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Probabilities of Getting into a Particular Specialty From a DO School

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by surgeon_hopeful, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. surgeon_hopeful

    surgeon_hopeful New Member
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    Hi,

    Whenever questions are posted about whether a DO can specialize in this or that, people always reply with the whole you can practice any specialty as a DO and can get into MD residencies still, etc. The thing is, I'm pretty sure that most people already know that, but are more curious about whether their goals of getting into a particular residency/fellowship IS PROBABLE from the osteopathic school.

    This is why I was wondering if maybe we can rank specialties like the following so that some of those threads will end:

    DISCLAIMER: I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH THIS AT ALL SO PLEASE AMEND THIS/ADD ON TO IT. THESE ARE JUST GUESSES BASED ON WHAT I'VE READ

    Very likely: Most of the primary care specialties

    Likely: Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine

    Possible: (insert here because I have no clue)

    Stretch: (insert here because I have no clue)

    Don't count on it at all: Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, General Surgery, otolaryngology

    So does anyone want to fill in the rest of the specialties (and even fellowships)?
     
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  3. e p i c

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    Comically incorrect.
     
  4. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    I would put gen surg in the possible category..only if you dont have a MD/DO residency preference though. Both are possible, but my uncle (TCOM grad) who did an MD residency for general surgery said that those spots are rather coveted. This ranking business is rather aribtrary though...


    edit: the dont count on it at all category can be removed ...all of those specialties can and have been achieved by DO's.
     
  5. chewsnuffles

    chewsnuffles is a series of tubes
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    ROAD specialties - radiology, orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology, dermatology

    these are all difficult to match into no matter where you are coming from (both MD and DO residencies)

    you definitely do not have a leg-up coming from a DO if you want to match MD for any of these, however, it is still do-able, just rock the USMLE Step I
     
  6. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    OP, the idea that premeds could compose an objective list like this is beyond ridiculous. You've already made several unfounded conclusions and are asking others to continue this trend. You've already spread false information, and I beg others not to contribute, in the hopes that we don't disseminate false information here or anywhere else on SDN.

    When someone googles "osteopathic residency chances," this is the kind of thing that will show up. I'd rather good applicants not shy away because they read that Ortho is impossible as a DO. Seriously.
     
  7. e p i c

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    That's a good point. Cursed Google.
     
  8. JaggerPlate

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    People might jump on you for this ... but I can see you have legit questions and I'll do my best to answer as an SDN addict/match list sleuth ...

    First off ... everything is possible if you are determined, intelligent, and driven, go for it. I mean that seriously, that's not one of those throw around SDN phrases. With that said ... things like Derm and Plastics aren't just difficult for DOs. It's really funny when pre-meds say things like 'oh man go DO you can never do derm and plastics' because I honestly think that in their minds they assume that getting into the MD school is the end all and after that you can breeze by, apply for integrated plastics and be matched the next day. Most people - myself included - have NO idea how difficult it is to match derm and plastics for BOTH MD and DO. You have to be top, top, top, with research, AOA, great LORs, perfect clincials etc. People throw those around as the desired residencies because they are coveted all around.

    Now, is it HARDER to become a plastic surgeon or dermatologist as a DO compared to an MD?? I'm not really sure. I once read a derm thread where a poster - now a DO dermatologist resident - was saying he crunched numbers and that he believes it's not harder to match derm as a DO through the AOA residencies. However, you still have to bust your ass, you'll probably have to complete the residency in a different state, and in some cases (few) there are a couple derm residencies with funding issues where you aren't paid.

    Does this sound glamorous ... no. Will you be a dermatologist 3 years later ... yes. It's all about the end result. Same thing with plastics ... there are 6 (I think) AOA fellowships that produce plastic surgeons each year. These are gen surg applicants who are on the top of their game, but at the end of the day ... they are still plastic surgeons. In reality it is PROBABLY easier to get their as an MD, but that famous 'DO closes doors' phrases is BS. I'm sorry ... it's just not true. If you're accepted to a DO school and you have the drive to match derm ... make it happen, end of discussion.

    As far as some of the other things you listed ... DOs match wonderfully into AOA and ACGME gas, well represented in Rads, and there are around 20 ENT programs, and a few of the ones in MI are world class. Also, as far as gen surg goes ... this is becoming more competitive, but from what I can gather, matching through the AOA residencies is all about audition rotations, so do well there and you should be okay. I actually hear a lot of these residencies want you to rotate, so if you are zoning in on a program, do a rotation there.

    In closing ... I'm not trying to sound like the dumb pre-med who tells you that if you work real hard and eat your vegetables you can match integrated plastics as UCSF ... because you won't, but neither will any of the pre-allo posters over in the dark side of SDN who are super stressed about their 3.8 and 42. If you want it ... be prepared to fight for it and simply be the best. Western, for example, has a derm program at it's affiliated long beach hospital and states that you need to be top 15 in class, AOA, and rotate there to be considered ... so, like I said, be flawless and make it happen. Good luck. Apply broadly, if you get into MD and feel more comfortable matching with that ... go for it, no one will judge you. If you get accepted DO and want to be a doctor, go, work hard, keep in mind that almost everyone changes their mind of what they want to do while in med school, and do whatever it takes.

    check out this link: http://opportunities.osteopathic.org for more info on AOA residencies.
     
  9. Bacchus

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    All of the specialties you listed can be achieved through DO residency spots. Therefore, its not unobtainable.
     
  10. surgeon_hopeful

    surgeon_hopeful New Member
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    Why is it so ridiculous, and how have I spread false information? I've read lots and lots of posts with people saying that getting into integrated plastics is basically a dream due to the discrimination against DOs for MD residencies, and since there are so few spots for AOA residencies. And also, I put a HUGE disclaimer saying I have on experience and people should amend it because I have no experience, and this is based on hearsay. Questions about how likely getting into X specialty comes up ALL THE TIME. I know because I've asked plenty of times. So why not make a list that explains various probabilities of getting into a particular specialty and stop those threads?

    And btw, you say in effect that you want to "protect" good applicants from not applying DO if ortho is hard to get as a DO? If it's someone's dream to become an orthopedic surgeon, don't you think it's beneficial for them to know that it's probably not going to happen from these schools before they invest literally hundreds of thousands of dollars, 4 years, etc. and then realize later on that it wasn't a tangible goal to begin with from these schools?
     
  11. J1515

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    :laugh:

    Worry about taking the MCAT and graduating college before you start thinking about what type of doctor you are going to be.

    And without getting into too much detail, there are Derm, Surgery, and ENT programs that will ONLY take DOs.
     
  12. andexterouss

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    ROAD specialties ,also known as, lifestyle specialties does not include Orthopedics. Instead, it's Ophthalmology.

    Carry on folks :corny:
     
  13. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    I still don't see where you are basing this information...look at the residency matching lists that have been posted by chocolate bear. they are very telling about what specialties CAN be achieved...for example 7 students matched orthopedics in 2008 at DMU.
     
  14. chewsnuffles

    chewsnuffles is a series of tubes
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    DAMN IT! you're right, I lose... haha

    aren't there some other specialties that are sometimes classified as "lifestyle" specialties????
     
  15. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    :nono::slap::smack:You missed the point completely. Cbear is "protecting" good applicants from hearing FALSE information such as "Its impossible to go into Ortho as a DO." That statement simply isn't true. THATS what he is protecting applicants from. He's not trying to hide anything from anybody. His point was that he is trying to protect good applicants from untrue rumors, such as the one that you mentioned.

    As he already said, if you try googling information, a lot of the times links from SDN come up on the search. Now, if I'm an applicant who doenst know much about DOs, and i type in "what are chacnes of getting into X specialty as a DO," I might come across your thread which basicallly reads "its impossible to get into orthopedic surgery as a DO." If i'm new and gullible and dont know any better, I might believe this ridiculous (to use Cbears words) statement. As an assistant mod, and DO-ninja bad ass, it is his duty to protect the mallible minds of said gullible people. Keep it up Cbear!
     
    #14 RySerr21, Dec 3, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  16. surgeon_hopeful

    surgeon_hopeful New Member
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    OK now you're just putting words in my mouth. I'm trying to say that it isn't PROBABLE. I don't see anywhere in my post where I said that YOU CAN'T DO IT. I said that it's not likely as a DO, and based on what I've read, that's what people are saying. Again, I have no experience with this, but based on what I've read there are some specialties that are EASIER to get into as an MD than a DO, which includes the lifestyle specialties usually. So that's why I'm asking if we can make a list that basically illustrates the likely hood of getting said specialty because that comes up a lot.
     
  17. Bacchus

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    Why do you need to do a ACGME residency in derm when you can do an AOA one? Same for anethesia, radiology, and opthamology. Its hard regardless of if you're a DO or not. However, as a DO you have your OWN match system you can take advantage of.
     
  18. surgeon_hopeful

    surgeon_hopeful New Member
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    On second thought, let's just kill this thread. I don't see it going anywhere and me saying it's harder to get into some residencies as a DO might be considered trolling (especially since I'm only basing it on what I've read and not hard facts), and I don't want my account suspended for trolling when that's seriously not my intention.
     
  19. NurWollen

    NurWollen Strong with the Force
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    I shadowed a DO otolaryngologist yesterday. It was a wonderful experience and he's a great doctor. He did an AOA-approved residency, and seems to be doing quite well. In fact, I originally saw him for my own ear problem, and I heard about him from a retired MD otolaryngologist who might know he's a DO and probablydoesn't know (or care) that he did and AOA residency. Of course, you can find anecdotal evidence for anything, so take what I just said for what it's worth.

    Seriously, though, can anyone tell me why it seems that so many DO's go for ACGME residencies, when they could have their own match, etc? Is there some kind of alleged quality difference?
     
  20. LGMAlpha

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    Only DO I've ever been to was an Orthopedic surgeon.
     
  21. jp104

    jp104 Member
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    In some cases it's because of geographical location. In others it's because the DO program is not as strong in quality as it's allopathic counterparts in the same area. In others, such as pathology, it doesn't exist. There's a bunch of different reasons.
     
  22. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    These are the kind of threads the people in residencies and med student forums link to and laugh about.


    First off, since something like integrated plastics is being thrown around, we'll use that. There aren't many programs to begin with. So, out of all of the MD and DO schools the sheer number of students applying from MD is going to be greater anyway. It also tends to be a self selective process. I personally don't know many DOs that were trying for integrated plastics to begin with, so the number is probably even smaller. The vast majority go through fellowships after GS (which is within reasonable grasp). You don't have to go for the osteopathic fellowship, the ACGME fellowships are within reach as well. If you work your ass off, research and get good recommendations you're about on equal footing with everyone else.

    Using one of the most obscenely difficult specialities to match into is a bad comparison. You could be one of the best damn applicant on the planet, but you are still competing with hundreds of others. Even if it were chance and you are equal, the odds aren't that great to have your number drawn. Just the sheer number difference puts it in favor of MDs matching.
     
    #21 MossPoh, Dec 3, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  23. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    Dude re read what you said on your first post......

    Quoted from your ORIGINAL POST:

    "Don't count on it at all: Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, General Surgery, otolaryngology"


    The reason I know this basically is saying "you can't do it" is because that quote is AFTER the categories of "Possible" and "Stretch"

    You can't back track on what you said just because you found out that you are wrong. Its okay that you dont have any expereince with these things. Thats fine. You thought something was true, you were wrong. I'm just explaining to you why Cbear jumped on your case. It was a legitimate reason.
     
    #22 RySerr21, Dec 3, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  24. WDeagle

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    Haha what a dumb thread! Seriously though, look at any DO match list and you'll see plenty of Ortho, Anes., Gen. Surg., and RADS matches. People overestimate how competetive these are. It seems like if you stay in the top 20-25% of your class, do well on boards, and have a good application you should have a pretty good opportunity for these residencies. People worry too much about DO vs MD. More competitive applicants from both DO and MD schools will have a much better shot at the residency spots they want.
     
  25. spicedmanna

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    Sigh. There's so much bad information going around, it's hard to tell, sometimes, what's based on fact and what's propagated error/misinformation. I certainly don't know all the facts, either, but here is what I've gathered through my own experience and what I've learned from others ahead of me.

    There are few things I want to reiterate:

    1) Don't worry too much about specialty choice at the premedical stage. If you have some idea of what you want to do, cool, but don't get yourself all worked up over it. Simply gain entrance into medical school first (which, in fact, isn't that simple), then we'll worry more about that sort of thing. Why? Well, first of all, you can't do any specialty if you aren't going to medical school. Second, people change their ideas of what specialty they want to ultimately pursue, sometimes multiple times while in medical school. Third, you may not be as competitive as you desire to be, which could make the specialty you think you want at this point in time more difficult to pursue. Medical school is tough and half the folks end up in the bottom half of the class...that might be you. If you suck in school, it won't matter a bit what your degree designation is going to be, or what school you went to.

    2) Don't be so quick to make generalizations. Yes, there are some residency programs (notice I used and emphasized the word, "programs," and didn't use the word, "specialties") that are significantly more difficult to gain entrance into as a DO. This could be due to a couple factors, which may be in acting in combination: the program hasn't yet or doesn't readily accept DO's and/or the program/specialty is highly competitive regardless of degree designation. I would recommend examining this stuff on a program by program basis for the best accuracy. However, if you are seeking some sort of guide to the process, I'd say that it may sometimes be more challenging to match into an ACGME residency program as a DO, but this is, as I already stated, highly dependent on the specialty (whether it is highly competitive across the board) and the program itself. At the very least, if you are thinking of matching into a highly competitive ACGME program, you would do well to have great third year grades, take and do well on the USMLE, have solid recommendations, and hopefully have auditioned/rotated through the program(s) in question.

    3) As someone mentioned already, we must also consider AOA residencies, too, when talking about chances of matching into a given specialty. Some of them may not be in the idea locations for people, but they are there and some of them go unfilled each year. However, competitive specialties are just that: competitive. You'd do well to keep that in mind.

    4) Success in the match is more highly dependent on your board scores, academic factors, LORs, and personal recognition. It helps A LOT to have rotated through a certain program of interested and to have wowed them with your performance. In my experience, many programs would rather have people they know and love to work with, even if theirs stats are a bit lower, than to have someone with higher stats, but have never met before. Don't underestimate the value of this.
     
  26. NurWollen

    NurWollen Strong with the Force
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    That last reason of course does make alot of sense.

    Anyway, why do people think some DO programs aren't as strong? DO schools are the same as MD schools. Is that not the case for DO residencies?
     
  27. jp104

    jp104 Member
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    Again, there's several different reasons for this. One reason is that many allopathic residencies are tied to major academic hospitals with lots of money and manpower for research and other things. DO residencies tend to be at community hospitals. Just keep in mind that these are all generalities. You can get very good training at both DO and MD residency programs.

    Don't go thinking that most DO programs are bad. There are some bad programs in the DO world just as there are some bad programs in the MD world.
     
  28. NurWollen

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  29. JaggerPlate

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    jp104 made great points. Keep in mind too that these are generalizations, and different people have their reasons for thinking poorly of a program. A lot of the complaints I have heard have actually been about location of the residencies and not wanting to live there for 3-5 years.
     
  30. newdoc15

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    This is the worst advice I've heard all year. Plunging ahead without thinking about where you are going is exactly how you end up working on a second career, like me.
     
  31. DarkHorizon

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    Actually, Rad Onc is the only specialty that might be next to impossible for DOs to match into. There are around only 100 spots or so and no DO residencies as far as I know. Speaking to allo students, some say that Rad Onc might even be harder to get than Derm and Plastics. Ridiculously competitive from what I have heard.
     
  32. JaggerPlate

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    His point was that getting into med school is step 1. Step 3 is impossible, and a moot point, without first accomplishing step 1. You also HAVE to go into med school with an open mind because, as previous stated, you may not have the scores for any of these tough fields as is, and you may also change your mind on what type of physician you'd like to become altogether.
     
  33. JaggerPlate

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    Rad Onc is another super competitive one all around. I don't really know about DO residencies (I actually think all the AOA residencies for RADS may be diagnostic radiology, not rad onc). If it's super tough for MDs ... it's super, duper tough for DOs to match that in MD.
     
  34. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    You can look up the match statistics if you really want. They are all so close to each other that it is statistically insignificant. Matching into the program you want, regardless of speciality is challenging. One of the biggest differences you see is the sheer number of programs the competitive people apply to. While a family practice person might apply to 10 programs, I've seen some other specialities applying to upwards of 40 just for the hope of matching.
     
  35. TeamZissou

    TeamZissou jaferd
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    Someone else posted this somewhere, but you may find it interesting.
     
  36. JaggerPlate

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    CCOM's is so pretty. Two facial plastics out of the like 19 spots available and MD derm. Someone should inform these applicants that it is impossible to match ENT and derm as a DO ... I just feel they should know this :smuggrin:
     
  37. billy72583

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    The ortho doc I interviewed with at an allopathic school said his best two residents were DOs.
     
  38. Bleurberry

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    I agree with you; as young as most pre-meds are, however, their brain's reasoning center isn't yet fully developed and it's more difficult to do the kind of analysis you speak of, so to play devil's advocate, it may be better to recommend they just stay as present in their current context as possible, while continuing to expand their option base. Fixation, bad.
    It's a hypothesis.
     
  39. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    Perhaps your brain's reasoning center isn't perhaps there either. ;) There are multiple ways to interpret that statement. Most would not read it as blindly plunging ahead. They'd read it as a "know you like medicine but focus on finishing undergrad first". Most people don't really know what they want to do till the clinical years begin anyway. It is a waste of energy to start worrying about what grades, board scores and letters of rec you need for a particular residency when you haven't even began medical school yet. Saying that NOT thinking of those requirements will lead to sitting in a cubicle and wasting time is more than a stretch.

    If you can somehow link not knowing your future speciality and not getting into medical school then props to you. I have no clue what I want to do and I assume that'll stay that way until I gain more than an observers perspective to each speciality.
     
  40. Jug

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    I work in a hospital, medium sized class 2 center. Here is what I know about what specialties are filled by either MD or DOs.
    Ortho MD=1 DO=3
    Rad MD=0 DO=1
    Gen Surg. MD=3 DO=2
    ER MD=3 DO=4
    Derm MD=2 DO=1
    Internal (there's a lot, but it is about a 50/50 split between DO and MD)
    ENT MD= 1 DO=2
    Urologist MD=1 DO=0
    Nephrologist MD=1 DO=0
    Neurologist MD=1 DO=1
    These are just a few examples of how it doesn't matter if you are MD or DO, you've got a shot if you are competitive. So just work hard for what you want, and don't worry about odds or statistics.
     
    #39 Jug, Dec 8, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  41. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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