Feb 1, 2013
1
0
Status
Medical Student
So I just matched into my top choice for my non-surgical residency but I'm not as happy as I should be. I'm currently on my first ortho rotation and am kicking myself over not doing ortho as I'm loving the surgeries and everything else about it. I was very interested in it during my third year, scrubbed into a couple surgeries and went to conference, but I couldn't secure a rotation (we only had 2 electives third year) and ended up kind of talking myself out of surgery in general for multiple reasons. But after over a year in the hospital, I've realized I actually like spending a lot of time at the hospital, I can handle call and I really like being in the OR after I was afraid to even breathe last year. (There's a lot of other reasons I prefer ortho to other surgical subspecialites but that's not really the point)

My question is how realistic of a shot do I have of switching into a DO ortho program and what can I do? I looked up a few threads here and went over to orthogate.com and saw the program listings. Do I have any shot whatsoever over the ortho gunner who did 3 auditions and research who didn't match? Will I have to do any of that myself? Will I need LORs besides my one ortho rotation my intern year next year? Do I just keep looking until a spot opens up or do I contact program directors in the slim hope that anything can be done? I scored 600+ on Step I and 570+ on Step II, no surgical LORs though I did very well on my Gen Surg and Ob rotations (I just didn't ask).

I guess I just wanna know if the door is completely closed so I get over it and move on.

Thanks for any help!
 
Apr 15, 2011
31
1
Status
What residency did you match into? A lot depends on the length of this residency... If you matched into a 3-yr family medicine/ED/IM/etc residency, you are facing a lot more than competition to match into a 5 year ortho program. You are only granted "X" many years of salary by Medicare, based on what field you originally match into. By matching into a 3-yr program you would be expecting the ortho program and/or hospital to offer up another 2 years of salary.. Basically, it might be harder to "switch" into an ortho program logistically than you think.

Also, are you even allowed to get out of the residency program that you just matched into? I'm only a 4th yr med student that just finished interviewing for ortho, but I thought this agreement was legally binding once The Match has taken place.

If you are able to overcome the above, then yes, I think your best bet would be to secure a year-long research fellowship at a respectable academic institution. You would probably be able to secure a handful of letters of recommendation from this experience, and I think this would put you at least at a level playing field with other 4th year med students that put in the multiple ortho months already, as long as your grades/scores also measure up.

If you are seriously considering this, you need to talk to your Dean's office and Ortho PD/Chairman ASAP to make a game plan. Don't base your decision entirely on here or orthogate... Just wanted to give you my immediate thoughts on your situation. Good luck.
 

womp

7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,143
60
Status
Resident [Any Field]
This sounds like a path to unhappiness. Learn to love your specialty or perhaps another one that is less competitive but still procedural. Ortho is competitive as hell for regular applicants with 240s and you are DO also, severely limiting your options. If you flaked once to a binding contract, it's easy for people to assume you'll flake again. Not everything in ortho is peaches and cream. It's a brutal residency with uncertain future reimbursements.
 
Jul 16, 2012
62
1
Status
Medical Student
I scored 600+ on Step I and 570+ on Step II, no surgical LORs though I did very well on my Gen Surg and Ob rotations (I just didn't ask).
With a score of 600 on your step 1, you're off the charts! Is that comlex you're talking about?

Jokes aside, you need to have orthopaedic surgeons (3 or 4) write your LOR. Not gensurg and def not ob.
 

Wannashmooze

7+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2009
26
0
NJ
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Im unclear, are you ms4 or pgy1?

I'm assuming you are pgy4 because the DO match just came out.

So here goes:
If the place you matched into is competitive, then they may let you out of your contract because there will be someone else to take your spot.


If they will let you out, Do a TRI at a place that has a DO ortho residency, rotate with ortho, do some away ortho rotations, reapply, and pray.

Check Pallisades medical center in NJ, they may have some open TRI spots, and they are affiliated with Meadowlands ortho residency, same DME, same rotations.

And if you get in enough months of ortho and gensurg you can even get credit for pgy1 ortho from your TRI year.

Doing rotations is the number one way of getting places to know and like you.

I have seen someone go from pgy2 OB into ortho, so its not impossible.

All is not lost, but you are facing a steep uphill battle.
 

Orthojoe

5+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2013
185
221
Status
Resident [Any Field]
as stated, most likely not going to happen because of the funding issues. The only option I know is to match into a privately funded DO program. It happened this year to a PGY1 gen surg friend of mine.

I think the best option and easily accomplished, if you love ortho, is to do a fellowship in sports medicine. Some of my friends are sports med docs in ortho clinics and they make high 300s, no call, see awesome ortho cases, heavily procedure based.. that's what I would do in your case. Its what I would have done if I didn't match ortho (of course after taking a research year and trying to match again).
 

Dr Dazzle

7+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2010
915
28
Status
Resident [Any Field]
as stated, most likely not going to happen because of the funding issues. The only option I know is to match into a privately funded DO program. It happened this year to a PGY1 gen surg friend of mine.

I think the best option and easily accomplished, if you love ortho, is to do a fellowship in sports medicine. Some of my friends are sports med docs in ortho clinics and they make high 300s, no call, see awesome ortho cases, heavily procedure based.. that's what I would do in your case. Its what I would have done if I didn't match ortho (of course after taking a research year and trying to match again).
Sorry for my naïveté but would the research year be paid if you hadn't matched?