Any Surgical Residents out there in Denver?

emlopez2

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Hello. I was just curious about any of the surgery residencies in Colorado. From what I found on FREIDA there were very few. I think just UCHSC and St. Josephs. Since leaving Colorado to go to school I been looking for any edge I could get on getting back there for a residency. If anybody has some good info on these residencies or any others in the area i would appreciate the input. Are they hard to get into? What can I do to better my chances of getting in there as far as scores and any possible research?
 

Bitsy3221

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I'll start off my saying I am not a resident in Colorado, but I think they are fairly competitive. Lots of people want to move to Colorado.

From the U of Colorado website:
"We have no minimum USMLE Step I score requirement; however, scores above the 220 level are advantageous." -- granted my "n" is in the single digits, but I don't know anyone who interviewed there with board scored below 220 (in fact, most had much higher board scores)
http://www.uchsc.edu/surgery/education/residency/application.php
 

Winged Scapula

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I would agree with Bitsy...Colorado may not "require" scores above 220 now, which is interesting because their web site used to say exactly that (that they did REQUIRE IT....essentially don't waste your time applying with a score less than 220) when I applied many years ago. Probably pissed someone off...at any rate, whether or not it is required, conventional wisdom is that you won't get an interview without Step 1 > 220.
 
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emlopez2

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Hey thanks for the replies thus far. I guess I'll just have to keep working hard and focus on the step I for now. If there are any other suggestions out there about any surgical research or if its even worth it in this field, I'd be glad to hear from ya.
 

resxn

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Hey thanks for the replies thus far. I guess I'll just have to keep working hard and focus on the step I for now. If there are any other suggestions out there about any surgical research or if its even worth it in this field, I'd be glad to hear from ya.

I did my surgical internship at St. Joe's. I'm ENT and had the choice of doing internship either at St. Joe's or the University of Colorado. The chairman of my department at UCHSC said that I could go to either one but that at St. Joe's I'd:

1 - operate more (I finished with 273 cases as primary after internship)
2 - make more money
3 - take less call
4 - work fewer hours per week (I trained before the 80 hour work week)
5 - be in a far less malignant program (my intern year, there were 15 surgical catergoricals at UCHSC. 7 were women. All 7 quit that year. Take that for what it's worth)

St. Joe's is not as prestigious as is UCHSC and although St. Joe's takes 15 interns, they only have slots for 3 categoricals so it is competitive nevertheless. The residents walk out of that program with exceptional vascular skills and decent skills in just about everything else. I didn't hear of anyone not getting a fellowship that they wanted out of there during my 5 years in Denver except for one not-so-hot resident who failed to get into plastics.
 

emlopez2

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Thanks again for the response. I did check into St. Joe's and saw they had alot of Prelimary surgery positions. What exactly is the difference between taking one of these positions versus directly matching into a specialty. Is this the same thing that you mentioned about the 15 intern positions or is this part of the 3 categorical positions. Im completely confused about the whole deal with internships, transitional years, categoricals and Preliminary years. Are some of these the same thing?
 

resxn

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Thanks again for the response. I did check into St. Joe's and saw they had alot of Prelimary surgery positions. What exactly is the difference between taking one of these positions versus directly matching into a specialty. Is this the same thing that you mentioned about the 15 intern positions or is this part of the 3 categorical positions. Im completely confused about the whole deal with internships, transitional years, categoricals and Preliminary years. Are some of these the same thing?

Basically, at St. Joe's, anyway, the prelim year slots exist for those who need an internship in general surgery before they start their regular residency program. For ENT, we do 1 year of general surgerybefore doing 4 years of ENT. Some other specialties might include OMFS, anesthesia, urology etc. We had a couple of each.

The categorical slot is for those who plan on doing general surgery as their specialty. Thus, they match for all 5 years.

At St. Joe's, there's 12 prelim slots and 3 categoricals.
 

Winged Scapula

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Thanks again for the response. I did check into St. Joe's and saw they had alot of Prelimary surgery positions. What exactly is the difference between taking one of these positions versus directly matching into a specialty. Is this the same thing that you mentioned about the 15 intern positions or is this part of the 3 categorical positions. Im completely confused about the whole deal with internships, transitional years, categoricals and Preliminary years. Are some of these the same thing?

Most surgical programs have 4 types of positions:

1) Categorical - these are designed for people who are completing the entire training in the same specialty, presumably at the same program. Generally includes the Intern Year. This is the pathway for general surgery.

2) Advanced - these usually start PGY2 after an preliminary internship in general surgery; these advanced positions are for surgical subspecialties and lead to completion of the training and BE in such fields as ENT, Urology, etc.

3) Designated Preliminary - these are first year positions designed or "designated" for those going into an Advanced position, often at the same program. The match for the designated spot and the advanced spot usually occurs at the same time. It is not required to do your prelim year at the same program as your advanced, but it is desirable for many reasons (only move once, start making friends and contacts from day one, etc.). These positions are not open to those without an Advanced position usually.

4) Non-designated Preliminary - these are the positions most people think about when discussing preliminary surgery positions. These are 1 year positions for those who have not matched into a advanced or categorical position, or who choose to do a surgical prelim year when given the choice between medicine and surgery (ie, Anesthesiology is the most common). For those who do not match into either a Categorical general surgery or Advanced subspecialty position, they may take a non-designated prelim spot in hopes of getting experience and making contacts for the match in the following year. These are not popular positions as there is no guarantee or responsibility from/for the program to find you a position for the following year, but as general surgery becomes more competitive, there are less open positions in the scramble (but there are still several hundred).

Transitional years are an option for some specialties, but generally not for surgery, as they do not offer enough surgical training during the year to be accepted by most surgical programs. Therefore, those who do a TY after medical school generally have to repeat their intern year if going into a surgery training program.

Students often make the mistake of assuming a program has a pyramidal structure by seeing that there are 15 interns and only 3 PGY-2 residents. This is a function of having 12 prelim residents (both designated and non-designated). My residency program, for example, had only 4 categoricals per year, but 19 interns - most were designated for ortho, ent, urology, plastics, and neurosurg, but there were a few non-designateds.
 

emlopez2

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Well now that I have all the surgical postions cleared up I do have a questions for RESXN. Not so sure they will get it but here goes. From what they have explained on the St. Joe's website and what I have found on SDN, this hospital definately interests me. I checked out their clinical away rotation application and it sounds like something I should prolly do eventually. Do you (RESXN) know anything about the medstudent clinical rotation there? I know UCHSC has a rediculous fee. As far as the prelim positions as St. Joe's are any of them designated positions? If so in what fields and where do most finish their residency at? Any more info on the Colorado programs would be great. Thanks a lot!!
 
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