, and waitlisted at an M.D. school. Neurology (clinical, non-interventional) is actually my first love, dating back to neuro being my undergraduate emphasis, through grad school (M.A.) where my studies were focused on Neuro. So please excuse me if my questions are general, but I'm looking for opinions for those who have "been through it"

    1. How competitive is getting a Neuro residency, especially for someone who is a D.O.?

    2. If I want a neuro residency, will it be beneficial to take the USMLE in addition to the COMLEX?

    3. When applying for a residency, do you apply to both Neuro as a PGY-2 and a transitional/IM year as a PGY-1? I've read that some people here have matched into Neuro as a PGY-2 and have had to scramble to find where they're going to spend their first year. Please elucidate this process.

    Thank you all for your input. SDN has been very helpful for me, even if much of it is rumor and conjecture. :)

    (Addendum: I just read the faq, and while it gives me a better idea, I would still like some responses, especially with regards to being a D.O. and the COMLEX.)
     
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  3. CatsandCradles

    CatsandCradles SDN Donor
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    Sometimes, competition into certain fields of medicine can by cyclical...that is one year it is very very hard...and then several years later easier to match...and then hard again.

    Anyway, go to the Google search engine

    1st - type in "AOA residencies"

    2nd - There you'll see a link called Opportunities

    3rd - It is easy to navigate, push in nerology to see all AOA nero programs

    4th - Each program will give you information on %filled, %funded, pay, benefits, etc etc.


    I hope this helps a little.
     
  4. danielmd06

    danielmd06 Neurosomnologist
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    1 - You shouldn't have tons of trouble becoming a Neurologist with a DO behind your name, though the specialty is becoming more competitive than in years past. FRIEDA ranked it as "Moderate" in competitiveness last year (in league with Anesthesiology, Pathology, and Emergency Medicine). It's far easier to obtain a spot in Neuro than the "High" competitive specialties like Rads, Derm, Ophtho etc. This years numbers and rankings are not at my disposal yet.

    2 - I would definitely recommend taking the USMLE.

    3 - You will concomitantly apply to Neuro PGY-2 and IM prelim PGY-1 slots at certain hospitals, whereas other Neurology programs do not include the prelim year as part of the package deal. It all depends on which program you're applying to. The particular program's website can help you.
     
  5. PainDr

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    You shouldn't have any problems. Regardless of what others have said, neuro will NEVER be that competitive. Also, you shouldn't limit yourself to the AOA neuro residencies. There are only a handful and all are in the north/northeast.
     
  6. StringerBell

    StringerBell It's the final countdown!
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    Thanks for the response...actually, I wasn't limiting myself to AOA residencies, but that seemed to be the bulk of the responses that I was getting. But yes, I want to apply to allopathic residencies as well, hence my asking about taking the USMLE. Guess I should be prepared to take both!
     
  7. danielmd06

    danielmd06 Neurosomnologist
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    I'm not sure if this was directed at me or not...but I wasn't trying to insinuate that Neurology was going to be competitive to the point that DO's would have trouble applying in the forseeable future.

    I re-read my post and I thought I was clear that our OP shouldn't anticipate any problems. Everything I stated about competitiveness was accurate, however. The "Moderate" category last year included the specialties I mentioned.

    Stringer, I think you'll be absolutely fine. I still recommend the USMLE.

    Best wishes!
     
  8. drandie

    drandie New Member

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    Thought my experience might be helpful...

    Graduating in a few weeks from PCOM, and ended up taking both USMLE and COMLEX step I. I figured it couldn't hurt. Ended up just using my COMLEX scores when I applied for residencies, and was never asked about taking any other boards.

    I had no trouble getting interviews at allopathic neuro programs (didn't even apply to any DO spots). I interviewed at several top programs, and then ended up in my first choice program near home. I know at least one of my classmates is going to Mayo for neuro next year.

    My current 5-year plan (which they LOVE to ask about in interviews) is to be fellowship trained in neurophysiology. Several program directors commented on what an excellent fit a D.O. would be in that setting, as we are extensively trained in musculoskeletal medicine in medical school. I certainly wasn't thinking neuro when I applied to schools, but it seems I'm right on track anyway.

    All in all, as long as you're a good candidate - good scores, have a personality, enthusiastic about the field - you should have no problem getting into any neuro program. Good Luck!!
     
  9. StringerBell

    StringerBell It's the final countdown!
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    Thanks for the information, everyone. I first started working at an osteopathic clinic after I finished up my Master's, and found out how application of what I had learned in my neuro emphasis was highly applicable to an osteopathic practice, and vice-versa.

    I am relieved to know that neuro isn't super competitive, because it certainly is the field that I want to go into (as opposed to just wanting to have a cushy residency/practice.) It stems from reasons as simple as my interest in Dr. Sack's book The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat to my neuro background, to my involvement at in the stroke program at the hospital I worked for. I am definitely leaning in the neuro direction, though as an incoming MS-1, I'd also like to keep my options open. My rotations could certainly open up my eyes.

    I guess I'll be taking both the COMLEX and USMLE just to make sure my bases are covered. Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist
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    While it is true that across the board neurology is not a competitive residency, it is worth remembering that the top programs in any field, regardless of the average quality of applicant, are extremely competitive. It's all about what you are looking for. If you want to join an established community practice in a suburban environment, then yes, you don't have to worry too much about competition getting into residency. However, if you are looking to be a real ace in an acedemic department at a major school in a big city, then you will be competing with people with very well-established credentials.

    My opinion, take the USMLE and work your butt off. If you don't close any doors now, you'll find a lot more open later.
     
  11. Bialik

    Bialik Junior Member
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    I am graduating from a DO school in a few weeks and after rotating and interviewing at programs throughout the country I have decided to go w/ an AOA program (best fit for me personally). I noticed your location is CA, if you intend on coming back to CA for residency I would definitely advise you to take the USMLE and just as a heads up, no matter what the program, I found most things to be more difficult to get into in California, especially as a DO. Granted there are a lot of programs that are VERY DO friendly in CA, the majority (in my experience) aren't that DO friendly. Best of luck to you :)
     
  12. StringerBell

    StringerBell It's the final countdown!
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    Yes, I'm indeed from California, and would like to do residency here, but I understand that that can be difficult. Although this isn't universally true, I think the tendancy is for Californians to want to stay in California. And with so many good programs in the state, and people competing to stay in state, it's going to be fairly tough.

    As far as the residency (and subsequent practice) itself, I don't need to be an academic ace. I would much rather be making my mark as a clinician, probably as part of a medical group. But what I do know is that you are all correct - I'm going to have to work my butt off. I didn't know that when I was younger, and that caused me to have a really low GPA. After some growing up and some time spent working in a hospital, I rededicated myself, re-took the MCAT and did fairly well. The drive is finally here, whereas I didn't have it before...hopefully that's what will get me through med school and into a good residency.

    Thanks for your help!
     

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