DOstudent22

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Hey all,

Sorry for another one of these threads, but I seriously am looking for advice!

I am currently a 4th year DO student from northern cali. Class rank wise, I am in the middle of my class. I've participated in a few clubs, but no research. The part that kills my chances is that I barely passed my COMLEX level 1 (low 400's). I didn't take USMLE. I just took my COMLEX-2, i have no idea how i did yet.

I love Physical Medicine and Rehab. I think this is the field for me. I recently did a rotation at Rancho Los Amigos, got a letter from one of the chiefs. I have a few rotations set up as well in the next few months. I've done well on my rotations, and have gotten a few other good letters.

My question is, what are my chances at matching. I would love to stay in cali, but i know those chances are slim to none. And how many programs should I apply to? I would appreciate any advice! Thanks!
 

rehab_sports_dr

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I am sure you are getting similar advice from everybody, but here are some general rules that apply for everybody:

1. Apply to any residency program that you think you might want to go to. Don't limit yourself to those you think you might get into- reach for the stars
2. If you feel like your board scores or other academic credentials, figure out what it is that you have to sell. Even things like enthusiasm, humanity, and strong interest is something to sell, and will be valued
3. If you are a weaker candidate, apply to more programs. The worst things that can happen is that you blow an extra few hundred dollars on application fees, which is a small price to pay in the long run. If you happen to get to many interview invitations, that is a pleasant problem to have
4. Don't get obsessed over going to a certain program- go with an open mind. Sometimes a program will sneak up on you, and you'll end up liking it better than a program that is allegedly "better"
 

axm397

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DOstudent22 said:
Hey all,

Sorry for another one of these threads, but I seriously am looking for advice!

I am currently a 4th year DO student from northern cali. Class rank wise, I am in the middle of my class. I've participated in a few clubs, but no research. The part that kills my chances is that I barely passed my COMLEX level 1 (low 400's). I didn't take USMLE. I just took my COMLEX-2, i have no idea how i did yet.

I love Physical Medicine and Rehab. I think this is the field for me. I recently did a rotation at Rancho Los Amigos, got a letter from one of the chiefs. I have a few rotations set up as well in the next few months. I've done well on my rotations, and have gotten a few other good letters.

My question is, what are my chances at matching. I would love to stay in cali, but i know those chances are slim to none. And how many programs should I apply to? I would appreciate any advice! Thanks!
Cali can be tricky because it's a desirable location. There's UCIrvine, UCDavis, Stanford, UCLA, and Loma Linda. I would NOT limit your application to those programs and cast a wider net especially given some of the negative factors of your application.

Your goal this year should be to try to have the positive factors of your application outweigh the negative. Do some research, even if it's just to do a case report. Spend some time on your personal statement.

I hope you are doing more rotations than just Rancho. And when you say you got a letter from "one of the chiefs", I hope you don't mean chief residents... You need a good strong letter from a well known well regarded attending physiatrist. Try to get at least 2 if not 3 letters from physiatrists. Get in touch with alums from your med school who are in PM&R and get their opinion on how your school is regarded and what kind of obstacles they faced when applying to residency.

And last but not least, work on your confidence. Lack of confidence, depressed mood, uptightness, and antisocial behavior (none of which I'm sure you have) can be easily picked up during interviews and can negatively impact your chances of matching at a program. Go into each interview with a positive outlook and be interested and interesting. This field is not all about numbers.
 
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eddo

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Gotta love California! Rotate in Cali so they can get to know you. But don't put all your eggs in....well, you know. If your final goal is to practice in Cali, a few years away from Cali won't hurt you. In fact, if you train at some of the stronger programs throughout the country, you may find yourself with job offers back in Cali.

Like Axm397 said, don't give up and it all comes down to making sure you demonstrate your passion for the field. Your knowledge will prove your competence, but your personality is what will make you shine. You could be the all-knowing medicine student, but if you aren't a people person...well then it'll be difficult for you to build a relationship with your SCI patient that will be with you for 2-4 weeks or longer!

Basically, when you step onto the wards or in the office, you have a clean slate. The attending doesn't know how you did in your anatomy class or on your Step 1. It's your choice whether you will let your past performance affect your future or not. Start off strong and with enthusiasm, read when you can read, and show the attendings what you are made of. And the rest will be history!

Now, if you do happen to win the attendings over and get an interview, don't close up into a shell again because you are afraid of what they will see on your transcript or from your Board Reports. Be mature and let them know why you didn't do so hot IF IT COMES UP. IF YOU GOT AN INTERVIEW, THEY ARE INTERESTED! Just let your interview be a relaxing "get to know you better" kinda day. It won't be an interrogation under the solitary overhead lamp in the room like some medicine prelim interviews. Good luck!
 
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DOstudent22

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Thanks for all your advice!

I guess I'm just afraid that my scores may hurt my chances of matching. Especially since PM&R is getting so competitive. Does anyone know of people who have matched with low scores? I think i just need to hear that its possible. Thanks again guys!
 

lrsotnas

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I agree with what others have said. There really only two thing that you have in your control.

Doing the best you can on rotations.
Getting strong letters from the right people (not a chief resident). ;)

If you do that you can only help your chances of getting interviews and once you have an interview anything can happen! :)
 

eddo

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One other thing....your personal statement....IS HUGE!

Don't obsess over making sure it'll win the Pulitzer or make your best friend so emotional. YOur goal when writing this is to convince the programs that they should take a look at you....not because you are top in your class....not because you published in JBJS....BUT because you have a strong argument for how you got interested in PM&R and why you fit the bill for a great physiatrist.

Basically, my PS was a story about how I got interested in the field, which aspects of PM&R attracted me, MY patient stories that wouldn't apply to John Doe. Craft your stories with patients so that readers will want to see you in the flesh.

Give them insight into your thought processes clinically, your feelings about your patients and the field, and at least one concrete, descriptive imagery of your experience with a patient. It should give the program a taste of who you are and leave them wanting more....as in an interview! :)
 

axm397

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eddo said:
One other thing....your personal statement....IS HUGE!

Don't obsess over making sure it'll win the Pulitzer or make your best friend so emotional. YOur goal when writing this is to convince the programs that they should take a look at you....not because you are top in your class....not because you published in JBJS....BUT because you have a strong argument for how you got interested in PM&R and why you fit the bill for a great physiatrist.

Basically, my PS was a story about how I got interested in the field, which aspects of PM&R attracted me, MY patient stories that wouldn't apply to John Doe. Craft your stories with patients so that readers will want to see you in the flesh.

Give them insight into your thought processes clinically, your feelings about your patients and the field, and at least one concrete, descriptive imagery of your experience with a patient. It should give the program a taste of who you are and leave them wanting more....as in an interview! :)

Definitely agree that the personal statement is HUGE - I got comments at many of the program interviews about my personal statement. I think many people make the mistake of writing a generic statement with a lot of cliches and general statements (i.e. I like caring for the "whole patient", I am a good listener, etc.) You really should use the PS to distinguish yourself from other applicants and like eddo said, use specific examples.
 

psych psych

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DOstudent22 said:
Hey all,

Sorry for another one of these threads, but I seriously am looking for advice!

I am currently a 4th year DO student from northern cali. Class rank wise, I am in the middle of my class. I've participated in a few clubs, but no research. The part that kills my chances is that I barely passed my COMLEX level 1 (low 400's). I didn't take USMLE. I just took my COMLEX-2, i have no idea how i did yet.

I love Physical Medicine and Rehab. I think this is the field for me. I recently did a rotation at Rancho Los Amigos, got a letter from one of the chiefs. I have a few rotations set up as well in the next few months. I've done well on my rotations, and have gotten a few other good letters.

My question is, what are my chances at matching. I would love to stay in cali, but i know those chances are slim to none. And how many programs should I apply to? I would appreciate any advice! Thanks!
Hi, if you are a DO , than apply to an osteopathic PMR program
 

Wifty

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Just wanted to second the idea of looking at places that you might not otherwise think of.

Hubby was just like you (although he did well on comlex 2) when applying and applied and was interviewed at some top notch places - RIC, Baylor, UofWI.

However, the place that he liked best was University of Kansas. He applied simply because we have been living in the midwest area and it was an easy interview to go to......however, he loved the program, what they are doing with it, and the amount of outpatient you get to do. And he got accepted!!!

He wondered about his chances as well and we will never know if he could have matched as well at RIC, but getting the interview in spite of low scores was awesome.

So, look at lots of programs and don't rule a place out simply based on your scores - they will rule you out if they think its necessary. Give them the chance though......you never know. :)

With smiles,
Wifty....intern wife for now and PMR spouse next year
 

joseppi

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psych psych said:
Hi, if you are a DO , than apply to an osteopathic PMR program
I am not too sure what this advise is founded on... not wanting to throw flames, but being realistic one must apply wide spread at programs they are personally interested in.

There are only two DO programs... U michigan and NY Nassau University Med Center. That would be bad advise to apply only to those programs...

Many programs have DO residents, Do attendings and even PD (ie RIC) so pick a porgram based on preference of what that program has to offer you.
You will get plenty of interviews if you keep your options open.

Good luck in the process. Remeber its the whole package. (akine to the osteopathic approach).....
 

psych psych

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Hey, sorry to burst your bubble. But numerous programs state that THEY ARE LOOKING at grades, boards, and publications/research, unlike past years when it was more easier to get in.

By the way , when u said "akine", did u mean a kin?

Also, the holistic approach is not exclusive to osteopathy. MDs have been treating a person as a whole for centuries. They just dont spell it out because it's so obvious that a competent doctor would rather treat a person than just a disease.

Ask yourself, what competent doctor (MD or "DO") won't treat their patient as a whole?
 

Triathlon

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Hey, sorry to burst your bubble. But numerous programs state that THEY ARE LOOKING at grades, boards, and publications/research, unlike past years when it was more easier to get in.

By the way , when u said "akine", did u mean a kin?

Also, the holistic approach is not exclusive to osteopathy. MDs have been treating a person as a whole for centuries. They just dont spell it out because it's so obvious that a competent doctor would rather treat a person than just a disease.

Ask yourself, what competent doctor (MD or "DO") won't treat their patient as a whole?
most likely meant a kin, but akine was probably more easier to type.:laugh:

As a DO student I have to agree with your point although I sense a little animosity. One of the major problems within the DO realm is that exact thing, claiming to be holistic (where the allopathic docs aren't???). We learn manipulation. Otherwise, I personally haven't seen much difference in my training. Granted the manipulation is a great asset, and the reason I chose this route to doctordom, but it doesn't create a different approach to point of setting us that far apart from our MD counterparts. I am almost embarrassed by some of the statements put out by the AOA. I honestly can't tell a difference from the good doctors I have worked with MD or DO. As far as your application to PM&R its all about your abilities. DOs have an advantage in this field compared with say derm (and I don't mean advantage over MDs). Just be confident in yourself, if you have what it take then you will get in if you don't then you don't.
 

Finally M3

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There are only two DO programs... U michigan and NY Nassau University Med Center. That would be bad advise to apply only to those programs...
That would be Michigan State, not Michigan. Last I checked, we're an allopathic program. We do have 5 DOs out of 19 residents, tho'
 

drusso

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This is your moderator...You guys are killing me...

Please stop and step back and look at the big picture. Both DO and MD are medical degrees with the same privileges and responsibilities attached to each. The similarites overlap more than the differences. Everyone say this twelve times out loud...accreditation procedures only reflect the rubber stamp of the accreditation body (AOA or ACGME).

You may now return to your regularly scheduled pissing contest.
 

p53

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One other thing....your personal statement....IS HUGE!

Don't obsess over making sure it'll win the Pulitzer or make your best friend so emotional. YOur goal when writing this is to convince the programs that they should take a look at you....not because you are top in your class....not because you published in JBJS....BUT because you have a strong argument for how you got interested in PM&R and why you fit the bill for a great physiatrist.

Basically, my PS was a story about how I got interested in the field, which aspects of PM&R attracted me, MY patient stories that wouldn't apply to John Doe. Craft your stories with patients so that readers will want to see you in the flesh.

Give them insight into your thought processes clinically, your feelings about your patients and the field, and at least one concrete, descriptive imagery of your experience with a patient. It should give the program a taste of who you are and leave them wanting more....as in an interview! :)
Excellent advice! :thumbup:
 

eddo

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Hey DOstudent22,

Whatever we all say here...your fate is in YOUR hands. Apply all over...go for the long shots, go for your range. In the end, make sure you can say that you gave it your best effort and you gave yourself the best opportunity...WITH NO REGRETS. Apply to 1 or apply to all 79 programs....go with your comfort level and obviously don't TOTALLY break the piggy bank =)

By the way, I left out SAFETY programs because I don't think they exist in PM&R. Every program has its own flavor and is looking for some good additions to complement them. Just because you interview at Baylor or RIC doesn't mean you are sure to interview at Jeff or Michigan...and vice versa.

In short, BE CONFIDENT AND DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT OF YOUR DREAMS wherever it may be. At this time last year, I (and I'm sure many of us that are now matched to PGY-2) had those periods of doubt...RIC, UCLA, Stanford, Jeff, Temple, Baylor....etc all seemed so out of reach. But you keep on rolling along CONFIDENTLY...and your perseverance will pay off.:thumbup: :thumbup:
 
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