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plastics vs. pedi surg? Help!!!

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by crazy4kids, 02.24.03.

  1. crazy4kids

    crazy4kids New Member

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    Ok, so this is probably a dumb question, but i have been struggling with this all year, and it's 2 days before my list is due and I still can't decide! I've always wanted to be some sort of a pediatric surgeon, but was a little turned off by the long road and tough lifestyle of peds surg (esp. for a female wanting a family). So i thought pediatric plastics sounded like a good alternative. However, after a couple of plastics rotations, i felt that it was too superficial for me, and i missed the diagnostic challenge and the visceral organs of general surgery! I ended up interviewing for both programs. If i do end up in general surgery i would only be happy doing pediatric surgery, a 9 year commitment with no guarantee of getting in. If i do plastics, it's 5-6 years, and i can still operate on kids (granted, the job opportunities are probably less to work only at a childrens hospital), and the lifestyle is more manageable. But i don't want to give up an opportunity for a plastics spot as a PGY-1 and regret it later.

    Any insights, esp from someone else interested in peds surg. Is it really worth it???
  2. goooooober

    goooooober Senior Member

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    SDN 10+ Year Member
    I don't know, judging from your photo it seems to me like you have a little time left before having to choose a career path!!!! Be young, don't be in such a hurry to grow up.
  3. crazy4kids

    crazy4kids New Member

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    Thanks for your insightful reply. That's a great point :D
  4. Goofyfoot

    Goofyfoot Junior Member

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    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Actually, both roads can be kinda long. For pediatric plastics, research time, either during the residency or after, will help secure a good, competitive fellowship. So the time you actually save may be a year or 2. Additionally, there is just not enough peds work to survive and most have some amount of cosmetic work (adult) to make money. That is why many pediatric plastic surgeons are doing more and more cosmetic work. Pediatric surgery is more of a devoted field. The length of overall training is long, but to get many surgical subspecialties it averages out to the same amount of time sometimes. Choosing a general surgery residency provides the opportunity for both plastics and peds surgery, but delays (or makes) the decision. A plstic surgery residency, with only 3-4 years of general surgery training is limiting for peds surgery and you would have to find a categorical spot somewhere (less options to choose where you want to go at this point). Ultimately, you must decide deep down in what capacity that you want to take care of the patient. If the guts and little-butts are your thing-> peds surgery; craniofacial and big adult-adults-> plastics. Hope this helps
  5. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus

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    SDN 10+ Year Member
    There are a lot more craniofacial trained surgeons in the United States then there are patients requiring their services. Relatively few oppurunities exist these days to do that kind of work as the referralls are increasingly clustered to the larger centers to fewere & fewer surgeons. This is probably a good thing, as higher volumes = better outcomes for these patients.

    In contrast, there is a HUGE shortage of pediatric surgeons with many areas of the country desperate for people to come. The interest in this specialty has plunged in recent years among surgical residents with sharp decreases in the number of applicants

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