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Preparing for the Gas Match

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by Doc_Halo, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. Doc_Halo

    Doc_Halo Junior Member
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    Guys, I?m a second year DO student who?s interested in anesthesiology. I?ve been interested in gas even when it was unpopular since I?ve seen much of the job growing up (my old man is a surgeon). Given the marked increase in popularity of anesthesia recently, it has begun to concern me about my ability to obtain a decent match in this specialty since I go to a school that consistently does very mediocre in the match. I only ask for your help b/c our advising is non-existent in the 1st 2 years. What do I need to do to become competitive for the match? :confused: Research? Work at the anesthesia department? Any ideas? Since most of the folks who post in this section are residents, interns, or 4th years in the application season right now, I figure this is the most appropriate location to post this thread. I?m not getting any answers from my school. And by the time we get any sort of advising, I fear it will be too late. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

    I?m especially interested in how my fellow DO?s have prepared for the match. Drusso? Old Man Dave?
     
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  3. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member
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    Step 1, Step 1, Step 1. It gets your foot in the door. A good recommendation will help, but it will not get your foot in the door. Good clinical grades help, but it will not get that foot in the door, especially if your school is supposedly mediocre. Away rotations may help, but you have to know where you want to be and sometimes such auditions can be a double-edged sword. So again, kick ass on the Step 1 and you'll have no problem with matching.
     
  4. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Do well on step I, do well in your classes, cultivate genuine relationships with attendings in the department of anesthesiology asap and just get your name known in the department (in a good way). Get involved in any anesthesia research going on in your med schoool. Lastly, work hard in your anesthesia elective. Take call and do all the scut necessary and all the while be bright and enthusiastic during your anesthesia elective. Never underestimate an attending's ability to go to bat for you when you need it if you are perceived as a "cool/interesting/nice" person who works hard. You may beat out other more "qualified" individuals for a spot a good place simply because your anesthesia attending has an old buddy on the residency selection comittee. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.
     
  5. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    Sorry I don't have time to reply in depth, but I can make two book recommendations that will definitely shed light onto the topic:

    1) "Getting into a Residency" by Kenneth Iserson, MD - an absolute MUST-HAVE for anyone considering matching into ACGME post-grad. I purchased this book immediately after my first acceptance...I have read, reread & reread it again. Thus far, by employing personal experience in the professional world & Iserson's advice, I feel I have been very successful in getting interviews in some excellent programs.

    2) "The Definitive Guide for DOs getting into MD Residencies: or Why DOs Eat their Young" by Jeremy Weiss, DO - not quite as useful as the Iserson book, but definitely merits a thorough read-through.
     
  6. Doc_Halo

    Doc_Halo Junior Member
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    Wow! I just posted just a couple of hours ago, and have already gotten some excellent advice. Further proof that Gas and Ray Docs are the coolest physicians out there! Thanks fellas!!!

    Sandpaper, yeah, I've been keeping up with board review along with my classes. So far, I've been pretty successful on the topics I've already covered when I take practice tests. Hopefully the practice will pay off on the real thing.

    Voxel, I'll definitely try to get in touch w/ my anesthesia dept. I'm not sure if they do any research though.

    Old Man Dave, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to swing on over to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Iverson's.
     
  7. gas-x

    gas-x Senior Member
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    Hey doc-halo,

    i wouldn't worry too much about the gas match. like everyone said, do well on step I. be sure to take the USMLE. don't listen to people who tell you that if a program is unwilling to accept the COMLEX, then how would they treat you. as far as the two books oldmandave talked about, my impression of the books weren't that great. iserson's book is outdated already. the other book is interesting, and unfortunately true in many respects.

    like everyone said, step 1. get some good rec letters from strong faculty or program directors. Definitely do rotations at the programs you're interested in. it will make a world of difference. programs appreciate the time you take to visit them. remember, as you're going through the rotation, don't brownnose like a jackass. it shows through so clearly. just do good work, as good questions, be polite, cooperative, etc... depending on the structure of your anesthesiology rotation, try to get to know 2 attendings fairly well. you'll be amazed at how much time one month is when you're with the same group. one suggestion, do an OB anesthesiology rotation. it tends to be a smaller group of attendings and residents. you'll get to know the residents better. they can support you and even put in a good word.

    another suggenstion. do an SICU month before some of your anesthesiology rotations. it helped me a lot.

    i, too am a little worried about being a DO matching in MD programs, but i try not to think about it. i'm sure everything will be OK, even when you're applying. try to get your grades up, too. i've had some program directors ask about my rank. they use it as a screening tool.

    last thing, don't even think about DO anesthesiology programs. you'll realize that the main thing about good programs is the amount of cases you'll get. you want every rotation in-house. no reason to move around too much just to get your education. DO programs aren't worth crap. they're too small. Pathology, man. that's what you need.

    good luck, you'll be fine.
     
  8. Doc_Halo

    Doc_Halo Junior Member
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    Gas-X,

    Thanks for the advice. Gotta agree with your statement that DO gas programs basically suck (with a few exceptions). They typically have horrible didactics with poor cases.

    Glad to see that you enjoyed your UTMB elective. Most folks don't give that place a fair chance because of the location. I do agree with your assessment of their lower than average case volume.

    UTSW was your favorite? I can see why. The med ctr is incredible, w/ great facilities, incredible pathology, and the connections to take you whereever you need to go post residency. Dallas is also the funnest town in the state-as you are no doubt experiencing right now. Grab some lunch at a place called Nuevo Leon's on Greenville. They make some killer enchiladas. Also, try to check out a Stars game before you leave (The Stars are my team). The new American Airlines Center is awesome.

    Where else have you planned electives at? Since you're interested in TX programs, I'd like to suggest TX Tech-Lubbock (Stay the hell away from the El Paso program, it sucks). Sure Lubbock is pretty crummy, but they have a great reputation around the state for solid research and for producing awesome clinicians. Their anesthesia department is one of the most prominent depts of the institution. So if you want to practice in TX, that program could set you up nicely. At least use it for a "back up" program...w/ this competitive environment, you might need to.

    How's Phoenix? I used to live there for a while. It's a great town, but WAAAY to hot. I used to get massive headaches from the heat. I liked it so much that I'm willing to give it another try if that's where life leads me.

    Are you a Native Texan? Yep, I can totally see why you want to come to Texas. Friendly people, great tax laws, and unbelievably gorgeous women!!! I'm hoping to do residency there myself!!!
     
  9. gas-x

    gas-x Senior Member
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    gas halo

    i'm a tx native hoping to say here. so we'll see what happens. i didn't apply to lubbock, mainly because of the location. as far as their reputation overall, i know they are well known. but what stands out for lubbock is actually their pain management fellowship. it is said that it's the best program in the country. there is one third year resident in UTSW heading out there for fellowship next year.

    hang in there with your hopes of passing gas. keep up your grades, and step 1. it's probably the most important factors during the screening process.
     
  10. Arch Guillotti

    Arch Guillotti Senior Member
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    Hello,

    This thread is of great interest to me. I rolled the proverbial dice with step I and came up with a 200 even score (roughly 25th percentile, using a standard z score). Ugh, that test beat me like it was my daddy. Curiously enough, I managed to score pretty good, 570 or so on the COMLEX (low 80's percentile). Obviously, I am concerned about my 200, as this is probably 15 points below the mean. My preclinical grades were OK, top 40% of class. I have been getting high pass/honors in rotations thus far. I expect my LOR's will be up to snuff, but not written by any superstars. I am planning on doing several anesthesia electives next year in places I am interested in matching. I am an older student.

    I feel like I will match somewhere, maybe not my top choices, but somewhere at least. Anyone have any words of advice? As a DO I sort of feel like an outsider sometimes, but that is just me - even though I have rotated at very big, very allopathic rotations and nobody has cared one whit.


    TIA
     
    #9 Arch Guillotti, Oct 25, 2002
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  11. Arch Guillotti

    Arch Guillotti Senior Member
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    Anyone? Bueller? BigFrank?

    Cheers
     
  12. bigfrank

    bigfrank SDN Donor
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    Hi Arch Guillotti,

    To answer your question, it doesn't seem that there should be any problem for a qualified US-MD or US-DO to attain a residency spot in the upcoming match. The number of spots are increasing yearly (~1,200 at present), so a spot is certainly not out of reach. (Some people applying to anesthesiology forget that this is not Dermatology, with 240 spots or so.)

    So, relax, display a genuine interest in the field, and you'll be fine. But, please, do not go into anesthesiology for the money. By the time the field "gets hot" again, salaries will be down. My father is best friends with a recruiter and this is a fact.

    Sincerely,

    Frank
     

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