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Discussion in 'Radiation Oncology' started by Magree, Nov 14, 2001.
Anyone applying into Rad Onc? Just curious, is as competitive as last year? Thanks.
I'm applying to RadOnc. From what I can tell, it
is probably more competitive this year than last.
I started off pretty confident, but am now
starting to question the wisdom of not applying
to more programs and possibly even a backup
specialty. If you have any other questions, feel
free to ask.
I am an attending radiation oncologist in a major academic institution. When I was still in residency, I served as the chief resident for 3 years. So I was involved in the resident selection process for 3 years. Research projects really count. If you can get your paper accepted for presentation in a national meeting (ASTRO is the most prestiguous meeting), you have an edge over other applicants. Better still, you have a publication or 2 in a field of radiation oncology. It's crucial to do a rotation in a reputable rad onc program, so you can get letters from the people there. In the recent two years, the quality of the applicants are just phenomemal. Many of them are in the top quartile of their classes. Everybody has rotated in a radiation oncology department. The residents in my program (my residency) are very well qualified. Two of them are board certified internists (one from Mayo Clinic). The other two are in the top 25% in their medical schools. In summary, to improve your chance of getting matched to a rad onc residency, buff up your CV with rad onc research projects. Try and arrange for rad onc rotations in top-notched places like MDACC, UCSF, MSKCC, FCCC, UF, U of M, U of Chicago, Mayo, MIR, MGH, JCRT, Stanford and U of Wisconsin. For rad onc projects, try to pick a project with less than 100 patients. If there is good support, 4 weeks is adequate to write up a paper.
Academic Radiation Oncologist
I nearly forget. Board scores always count a lot. If you are interested in a particular program, try to arrange for a rotation there. If they like you, you would have a higher chance getting matched there. People are usually more comfortable with the medical students they know. But I don't know how much time MS have for outside rotations. I know a radiation oncologist who took one year off when he was a MS 4 to rotate through several top-notched departments. He matched to a top-notched program.
Man! I never thought Attending's log on to SDN forums.I think I have to be very careful in my future posts....you never know
Thanks for the interesting info on this subject. Im an M3 interested in RadOnc. I was reading all this old info about how it was pretty moderatly difficult to get into and now Im finding out that there is nothing easy about getting a residency spot in rad onc.
The thing I have going for me is a Phd. My research was involved cyclins so its vaguely cancer related. Ive done fine in med school but not stellar - top half but im not sure about top quarter. Board scores in the low 230s. And I go to MCW which is pretty average as a med school, i think. So, for those of you getting a feel for this area I would be really interested to know what you think of my chances - should I be thinking about a back up or do you think I should be okay? Id be really interested in anyones thoughts!
MCW has an excellent radiation oncology program. They are very active in national protocols. They have excellent faculty. Try to arrange for a rotation there and secure a research project. You're MS 3 and still have time to finish your research project before you apply for residencies. I think if you can secure a position in MCW, you'll get excellent training. The other program in WI is U of W at Madison. It's also an elite program. They also have excellent faculty. You can also arrange for a rotation there. It's just a couple of hours from Milwaukee.
M.D., Ph.D.'s are highly favored in the application for rad onc residencies. It's definitely an advantage.
Thanks for the great info. I hadn't thought about doing a research project in rad onc before I graduate. I wouldn't have thought that there would be time for that. I suppose if data could be accumulated in spare time that a paper could be written in a month. I'll have to think about that.
Im glad to hear that MCW is well respected in this field. And Madison seems like a reasonable possibility for an away rotation.