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Question about specialize as a DO

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by rpames, May 1, 2000.

  1. rpames

    rpames Optometrist

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    I'm just finishing up my first year of undergrad and I'm looking towards the field of ophthalmology. I like the DO frame of thought but I'm worried about getting a residancy. I know most go into primary care so I want to know if it is harder for DO's to get into a specialty like ophthalmology.

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    Ryan P. Ames
     
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  3. unsure

    unsure Member

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    Bro, opthamology is damn hard to get coming out of a top 20 med school. I would have to say that opthamology ACGME residency spots just won't happen. There might be some AOA opthamology spots, check www.aoa-opportunities.com
    If there are, there can't be more than a few.

    If you are looking for more info about relaxed specialties check out THE MEDICAL STUDENTS SURVIVAL GUIDE, by Steven R. Polk MD. Its a very informative book. Its written by a somewhat jaded (in a good way) doctor. He's obviously been practicing in the real world for many years and give the low-down on all specialties. He goes off on radiologists and explains all the billing scams (he does this for every specialty)- its hilarious. But he also breaks down the hours, perks, and hassles of every specialty. For example, I'm interested in EM- one reason being I like the freedom in that specialty, and this book explains how ER docs to take a lot of crap in hospital politics b/c their contracts come up every few years. He has info like this every specialty.

    He lists of best specialties (in relation to $, politics, prestige, residency, and mal prac ins). Opthamology is 7th. In descending order: radiology, pathology, anesthesiology, orthopedic surgery, ent, t&c surgery, opthamology, nuerosurg, gen surg, plastics, cardiology, ect...

    Now most would think thoracic surgery is the best right, well the point of this book explains that the ego trip gets old when you are 45 yrs old w/ a peptic ulcer and watch the radiologist leave at 2pm every day to play golf.

    I kind of got off topic.. but as far as realistic attainable specialties for DOs.. check out anestesiology. Many DO go this route and it pays well. Although I've heard problems may be in the future. Pathology is another specialy that I think DOs can get, its not stressful and can pay extremely well if you are the big cheese in the path lab getting billed for everything.

    Check out this book. And before any idealistic med students start to flame me for talking about money and lifestyle..just cool out. Trust me, there are many important things in life. And if you're working 65 hrs a week, you miss a lot.
     
  4. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Unsure,

    ahem...sorry to disagree but,these days, "realistic attainable specialties" for DOs are any kind of specialty that is not super hyper competitive to get into even for a MD graduate.

    Let me elaborate: Surgery and Derm, for instance, are out of the ballpark for most MD graduates, horribly competitive to get into. So that would make it hard for a DO graduate to get a place in one of these programs, although one has the option to go for an AOA program in these areas.
    Even to this there are exceptions. EM residencies are very high up in a scale of competitiveness and there are many DOs at ACGME EM residencies.

    I have met several DOs who did their residency or fellowship training at top allopathic programs. A couple of DOs who were guest lecturers at UHS this year did a gastro fellowship at Wash U., and one of them has been on their faculty and doing research there for years. One of last year's graduates went there for residency.

    Nope, for the most part, going to a DO school will not make you very competitive for most of the highly sought after programs at the top academic med centers, although, as I pointed out, this is still possible. Going to a middle tier MD school will not make you very competitive for these same positions either. It is not simply a matter of initials after your name.
     
  5. rpames

    rpames Optometrist

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    Thanks for your responces. My father is an optometrist and he knows three DO that specialized in ophthalmology. I just want to know if anyone knows if it is really difficult to get into a ophthalmology residency if I went to say, Des Moines University. Or should I attend a MD school.

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    Ryan P. Ames
     
  6. unsure

    unsure Member

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    I thought anesthesiology wasn't super competitive to get into- weren't there a lot of unfilled spots? I know two DO anesthesiologists- now they probably didn't go to big university program but in the big scheme of things it doesn't matter. Now surgery and derm I agree won't happen. On another note, do you know how hard is it to get AOA surgery or derm? What I mean is because there are so few of them, do you think it is "more" difficult for a osteo student to get one of those spots than for an MD student to get a ACGME spot? Also, is true that orthopedics is residency (ACGME) that a DO have a shot at? - b/c of the OMM thing?
     
  7. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member

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    Unsure,

    I'm really interested in that book you mentioned, "THE MEDICAL STUDENTS SURVIVAL GUIDE." However, I checked amazon and they sadly report that it is out of print. How old is it and where did you find it? Is there an online version?
     
  8. unsure

    unsure Member

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    I picked it up at the medical school library affiliated with my grad school. It is the 4th edition from 1995. Check out your nearest medical school library. Another good book I just finished reading is BECOMING A DOCTOR: A JOURNEY OF INITIATION IN MEDICAL SCHOOL by Melvin Konner MD. He was a Harvard anthropology professor who went to med school at age 36. I was written a few years after House of God, so perhaps it is more relevant of med school today. I haven't read House of God, gut I think that's about surgical intership. This book focuses on the clinical years at medical school. He talks about every rotation. The book isn't quite relevant to my situation- most of the book has to do with his rotations which were at a world famous medical center (he won't name the school- he calls it The Flexner School of Medicine, that should give you some idea of the book's theme) He talks a lot about his teachers egos and attitudes. But even the "negative" portrayals of some specialties gets you fired up for the clinical experience.
     
  9. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member

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    unsure,

    So which would you recommend as an in-depth resource for info on the pros and cons of various medical specialties, Konner's or Polk's?
     
  10. study buddy

    study buddy Junior Member

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    An ACGME Orthopedics residency is definitely a field that a DO can get into. And there are AOA ortho residencies too. It's of course very tough (ACGME or AOA) and I don't know that the OMM aspect will help that much but it's possible.
     
  11. Smile

    Smile Senior Member

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    Why do you say an ACGME orthopedics residency is one a DO can get? I'm not knocking you, but out of curiosity is that something you know for a fact or is it more your opinion? It seems to make a lot of sense to me, at least, because of the additional training in the musculoskeletal system, but I have no information if that really helps in securing an ortho residency for a DO.
     
  12. unsure

    unsure Member

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    DocGibby- As far as an indepth guide, I guess Polk's book. The edition I'm reading is from 1995, but you can tell that some of the into is from earlier editions. For expample, there is a whole chapter devoted to starting private practice, no mention of working for HMOs. So it may be a little outdated. The info on specialities is very good as well as the info on how to act during clinicals. Howevever while the book is 400 pages it only can give a cursory look at every specialty- but its a good place to start. As far as the Konner book, that gives more of a personal feel of what type of people are in different specialties. Basically, it was a well written and enjoyable book to read.
     
  13. study buddy

    study buddy Junior Member

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    I met one about a month and a half ago that did an ACGME residency, so i know that part is true. And you're right it would make more sense that DO's would have a little edge because of the extra training, but I just don't see ACGME resdiency directors really choosing a DO over MD because of it (unless both were equal in every other respect). I've always assumed that for the really highly competetive specialties, boards scores, research, and letters were the main determinants of your chances at a spot. This part is of course my opinion, but if I'm wrong and OMM gives DOs the extra advantage, then all the better.
     
  14. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member

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    Thanks alot unsure, I'll keep trying to track both of them down.
     
  15. kundun

    kundun Senior Member

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