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Aspiring Plastic Surgeon (Accept admissions this year?)

Discussion in 'Plastic Surgery' started by clemson2011, 04.01.12.

  1. clemson2011

    clemson2011

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    Hello everyone, I'm currently a forth year undergraduate student graduating in May. I've been accepted to an allopathic in-state public medical school (Ranked around top 70 I believe, and does not offer a plastic surgery residency). At this point in my life I'm currently leaning towards plastic surgery. I I'm completely aware that ultimately I may decide to pursue another specialty, however, at this point I'm still highly interested in plastic surgery. In addition, I love teaching and science and may want to work in academic medicine once my training is all done. I currently have a great GPA but a lower end MCAT score. Would it be worth it for me to take a year of and attempt to matriculate into a top 20 school next year (retaking the mcat); of course I'd attempt to remain productive during the year off. Would I still be able to land a top residency position at top hospitals with great USMLE scores?

    Thanks in advance for any advise and recommendations!
  2. nbp.medlaw

    nbp.medlaw

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    accept your current admission and do well there. postponing and re-applying to try to get into a "higher ranked" school will only get your blackballed from everywhere and you may risk not getting into anywhere. if that's your only goal for taking a year off, it's not a great plan for achieving it.

    coming from a top med school helps in certain ways but is far from the be all, end all. a great Step 1 +/- AOA status with solid research (ideally in plastics but does not have to be) weigh far more than your med school's reputation. doing away rotations at key places you're interested in and getting great letters from chairman there also are huge - perhaps the biggest factor of all. look into places near your public med school where there are plastics programs and angle toward doing research there during your summer after MS1 and/or setting up aways there when the time comes - apply for aways early in 3rd year if you're still planning on plastics for sure.

    hope that helps, PM me for more advice prn.
  3. igap

    igap

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    Assuming this is not a troll....

    Go to your state school and try to incur as little debt as possible. Whether you attend a top 20 medical school or a middling state school, you will still be competitive for a plastic surgery residency if you are a top medical student.
  4. iamahippo

    iamahippo

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    Thank you, this is very assuring. My situation is almost exactly like OP's except I'm definintely not considering turning down my top 70 school for applying next year, that would be crazy. I was just wondering whether I should choose the top 70 school or the top 40 school w/ a plastics residency that is 2x as expensive... I think I'm just gonna choose the cheaper. Thoughts?
  5. Chakrabs

    Chakrabs

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    Go for the cheaper school. I'm just about to graduate and figuring out student loan repayment plans and budgeting for next year is already a headache. You can get into plastics coming out of any school in the country. I'm sure your surgery department has at least one plastics attending. Even if they don't your ENT department is sure to have one. Find out the plastics people in your school and start shadowing them. See if you can do a project or two - hell it doesnt even have to be in plastics - ideally it would be, but research is research. Get yourself published if at all possible. Do your best in your classes and study like hell to break 250 on Step 1. As long as you're a decent student and study for your shelf exams, its really not too difficult to honor most rotations in 3rd year. Do a couple away rotations in plastics at the beginning of 4th year to get some letters of recommendation.

    If you do all this, you'll be in excellent shape to match into plastics. And if it doesnt work out, its no big deal to either reapply the next year or possibly do a gen-surg residency and plastics fellowship.
  6. iamahippo

    iamahippo

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    Thanks for the insight, my backup plan was to apply to both plastics integrated and ENT programs, and apply to plastics after completing ENT if I have to. In terms of reapplying, I thought that it's a bad idea not to match the first year because they don't give non-US MD seniors the same consideration anymore. Is this true?
  7. Chakrabs

    Chakrabs

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    Thats largely correct. You're sort of seen as damaged goods if you don't match the first time around, especially in competitive specialties such as Plastics or ENT. Thats why I really would reconsider having ENT as a backup specialty! Its probably not good to have such a competitive backup.
  8. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST Lifetime Donor

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    Exactly - being #1 from the number 50 school is MUCH better than being #50 from the #1 school.
  9. Poisson

    Poisson

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    I would highly recommend going to this middle of the road medical school (which I would be more that thrilled to go to with my stats!). My reasoning is that a friend of mine graduated number one from a medical school around this ranking. She thought that the curriculum fit her style of learning, and the breaks during the year allowed her to take time off and vacation. She didn't feel heavily challenged at this school. This might have something to do with the grading standards, or more collaborative style of learning, maybe case by case problems mostly. The end result is that she got into some kind of oncology residency (and I believe fellowship too) at Harvard. She did take a year off before applications to beef up the application, re-evaluate her goals, and take the MCAT. Another thing to keep in mind, if you attend this school, which I think you should as it is tough to get into medical school, with the right admissions consultant you might find a way to emphasize your reasoning correctly, and in the most positive way possible to allow transfer to a better institution. It does happen all the time, but is not easy, and should not be approached in a half-ass manor. Best of luck.
  10. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    hmmm.
  11. Spinietzschon

    Spinietzschon

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    Transfer "up" from one medical school program to another?

    If that is your plan make sure at least no one can figure out your SDN ID and find you linked to this conversation. People can transfer because their spouse is in another city which also has a med school, or family medical problems, whatever. But going to a primary-care focused school for MS1 then transfering based on great academic performance to Hopkins, etc, is what SMP programs are for. The practice of 'upgrading' your medical school is frowned upon hard. And if you're settled in an area, get research going, etc, uprooting yourself isn't even the best idea at a certain point regardless of where you are at (especially if you can't transfer immediately).

    I would not try to game the system on this one. If you don't like the school options you get your first cycle, then you should re-apply while doing something productive and hope that a different person gets your file from the schools you really wanted than the one that threw yours in the reject pile first year. But really, I don't understand why people apply to schools they don't want to go to in the first place. I think more often people get into a school then get greedy and thinking 'wait, I'm getting bought out cheap, I could definitely do better than this and should have!' - forgetting that last June through December they were sweating bullets about just getting in someplace with all the holes they know they have in their application. And next cycle save money by not applying to then interviewing at schools you wouldn't go to anyway (IF you are considering the 'transfer up' route, that is).
  12. clemson2011

    clemson2011

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    Thanks everyone for the responses and suggestions.
    Spinietzschon, you have made some very peculiar conclusions regarding my post. I was only seeking information on the effects a schools reputation has on residency selection. I never claimed that I did not want to attend the school, nor did I say I wanted to transfer (nor did I say I disliked the school). I don't think I'm getting bought out cheap, I think I have been given a great opportunity; an opportunity I am extremely thankful for. Thank you though for your input.
    Last edited: 04.27.12
  13. Spinietzschon

    Spinietzschon

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    My comments were directed toward the comments by Poisson "Another thing to keep in mind, if you attend this school, which I think you should as it is tough to get into medical school, with the right admissions consultant you might find a way to emphasize your reasoning correctly, and in the most positive way possible to allow transfer to a better institution. It does happen all the time, but is not easy, and should not be approached in a half-ass manor" - I suppose not quoting this cut out might have made it seem like I was addressing your initial post. Sorry for the confusion.
  14. bucks2010

    bucks2010

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    OP - what happens if you don't get into a top 20 next year and your state school rejects you because you withdrew your acceptance this year?

    Take the opportunity you've been given to attend medical school and run with it.

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