Only applying to 2 programs?

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PhilDOc
Only applying to 2 programs?

Hello All,Thank you for reading. I am a second year osteopathic student very interested in Urology. As others have noted, clear information on osteopathic programs is scarce. To get to the point, my questions is how crazy would it be to only apply to a couple of programs when the time comes? Come match time I will be in my early 30's with family comittments which preclude me from applying widely. Unfortunately, location is extremely important. I love urology (and know how competitive it is), but medicine would be my plan B.I have already attempted to start building a relationship with my home program (luckily my school has one), but I cannot gauge what matching is truly like. Some say initiative and hard work go a long way while others say it simply comes down to being a great student and COMLEX scores. I'm a solid student, but not exceptional. Haven't taken Comlex 1 yet. My thought is, in general, urology is much harder to match into than medicine so I've decided to put my eggs in the urology basket early...and if I decide I am a better fit more medicine nothing much is lost down the road.Also, I've heard that (some) osteopathic programs will give you a good idea if you will match (pre-match etc.). If others could share some thoughts, opinions, anecdotes, I would much appreciate it! Thank you.

Edited by: nicky on 05/11/2015 - 19:50 Reason: Updated by FeedsNodeProcessor
Anonymous (not verified)
Most people look at the

Most people look at the process in terms of numbers.  The more programs you apply to, the more interviews you'll get, and the higher your chance of matching the more programs you interview at.  However, you will only match at one program, so the appropriate number to apply to is purely academic.  Your chances will be low if you only apply to two, but if you would rather be an internist than relocate to be a urologist, then that's a personal decision.  Residency is a long, tough journey, and you would be well served by thinking a long time before making that decision.  I would encourage early rotations in urology and medicine if possible to help making that decision. Also, continue to work hard to cultivate relationships with your home program.  Go to grand rounds and get started on a research project or two with those folks.I have no idea what your credentials are to start out with, but I would encourage a good score on your COMLEX.  I don't think it is a surprise that you are at a slight disadvantage as a DO student in terms of applying to urology programs.  I have heard directly from program directors that they will not even interview DO students. Good luck.

PhilDOc
Thank you for the above

Thank you for the above comment. As a clarification...if I go for Uro I will only apply to AOA residencies. I'm unfortunately aware of the disadvantage osteopathic applicants have to acgme Uro programs.2 quick follow-up questions if any osteopathic applicants happen to read...1) Could I apply to a couple of programs and also apply to rotating internships and just rank my Uro programs first (provided I was even interviewed)? Then possibly reapply to Uro the following year or use the year to figure out my next move or slide into an IMED program?2) Could I apply to AOA Uro spots and then also and only apply to ACGME IMED spots as a back-up if I didn't match?I know these are weird questions. I'm not lazy and looking for a backdoor...I'm just a family man trying to make the best of both worlds work out. Thank you!

Urine
Only two programs?  If you

Only two programs?  If you really love urology that much you will need to apply broadly, especially considering its tougher coming from a DO program. Also, why medicine as a second choice? If you like urology I would think something more surgical would be an obvious second choice.  To me personally, urology and medicine are VASTLY different.

Anonymous (not verified)
OK. First of all, please

OK.First of all, please don't screw yourself. As the previous poster questioned, why are you using Internal Med as a back up? This demonstrates lack of commitment to a surgical field. If this is your attitude entering in, you might as well plan on just applying to Medicine and getting it all over with.  Applying to two completely specialties (Surgery vs. Primary care medicine) requires 2 complete sets of letters of recs, as well as different personal statements. Most of us don't have the time or luxury to do all of this extra work. If you submit the same letters and Personal statement to both, then they will question you as to WHY THE HELL YOU ARE APPLYING TO THEIR SPECIALTY WHEN ALL OF YOUR LETTERS AND PERSONAL STATEMENT IS GEARED FOR THE OPPOSITE SPECIALTY. I only say that because I applied to General Surgery Prelim programs as backup to Urology and submitted the same letters and the General Surgery programs that actually interviewed me ripped me a new one. But that's OK. The GS folks can go and screw themselves because I got into Urology. That being said, your primary selection and back up are not even in the same ballpark. If you take a year off if you don't match, I'm not sure it is even worthwhile to reapply next year, especially if you plan to apply to the allopathic Urology match, which is even more brutal than the osteopathic one especially since you are a DO and older. You also have not taken the COMLEX, but unless you are above the 90 - 95th percentile, you may not want to even apply, because scores are very important. If you are also planning to applying to the regular Urology match, you'd better take the USMLE exams as well. Applying to 2 programs, especially in Urology is like jumping out of a plane with only an umbrella and no parachute. You may make it, if you're lucky, but not very likely.All I'm saying is that you have a very hard up hill battle ahead of you. I have a very good friend currently doing a fellowship at a top tier Urology program in the midwest, and they are a DO. It is doable, but tough from your position. Plus, by even considering medicine, it does not appear that your heart is in a surgical field. But the good news is that you are still early in your Med School career, and there is always next year.

PhilDOc
Thank you. I really do

Thank you. I really do understand how competitive urology is in both allopathic and osteopathic circles. I also realize that applying to two fields can hurt you badly.Without beating a dead horse, I really was more wondering how the osteo match differs from the allo match...i'm told (via anecdotes) that face time and hardwork supercedes scores and grades in the osteo world. However, most of the advice I've recieved about general urology matching comes from MD's where usmle scores rule all. Just trying to get some accurate info and perspectives on people who ONLY applied to AOA programs.Also, I should have been more clear...I would not simultaneously apply to medicine and Uro. I was wondering about applying to Uro and osteopathic rotating internships as a back-up. Then, should I realize I'm not likely to ever match in Uro, I would THEN apply perhaps to medicine programs from the rotating internship the following year (with the intent, btw, of pursuing a fellowship ideally in a procedural subspecialty).As I've mentioned, i'm only a second year student, but at this stage in my education I do have trouble understanding the mentality conveyed above. I'm sure i'll be proved wrong next year, but it appears that GS and Urology are very different fields. At this point, I believe I would be happier in a procedural area of medicine vs. gen surg. I'll trust my more experienced colleagues and assume this will change. Thanks for all the help and replies!