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omnipotentx

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Anyone have a rough or better idea of how specialities rank regarding how easy it is to place in them during residency. (don't forget to include psychiatry, my specialty of choice)
 

Droopy Snoopy

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Bump, I'm interested in this as well.

This year's match list was posted here a couple of months ago (attached). Seems like the more spots and more 2Lts/specialty is a good way to estimate competitiveness, so for example both OB and EM have about the same # of spots, but with OB all but 1 was filled by 2Lt whereas with EM the majority are Capt/Maj who've probably already gotten in some GMO time. I'm a 2nd year, so anybody with more experience with this please chime in if this is correct.
 

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omnipotentx

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Is there any data on chances of being put in Transitional Year when ranking some specialities vs. others?
 
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wrested

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Hi there. I'm new to SDN, but have been lurking for quite a while, although I don't usually post. However, as someone who just went through this whole process, I may have some insight - take it or leave it. OK, here goes:

I would suggest that you first read this post:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=298854

On page 1 there is a copy of the 2006 IFB results, which lists the number of residency spots for each specialty based upon the Integrated Forecast Board's estimation of how many doc's will be needed 3-4 years from now. (I've also posted it at http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pImIpEQOAixG8sZmKWf_DUQ which may be more legible.)

One way to estimate competitiveness is to just look at the number of spots for each specialty, but that tells you nothing about how many applicants there will be for those spots. I imagine that many applicants probably self-select against some specialties based on number of spots on the IFB report, so it's difficult to know how competitive the students applying for each specialty really are, but I think it's safe to assume things like Derm, Ortho, Neurosurg, EM, etc. will remain very competitive. I can't comment on Psychiatry, but I know that EM had about 52 applicants for those 14 advertised spots this year (but, if you count the number of new EM residents, there turns out to be 17, I think - I can't explain how that happened). So, about 2/3 - 3/4 of those applying for EM got stuck doing GMO/Flight Surgery. Given that you must do 2 years of GMO/FS before being able to re-apply, that essentially spells putting off what you want to do for a full 3 years, then having to repeat your intern year. However, having some GMO/FS time under your belt will give you more points come JSGME time, so therefore they will be more competitive for the more selective spots. I don't know about the accuracy of counting proportion of 2LTs as a gauge of competitiveness, but I suppose that could give you some idea.

Of course, your best source for information will be the Program Directors at each institution. My advice would be to do your best in school, on Boards, etc., do two audition ADTs at AF facilities, get to know the people who will be submitting each program's rank list to the JSGME, and find a way to get in their good graces (i.e., try to impress them, find out what they're looking for in applicants, etc.). Also, just ask them how many applicants they have that year - they'll probably tell you up front. By then you should have a pretty good idea of your chances of matching into your specialty/program of interest.

On a side note, many people are tempted to list a second choice of specialty on their application when applying for competitive specialties. DO NOT DO THIS - it is front and center on your application, and you WILL NOT get your first choice.

Hope this helps!
 

wrested

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Is there any data on chances of being put in Transitional Year when ranking some specialities vs. others?

Your chances of being put in Transitional Year are dependent upon number of applicants for your given specialty that year, and if you choose to list a second choice of specialty on your application. The only way to know number of applicants would be to ask someone who knows, aka a PD.
 

HumptyDumptyMil

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Is it absolutely necessary to do 2 years for a GMO tour, or can you just do one year and reapply the next year?
 

46&2

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Is it absolutely necessary to do 2 years for a GMO tour, or can you just do one year and reapply the next year?

Yes, you have to do the 2 year GMO tour. I think that's a recent twist. They made use resign our contracts in mid-summer stating that fact...
 

g293

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Yes, you have to do the 2 year GMO tour. I think that's a recent twist. They made use resign our contracts in mid-summer stating that fact...

Did you have the option of not re-signing the contract and leaving HPSP??
 

HumptyDumptyMil

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Yes, you have to do the 2 year GMO tour. I think that's a recent twist. They made use resign our contracts in mid-summer stating that fact...

I didnt read anything in my contract that specifically stated the length of the GMO tour, unless it's common knowledge that ALL GMO tours are two years...
 

wrested

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Apparently, as of July 2006, all FS/GMO tours are (at least) two years. Thus reads the opening paragraph of the 2006 USAF Residency Application:

Message from the Branch Chief​
To all the AFHPSP applicants:

As you embark upon your application for future training, I want to highlight a few key points about Air Force Graduate Medical Education Selection to help you understand the process and how you may be affected. Every year, the Air Force projects how many physicians in each specialty are required to meet the needs of the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS). This process, called "forecasting", is completed in June of each year by the Integrated Forecast Board (IFB). The number of physician requirements forecasted for each specialty is posted on our web page, along with the number of training positions available in that specialty to be filled at this year's Joint Service GME Selection Board (JSGMESB). The residency and fellowship positions for each specialty are filled by applicants according to an Order of Merit List that is developed at the JSGMESB. Once these positions are filled, the remaining applicants are "non-selected". The more competitive or popular specialties such as Anesthesiology, Radiology, Emergency Medicine, and the Surgical sub-specialties will obviously generate more "non-selects" than some of the primary care specialties such as Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Pediatrics. If non-selected for your specialty choice, you will be offered a PGY 1 only training contract in Transitional Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Surgery. Completing your PGY 1 year ensures that you are eligible to take and pass USMLE/COMLEX Step 3 and obtain a valid, unrestricted, state medical license according to the terms of your contract. After completing your PGY 1 year you will be assigned to a two year operational tour in Flight Medicine or Primary Care per the Air Force Surgeon General's 30 May 2006 policy letter. You will be eligible to apply to the 2009 JSGMESB for residency training beginning in 2010.

In a separate email sent out to us HPSP'ers regarding the above: "AFPC/DPAME has made considerable changes to the "Message from the Branch Chief" letter since the first publication on Friday, 14 Jul 06. Please ensure you have downloaded the current version."

Therefore, the decision for the changes appears to have been made May 30, 2006. I can't comment on the feasibility of declining to re-sign the contract.
 

doc4sure

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On a side note, many people are tempted to list a second choice of specialty on their application when applying for competitive specialties. DO NOT DO THIS - it is front and center on your application, and you WILL NOT get your first choice.
!
great info wrested,but I'm not sure where you are coming from with the sidenote above. What if you happened to have two specialties you are interested in. Why not list them both?
 

wrested

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You could list them both if you would truly be happy doing either. However, my point is that if you decided that EM (for example) was what you wanted to do and that you wouldn't be happy doing something less competitive (like FP), it wouldn't be very wise to list FP as a second choice. The AF will not train you in both specialties, so the safest bet, in my opinion, would be to just go for whatever you want, and if you don't get it, suck it up and do the GMO/FS thing until you can apply again (or get out and apply civilian). Basically, if the JSGME has 30 applicants with similar applications vying for only a few EM spots, and only one of them states that they would be happy doing something else, it only makes sense that they would save the few spots available for people who really want them. Also, the PDs are looking for gung-ho applicants in their fields, so if you told the WHMC EM PD that you would be happy doing FP, they probably wouldn't rank you very highly.

Does that make sense?
 

delicatefade

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How do you think it would work if one were to rank two highly competitive specialties???
 

wrested

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Personally, I doubt you would get either one, and would therefore be non-selected (i.e., put into a GMO slot).
 

doc4sure

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You could list them both if you would truly be happy doing either. However, my point is that if you decided that EM (for example) was what you wanted to do and that you wouldn't be happy doing something less competitive (like FP), it wouldn't be very wise to list FP as a second choice. The AF will not train you in both specialties, so the safest bet, in my opinion, would be to just go for whatever you want, and if you don't get it, suck it up and do the GMO/FS thing until you can apply again (or get out and apply civilian). Basically, if the JSGME has 30 applicants with similar applications vying for only a few EM spots, and only one of them states that they would be happy doing something else, it only makes sense that they would save the few spots available for people who really want them. Also, the PDs are looking for gung-ho applicants in their fields, so if you told the WHMC EM PD that you would be happy doing FP, they probably wouldn't rank you very highly.

Does that make sense?
It does make sense. However, in the event one of your choices was one that didn't always fill, it would seem your chances of scoring that one would be good, but I see what you are saying about PD's wanting gung'ho applicants. Of course all this assumes you/I would be happier in one of two specialties rather than doing the FS tour.
 
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