fiznat

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Mar 19, 2004
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Hello,

These are probably really basic questions, but I was hoping the more experienced people could point me in the right direction. I'm a new medicine intern, interested in pulm/cc fellowship down the line but not sure about some of the particulars.

1. What is my best source for reading about fellowship application timing, strategy, general principles, etc? I'm talking to residents and fellows at my program of course, but are there any official sources I should be reading as well?
2. What are the most important factors in fellowship application success? LORs? Step 3? PD phone calls?
3. As a DO currently in an ACGME IM program, how important is it that I take the USMLE step 3 versus just the COMLEX? I believe also taking the USMLE exams was essential in the residency match, but maybe not so much for fellowship?
4. How do I find out about research? I'm not particularly interested in research but I'll do what I have to in order to move forward. I'd like to find out how much is required, what type, when I should be starting, etc.


Sorry about the multiple questions! Any help would be appreciated.
 

go lakers

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Apr 5, 2006
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Hello,

These are probably really basic questions, but I was hoping the more experienced people could point me in the right direction. I'm a new medicine intern, interested in pulm/cc fellowship down the line but not sure about some of the particulars.

1. What is my best source for reading about fellowship application timing, strategy, general principles, etc? I'm talking to residents and fellows at my program of course, but are there any official sources I should be reading as well?
2. What are the most important factors in fellowship application success? LORs? Step 3? PD phone calls?
3. As a DO currently in an ACGME IM program, how important is it that I take the USMLE step 3 versus just the COMLEX? I believe also taking the USMLE exams was essential in the residency match, but maybe not so much for fellowship?
4. How do I find out about research? I'm not particularly interested in research but I'll do what I have to in order to move forward. I'd like to find out how much is required, what type, when I should be starting, etc.


Sorry about the multiple questions! Any help would be appreciated.
1. http://www.nrmp.org/super_nav/fellowship/
2. Where you go to residency, how you perform there (PD letter), research productivity, and who knows you and advocates for you.
3. No clue, but someone here will have one.
4. Discuss with either your medicine leadership or pulm/CC leadership which faculty members have a track record publishing with residents. Then, set up meetings and discuss potential projects. Finally, pick one (or more) that YOU are interested in and execute.
 

IMreshopeful

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Jul 15, 2012
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Not a DO but anecdotally if you're a DO in an IM program that's ACGME/MD, you should take the USMLE Step 3. At least for cards, GI (not sure about pulm/cc), they want to see that you've done all three Steps.
 
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Raryn

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Apr 25, 2008
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Not a DO but anecdotally if you're a DO in an IM program that's ACGME/MD, you should take the USMLE Step 3. At least for cards, GI (not sure about pulm/cc), they want to see that you've done all three Steps.
This is absurd advice. I'm not a DO, but have plenty of friends who are: To take USMLE step 3, you need to take both parts of step 2, and 99% of DOs don't take Step 2 CS. They take the COMLEX equivalent, primarily because CS is worthless to them (as in, it doesn't help them get licensed). Step 3 doesn't matter all that much for fellowship as long as you have it passed, so I'd advise any DO resident to make sure to take COMLEX level 3... but that's just so that they're able to be licensed (which is important).
 

Trogghunter

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Nov 16, 2009
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I am pgy2 at an academic IM program that takes 5 fellows/yr, looking to go into pulm icu maybe, and we have way too many meetings about fellowship...lots of panels from directors in our hospital, etc...

As a DO, you absolutely do not need usmle step 3, not for GI, Cards, H/o, or pulm icu. None of the DOs that matched here for those fellowships had it, and at my program they're all very good(fellows are from solid IM programs). Only 20 DOs take that test per year anyway. You do need good letters from important people, and you really NEED a good letter from your program director. You should have some research experiences like abstracts, or just have ideas in general for research. You also need to get started early in 2nd year and have everything ready to submit when the time comes.
 

Trogghunter

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Nov 16, 2009
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Can't stress how important a good PD letter is, and to get that you need to be a good resident in general.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I am pgy2 at an academic IM program that takes 5 fellows/yr, looking to go into pulm icu maybe, and we have way too many meetings about fellowship...lots of panels from directors in our hospital, etc...

As a DO, you absolutely do not need usmle step 3, not for GI, Cards, H/o, or pulm icu. None of the DOs that matched here for those fellowships had it, and at my program they're all very good(fellows are from solid IM programs). Only 20 DOs take that test per year anyway. You do need good letters from important people, and you really NEED a good letter from your program director. You should have some research experiences like abstracts, or just have ideas in general for research. You also need to get started early in 2nd year and have everything ready to submit when the time comes.
Compared to med school (especially DO school), how attainable is it to find opportunities to do research during residency?
 

Raryn

Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
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Compared to med school (especially DO school), how attainable is it to find opportunities to do research during residency?
There's 400 IM programs in this country with 400 answers to that question. The general answer is, if you want to do a case report, very easy. If you want to do a chart review, probably still pretty easy. If you want to do something more intense than that, it will be less easy.
 
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IMreshopeful

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This is absurd advice. I'm not a DO, but have plenty of friends who are: To take USMLE step 3, you need to take both parts of step 2, and 99% of DOs don't take Step 2 CS. They take the COMLEX equivalent, primarily because CS is worthless to them (as in, it doesn't help them get licensed). Step 3 doesn't matter all that much for fellowship as long as you have it passed, so I'd advise any DO resident to make sure to take COMLEX level 3... but that's just so that they're able to be licensed (which is important).
I stand corrected
 

IMreshopeful

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Jul 15, 2012
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Compared to med school (especially DO school), how attainable is it to find opportunities to do research during residency?
The only way to answer this is to see what is available in your residency. It helps if there's some more structured way of being paired up with mentors, but most importantly usually it's not going to be handed out to you - you have to actively seek out projects much like in med school. For reference my IM program has some good research opportunities but in order to find them you have to put yourself out there.

Ultimately for fellowship it depends. If you're aiming for the "top" fellowships and you're in a relatively average residency, publishing something in research in your field or presenting at a national conference etc matters a lot more. Otherwise you're probably doing well already if you have an active project or abstract available to talk about on interviews.
 
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