Choosing A Specialty That Fits

kenshin1996

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Hey everyone,
Hope you're all staying safe during this pandemic.
I am a medical student who was supposed to graduate this month but the graduation got delayed for 2 months. Staying home during this pandemic allowed me to think and reevaluate my decisions. This lead me to road block when I wanted to choose a specialty. I've always wanted pediatrics. After my pediatrics rotation I started to enjoy other rotations even less. However, I also enjoyed the pediatric surgery rotation. Dealing with kids in the hospital is a piece of cake for me so both rotations were equally good for me. Whenever I think about the pathway to pediatric surgery, I can't imagine myself going through general surgery residency. I know it's silly but my colleagues and some professors feel I belong more to the medical side rather than surgical side. Some people told me that I have good manual dexterity, fast reaction times and tend to think logically in a calm manner which can be suitable for a surgical specialty.
Bear in mind that I am an IMG so the location of my residency will depend on what I choose. For pediatrics I will go to the US but for surgery I have to pursue another path other than the US.
P.S. I did pediatrics and internal medicine electives for 2 months in the US and got 2 letters of recommendation.
So if you have any thoughts or advice to share I'd really appreciate it.

Stay safe.
-Amer
 

ndafife

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Peds Surgery is very competitive with a match rate in the ~65% range. That is with a very self selected applicant pool who have done research years, etc...

You will need to be at a fairly competitive academic program to do it, which will be difficult as an IMG.
 
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kenshin1996

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Peds Surgery is very competitive with a match rate in the ~65% range. That is with a very self selected applicant pool who have done research years, etc...

You will need to be at a fairly competitive academic program to do it, which will be difficult as an IMG.
Yes I understand that. I am not planning on getting a general surgery residency or pediatric surgery fellowship in the US. What about lifestyle, career progress and nature of the specialties? Got any deep thoughts or ideas about them? Like what skills or traits should a medical student have to pursue these specialties? Have you ever heard of someone who never thought that he/she would become a surgeon but they did and they loved it?
 

M&L

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Yes I understand that. I am not planning on getting a general surgery residency or pediatric surgery fellowship in the US. What about lifestyle, career progress and nature of the specialties? Got any deep thoughts or ideas about them? Like what skills or traits should a medical student have to pursue these specialties? Have you ever heard of someone who never thought that he/she would become a surgeon but they did and they loved it?
One of my friends who is a surgeon told me : “ if there is at least one other specialty that you would consider doing besides surgery - do it”.
 
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M&L

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Oh wow! Is it that bad?
Thanks for replying!
I mean that’s just opinion of one person. But I heard from multiple ppl things like “not having time to have a life , especially during residency “, “long hours”, etc . On the other hand if you love it so much that your heart is definitely in it - forget what everyone says !!! Go for it !!!
 

kenshin1996

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I mean that’s just opinion of one person. But I heard from multiple ppl things like “not having time to have a life , especially during residency “, “long hours”, etc . On the other hand if you love it so much that your heart is definitely in it - forget what everyone says !!! Go for it !!!
The problem is that my heart wants anything related to the pediatric age group. It feels good and satisfying to help those little ones get healthy and live a better life beyond my years.
 

OnePunchBiopsy

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Peds Surg is the most competitive match after general surgery. You’ll have to do 5 years gen surg with 2 years of dedicated research at minimum to even consider applying.

Also, even when you’re an attending the lifestyle is miserable if you don’t like the idea of working 70-100 hours a week.

Only positives are you get to focus your practice to pediatric cases, get to do a variety of cases head-to-toe, and you make bank. One pediatric surgeon I know makes $1 million a year.

I would never do it, but some people are crazier than I.
 
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bananafish94

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What was it about pediatric surgery that you liked? Was it the surgery part, or more of the management of very sick children who need surgical intervention? If it's the inpatient management that you liked you might enjoy PICU or neonatology, where you are caring for critically ill pediatric patients who are often receiving post-operative care. These specialties also let you work with your hands and do some procedures.

Personally, I would not do pediatric surgery unless you also love general surgery. In terms of competitiveness, pediatric surgery is just about as tough as it gets. General surgery residents often have to take extra research years during their residency and publish like nobody's business to have a chance at it. To be very honest, I think it would be an uphill battle as an IMG. Good luck!
 

kenshin1996

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Peds Surg is the most competitive match after general surgery. You’ll have to do 5 years gen surg with 2 years of dedicated research at minimum to even consider applying.

Also, even when you’re an attending the lifestyle is miserable if you don’t like the idea of working 70-100 hours a week.

Only positives are you get to focus your practice to pediatric cases, get to do a variety of cases head-to-toe, and you make bank. One pediatric surgeon I know makes $1 million a year.

I would never do it, but some people are crazier than I.
Thanks for the reply
Again, as an IMG I would not consider doing peds surgery in the US due to its competitiveness. There are many other countries I can do general surgery and peds surgery.
In my country there are less than 40 pediatric surgeons and half of them are over 70 years of age.
 

kenshin1996

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What was it about pediatric surgery that you liked? Was it the surgery part, or more of the management of very sick children who need surgical intervention? If it's the inpatient management that you liked you might enjoy PICU or neonatology, where you are caring for critically ill pediatric patients who are often receiving post-operative care. These specialties also let you work with your hands and do some procedures.

Personally, I would not do pediatric surgery unless you also love general surgery. In terms of competitiveness, pediatric surgery is just about as tough as it gets. General surgery residents often have to take extra research years during their residency and publish like nobody's business to have a chance at it. To be very honest, I think it would be an uphill battle as an IMG. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply.
The thing I liked about pediatric surgery is that a single surgery could potentially change and save a kid's life forever. My elective was neonatology and I enjoyed it a lot but the only downside is that the kids in the NICU improved slowly over 1 month. A part of me likes to see quick results but I also appreciate the little improvements.
 

kenshin1996

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Most people (no one?) don't do residency and fellowship in two different countries.
Yes I agree. I never said I would do residency and fellowship in 2 different countries. In the discussion I mentioned that if I want to proceed with pediatrics I would do my residency and fellowship in the US. Otherwise, if I choose pediatric surgery I would do both general surgery residency and pediatric surgery fellowship in another country not in the US.
 

ndafife

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Yes I agree. I never said I would do residency and fellowship in 2 different countries. In the discussion I mentioned that if I want to proceed with pediatrics I would do my residency and fellowship in the US. Otherwise, if I choose pediatric surgery I would do both general surgery residency and pediatric surgery fellowship in another country not in the US.
I really can't comment on the competitiveness of Peds Surgery, the lifestyle of Peds Surgeons, or the lifestyle of surgical residents in your home country (or whatever country you would do it in). What's more important to you? Being in the USA or being in whatever country you do pediatric surgery in? We can help you figure out which specialty you seem to like better, but the whole USA vs some other country is a huge variable that not a lot of us can help you with.
 

allantois

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Jeezus, decide what country you want to do your training in and go from there. You finished medical school, no one knows better than you what specialty you would like to pursue.
 
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