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Anyone here in surgery?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Sheiila, Jul 2, 2000.

  1. Sheiila

    Sheiila Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I am a non-traditional student, will enter residency at age 38. I want to get a surgical residency. A friend of mine says I will be looked down upon, because (1) they will think I am stupid for doing that at my age, and (2) they don't like outsiders (and I guess that will make me an outsider). He immediatly assumed I would be expecting to be treated differently, given less work. This is absolutely not true, as far as I am concerned my age and my kids (who will be in highschool then) are none of their business. But still, this was his immediate reaction. Is this what I should expect? I realize that surgery is "meaner", like the Marines vs. the "wuss" Navy (which I suppose can be paralleled to medicine in the mind of a surgeon). Do I have a prayer in this specialty? I am tough, I know that --already doing 12 and 14 hour days now. Any comments?? Thanks.
  2. Futuremd03

    Futuremd03 Junior Member

    May 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Sheila, I don't really know how we're going t be hazed if we are fortunate enough to get into a surgery residency. I'm just a 2nd year in med school but really am interested in becoming a surgeon after observations and research in the field. I wish there was a website where we could ask actual surgical residents questions about how, what, and etc. about surgery. I really want to know:
    1. What GPA should you obtain to get a residency?
    2. What USMLE scores should I have?
    3. What other things do I have to do to ensure a match in surgery?

    I plan to apply ONLY for surgery positions when I enter the match in 2 years. My email is [email protected]
  3. surg

    10+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    I am a general surgery resident and have a few thoughts for you. First of all, when you say you want to be a surgeon, I am assuming you mean general surgery.

    I think that most people who are focused enough to get into med school could will themselves through a general surgery residency. But is it worth the physical and mental toll given your projected career span? If you add fellowship training to your residency (most surgical residents do) you are looking at 7-9 yrs of post med school training!! Before you commit yourself to surgery, honestly answer the question:

    Do you want to spend the next decade working 100+ hour weeks (will make med school seem like a walk in the park), miserably exhausted, essentially out of touch from family and friends, under constant pressure to please your superiors, working with personalities that most would consider dysfunctional...just to call yourself a surgeon??

    Once you have completed your residency you will be the most junior surgeon in a private practice or academic department. Once again you will find yourself at the bottom of the food chain. You will be handed the cases that no one else wants, take the most call, and get paid the least. It will take at least 5 years to become "established". You do the math...that leaves you with a fairly short career. Most general surgeons that I know are winding down in their mid-late 50's. Not because they loose interest, but because they physically have a tough time keeping up.

    I hate to paint such a gloomy picture, but you need to understand what a huge committment you are undertaking by going into surgery.

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