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Winning Brownie Points

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by LauraDO, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. LauraDO

    LauraDO 2+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    I suppose specifically AF, for me, but it would be nice is all of the services chimed in on this, since there is probably much similarity and for other crazy new HPSP'ers

    Now that we have taken the scholarship, heard the horror there anything we can do along the way (between MS1/MS2 and the fateful match day) to try to garner 'brownie points' that might in someway help us out when it comes to beating the odds

    i.e.) extra classes, summer work, specific ADT's, ect., ect.

    What is the best course of action to make our application as attractive as possible when they are looking at it match day (other than awesome board scores and high class ranking) I know prior service helps, but for those of us with none, is there anything else we can do? Thanks
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  3. spicedmanna

    spicedmanna Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Well, perhaps unofficially, I heard that one of the best things we can do is to really align ourselves with an AD physician in the base/program we want be at, early on. Not only for the mentoring, but also so that they can help us on our journey and to navigate the system.
  4. sethco

    sethco Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Absolutely agree. Get in good with especially the program director. This also holds true for civilian programs as well, since you may be vying for a deferment. The problem with this in the military is the PD turnover is much higher than in the civilian world with deployments, separation/retirements, and PCSing. The other problem with doing this now is that the average medical student changes their mind at least once during med school regarding what specialty they will go into, so it may be a little early (I changed my mind twice). For right now, I would just worry about grades, board scores, and research opportunities that could lead to publishable work.
  5. Coastie

    Coastie Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Is it too late to resign your HPSP spot without committment? If not, try to do it with minimal committment. Re-enter the military after you've received civi GME in specialty of choice.

  6. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending 10+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Excell during your ADT rotations and ensure you rotate at the hospital and in the department you want to match with.

    If you can check the research box buy getting on a paper that helps,
    Good board scores also help.

    Class ranking not as important as how the staff and program director in your desired department view your work ethic, intelligence, integrity and personality.
  7. LauraDO

    LauraDO 2+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    Thanks to all of you, this is very good advice. How might I go about finding a AD physician that might be interested in mentoring or advising in some way.

    Also, I'll probably go to COT next summer (the May-June one) but than I will have a month, month and a half or so free, would it be possible/beneficial for me to try to do something at an AF hospital (what I'm not sure) I'm specifically interested in trying to get a residency at Wilford Hall. Also I'll be very close to the base in Tampa, not sure if that might open any possibilities during the year?

    I apologize if these questions sound stupid, not being in med school yet, I sort of don't know how the system works, but I really appreciate all of your input
  8. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness Physician 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2007
    I've heard it's possible to do more rotations with the military than your two ADT rotations, if you're willing to do them for free. Can someone confirm/deny this?
  9. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    According to the AFIT website, you can perform more than two externships. You will go as a civilian, in civilian clothes, unpaid, and you must use your university's malpractice insurance. When I read the requirements, I was turned off by all the work involved and decided that two were good enough for me.
  10. psychbender

    psychbender Cynical Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Yes, you can. I did two of my third year rotations at Womack as a civilian, and I'm doing two rotations next year at Walter Reed as a civilian (burned up my ADTs doing OBC this summer, and a rotation at BAMC). Depending on hospital/base you may or may not be in uniform. There really isn't much extra work involved on your end--mostly just getting your school and the hospital to talk to each other and make a formal traning agreement.
  11. psychbender

    psychbender Cynical Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    I should add: finding housing for non-ADT rotations sucks. Finding affordable housing in DC for two months sucks big time.
  12. RugbyJC

    RugbyJC Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    sometimes current residents/interns will put you up for a reasonable amount if they have an extra room or are subletting while doing an away elective, so ask around. the gme coordinator might be able to put you in touch with this. or someone else who has rotated on their own pocket might have some names of residents who rent rooms to students.
  13. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    SDN Partner
    Do research. If you publish it, you get even more points in the military match. To the military match, research is just as important as the boards is just as important as the clinical grades is just as important as prior service.
  14. LauraDO

    LauraDO 2+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    Really! That is interesting and good to know, I didn't realize research held that much weight

    Thank you everyone this has all been incredibly helpful. Keep it coming
  15. dtn3t

    dtn3t Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2004
    Branching off that, I paid for a few rotations in DC and ended up staying at a USUHS MSIV's place while they were doing a sub-I elsewhere. I kind of fell into it but you might be able to ask around and see what you get.
  16. InertiaCreeps

    InertiaCreeps 7+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    What sort of research is looked for? Is it necessary to be clinical in nature or is it the same if it is basic science research?

    Also, can anyone explain why research publications are valued so highly?
  17. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness Physician 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2007
    Do they have any way in their points system for differentiating the kind of research? If I do research with my schools family practice group, and then try and match into Ortho, will it count just as much as if I did research with Ortho?
  18. psychbender

    psychbender Cynical Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    The actual presentation with breakdown of points is floating around this site, somewhere. After a brief search, I pulled up the following with regards to research:
    Bonus Points:
    Research: 0-4 points
    4=multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals
    3=single publication in peer-reviewed journal
    2=multiple pubs in in-house journals or posters
    1=single publication in-house or poster


    So, according to that, the topic of research does not seem to be very important. However, I am sure that a consultant would look more favorably upon research geared toward his particular specialty than basic science research.

    I'm just about at that point. Walter Reed has a document with a bunch of people in the area who are willing to rent out rooms to students, but the few that I have been able to contact all seem to want what I would consider unreasonable amounts. Then again, that might actually be reasonable for the DC area. I contacted someone I know at USUHS to see if she knows of anyone at the school with a spare room, and my next step will probably be contacting the GME coordinator to see if I can be put in touch with any interns/residents.

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