Blitz2006

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I can either do:

1) General Surgery for 1 month @ Bronx VA (rotate through different surgical specialities, ie, surg onc, colorectal)

or

2) Do 2 weeks Kidney Transplant (1 elective). Then 2 weeks Liver Transplant (2nd elective). Both at main site in Manhattan.

I'm leaning towards the 2nd choice because:

- I get to do 2 electives, so more exposure to more surgeons (So hopefully 2 LORs, maybe 3 if I'm lucky?)
- Its at the main site (although I'm not sure thats a big deal)
- Mount Sinai transplant unit has an impressive rep (or am I wrong?)

Anyone care to correct my reasoning?

Basically, I'm an IMG hoping to match into GSurg categorical. So I need to pick an elective that will increase my odds.

Thx,
 

Winged Scapula

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I can either do:

1) General Surgery for 1 month @ Bronx VA (rotate through different surgical specialities, ie, surg onc, colorectal)

or

2) Do 2 weeks Kidney Transplant (1 elective). Then 2 weeks Liver Transplant (2nd elective). Both at main site in Manhattan.

I'm leaning towards the 2nd choice because:

- I get to do 2 electives, so more exposure to more surgeons (So hopefully 2 LORs, maybe 3 if I'm lucky?)
But then all your letters would be from Txp surgeons. I'd take the opposite argument that a GS rotation will expose you to a variety of surgeons which would be more interesting to me when evaluating your application rather than a bunch of LORs from Txp surgeons (because they are typically uninteresting people ;) ).

- Its at the main site (although I'm not sure thats a big deal)
That IS a plus but not necessary, IMHO except the more "big deal" attendings tend not to work at the VA.

- Mount Sinai transplant unit has an impressive rep (or am I wrong?)
It does? When I was a resident the liver program was suspended for some deficiences, but that was a long time ago. They do have a fellowship there IIRC, although that may mean you get LESS exposure to attendings if you're shielded with layers of residents and fellows.

Basically, I'm an IMG hoping to match into GSurg categorical. So I need to pick an elective that will increase my odds.

Thx,
IMHO you're overthinking this. Doing an elective at an ACMGE/"Green Book" program and getting letters is the goal. Where, who and how is secondary. I personally would rather see letters from a variety of surgeons rather than all in 1 specialty. Besides, do you *really* want to be doing Txp for 4 weeks? Ick. Hope you have good bladder strength for those livers and kidney/pancs.
 

Blitz2006

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I was discussing with my dad my dilemma, and he basically said the same points you did. He's a wise man, and therefore, that makes you a wise person. Thanks for the input :)

You're right. After discussing it with a few others, turns out GSurg at Bronx VA is the better option.

The guy said I can get exposure to Vascular, Thoracic, Plastics and Colo-rectal surgery. So like you said, more exposure.

Thx again WS. If I match in 2012 I think I'll have thanked you about 100x the past 5-6 years, lol.

P.S.

I've never done a proper U.S elective. Am I being wishful in hoping for 2 LORs in a 4 week GSurg elective? Or is this manageable?

I know GSurg programs want 3 Surgeon U.S LORs. Ideally, I'd get 3 in that month, but thats obv being unrealistic. So now Im thinking 2 U.S GSurg LORs, 1 British GSurg LOR. You think the British one will have much value?
 
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You should definitely try to do the GS elective at the main site. I know it is possible because my co -sub i on my Mt. Sinai elective was from mexico.

You will get letters from the bigger guns that way.

Good luck with the experience, it will be a crazy month of hard work.
 

SouthernSurgeon

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You should definitely try to do the GS elective at the main site. I know it is possible because my co -sub i on my Mt. Sinai elective was from mexico.

You will get letters from the bigger guns that way.

Good luck with the experience, it will be a crazy month of hard work.
Yeah I'm going to agree with this too. It doesn't particularly matter which service - transplant, GS, etc. Main hospital >>> affiliate VA
 

Blitz2006

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Hmmm,

Cause I also have another offer to do Vascular Surgery elective at main site Mt. Sinai with the chief of vascular surgery....I guess that would be the best alternative then?

I just thought vascular surgery is too highly specialized for a 4th year med student...not sure if GSurg program directors looked highly upon it?
 

SouthernSurgeon

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Hmmm,

Cause I also have another offer to do Vascular Surgery elective at main site Mt. Sinai with the chief of vascular surgery....I guess that would be the best alternative then?

I just thought vascular surgery is too highly specialized for a 4th year med student...not sure if GSurg program directors looked highly upon it?
As pointed out above you are way overthinking this. Vascular is still a part of the general surgery "family".
 

Blitz2006

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As pointed out above you are way overthinking this. Vascular is still a part of the general surgery "family".
Yeh fair enough, thx.

I guess I probably am overthinking this, but as an IMG, and time restrictions, I want to make sure I pick the right one.
 

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Is the rest of your app in order? Steps, other USCE/LORs? Research?
 
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Do vascular at the main site!

Dr. Marin who is the Chairman of the General Surgery department at Mt. Sinai, is the chair of vascular as well. That is your best bet for sure. Getting to rotate on or near the chairman's service.
 

Winged Scapula

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Agreed that Vascular is much more general surgery than Transplant is. In many sectors of the country, you'll find Vascular being done by a GS without fellowship training; this is not the case with Transplant.

If you can do Vascular at the main teaching hospital with the Chief, I'd say that sounds like a good choice.