gullu101

DO Class of 2022
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I am currently an M3 at a DO school who will be applying diagnostic radiology. My Step 1 score is 245, I am in the second quartile of my class, and I have honored 2 out of 4 rotations so far. I was wondering if anybody could answer a few questions I have for next year:

1. My school let me do one IR rotation at a community hospital on which I got a LOR. How many more radiology letters should I aim to get? Do I need to get an academic letter too?
2. Am I competitive enough to match without doing away rotations at radiology programs?
3. I have some non-radiology research on my CV. How important is radiology specific research for matching?

Thanks for reading!
 

odyssey2

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If DR, you’re def competitive enough without aways, and I’m not sure doing aways really helps applicants much in this field anyway.
 
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Steve_Zissou

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If DR, you’re def competitive enough without aways, and I’m not sure doing aways really helps applicants much in this field anyway.
Is there any value in doing aways at locations I have no real ties to but are high on my list? I’m on west coast but reallly want to go to a northeast program like Maine or Vermont. Have similar scores to OP and am also DO
 
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RealHumanBean1

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1. You typically only need one radiology letter, which will definitely be sufficient. You'll want to have two more clinical letters from core rotations like IM, Surgery, Neurology, Pediatrics, or OB/GYN. A fourth from a close mentor or PI in radiology could be a nice touch if you think it will be a good letter.

2. You're competitive enough to apply without doing away rotations, but make sure to spend time looking into which programs take more vs. less vs. no DOs - and apply accordingly.

3. Radiology-specific research isn't necessary by any means, but if you have time to do a short case study/opinion piece/project then it could definitely be a nice little boost to your application that could serve to set you apart from other candidates - especially as a DO candidate with slightly above average Step 1 (no offense meant here, just being honest about the biases that interviewers will have when they look at your application).

Hope this helps - good luck!
 
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NecrotizingFasciitis

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I’m a DO that just went through the process with a very similar Step 1; had no trouble at all getting mid-tier academic & mid/upper-tier academic interviews in the Midwest, west (not CA) south, & a couple from the east coast. I didn’t have a ton of research, & none of it was radiology-related. I did have a handful of pubs but I have no idea if they cared at all about them (they weren’t groundbreaking & they were only mentioned once or twice.)

So yes, you absolutely are competitive enough to match.

Most programs require 1 radiology LOR; some don’t. If you’re shooting for an academic residency it might help to have an academic LOR but I couldn’t tell ya for sure. Both of mine were but my LORs were only brought up a couple times & only briefly commented on so no clue.


I did do a few always, but I interviewed for the programs I had always at before I had the always & they had no idea on interview day I was going to be rotating with them at any point so I don’t think it really made a difference. I think it definitely would help if there is a particular program out of your region you are shooting for though, especially if it is a more competitive program. It helped me place one program way at the bottom of my ROL though (turns out I didn’t like the program much) & I learned a good amount of radiology & got more exposure to IR which was awesome so it was still useful! & rads rotations are more chill so it’s nice in your 4th year if you can grab a couple at places you wanna go.

Reflecting back on the cycle, I think having more research during medical school would have maybe opened doors to a couple more mid/upper-tier programs, but there’s no way to know for sure.

if you have any Q’s about the process or specific programs or anything feel free to DM me.
 
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gullu101

DO Class of 2022
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I’m a DO that just went through the process with a very similar Step 1; had no trouble at all getting mid-tier academic & mid/upper-tier academic interviews in the Midwest, west (not CA) south, & a couple from the east coast. I didn’t have a ton of research, & none of it was radiology-related. I did have a handful of pubs but I have no idea if they cared at all about them (they weren’t groundbreaking & they were only mentioned once or twice.)

So yes, you absolutely are competitive enough to match.

Most programs require 1 radiology LOR; some don’t. If you’re shooting for an academic residency it might help to have an academic LOR but I couldn’t tell ya for sure. Both of mine were but my LORs were only brought up a couple times & only briefly commented on so no clue.


I did do a few always, but I interviewed for the programs I had always at before I had the always & they had no idea on interview day I was going to be rotating with them at any point so I don’t think it really made a difference. I think it definitely would help if there is a particular program out of your region you are shooting for though, especially if it is a more competitive program. It helped me place one program way at the bottom of my ROL though (turns out I didn’t like the program much) & I learned a good amount of radiology & got more exposure to IR which was awesome so it was still useful! & rads rotations are more chill so it’s nice in your 4th year if you can grab a couple at places you wanna go.

Reflecting back on the cycle, I think having more research during medical school would have maybe opened doors to a couple more mid/upper-tier programs, but there’s no way to know for sure.

if you have any Q’s about the process or specific programs or anything feel free to DM me.
Thanks NecFas, been seeing your posts around here! How many programs did you apply to? By my estimate, about a third of DR programs (around 60) have taken more than 20% DOs, another third have taken between 0 and 20% and the last third don’t take any. Based on this I was planning on applying to around 80 programs. Is this too many?
 

NecrotizingFasciitis

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Thanks NecFas, been seeing your posts around here! How many programs did you apply to? By my estimate, about a third of DR programs (around 60) have taken more than 20% DOs, another third have taken between 0 and 20% and the last third don’t take any. Based on this I was planning on applying to around 80 programs. Is this too many?

I planned on doing 60-70 pre-COVID but upped it to ~80 'cause I wasn't sure how the season would play out with all the craziness, so I think that probably is a perfect amount.

Center most of your apps around your "target level" (e.g. for me it was mid-tier academic) & then toss in a few community programs as "safeties" & a few "reaches" you'd love to match at (esp. think about adding the "reach" if you have ties somehow to the region.) Make sure to include programs you have connections to (e.g. hometown & area you go to school at) just to make sure you reach your target interview goal (12-15 is normally recommended; as a DO I'd shoot for 15 just to be super safe.)

As for DO friendliness, if they have any DOs at all, consider it "DO friendly." For programs that have none, keep in mind it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't interview DOs (esp. in the case of mid-tier academic & mid/upper-tier academic programs.) They may have just not matched one in the past few years, so if you're genuinely interested, go ahead & shoot your shot.

Also, I'd recommend thinking about what your top 5 programs are too (this may change as the season goes on, and that's okay) & consider sending them genuine letters of interest explaining why you'd like to potential match there (esp. if they are in a highly desired region like Colorado, PNW, CA) or in a state with only one radiology residency program (e.g. New Mexico.) Don't send more than 5; people that spam LOIs all over the place are the reason some programs don't take them seriously anymore. Make sure to send then after maybe 2 weeks of applying (I missed 2 interviews I could have had 'cause I waited too long because I was afraid of sending too early & coming off as "pushy" or "overly eager." Send them after 2 weeks.)
 
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