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deleted831695

Because I‘ve grown from my naive M0/M1 self entertaining ENT lol:
* DO w/no red flags after first two years
* ~15 research exps (coauthor pubs+posters) of various basic sci (& pseudo-clinical) stuff
* ^ Did research before school and doing a research LOA between M2/M3 atm
* Only other EC is part of school’s litmag org

Questions:

* What's a safe Step 1/Level 1 and Step 2/Level 2 score to be confident in matching anywhere? Well-regarded places?

* How do I show interest during 3rd yr (since I’m so research heavy) other than honoring and a LOR?

* Should I aim to do auditions within school GME or wherever I want to live during residency?

* How many places to apply as a DO if no red flags? With red flags?

* Out of curiosity, how is the future of FM in 10+ years especially if there’s a move to single-payer?
 

cj_cregg

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I'm an MD so take all this with a grain of salt.

Board scores: just passing will be fine, a 220ish can get you into pretty much any program assuming the rest of your application is what they're looking for.

Showing interest: can you do some FM shadowing now? Get involved with your FM interest group or a student run free clinic that's primary care focused? Do some research that's more primary care/community focused?

Auditions: You do not need to do them for FM. Just speaking from my experience at my program, auditions can sometimes help (but these are people who often would have impressed us on interview day anyway) and sometimes put you towards the bottom of our rank list. I wouldn't do one unless you've consistently gotten stellar feedback on your rotations and there's a specific program you want to see if you like.

Not sure how many places to apply as a DO (as a US MD with no red flags, ~20 is more than adequate).

I'll let smarter people talk about the future of FM with regards to a single-payer system lol. What I can say is that FM is an incredibly versatile field, and there are a thousand different ways to do it. If you get good training, you can do procedures, offer inpatient and/or OB care, do concierge medicine, etc. that will boost your revenue and provide needed services to your patients. It will also always be valuable to the healthcare system - quality primary care saves lives and saves money, and I think insurance companies and legislators are starting to realize that and make moves towards supporting best practices in preventive care (although at least currently, the ways they try to do that can be pretty iffy lol).
 
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Sardonix

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What's a safe Step 1/Level 1 and Step 2/Level 2 score to be confident in matching anywhere? Well-regarded places?
-Midwest is insanely friendly to DOs. But Michigan turns that up to 11 on steroids from my experience when I rotated through there. What's more, you go to MSUCOM--so your school is well renowned locally and throughout the midwest in general. I applied FM this year, had an above average COMLEX 1/2 for FM and a passing grade for Step 1, no Step 2. I was offered an interview at the vast majority of programs I applied to in my tristate area in the midwest.

How do I show interest during 3rd yr (since I’m so research heavy) other than honoring and a LOR?
Do well in surgery, IM, and FM rotations. Maybe do well on OB too, but don't worry if you don't like it. Essentially you want your app to show that even though you're a recent FM convert, you are committed to FM and not using it as a back up. You can flesh this out in your MSPE statement and by making sure you get 2-3 FM LORs and that all your LORs mention how much you like/would make a great FM doc.

Should I aim to do auditions within school GME or wherever I want to live during residency?
If you wanna do residency where you're from/in Michigan, you'll be fine. If you wanna do residency on either of the coasts you probably will wanna do away/audition rotations there to establish connection.

How many places to apply as a DO if no red flags? With red flags?
I had no red flags and applied to +30 programs in my tristate area. This was too many.

Out of curiosity, how is the future of FM in 10+ years especially if there’s a move to single-payer?
Current future of FM is bright. There's a LOT of negative talk these days about midlevels but just ignore that stuff for now. Every single residency I interviewed at had good budgets, great institutional support, and new clinics were the norm. Big hospitals and academic centers are aware people are mad about lack of primary care and they've been doing their best to prevent that anger from pointing at them by investing in their FM programs.

Just about no one can say exactly what will happen if there is single payer healthcare changes... but given literally every medical specialty would be affected by the upheaval why worry about which specialty will do what and just go with whatever residency you were going to. No point in doing something you didn't like simply because you thought it would be safer from entirely hypothetical changes. Either way, FM pay has been rising in the past couple years and it is such a versatile, wide reaching specialty you can do just about whatever you want with it so if you like it just go for it.
 
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deleted831695

Don't know where to post this otherwise, but just as a follow-up question:

Do any of you know how competitive the FM programs are in the Cleveland area (anything in the city or up to an hour away)?
 

cj_cregg

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Don't know where to post this otherwise, but just as a follow-up question:

Do any of you know how competitive the FM programs are in the Cleveland area (anything in the city or up to an hour away)?
Not very, especially if you have a connection to the area.
 

Sardonix

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Don't know where to post this otherwise, but just as a follow-up question:

Do any of you know how competitive the FM programs are in the Cleveland area (anything in the city or up to an hour away)?
Freida is the best you're gonna be able to do for now.

 

star.buck

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Just matched to a phenomenal FM Midwest program. I applied Midwest exclusively, I’d recommend volunteering with faculty who provide medical care at free clinics / homeless shelters or something of this nature. I was asked at every interview about these experiences. They provide a fantastic conversation as well as show your interest in serving underserved populations - something incredibly important to many FM programs.
 
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deleted831695

Not very, especially if you have a connection to the area.
Would having a potential significant other (not spouse) who lives in the area count?

Freida is the best you're gonna be able to do for now.

How accurate and/or stringent are these minimum score cutoffs? For example, some programs in the Cle area have 500 COMLEX cutoffs but Step cutoffs of 200/210. If you break the minimum on one but not the other, are you autofiltered out?

Just matched to a phenomenal FM Midwest program. I applied Midwest exclusively, I’d recommend volunteering with faculty who provide medical care at free clinics / homeless shelters or something of this nature. I was asked at every interview about these experiences. They provide a fantastic conversation as well as show your interest in serving underserved populations - something incredibly important to many FM programs.
How would you go about doing that during third year? Is it just making time during the weekends to go volunteer?
 

star.buck

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Would having a potential significant other (not spouse) who lives in the area count?



How accurate and/or stringent are these minimum score cutoffs? For example, some programs in the Cle area have 500 COMLEX cutoffs but Step cutoffs of 200/210. If you break the minimum on one but not the other, are you autofiltered out?



How would you go about doing that during third year? Is it just making time during the weekends to go volunteer?
Talk to faculty that do this, usually the FM docs in my experience, they may go after the work day it weekends. Obviously your studies and shelf exams have to take priority, but on lighter rotations I’d recommend adding service type work if you can.
 
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Sardonix

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How accurate and/or stringent are these minimum score cutoffs? For example, some programs in the Cle area have 500 COMLEX cutoffs but Step cutoffs of 200/210. If you break the minimum on one but not the other, are you autofiltered out?
I wondered the exact same thing. In my actual experience, at least in my tristate area of the midwest, having a step1 below 210 did not limit me on any interviews. I wouldn't read too much into the number cut offs other than taking note if one program's are way higher/lower than its neighbors. For example, the University of Wisconsin system may have the exact same board scores listed for all of their FM programs... but then you find out those numbers were likely just placeholders because someone who didn't meet the cutoffs interviewed there just fine.

What you should be more closely looking for is how often they take DOs in their class as well as any other information listed that may of interest. One thing I WILL say is that if the program says "Step 2 required" and they have no DOs on any of their 3 year resident classes, that's their way of saying "DOs need not apply."
 
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deleted831695

I wondered the exact same thing. In my actual experience, at least in my tristate area of the midwest, having a step1 below 210 did not limit me on any interviews. I wouldn't read too much into the number cut offs other than taking note if one program's are way higher/lower than its neighbors. For example, the University of Wisconsin system may have the exact same board scores listed for all of their FM programs... but then you find out those numbers were likely just placeholders because someone who didn't meet the cutoffs interviewed there just fine.

What you should be more closely looking for is how often they take DOs in their class as well as any other information listed that may of interest. One thing I WILL say is that if the program says "Step 2 required" and they have no DOs on any of their 3 year resident classes, that's their way of saying "DOs need not apply."
Got it. Just checked, it looks like all of the programs in this region have DOs in their current 3 year resident classes.
 

star.buck

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You will also find some programs are more academic (I.e. University of Michigan, University if Wisconsin/Madison), where your research will likely be valued. Depending on what type of program you want, you may or may not need to work to add things to your CV.
 
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adamanteus

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FM isn't hard to get into, really. I dont think you have to do anything too special. I had no research, no big ECs except for a couple of things the school made us do, I had a failure in first year (dang neurophysiology), I failed COMLEX 1 the first go around (redeemed myself on retake and COMLEX 2), got mostly HPs and Honors on rotations, and I'm sure I was in the bottom 25% of my class upon graduation. I applied to a dozen or so programs (mostly MD) and had more interviews than I wanted to go to. I cancelled a couple of them, actually. Matched into my number one. This was all in the south east.

FM programs love to hear about your passion for building meaningful relationships with your patients. As you finish your clinical rotations, jot down in a journal or Word Doc when you have experiences that were especially meaningful to you. Embellish a little if you have to. I had a handful of stories that I was able to share during my interviews that I think communicated well my ability to connect with patients. Maybe they were just tired of hearing the same ol thing over and over from applicants and were faking it, but my interviewers appeared to really eat that kind of stuff up. Don't get me wrong, it was all true, and I meant every word. But you also need to be a little strategic with it. I was on the admissions committee in residency. The faculty always perked up when someone had a really good story about why they chose FM. Even better if they had a good reason for applying to our program.
 
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IntheClouds4ever

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You’re over qualified for FM. You should really focus on showing your commitment to FM and that it isn’t a backup.. just my $.02

Just matched to my number 1 (albeit a rural unopposed program) and everywhere I went, was all about fit>scores, EC’s, etc.. auditions are huge, find a place you like and be likable.

no one can project what’s gonna happen in 10 years. Just pursue whatever field you like and realize you may have to adapt in the future.. which is true for just about any career.
 
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deleted831695

You will also find some programs are more academic (I.e. University of Michigan, University if Wisconsin/Madison), where your research will likely be valued. Depending on what type of program you want, you may or may not need to work to add things to your CV.
Mainly at this point it would be a geographic preference to be in the same city (or within an hour tops) as my S.O, regardless of program type. Of course, things can change in that department, but as of now, that's my first preference.

FM isn't hard to get into, really. I dont think you have to do anything too special. I had no research, no big ECs except for a couple of things the school made us do, I had a failure in first year (dang neurophysiology), I failed COMLEX 1 the first go around (redeemed myself on retake and COMLEX 2), got mostly HPs and Honors on rotations, and I'm sure I was in the bottom 25% of my class upon graduation. I applied to a dozen or so programs (mostly MD) and had more interviews than I wanted to go to. I cancelled a couple of them, actually. Matched into my number one. This was all in the south east.

FM programs love to hear about your passion for building meaningful relationships with your patients. As you finish your clinical rotations, jot down in a journal or Word Doc when you have experiences that were especially meaningful to you. Embellish a little if you have to. I had a handful of stories that I was able to share during my interviews that I think communicated well my ability to connect with patients. Maybe they were just tired of hearing the same ol thing over and over from applicants and were faking it, but my interviewers appeared to really eat that kind of stuff up. Don't get me wrong, it was all true, and I meant every word. But you also need to be a little strategic with it. I was on the admissions committee in residency. The faculty always perked up when someone had a really good story about why they chose FM. Even better if they had a good reason for applying to our program.
I want to be in the Cle area as of now for personal reasons, so I just hope I'll have the Step/COMLEX scores to make the cutoffs for the programs there (seems most places want above 210 on Step 1 and 450 on COMLEX 1).

That's a really good idea, thanks!

You’re over qualified for FM. You should really focus on showing your commitment to FM and that it isn’t a backup.. just my $.02

Just matched to my number 1 (albeit a rural unopposed program) and everywhere I went, was all about fit>scores, EC’s, etc.. auditions are huge, find a place you like and be likable.

no one can project what’s gonna happen in 10 years. Just pursue whatever field you like and realize you may have to adapt in the future.. which is true for just about any career.
I don't want to give off that impression whatsoever. I hope the research helps make me a better overall candidate, not make me look like as if I'm using FM as a backup. If things work out as I hope, then I will do a couple of auditions in the city where I want to match.
 

star.buck

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Mainly at this point, it would be a geographic preference to be in the same city (or within an hour tops) as my S.O, regardless of program type. Of course, things can change in that department, but as of now, that's my first preference.

I don't want to give off that impression whatsoever. I hope the research helps make me a better overall candidate, not make me look like as if I'm using FM as a backup. If things work out as I hope, then I will do a couple of auditions in the city where I want to match.
The point on being "overly qualified", though it ticks me off in its nature, due to the insinuation (not necessarily from the persona that stated it!) that you don't need to be highly qualified to be on the front lines of medicine - unfortunately, it may be a bit true. As I've said before, add service, volunteering, SOLID primary care letters (Family medicine preferentially) to your application - and at that point, you become a solid candidate. Without showing solid interest in FM, even if your personal statement says you are - your app might not show it. FM residencies are very used to being seen as a backup to other specialties - and they look for service-oriented experience and FM doc recommendations to counter that in an application. Actions are more powerful than words.

Depending on where you want to go... join your current state's Family Medicine Academy, as well as the one for the state you are aiming at. Watch for conferences and meetings and go to those, talk to the residency directors/coordinators. Reach out to your school's FM docs, ask them if there are projects or opportunities you can help with when you have those free moments.

You will need to apply to 15-20 programs - ranking 10-15. I know that will bring you outside of your geographic area, but you need to consider which is worse - living with your SO and not matching... or matching and not being geographically close to your SO.

Feel free to PM me if you want more specific advice.
 

Lurts

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The point on being "overly qualified", though it ticks me off in its nature, due to the insinuation (not necessarily from the persona that stated it!) that you don't need to be highly qualified to be on the front lines of medicine - unfortunately, it may be a bit true.
I do find it funny how the most “qualified,” competitive, and highly compensated specialties (Derm, Ortho, etc) have been deemed “non-essential” at my D1 academic institution and sent home while those of us in “credentials don’t matter” FM are on the front lines manning overflowing clinics/telemedicine and inpatient units.
 
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deleted831695

You will need to apply to 15-20 programs - ranking 10-15. I know that will bring you outside of your geographic area, but you need to consider which is worse - living with your SO and not matching... or matching and not being geographically close to your SO.
Regardless, I will apply to plenty of programs to guarantee matching. There's about a dozen in the overall area (up to an 80 minute drive) of where I want to be, but that being said, even a place that's >30 minutes away means living separately/not seeing each other on a daily basis.

Thank you for the advice!
 

Sardonix

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I do find it funny how the most “qualified,” competitive, and highly compensated specialties (Derm, Ortho, etc) have been deemed “non-essential” at my D1 academic institution and sent home while those of us in “credentials don’t matter” FM are on the front lines manning overflowing clinics/telemedicine and inpatient units.
Same thing with grocery store and big box store workers. Constantly exposed to the public/idiots/hoarders making runs on the store, but paid barely minimum wage.
 
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Plan on obtaining LORs from diverse fields (ie FM, gen surg, ED) shows you are well-rounded (important for FM). Maintain good grades and don't burn bridges. Geographically speaking CLE is for sure doable. It doesn't hurt to reach out a year or two early so your name is somewhat familiar with PDs or at least you can remind them at interviews that you reached out ahead of time showing you are truly committed to an area/program. Auditions are obviously a bonus, but can be a double edged sword if you perform poorly/don't get along with residents.
 
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deleted831695

How many programs do you apply to if you have red flags? 50? 100? 150?
 

Sardonix

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brianmartin

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you basically just have to pass everything and have good recommendations that show you are dedicated to primary care. Don't over complicate it. As others have said, you need to target your applications, but also apply widely. Be ready to take an opportunity you didn't expect to have. Institutions really need family docs and if you are passionate and knowledgeable, you are going to do just fine. It's really not super competitive. But due to the convoluted nature of the process, you may not end up where you think you were going to. Be prepared for not being in the same city as your spouse, but hope things work out in your favor. FM residency is only 3 years, and its over in the blink of an eye. Get ready for the roller-coaster :)
 
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