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guttapercha113

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Hello all,
I am currently a premed student and I am very interested in plastic surgery. However, I want to be able to have a family and a decent lifestyle. I was wondering if I would be able to have weekends off and decent hours during the week and still be a plastic surgeon? I honestly do not care about money. I do not want to be a plastic surgeon for the money at all. I just honestly couldn't see myself doing anything else and being happy. Regardless of how much money I would make, is it still possible to be a plastic surgeon and also have the time I would like for a family? Is it possible to decide your hours as a plastic surgeon?
 

crc9630

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Hi,
This is a great question and I am happy to help answer.

Based on your email, it sounds like lifestyle is very important to you. In the end, regardless of what specialty you choose, you're lifestyle will be whatever you choose. You can be a plastic surgeon and work only weekdays if you want and probably still pay the bills just fine. But, if this is your goal, then there are much easier pathways to get to this sort of lifestyle. You say you do not care about money, and if your ultimate priority is family and having weekends off, than I would not recommend you go in to plastic surgery. The training is a minimum of 6 years and can be up to 11 (if you do 5yrs gen surg, 2 ys research, 3 years plastic surg, 1 yr fellowship). That is a HUGE chunk of the most valuable years of your life. I can tell you that you will spend most of those years working EVERY weekend and EVERY holiday, and for the most part your family will have to take a backseat while you prioritize your training (you could prioritize your family, but then you will not likely be a very good surgeon or a good resident, you can't have it all). It is true that this would be temporary, but if family and lifestyle is that important to you, why would you give up 6 years of that lifestyle?

If your main goal is to have a fulfilling career and a good work life balance I recommend doing a specialty that will facilitate that. You say that you cannot seek yourself doing anything else and being happy... what is it exactly about plastic surgery that you like so much? The truth is there is a lot of overlap of all specialties and once you define what it is exactly you like about plastic surgery, you should be able to find other fields that interest you. You can make a fantastic salary as an ER doctor, only train for 3 years, and only work 4-5 days a week, never be on call, never have to work weekends, etc.

The people applying to plastic surgery are extremely competitive. They have dedicated their lives to getting in to surgery, if this is not your mindset you will have a difficult time keeping up with them.

I hope this was helpful, if you have any other questions please send them directly to me and I can talk about them in more detail on snapchat. username: drchriscosta

Chris
 
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Leo Aquarius

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Hello all,
I am currently a premed student and I am very interested in plastic surgery. However, I want to be able to have a family and a decent lifestyle. I was wondering if I would be able to have weekends off and decent hours during the week and still be a plastic surgeon? I honestly do not care about money. I do not want to be a plastic surgeon for the money at all. I just honestly couldn't see myself doing anything else and being happy. Regardless of how much money I would make, is it still possible to be a plastic surgeon and also have the time I would like for a family? Is it possible to decide your hours as a plastic surgeon?

I was of a very similar mindset as a pre-med, and decided, very very prudently, to pursue psychiatry in my last year of med school after being on track for neurosurgery. Amazing ability to effect change in patients' lives, with unbeatable lifestyle. I wager you will end up in a field you're not even thinking about yet.

Good luck!
 

Alakazam123

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Hi,
This is a great question and I am happy to help answer.

Based on your email, it sounds like lifestyle is very important to you. In the end, regardless of what specialty you choose, you're lifestyle will be whatever you choose. You can be a plastic surgeon and work only weekdays if you want and probably still pay the bills just fine. But, if this is your goal, then there are much easier pathways to get to this sort of lifestyle. You say you do not care about money, and if your ultimate priority is family and having weekends off, than I would not recommend you go in to plastic surgery. The training is a minimum of 6 years and can be up to 11 (if you do 5yrs gen surg, 2 ys research, 3 years plastic surg, 1 yr fellowship). That is a HUGE chunk of the most valuable years of your life. I can tell you that you will spend most of those years working EVERY weekend and EVERY holiday, and for the most part your family will have to take a backseat while you prioritize your training (you could prioritize your family, but then you will not likely be a very good surgeon or a good resident, you can't have it all). It is true that this would be temporary, but if family and lifestyle is that important to you, why would you give up 6 years of that lifestyle?

If your main goal is to have a fulfilling career and a good work life balance I recommend doing a specialty that will facilitate that. You say that you cannot seek yourself doing anything else and being happy... what is it exactly about plastic surgery that you like so much? The truth is there is a lot of overlap of all specialties and once you define what it is exactly you like about plastic surgery, you should be able to find other fields that interest you. You can make a fantastic salary as an ER doctor, only train for 3 years, and only work 4-5 days a week, never be on call, never have to work weekends, etc.

The people applying to plastic surgery are extremely competitive. They have dedicated their lives to getting in to surgery, if this is not your mindset you will have a difficult time keeping up with them.

I hope this was helpful, if you have any other questions please send them directly to me and I can talk about them in more detail on snapchat. username: drchriscosta

Chris


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't plastic surgery 6 years? 2 yrs of general surgery + 3 years of plastic surgery + 1 yr fellowship?
 
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doyouhaveaflag

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't plastic surgery 6 years? 2 yrs of general surgery + 3 years of plastic surgery + 1 yr fellowship?
Little bit of a necrobump, but I think your question is an important one for those considering plastics.

There are two pathways to plastic surgery - the integrated and the independent pathways. Integrated plastics programs are increasing in number each year. In these, you match directly to a six year plastic surgery-specific program. There is some required general surgery, but the amount varies by program and the GS rotations are typically interspersed between plastics rotations and other non-GS rotations like EM or derm, etc. You're usually fully on plastics by PGY-3 or 4.

Going through the independent pathway, you first match into general surgery. These days, you have to complete a full general surgery residency (either 5 years or 7 (2 years required research at some big academic programs), whereas you could previously do what was called a combined pathway where you could leave your GS residency after 3 years and pursue plastic surgery then. Through the independent pathway, you then complete a 3 year fellowship in plastic surgery.

After either of these pathways you can apply for fellowships, which are one year programs. Not everyone goes on to fellowship though. So, the path is at minimum six years but could be up to 11, as crc9630 stated a couple years ago.
 

Alakazam123

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Little bit of a necrobump, but I think your question is an important one for those considering plastics.

There are two pathways to plastic surgery - the integrated and the independent pathways. Integrated plastics programs are increasing in number each year. In these, you match directly to a six year plastic surgery-specific program. There is some required general surgery, but the amount varies by program and the GS rotations are typically interspersed between plastics rotations and other non-GS rotations like EM or derm, etc. You're usually fully on plastics by PGY-3 or 4.

Going through the independent pathway, you first match into general surgery. These days, you have to complete a full general surgery residency (either 5 years or 7 (2 years required research at some big academic programs), whereas you could previously do what was called a combined pathway where you could leave your GS residency after 3 years and pursue plastic surgery then. Through the independent pathway, you then complete a 3 year fellowship in plastic surgery.

After either of these pathways you can apply for fellowships, which are one year programs. Not everyone goes on to fellowship though. So, the path is at minimum six years but could be up to 11, as crc9630 stated a couple years ago.

I know I'm putting the cart before the horse, but if I want to enter plastic surgery, what steps should I take once I get into medical school?

Here's the biggest quib I have. People always say, don't decide too early what you want to do, yet at the same time, for most surgical residencies you have to beef up your resume from MS1 *sigh*

So, anywho here are my questions:

1. What if my school doesn't really have a plastics research program? Does it really matter if I do research in neurosurgery or orthopedics?

2. If my school is NOT Pass/Fail, and I do very well in my classes, will that help me in any way?

3. How do I maximize my chances for an INTEGRATED program?

4. If I end up doing plastics research, but don't match into any plastics residencies, will it be hard for me to get into non-surgical specialties like IM or Neurology?

5. Is it true that Plastic Surgery is more competitive than Neurosurgery?
 
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someplaybasketball

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I'd like to invite you to check out this webpage:

www.PRSresident.net

It is a great resource containing:
-Compilation of program reviews from multiple sources including online forums
-Interview tracking
-Interview swap forum
-Sharing places to stay during the trail
-Space for posting the match results.
-Resources for residents in early stages (work in progress)

I'm sure this will be very helpful to future applicants!
 
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