06-04-2004, 07:22 PM
The data from this years SFmatch for 100 Plastic Surgery independent program spots is just in:
Total # of paid Applicants - 298 (up 25% from 2003)
Matched applicants - 100 total, 85 of which will have had 5 or more years of General Surgery training prior to matriculating in July 2005. The remaining 15 have either abbreviated general surgery training or from one of the other eligible prerequisite pathways.
These are just brutal numbers for a post-graduate surgical fellowship & PRS remains far and away the most competitive training in Surgery now. As the trend has been going, next year will be even more competative. Yikes!
06-04-2004, 09:56 PM
what makes one a well-rounded, competitive applicant for such fellowship positions?
08-03-2004, 12:56 PM
yeah, those are rough stats...my application is in for the 2006 spots...i'm curious where you found your data...100 independant spots nationwide were open and matched last year? hmm...seems like there ought to be a few more, based on the program list i have.
08-03-2004, 02:06 PM
found the stats on the sfmatch website...go figure...
08-04-2004, 07:39 PM
Can you post the stats from the sfmatch? Step 1, Step 2, percent AOA. Are these stats still important for matching an independent program? I heard most integrated plastics programs which were 5 years are going to 6 years because the PD felt 5 years wasn't enough training
08-05-2004, 10:00 AM
the stats are not broken down by AOA, and step 1 and step 2 are not asked for on the application...i am referring to the post-graduate fellowships only. i don't know anything about the integrated fellowships..
08-08-2004, 02:54 PM
What would really be interesting is if they had statistics on average in-service scores broken down by year and average numbers of publications etc. I know that AOA, Phi Beta Kappa etc wasn't requested as part of the application and neither were publications but they did require a copy of current CV and I am sure that everyone has AOA status, PBK and publications listed on that.
My university just matched the last independant spot last year, so we are not in the match for 2006. They went integrated completely now. I talked to the chair of plastics (and program director) as I was applying. I also talked to a pretty big time academic general surgeon (his name is on the cover of the ACS textbook). Both of them thought that a candidate would be very competative if their in-service scores were in the top 25% for first second and third year. They said that it doesn't necessarily mean that you are any smarter or better than the other applicants, it just shows that you are willing to put forth the effort needed to get scores like that. Its sad but true, numbers do matter even if its not for the 'right' reason. A couple publications also wouldn't hurt and membership in PBK or AOA is a plus as well but certainly not absolutely needed.
The chair (and program director) also had a very interesting take on the letters of recommendation. I hold his advice to be of absolute highest quality, because he has not only been chair and program director at my university but also two others. He said that the letters of recommendation wouldn't help that much but they could hurt you if you got slammed in them. The problem is that unless your letter writers are known to the plastics program directors across the country, it won't make much difference. There seems to be a pretty big separation between the academic GS world and the academic PS world, and huge guys in GS would not necessarily know huge guys in PS and visa versa. The other thing he said is that a lot of the candidates in the 60% that didn't match last year were FMG's (sorry, nothing against them from my standpoint) and people who were trying to get spots without being board eligable for GS. So he said that if you have completed 3 years of general surgery and will finish the other 2, or if you have already finished (like navysurgeon) or have done other fellowships (like hand), then you will have a little better than a 40% chance to match.
I for one am quaking in my boots about that match rate. Even if people in my particular category match 60% of the time it scares the hell out of me. The thought of loosing all the money and time put into the application/interview process is enough to petrify me. :scared:
08-08-2004, 07:47 PM
After having been involved from both sides of the process I can speak to how I've seen the process work at least here (which was similar to the process for General Surgery when I was involved with that as well):
- ABSITE scores are very important to making you stand out & they are one of the things that's easy for people to focus on when they review your file. I always used to do well (>90%) & it seems like that was the first thing people brought up when I met them during interviews. High trends on it prejudice people in a good way before they even meet you in person. Most people have middle of the road scores on them (at least on the pools of applicants I've seen) & that really doesn't help or hurt much. Low scores will raise some red flags, even if the rest of your CV is excellent.
- a CV sprinkled with publications is a Universal +, but the extent will depend on whether the program is more clinical or academic oriented.
- letters from well known surgeons or acquaintances mean more then most letters. While most letters are pretty generic, I can remember one so over the top in praise last year that it was heavily factored into someone's ranking
- current residents can be your strongest advocates or completely sabotage any chance you have of matching somewhere depending upon how much they're involved in the process. Remeber this during your interactions with them on interview day & be a little conservative with sentiments that could be offputting
08-10-2004, 09:53 AM
'So he said that if you have completed 3 years of general surgery and will finish the other 2, or if you have already finished (like navysurgeon) or have done other fellowships (like hand), then you will have a little better than a 40% chance to match.'...I'm puzzled by this statement...I figured I'd be on the >60% of matching, since I'm out of training and board-certified.
08-11-2004, 06:31 AM
I would think that you have a very good chance of matching navysurgeon. You fall into the right category it sounds like. THe numbers on sfmatch are from last year though. This year's match rate was only 40%. What my advisor was saying is that the preferred applicant either will complete all 5 years of general surgery or has completed GS already. Extra fellowships help as well. The 40% match rate figure includes all sorts of FMG's (nothing against them personally) and people who are trying to get out of hellish GS residencies without actually completing all 5 years - for example the 2nd year resident who hates GS and wants to jump into something easier ASAP. The other situation would be an intern who is applying and will complete 3 years of general surgery (a must to get a fellowship). People who do not have full training are at a disadvantage, but its not impossible. I think the numbers for last year were 85/100 spots were filled by people who either were board ready or would be before starting plastics training. So basically that is a very wordy way of saying that you, navysurgeon, have a better than 40% chance of matching. :) Just how much better no one can say.