Advice Sought and Appreciated From Your Invaluable Perspectives

Discussion in 'Neurosurgery' started by PlaynWayne, 05.17.14.

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  1. PlaynWayne

    PlaynWayne

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    Dear SDN Family,

    I have spent more time engrossed in these threads over the years than I could ever recount. I have vicariously triumphed through your narratives of amazing successes and anguished through your accounts of hard luck, setbacks, and defeat. On myriad occasions, your candidness, encouraging words, and tacit concern, joy, and empathy for perfect strangers has inspired me.

    I have a been faced with a decision that, at surface, seems straightforward and simplistic, however, I cannot help but be somewhat conflicted. I would deeply appreciate your invaluable insights and words of wisdom so that I can proceed more confidently.

    First off I want to state, this cycle was amongst the most humbling experiences of my life. I was blessed with acceptances that I did not dare think I would hold, and had the opportunity to meet people that have indelibly impacted my life, updated my perception of my peers, and improved me as a person.

    As of April, I have been set on matriculating to Duke. I love the people, faculty and students alike, I am a huge fan of the curriculum, the facilities are topnotch, and I received a full-tuition scholarship.

    Fast forward to yesterday, I was accepted off 3 wait lists: UCSF, Stanford, and Mayo.

    While Mayo was arguably my top choice at some point in this cycle, I would no longer attend it over Duke.

    So now for the crux of my dilemma. I have lived in California my entire life. While I have no qualms venturing from for the West for the next 4-5 years, I ideally would like to match back to California. I am most interested in neurosurgery, and granted the sparse number of nx residency seats in CA, I do not want to forgo UCSF or Stanford should they confer any less-than-marginal advantage to matching into a west coast nx residency over Duke. In terms of the intangibles such as students, faculty, cirrocumuli, & setting, I do not foresee any gained or relinquished happiness points in selecting Duke; in fact, I believe that I may actually feel slightly more at home at Duke.

    So please, I would immensely appreciate your forthright take on, granted my desire to match out West (Barrow, UCLA, UCSF, Stanford, Cedars, etc.), whether it is advisable to stay the course with Duke or redirect myself to UCSF or Stanford.

    Thank you so much for you time and valuable opinions.
     
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  3. BurghStudent

    BurghStudent lurker 7+ Year Member

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    Duke any day. Just look at the residents at UCSF or Stanford neurosurgery:

    http://neurosurgery.ucsf.edu/index.php/about_us_residents.html

    They're from all over the country. Go to Duke, reap the benefits for the next 10 years of not having to worry much about loan repayments (consider that Neurosurgery is 7 years long!), be awesome, and then match west coast. You already have your biggest advantage for matching into Cali: by being from Cali.
     
    joker2400 likes this.
  4. PlaynWayne

    PlaynWayne

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    Burgh,

    Thank you so much for your the reply; your endorsement is comforting. The nice blanket-like distribution of medical schools represented in the larger, more academically-slanted NS residencies such as UCSF and Barrow (& places like MGH, JHU, CC, BWH for that matter) is comforting. However, not coming from an MSTP, and consequently lacking that extent of research come application time, I just wanted to tap into the wisdom of current and aspiring NS residents who have entertained and dealt with such a quandary. I simply want be as informed and aware as possible concerning how substantial, if at all, the hurdles may be en route to the West Coast coming from Duke before making this decision.

    Please, anyone with any input, don't hesitate to respond.

    Thanks everybody
     
  5. gopens67

    gopens67 7+ Year Member

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    I personally think location should play essentially no role in this decision in regards to obtaining a Cali Residency. You can do all of your away rotations in Cali if you like and this will suffice.

    That said, in general, your home institution usually gives you an edge in obtaining a residency spot at said instutition: this will likely give you a marginal advantage in matching in Cali. It's difficult to predict if this is a legitimate factor in altering your decision in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: 05.17.14
  6. BurghStudent

    BurghStudent lurker 7+ Year Member

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    Sure.

    For the moment UncleHarvey.com is down right now (the main neurosurgery forum). The placeholder forum for now, where you'll find most current residents, is http://nsgapplicants.boards.net/. You might want to ask there.
     
  7. PlaynWayne

    PlaynWayne

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    Gopens (I'm a Ducks fan; after last night I wholeheartedly feel your pain),

    Thank you for your reply. I couldn't agree more. Granted the most competitive residencies, with relatively few seats (i.e. Plastics, NS, etc.) are traditionally less incestuous than relatively less self-selecting ones, I realize that, irrespective of my location or medical school attended, matching into my ideal NS residency will be an arduous endeavor.

    However, with such a momentous and pivotal life decision, I want to ensure that I am maximally poising myself to realize my aspirations whilst not committing any glaring oversights. I highly value your input.

    Burgh,

    Thank you again for your input and help. UncleHarvey is arguably the most fickle site in the history of the internet.
    Great! I was unaware of this alternate forum. I will definitely repost over there to see if I can elicit any more insight before finalizing my decision.

    Thanks guys!
     

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