goooooober

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I am applying for categorical GS positions. So you're saying "who cares?" or "so is my mama". But I also will apply for three transitional spots and rank them last for the match in case I don't get a categorical spot. Now you are getting angry, "what the hell is your point?". My question is, do I need to write a separate personal statement for the transitional spots? If I get an interview for a transitional spot, what do I tell them? Can I be honest and say that I am applying to them in case I don't get a categorical position? It would be very difficult to bullsh*tnizel about really wanting a transitional spot. Someone educate me, how much **** can I really shovel? Peace out.
 

Winged Scapula

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goooooober said:
I am applying for categorical GS positions. So you're saying "who cares?" or "so is my mama". But I also will apply for three transitional spots and rank them last for the match in case I don't get a categorical spot. Now you are getting angry, "what the hell is your point?". My question is, do I need to write a separate personal statement for the transitional spots? If I get an interview for a transitional spot, what do I tell them? Can I be honest and say that I am applying to them in case I don't get a categorical position? It would be very difficult to bullsh*tnizel about really wanting a transitional spot. Someone educate me, how much **** can I really shovel? Peace out.
Why would you take a transitional spot over a Prelim Surgery spot if you didn't match into a Categorical one? A transitional won't count toward a surgery residency and you won't do much surgery (ie, won't have much of a chance to impress surgeons who can write you LORS for next year's match should you need it).

At any rate, you don't NEED to change your PS, but it would seem pretty evident to Transitional programs that they are your second choice and since they have plenty of applicants, why should they choose you over someone who really wants and/or needs a Transitional year?
 
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goooooober

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Kimberli Cox said:
Why would you take a transitional spot over a Prelim Surgery spot if you didn't match into a Categorical one? A transitional won't count toward a surgery residency and you won't do much surgery (ie, won't have much of a chance to impress surgeons who can write you LORS for next year's match should you need it).

At any rate, you don't NEED to change your PS, but it would seem pretty evident to Transitional programs that they are your second choice and since they have plenty of applicants, why should they choose you over someone who really wants and/or needs a Transitional year?
See, you already educated me. I did not know there was a difference between transitional and prelim. I will actually be applying to 3 prelims. So what you are saying is that it is better to scramble than to try to apply to both prelim and categorical. I am just afraid there will not be any surgical prelims left if I have to scramble.
 

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goooooober said:
See, you already educated me. I did not know there was a difference between transitional and prelim. I will actually be applying to 3 prelims. So what you are saying is that it is better to scramble than to try to apply to both prelim and categorical. I am just afraid there will not be any surgical prelims left if I have to scramble.

I think your screen name is missing a few O's. :smuggrin:

I think that if you're marginally competitive, you should cast out a large net...apply for lots of categorical positions, midwest/north and community programs being traditionally the easiest to secure an interview at, and see what the response is to your application. If you get 10+ interviews, even if it takes you 100 applications, I think you'd be wasting your valuable interview-season time traveling for prelim spots.

You might be surprised how many bites you get......

Also, I'm pretty sure you can apply for both positions at the same program, or even ask the PD if you can be ranked on both lists.....but I think this would send out a bad vibe and you'd appear weak.
 
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goooooober

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SLUser11 said:
I think your screen name is missing a few O's. :smuggrin:

I think that if you're marginally competitive, you should cast out a large net...apply for lots of categorical positions, midwest/north and community programs being traditionally the easiest to secure an interview at, and see what the response is to your application. If you get 10+ interviews, even if it takes you 100 applications, I think you'd be wasting your valuable interview-season time traveling for prelim spots.

You might be surprised how many bites you get......

Also, I'm pretty sure you can apply for both positions at the same program, or even ask the PD if you can be ranked on both lists.....but I think this would send out a bad vibe and you'd appear weak.
Thank you for the valuable info SLUser, although I could have done without the insult :( . I will probably replace the prelims with couple more categoricals. I will also try to add an additional o to my name. Peace out.
 

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As you may have already realized, a Transitional Year is generally a year of rotations through various departments - often Surgery, Medicine, EM, Ob-Gyn, Peds. In essence, it is similar to most 3rd year medical school curriculums, with the obvious difference that you are a physician. Transitional years are designed for people who need a well-rounded year before going onto specialty training (most surgical subspecialties require a Prelim surgical year), or for those who are undecided as to their career goals and need more rotations to help them decide. These are generally very competitive positions.

A Preliminary surgical year would be ALL surgery, or at least related rotations (ICU, etc.) While there is no guarantee that if you completed a Prelim surgical year that it would count and you wouldn't have to repeat your internship year if you got a Categorical position in the next match, there is at least a chance. With a Transitional year, there is no chance essentially that you will be given credit toward a surgical residency.

There are several hundred Prelim surgical positions which go unfilled every year, even last year, one of the most competitive gen surgery has seen in awhile. Even if you didn't rank any Prelim spots there would still be some left after in the Scramble if you didn't match anywhere. I would rank any Categorical program that you would be happy at first, and them some Prelim spots, as the chances of an open Categorical spot in the Scramble is small. Or you could take your chances, not rank any Prelim spots and if you don't match into a Categorical spot, look for one in the Scramble or take a Prelim position then.

You can apply for both positions at the same hospital, or make it known to them that if you don't match that you would consider taking a prelim position there. There is nothing barring you from telling programs this, or even calling them a few days before the match (many programs don't even bother to interview non-designated prelims, preferring to take them from people they've interviewed who don't match or taking their chances in the scramble), especially if you didn't interview a lot of places, and letting them know how much you liked them and that if you don't match and they have Prelim spots open, that you will be contacting them on Scramble day.

I would do as SLUser says and cast a wide net, apply for as many programs and interview for as many as you reasonably can. Check with the programs and see if they require an application for a non-designated Prelim - if they don't (ie, they prefer just to take people in the scramble), then don't waste your money applying to these, just rank all categoricals, let the programs know that you'll take a prelim post if one is open after the match and you are unmatched.
 

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I'll toss in my usual response to these posts.

If you can't match categorical, taking a year to do research and reapplying categorical is preferable to matching or scrambling prelim.

Search my old posts if you're interested why.
 

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sorry