Interesting fact I saw with a question

Discussion in 'Neurology' started by arkdoc, 01.13.14.

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  1. arkdoc

    arkdoc 2+ Year Member

    Resident [Any Field]
    Tonight my medical school class had a meeting with the administrators to discuss matching and the 4th year. Well, I have been set for a little while now on Neurology and so I was paying attention to some of the data that they were giving us. I saw one figure where it showed the percentage of applicants who did not match each specialty that they applied to. Neurology's was 0.7%, this was the very bottom. This shows me that most people are either not applying as much or want to do Neurology as much as other specialties. Another data was in the SOAP match where people placed their preferred specialty vs the number available spots and Neurology and Child Neurology were at the very bottom, meaning that people were not wanting to be in this specialty.

    I know some of the arguments are money and work. I don't' buy the money part as much because many of the other specialties were FM, IM, or something similar that is not as high income. The work might be it, but the residency length can't be it because it is right in the middle. I was wondering if anybody here has gotten some insight as to more of why. Some of my classmates stated that the knowledge base and work are too challenging for many people to want to pursue this career, but I was just looking for insight in general.
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  3. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Attending Physician
    There are many factors that affect specialty matching rates, including number of applicants, number of spots, the extent of the program and applicant rank lists, the preferences of the particular group of applicants, etc. The relatively low non-matching rate reflects primarily that overall, Neurology is not the most competitive specialty to match into. However, at the top Neurology programs, it is often quite competitive and many applicants do not necessarily match into their first choice program.

    Why many medical students do not choose Neurology is multifactorial and has to do with a combination of lack of a required medical school rotation, lack of exposure to neurologists, persistent misperception that the field is academic and devoid of treatment options, the challenging nature of the subject matter in terms of complexity of the nervous system, the need to localize prior to making a diagnosis, and the vast array of neurologic conditions both common and rare that one has to know something about to diagnose and treat patients.

    In terms of income, it is certainly not the highest paying specialty, but you can live fairly comfortably or very well depending on your situation. There will certainly be increasing numbers of patients in the future given the aging of the population, and great need for experts in neurologic diagnosis and treatment, as new primary care physicians are increasingly uncomfortable with neurologic problems.
  4. bustbones26

    bustbones26 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Attending Physician
    First off, many people view neurology as "hard" and stay away from it much like grabbing a clove a garlic whenever they see a vampire. People are afraid to explore it further.

    There are days where I feel like Rodney Dangerfield, "no respect" and dumped upon, but we are a needed specialty.

    We do not bring in high revenue:

    Consider a "syncope" patient:
    Cardiology: Holter, Echo, +/- Stress Test = nice payday, then whenever all of these are "negative", send to neurology
    Neurology: +/- EEG

    That is not to say that you cannot make a comfortable living as a neurologist. Do I really need to be consulted on the 65 year old woman with altered mental status that took too much benadryl? No, but its a simple consult, easy case, and places some quick cash into my pocket. Also, tides tend to turn over time.
    fleshwound likes this.

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