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Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by psqvared, Apr 13, 2007.
does this happen?
i think this is done rather frequently, especially when applying to the competitive programs. in general, ortho is more competitive than general. that being said, there are some general programs that are more competitive than others. i don't think that it matters so much in the match process. it does become a cost issue for you. the word on the street is that you need at least 10 interviews (with 10 ranked) to match in ortho. that's just a guideline, there are people who have less and have matched and those who have had more and not. so, if you have say 20 interviews. that gets very expensive. the other things is, at least in ortho, we like to see LOR's from people we recognize. we don't really keep up with the gen surg literature, so those LOR's mean less.
understand, that ortho is the obvious choice when choosing between the 2
the 2 specialties are very different; so when you start your rotations, there will be a point when you realize which one is better for you.
As above, its not an uncommon scenario to apply with a back-up specialty, especially in competitive fields. While general surgery programs tend to be the back-up, they understand this....albeit they don't like it.
Applying to different programs at the same hospital can be tricky, as some general surgery programs may feel like if you don't match into Ortho there but do take a gen surg spot, you'll back out as soon as an Ortho position becomes available somewhere. Whether or not they know, depends on whether or not the departments communicate, and whether or not residents from different specialties see you interviewing on separate days and tell someone.
Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it because its done every year and people still seem to match. You will want LORs from both specialists and can tailor your ERAS application to send only the gen surg letters to those programs and Ortho letters to those.
I won't argue with PediBoneDoc as to the choice: I loved Ortho too!
I think it is probably more common to rank Prelim Surg spots rather than Categoricals* as a backup to Ortho. If you fall back on a prelim it's only one year and you can apply for Ortho again.
You would be extremely stressed out if on match day you were opening your envelope to find out if you were going to be a Ortho or a Gen Surgeon.
*since you're an M1 and might not know...
Prelim = one year spot, often an intern year for surgical subspecialties (i.e. Ophtho, ENT, some Ortho etc do Prelim Surg then start their specialty training PGY-2)
Categorical = you are an intern, but in the Gen Surg program. It is expected that you will complete 5 years of training at that facility.
I would second the thought of using surgery prelim as your backup. If you don't then you could be stuck for 5-6 years doing general surgery unless you break your contract with them. Now if you love general surgery as well and you don't want to potentially lose any time then apply to both ortho and catergorical surgery.
The nice thing about surg-prelim is often they can't give these spots away. At a lot of schools these spots go unmatched every year so you could easily pick one up in the scramble if needed.
Lastly I would be careful applying to both programs at the same institution because they might find out and it can look bad. Also like pedi said it is expensive to interview and if you are doing 10+ ortho interviews already, you are talking about a lot of $.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that all Ortho residencies now require a categorical internship? In other words, a surgery prelim spot does nothing for you unless you get your program to structure it so that all your Ortho internship requirements get done.
That very well might be the case, I'm not up on the Ortho residencies. At my institution I know that the Ortho interns end up on alot of other services but I'm not sure if they are true prelims or not.
The point that jumping into a PGY-2 Ortho spot would probably be next to impossible, even if allowed, would be well taken.
in ortho, you do not have to do the internship at the same place if you didn't originally match at that program (meaning you are applying for a PGY-2 position). but, an error made by many applying for the PGY-2 spot is that they do the prelim gen surg and don't get all of their requirements for ortho. therefore, not really making them eligible for a PGY-2 spot.
Thanks for clarifying the issue of Prelim vs Categorical; I had assumed the OP was talking about Prelim.
As PediBoneDoc notes, the first year of Ortho is not a Categorical position, but a designated Prelim - designed for the Ortho resident. The person who takes a non-designated gen surg prelim needs to be very clear with his PD that he/she needs whatever rotations are required for Ortho. The applicant may or may not get them - if he/she doesn't, the year (or at least parts of it) will have to be repeated. A year full of gen surg rotations will not satisfy the requirements of an Ortho residency.