EmilKraepelin55

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This thread is just to seek general advice given my current situation as a medical student and what I can do moving forward to ensure I can be successful. Thanks to anyone who replies!

I received my first round of board scores recently:
Step 1 = 234
Level 1 = 598

I have only done some research on a clinical case series during summer of M1 which honestly didn’t go anywhere, so I am not sure if that should be counted.

I have volunteered with an Autism organization for years, which is one of the reasons I am interested in neuro along with other relevant experiences.

Currently I am an M3 at a new DO school in the Midwest. I am just one state away from my original permanent residence, which my wife and I hope to move back to at some point (hopefully for residency) We are realistic though since a majority of the neurology programs are not located in this region of the country, and there is only one program who accepts very few DO’s in the state of interest so that may be a long shot. The other specialties I am not too concerned about as far as location.

Anyways, my school has me scheduled for an outpatient neuro rotation (it’s not a core here) at the end of the year and if possible I will be applying to VSAS to do a few audition rotations in 4th year. Hopefully that option will be on the table given COVID19.

Given this information, what else would those of you who have went through this process recommend I do to make myself as competitive as possible for the match if I decided on one of these?For reference, my greatest interest is neuro at the moment. Any advice is highly appreciated.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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This thread is just to seek general advice given my current situation as a medical student and what I can do moving forward to ensure I can be successful. Thanks to anyone who replies!

I received my first round of board scores recently:
Step 1 = 234
Level 1 = 598
Neurology prorgams accept DO’s, even if they don’t have any DO
I have only done some research on a clinical case series during summer of M1 which honestly didn’t go anywhere, so I am not sure if that should be counted.

I have volunteered with an Autism organization for years, which is one of the reasons I am interested in neuro along with other relevant experiences.

Currently I am an M3 at a new DO school in the Midwest. I am just one state away from my original permanent residence, which my wife and I hope to move back to at some point (hopefully for residency) We are realistic though since a majority of the neurology programs are not located in this region of the country, and there is only one program who accepts very few DO’s in the state of interest so that may be a long shot. The other specialties I am not too concerned about as far as location.

Anyways, my school has me scheduled for an outpatient neuro rotation (it’s not a core here) at the end of the year and if possible I will be applying to VSAS to do a few audition rotations in 4th year. Hopefully that option will be on the table given COVID19.

Given this information, what else would those of you who have went through this process recommend I do to make myself as competitive as possible for the match if I decided on one of these?For reference, my greatest interest is neuro at the moment. Any advice is highly appreciated.
As far as I know, neurology is not very competitive, even if a program has no DO’s or few do’s doesn’t mean they won’t consider your app, neurology just isn’t a very popular field among USMD’s or DO’s and has one of the highest fill rates by IMG’s. You will routinely find DO’s at some top programs in the nation in desirable locations, with your solid scores, you should have No problem what so ever matching at a Midwest neuro prorgam in your home state. the brutal neurology residency makes it one of the least desirable specialties among American grads. Rotate at a prorgam your interested in and get good letters but it really isn’t that difficult to match neuro.
 
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Neurality

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Congrats on the solid scores! I am also neuro bound and had asked about my chances of residency earlier this year. Check this link! Might answer some of your questions.



Just realized you had previously commented on that thread. Based on your scores and my lack of research, I think you'll be even more set than me :laugh:. I'm in a midwest COM as well and hoping to stay local. I'm starting my applications based on proximity 1st, but then looking for programs with DO program directors to guide my additional applications. Throwing in Mayo and Cleveland clinic cause they're close and why not?

A wise physician on that above thread had this advice for me: "In regards to OP's question, neuro is not a competitive specialty. Your numbers look good. You are still a third year student have plenty of time to show interest in the field. Do a couple rotations, one being an away, and attend a conference".

I was going to the AAN conferenc in Toronto but #covid
 
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libertyyne

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Your scores are good for those fields . You need to decide what you want and once you do you need to get an away rotation at an academic program that can write you a letter for that field and possibly where you would like to match.
1595732535923.png
neuro is not very competitive . Although matching at any program that is not your home program always carries a risk.
 
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ananasmed

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Your scores are competitive for neurology. If you're interested in the field, that will shine through on your application and you'll do fine. Agreed with advice above to try to get a strong academic letter if possible (now with COVID, who knows) but it's not make or break.

If you're specifically interested in treating autism/ASD, though, you are probably better off pursuing psychiatry or pediatrics --> neurodevelopmental disorders fellowship. Maybe child neurology (which, notably, is its own completely separate residency) does see autism, but I wouldn't think of neuro as the primary specialty to treat these disorders.

Best of luck!
 
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Candidate2017

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If you're specifically interested in treating autism/ASD, though, you are probably better off pursuing psychiatry or pediatrics --> neurodevelopmental disorders fellowship. Maybe child neurology (which, notably, is its own completely separate residency) does see autism, but I wouldn't think of neuro as the primary specialty to treat these disorders.

Best of luck!

OP, actually, pediatric neurologists and child psychiatrists both see autistic kids.

Do neuro + pediatric neuro fellowship if you are interested in other neuro aspects (movement, headache, sz, stroke, etc). Do psych + child psych fellowship if you are interested in other psych aspects (depression, anxiety, adult patients, etc).

Be aware that neuro residency has a heavy workload, and child psych has lots of psychosocial nonsense (school, courts, abuse, difficult parents). However, it is easy to set up a child psych cash practice.
 
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ananasmed

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OP, actually, pediatric neurologists and child psychiatrists both see autistic kids.

Do neuro + pediatric neuro fellowship if you are interested in other neuro aspects (movement, headache, sz, stroke, etc). Do psych + child psych fellowship if you are interested in other psych aspects (depression, anxiety, adult patients, etc).

Be aware that neuro residency has a heavy workload, and child psych has lots of psychosocial nonsense (school, courts, abuse, difficult parents). However, it is easy to set up a child psych cash practice.

For OP and anyone else who is curious, pediatric neurology is not a fellowship from adult neurology. It is its own standalone residency, or less commonly these days can be done as a fellowship from pediatrics. Just FYI. Take home point: adult neurology residency would be a poor choice if your main career goal is to treat people with ASD.
 
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EmilKraepelin55

Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy?
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Thanks, everyone for your replies so far! Some GREAT info here! I will say that personally when I stated that I became interested in neurology (and yes psych as well) when working with an Autism organization I didn't necessarily mean that I wanted to work specifically with that population. However, I am totally open to doing so if it comes to pass that I chose to practice something like child/adolescent psychiatry. Honestly, I have been very labile in my primary interests over the past year. I have wobbled between neuro/psych mainly, and IM as a distant 3rd. Currently it just so happens that my cursor is more on the neurology side of things lately (love neuroanatomy, localizing the lesions etc). Because I am on my vacation month at the moment, my first rotation will actually be in psychiatry. Very excited about it! Here's to hoping COVID doesn't get in the way too much for ALL of us lol.
 
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There are plenty of spots for these residencies. Fortunately for you, these are not the tight ones that you have to worry about.
 

Candidate2017

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Whoops, I stand corrected.

Regardless, OP, the distinction between neuro and psych is still valid. I'll add that you seem more neuro to me, as psychiatrists usually don't get excited about localizing lesions. Neurology rotations do a good job of showing the day to day work of neurologists. Not so with psychiatry rotations since they are usually inpatient or just med checks, so you may have to be proactive in seeking psychiatry experiences. Child psych is not necessary to see autistic patients as adult psychiatrists see autistic teens and adults. Also, a chunk of psych intern year will be IM and neuro rotations. Neuro and IM are always happy to poach if you go psychiatry and decide it is not for you.
 
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UTsksk

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So I’m actually a child psych fellow right now and struggled with basically the same thing as you. I found Neurology intellectually stimulating and ended up doing 3 rotations in Neurology between 3rd and 4th year. For some reason I struggled enjoying the day to day aspect of it. I enjoyed playing the game of find the lesion and what tremor is this. However when it came to the management I felt it was all too the same and you’re trying to prolong the inevitable. I ended up choosing psychiatry because I felt I could do more in regards to quality of life for patients and I was comfortable with the gray area that psychiatry has to manage. Ended up going child psych because I wanted to hopefully intervene and provide help to kids so their adult lives aren’t spent going in and out of psych units and psych ER.

What you need to figure out is what bread and butter diseases/disorders are you willing to manage day in and day out?

I would’ve loved to have done Neuro/psych or IM/psych because I still miss that medicine aspect but I made my choice for a reason. Best of luck.
 

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