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4th year change of heart: Switched from ER to Gen Surg

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by armin, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. armin

    armin New Member

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    I'm a 4th year med student who had a change of heart late in the application cycle. I originally applied to ER, but late in November decided that a career in surgery was the most appropriate choice for me. I won't bore you with all the why's and how's of my career change.

    I cancelled all of my ER interviews and by then it was too late to apply to gen surg categorical programs. Being from Chicago and really not having much of an interest to leave my beloved town, I matched into a good prelim position in the city.

    I know that at the institution I will be a prelim at, transitioning into an open pgy-2 position will be extremely difficult. Having said that my plans are to apply this coming year (within Chicago as well broadly across the U.S.) to about 20-25 programs as well as keeping my eye out for good pgy-2 openings across the U.S. However, since it is my desire to remain in Chicago (for various personal and family reasons), the most ideal situation for me would be to get a good categorical position in the city (via the match) even if it meant that i would have to repeat my intern year. For most that would seem ridiculous but it would be a sacrifice i would make in order not to leave the city. And if i had leave to get a guaranteed spot elsewhere then that's what i would do.

    My main concern is will I be competitive for Pgy1-5 categorical programs as a prelim who has not failed to match once already and with a Step 1 score of 252/99, AOA, and possibly good LOR from my prelim institution??? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. lura

    lura Junior Member
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    You shouldn't have any trouble getting a PGY-2 spot with stats such as you wrote. People drop out of general surgery all the time and I am sure there will be a few PGY-2 spots available next year at programs where some categoricals decide surgery wasn't for them. Oh, I am guessing that your Step 2 scores will also come into play since you will have those listed on your applicatoin next year.

    I think you should be open to the possibility that you may not be able to do the remainder of your general surgery residency in Chicago. Being open to this possiblity will certainly widely expand your options of easily getting a PGY-2 spot. If you have your heart set on only staying at Chicago, there is certainly the possibility you will be limiting yourself.

    having said all this, I am sure you realize you will be competing against all the other people who didn't match this year into surgery and will be re-applying as well next year into surgery. Of course, maybe some of them will be second-guessing their residency choice after a prelim year.
     
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure why you wouldn't be competitive given the information you've provided. Of course, every year applicants who look good on paper are denied a spot but there's no way to tell you in advance whether or not you'll be one of those.

    Keep in mind that since as a Prelim you will be using one of your years of HCFA funding you will be most likely successful in obtaining a position at an academic program with lab years/budget, who can provide you the extra year if you should need to start again as an intern. This doesn't rule out community programs, especially well funded ones of course.

    All you can do is work really hard this year (its like a year long job interview...whew) and apply on time with some good recs. Be prepared to use your vacation time to interview.

    best of luck...
     
  5. With those stats? Geez! No problem!
     
  6. jakstat33

    jakstat33 Senior Member
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    i digress: i'll be in chicago (first time) for the CR2004 to present some research, staying at sheraton chi hotel & tower in downtown... any recs on restaurants, places to visit? thanks
     
  7. kinetic

    kinetic Membership Revoked
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    Not that I'm trying to silence anyone, but why the question? I don't understand it when people ask (snide comment alert):

    "My Step I score was 300, Step II score was 310, I co-authored the revision of Netter, my grandfather was Dr. Halsted, I pioneered a new method of non-invasive orthotopic heart transplant as a medical student for a summer research project ...do I have a shot at Surgery?"

    I'm not trying to be offensive - I'm just a regular ol' average person, so these posts always make me wonder.
     
  8. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    It's "EM" - emergency medicine. "ER" is WAY old school - if that's you, then I'm happy you realized it before you got into a program and were miserable.

    I strongly considered IM/EM - had I done it, I would be just as miserable on my IM months.
     
  9. Sachin

    Sachin Member
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    curious.. where in Chicago?

    Sachin

    Goodluck..
     
  10. Yeah, me too, I just didn't have the guts to come right out and say it. :)
     
  11. kinetic

    kinetic Membership Revoked
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    Heh heh. If you knew me, you'd know that I don't give a crap about what people think about me. (Read my posts if you don't believe me.) If someone is going to look down their nose at me for being average, that's their business. I'm not proud of being average (that would be equally ******ed) but I'm not going to hide it, either.

    I just am irked with the use of forums to inflate people's egos. If you read the postings of where people interviewed or how they ranked programs or where they Matched, you'd think that the only people on this site were the entire resident class of MGH or BID or Hopkins. It's HILARIOUS. :rolleyes:

    This site has been great for me - it's helpful and I can blow off steam occassionally. But after only a few days, I got the impression if you're aren't Ivy League or Big Name then you must have a) been dropped on your head repeatedly while you were young, b) eaten a lot of lead paint growing up, or c) developed cretinism.

    Who are all of you people who believe that you need to be AOA to match somewhere? I keep reading posters who say that you need scores of >230 to get an interview in x city or x program. What, when you get your USMLE scores back, there's a small paper enclosed that says "with this score, you are only qualified to perform residency at College of the Blue Ozarks"? (I got that piece of paper, but I thought I was the only one. Prove me wrong!!)
     
  12. Aloha Kid

    Aloha Kid Senior Member
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    Hoooooray for the average people!!!! Hooooray!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  13. powermd

    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    Keep in mind this forum may be self-selective for people who are interested in their education, and who like to plan and strategize. These characteristics probably lend themselves to doing well in school and on the boards. I only know a few classmates who use SDN, and they definitely fit the above description. The typical ('average') med students I know have never heard of SDN.
     
  14. Great post!

    Actually, I read with interest the whole USMG vs. USFMG/IMG thread (started by cedricw), and got to see your points of view there. :)

    I also hate feeling inferior because I'm only average, while all these other people have the 240+ Board scores, AOA, honors in everything, 36+ MCAT, or whatever. Interviews to MGH, UCSF, BWH, etc. Amazing.
     

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