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ZohanKhan

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I am a first year D.O student currently interested in General Surgery. I understand that Gen-Surge is a competitive specialty, and perhaps even more challenging for an osteopath to match into. Does anyone know (or is anyone) a D.O that matched into surgery and can offer advice on how to study for Boards? Prepare for rotations? Suggest research or extra-curricular's that will look impressive on my resume? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
 

col.hanslanda

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4th year DO applying gen-surg here. First off do well in your classes. Find a study method that works for you. I get nothing out of lecture so skipping class to read and do spaced repetition via anki/firecracker worked well for me. After I had my baseline knowledge memorized I did practice questions from any resource I could get my hands on. You definitely want to do well on your board exams as a DO, I hit the 240's and got 2 audition rotations & 15 interviews, but applied to 100 programs. Most programs will have filters on ERAS so they don't even see your application unless you specifically email them or they know you. Most surgery programs don't care about publications, but you will look good if you get one. Right now focus on your courses and start building long term retention with spaced repetition so you can do well on boards.
 
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Toast Chee

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4th year DO applying gen-surg here. First off do well in your classes. Find a study method that works for you. I get nothing out of lecture so skipping class to read and do spaced repetition via anki/firecracker worked well for me. After I had my baseline knowledge memorized I did practice questions from any resource I could get my hands on. You definitely want to do well on your board exams as a DO, I hit the 240's and got 2 audition rotations & 15 interviews, but applied to 100 programs. Most programs will have filters on ERAS so they don't even see your application unless you specifically email them or they know you. Most surgery programs don't care about publications, but you will look good if you get one. Right now focus on your courses and start building long term retention with spaced repetition so you can do well on boards.

Agree with this and would emphasize away rotations for getting solid LoRs. A good letter can go a long way when applying to ACGME programs. I would also reiterate about applying broadly come application time. Many people missed out on interviews by applying to only 30-40 programs. The people who really did well applied to 80+.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

Agree with this and would emphasize away rotations for getting solid LoRs. A good letter can go a long way when applying to ACGME programs. I would also reiterate about applying broadly come application time. Many people missed out on interviews by applying to only 30-40 programs. The people who really did well applied to 80+.

Agreed, every applicant I personally talked to (n~6) that applied to 80+ programs all had 10+ interviews and were feeling decent about their rank list. Step scores had a decent range too, from ~215 to ~245.
 
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col.hanslanda

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Update: I had 15 contiguous general surgery ranks and matched. I'm not sure where yet, but will find out Friday 3/16/18
 
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ZohanKhan

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Update: I had 15 contiguous general surgery ranks and matched. I'm not sure where yet, but will find out Friday 3/16/18
Thank you man, and best of luck with the Match! If you dont mind me asking, did you interview in both MD and DO residencies?
 

col.hanslanda

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I only applied ACGME. Any of the DO programs worth going to were already dually accredited. I had 2 interviews at newer ACGME (new due to dual accredidation from AOA) programs. The rest were all well established ACGME/MD programs. Fingers crossed I get one of my top 3!
 
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3member

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I only applied ACGME. Any of the DO programs worth going to were already dually accredited. I had 2 interviews at newer ACGME (new due to dual accredidation from AOA) programs. The rest were all well established ACGME/MD programs. Fingers crossed I get one of my top 3!
Congrats! Did you end up where you wanted to?
 

col.hanslanda

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I got my #3, which was more of a community program (although considered academic) but has excellent volume. Case #'s upon graduation are consistently 1300-1400. I was kinda shocked honestly my top 2 programs wrote me love letters, I did auditions at both, and got strong letters of rec from faculty at both. I had residents calling me after interviews saying asking how interviews went and that they hoped I got in. I know MD's (friends from college/grad school and who did auditions with me ) who got into each program with lower stats than me. Of note one of my classmates had 247 and got 12th on his list for gen surg. Of the 3 of us who applied ACGME only 1 got their top 3 program and he had a 255 USMLE and did 0 auditions. Its rough out there for DO's in ACGME gen surg guys. The DO bias still exists, but it is going away a little more every year.
 
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NecrotizingFasciitis

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I got my #4, which was more of a community program (although considered academic) but has excellent volume. Case #'s upon graduation are consistently 1300-1400. I was kinda shocked honestly my top 2 programs wrote me love letters, I did auditions at both, and got strong letters of rec from faculty at both. I had residents calling me after interviews saying asking how interviews went and that they hoped I got in. I know MD's (friends from college/grad school and who did auditions with me ) who got into each program with lower stats than me. Of note one of my classmates had 247 and got 12th on his list for gen surg. Of the 3 of us who applied ACGME only 1 got their top 3 program and he had a 255 USMLE and did 0 auditions. Its rough out there for DO's in ACGME gen surg guys. The DO bias still exists, but it is going away a little more every year.

Firstly congrats on your match - you're an inspiration to all us med students, especially DO students, who are interested in surgery.

Secondly, were you doing spaced repetition in MS1? Or did you start the board prep stuff in second year? Do you think students would benefit substantially from reviewing during the summer? Or are boards so far away that it's not a good use of time?
 
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CrocodilePancake

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Sup Dudes/dudettes. I'm a DO that matched ACGME General Surgery this past application cycle. Let me know if you have any questions.
 
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col.hanslanda

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Firstly congrats on your match - you're an inspiration to all us med students, especially DO students, who are interested in surgery.

Secondly, were you doing spaced repetition in MS1? Or did you start the board prep stuff in second year? Do you think students would benefit substantially from reviewing during the summer? Or are boards so far away that it's not a good use of time?

Thank you for the kind words amigo! I started in spring semester of 1st year reviewing anatomy, biochem, and thephysiology "block" we were in via firecracker. During the summer I did bench research so I started getting ahead on learning pathology via spaced repetition. For example, running assays all day in the lab during the 5 weeks between semesters I'd have firecracker out and start reviewing my neuro physiology and getting ahead on reading neuro-pathology. Firecracker is very time intensive and you have to dedicate yourself to it. I would say I did 3-4 hrs per day of it in 2nd year then in the spring I quit going to class and just focused on reading first aid & finishing firecracker then I hit the question banks hard come february. I believe I wrote an extremely detailed review that I have since blocked from memory of that hellish year if you look through my old posts.

There is never anything wrong with getting ahead. I definitely felt I was more prepared than my class mates when 2nd year started. I had a strategy moving forward with boards and I was constantly reviewing the old things that people were forgetting. I definitely don't want to sound like I have no life lol. I had fun between 1st/2nd year. It's all about discipline. I worked in the lab while waiting on things to run then made my health a priority, got engaged, and planned weekend trips. You just have to find a balance and for me that was always doing the hardest thing on my list first, which was firecracker. Good luck in 2nd year.
 
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_Rod_of_Asclepius_

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Does anyone have any interest in the I-6 Thoracic programs? I’ve heard word they are quite competitive yet see DO matches. UC Davis for example has 2 DOs in their program...
 
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AnatomyGrey12

Does anyone have any interest in the I-6 Thoracic programs? I’ve heard word they are quite competitive yet see DO matches. UC Davis for example has 2 DOs in their program...

They are extremely competitive and would require connections, great research, away rotations, and a bit of luck. 40+% of the people who match I-6 CT come from top 40 MD schools by research funding (source: charting outcomes).

tldr. You had better be a rockstar, and have a back up plan if you are thinking of going for I6 CT.
 
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