Cardiothoracic surgury vs. Trauma surg vs. gen surg vs. EM

Nov 14, 2010
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i think that i want to be a trauma surgeon and/or a cardiothoracic surgeon i am only a junior in high school so can someone explain these fields (the hours, training, typical cases, pay, commonalities, and/or differences) i volunteer in an OR and love trauma cases but i dont think i want to deal with typical general surgery cases. i absolutely love cardiothroacic but ppl say its changing


please try and explain the future of these fields 17 years from now but also what is it like now

(i know by asking you to read into the future 17 years it will piss you off but i just want your opinion)


last question is there a way that i could be a cardiothoracic surgeon but take on trauma cases ??


thnaks guys !!

how does one go about becoming a trauma surgeon


please include details of the job I.E. lifestyle, cases, hours, pay
you get the gist

please give as detailed evaluations of the fields
giving as much and comprehensive info as possible
:confused::confused::confused:
 
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Tiger10

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how does one go about becoming a trauma surgeon


please include details of the job I.E. lifestyle, cases, hours, pay
you get the gist

Surgery residency --> Trauma fellowship, I believe.
 

DO_Surgeon

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i think that i want to be a trauma surgeon and/or a cardiothoracic surgeon i am only a junior in high school so can someone explain these fields (the hours, training, typical cases, pay, commonalities, and/or differences) i volunteer in an OR and love trauma cases but i dont think i want to deal with typical general surgery cases. i absolutely love cardiothroacic but ppl say its changing


please try and explain the future of these fields 17 years from now but also what is it like now

(i know by asking you to read into the future 17 years it will piss you off but i just want your opinion)


last question is there a way that i could be a cardiothoracic surgeon but take on trauma cases ??


thnaks guys !!
You're kidding right?
 

ZagDoc

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Sounds like a scrub tech in the making.

...

I kid.
 

Dwindlin

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how does one go about becoming a trauma surgeon


please include details of the job I.E. lifestyle, cases, hours, pay
you get the gist
Trauma Surgeons typically are trained in General Surgery then go on to do a 2 year Surgical Critical Care fellowship. Dedicated trauma surgeons are a rare breed (at least where I am from). It seems the more common setup is a General Surgery service that takes Trauma call. Again, at least in this area they are paid as General Surgeons (I think the avg. is somewhere around 300k/yr), and the group I work with specifically, each surgeon takes 2 12 hour shifts a week.
 
OP
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Nov 14, 2010
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thanks for the responses
would it make ya'll happier if i just asked for a cardiothoracic and trauma comparison ??
 

McGillGrad

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thanks for the responses
would it make ya'll happier if i just asked for a cardiothoracic and trauma comparison ??

You have to fight through 5 years of general surgery to get to either one, so you may need to rethink your future.
 
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thanks for the responses
would it make ya'll happier if i just asked for a cardiothoracic and trauma comparison ??
It would make us happier if you don't post naive questions about fellowship training when you are still a junior in high school, the chances of you even making it into medical school, let alone surgery is rather slim... :bang:
 

McGillGrad

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aren't there some 4+3 programs out there? Not that it really matters.
Yes, that is correct, but endless hours of OR time is required to build your skill-set. That means doing tonnes of unrelated/general surgeries before starting to specialize.
 

Seahawk

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You shouldn't worry about this now. I used to be like you, until I got to college and realize how stupid I had sounded. I bet you will be the same.

WAY too early to be worrying about this. You have to get into college first, then get into med school, THEN get into a competitive specialty. Worry about them in the order listed.

Go play Call of Duty and enjoy high school.
 

mmmcdowe

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Pisiform

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SDN is not a place for homework.

Thread Closed.

.....
.............

oops ! I lost my Mod power. My bad :)
 
OP
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homework are you kidding me like really???

because so many public highschool in rural florida ask for papers on detailed cardiothoracic and traumatic surgical specialties
really???
 
OP
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Sounds like you are writing some sort of research paper.

i can assure you i am not as i've never had an assignment on the field of medicine



im sorry that im interested in my future and furthermore sorry for the fact that im proactive in trying to decide for my self exactly what that future will en-tale
 
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i can assure you i am not as i've never had an assignment on the field of medicine



im sorry that im interested in my future and furthermore sorry for the fact that im proactive in trying to decide for my self exactly what that future will en-tale

What we're trying to say, is that the process in becoming any sort of daughter is basically the same until you hit 3rd and 4th year medical school.
 

McGillGrad

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i can assure you i am not as i've never had an assignment on the field of medicine



im sorry that im interested in my future and furthermore sorry for the fact that im proactive in trying to decide for my self exactly what that future will en-tale

You just proved that it is a research paper! It is all in the way you deny it.
 

MossPoh

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Deciding what fellowship you want in high school is a little too far ahead to think. It is natural to do so, but avoid it. At your stage, you should be thinking about what undergrad you'd like to be at, what majors might interest you and MAYBE what kind of experiences later on to decide if medical school (not surgery, family medicine, radiology, EM, etc.) is right for you. Once you get into medical school, you start exploring general things that interest you. By your third year of medical school is really when you start exploring specialities. Sometime during your residency is when you start thinking about fellowships.

So, as it currently stands, you have about a decade (if productive) before you are truly faced with that decision. A lot of stuff can change in that time. If you are like me and decide a year or two later, then you're looking at 12 or 13 years from your current date before you are really faced with fellowship decisions. Pretty scary huh?
 
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Briefly...

- There are some Cardiothoracic surgeons at my hospital who still take trauma call.

- Regarding the future of CT surgery... I think a current CT surgeon would be your best resource. If you are truly interested, why don't you get in touch with a local CT surgeon in your area and pick his brain?

- another resource for you may be the American College of Surgeons website

- Your best opportunity to learn about/experience general surg vs. CT surg vs. trauma surg will be during your rotations as a resident. Second best will be as a medical students on surgery rotations. Third best would be as a college student shadowing these different specialties. If you feel that you must know the answer to your questions NOW, then why don't you try to set up some shadowing opportunities. I agree with the prior posters that your questions are a little premature. However, I've seen high school kids at the hospital shadowing before, so I do know you're not the only one.

- Lastly, keep an open mind about your future profession. You will change your mind as you grow and mature. Many people start medical school thinking they will do one thing and end up pursuing something completely different
 

DO_Surgeon

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I was once like you...in high school and knew that I wanted to be a cardiac surgeon. Here I am today after 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, in my chief year of general surgery residency, plus a surgical critical care fellowship between my 3rd and 4th year of GS residency and getting ready to start a CT fellowship in July. That is 14 years post high school graduation. I can tell you that you have a long ***** time to either change your mind or screw up and not even make it into medical school. Relax and enjoy your high school prom...pick a good college (one with a good football team) and have fun. The rest will work out over the next decade.
 

fahimaz7

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I was once like you...in high school and knew that I wanted to be a cardiac surgeon. Here I am today after 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, in my chief year of general surgery residency, plus a surgical critical care fellowship between my 3rd and 4th year of GS residency and getting ready to start a CT fellowship in July. That is 14 years post high school graduation. I can tell you that you have a long ***** time to either change your mind or screw up and not even make it into medical school. Relax and enjoy your high school prom...pick a good college (one with a good football team) and have fun. The rest will work out over the next decade.
Best advice out there. I saw this in a different forum and was about to say the same thing.
 

mmmcdowe

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homework are you kidding me like really???

because so many public highschool in rural florida ask for papers on detailed cardiothoracic and traumatic surgical specialties
really???
Ever heard of a "what I want to be when I grow up" essay?
 

MossPoh

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I was once like you...in high school and knew that I wanted to be a cardiac surgeon. Here I am today after 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, in my chief year of general surgery residency, plus a surgical critical care fellowship between my 3rd and 4th year of GS residency and getting ready to start a CT fellowship in July. That is 14 years post high school graduation. I can tell you that you have a long ***** time to either change your mind or screw up and not even make it into medical school. Relax and enjoy your high school prom...pick a good college (one with a good football team) and have fun. The rest will work out over the next decade.
or at least one that has the potential/history of being good.

I love my big state u and would never look back at my decision over the smaller private school with no teams of relevance now.
 

Venko

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The surgeon has offered the best advice so far, but if you are still interested in the summary of the specialties....

EDUCATION:
You must achieve excellence in high school, college, medical school, general surgery residency and then they diverge into two separate fellowships.

JOB DESCRIPTIONS:
Trauma Surgery
Definitely an acute care specialty. Trauma surgeons work outside of the operating room extensively in the community, the ER, the ICU, the hospital floor and finally in the ICU. Trauma surgery deals with the whole body to some degree without detailed expertise in any one part of the body. They are, however, experts in physical trauma including blast injuries, fire injuries, motor vehicle crashes, violent crime etc. Trauma surgeons take in hospital call and have very busy shifts. They are more and more managing many patients in the trauma ICU and not operating as readily as was formerly the practice. Unlike, cardiothoracic surgery, the trauma surgeon is more often going to the operating room for abdominal issues ( but not exclusively). The trauma surgeon does collaborate with other specialties quite often such as orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic, emergency medicine etc.

Cardiothoracic or Cardiovascular surgery
These two specialties have some overlap in cases but also have some differences. Cardiothoracic surgery attendings do not necessarily take in house call, but may be on at home call everyday or most days of the year. There are few true emergencies that occur but when they do they are truly life threatening such as aortic dissections, heart valve ruptures or heart muscle rupture, massive pulmonary embolus etc. They spend extensive amounts of time in the operating room and the procedures are quite quite long. The cardiovascular surgeon may venture into the abdomen, but the cardiothoracic surgeon does not usually cross the diaphragm. There is further specialized training in transplant surgery from this field as well. These surgical specialties do not coordinate care beyond many other surgical disciplines but are involved closely with cardiology, pulmonology, and crtiical care medicine.

SUMMARY:
Overall, I dont think this level of career focus matches your level of education thus far, but it is your decision to get the information. I would more importantly recommend that you focus on your choice of general career such as doctor, lawyer, professor, accountant etc. The details will come more readily when you gain more experience in the field. Also, the road to a medical specialty changes quite often and even into residency many people switch. The numbers of physicians who start out with a goal in high school for a specialty and end up in that field I would estimate are close to 20% (I am just estimating this number).

Good luck in all that you do!

Cheers,
TL
Emergency Medicine Attending Physician
 
OP
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thank you so much this is exactly what i was looking for and i really appreciate your response