addy

5+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2013
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Hi guys,

I have always been interested in Neurosurgery but find myself intimidated by the idea of it and steering myself to GS. As it turns out, I will be doing a neurosurgery rotation in January of 2016 as part of my core surgery clerkship.

My question is: if I more or less fall in love with Neurosurgery that late in the year, how detrimental would it be to my application?

A little bit about me--
School: Low tier, mid atlantic
Step 1: 237
AOA: No
Class rank: 3rd quartile, failed a course in 2nd year (someone died the week of the test, didn't study for it; passed course on retake)
Research: 5 papers, all in GS or CT Surgery. None 1st author. Will be submitting stuff to CT conference and journals as first author this winter so I should have at least 1 or 2 first author abstracts and/or papers.
Clerkship grades: IM (pass), psych (pass) so far.

Give it to me straight, fellas.

Thanks a bunch!
 

194342

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Mar 18, 2008
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Your board scores are a bit below average but they don't eliminate you from most programs. It's great you have some research, could you try emailed the residency director at your school and asking if there are any research projects you can jump on? Maybe writing a review or a case report or even something clinical research based? Having research in neurosurgery will help out your app tremendously.

Additionally, you really have to think about why neurosurgery vs other surgical specialities. You will be asked why you applied to nsg after having all that gen surg related research.
 
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A

addy

5+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2013
438
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Medical Student
The thing is
Your board scores are a bit below average but they don't eliminate you from most programs. It's great you have some research, could you try emailed the residency director at your school and asking if there are any research projects you can jump on? Maybe writing a review or a case report or even something clinical research based? Having research in neurosurgery will help out your app tremendously.

Additionally, you really have to think about why neurosurgery vs other surgical specialities. You will be asked why you applied to nsg after having all that gen surg related research.
See, the thing is, I've been trying to meet with the NSG department for months now. But no one is responding to my e-mails. I even went through the secretary, who CC'd me on e-mails to ask if they had free time, but still I heard nothing....so I kind of feel like I won't be able to make any connections until I'm actually doing my rotation in December/January because I just don't know what else there is left for me to do or try.
 

WhizoMD

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Jan 5, 2009
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The thing is


See, the thing is, I've been trying to meet with the NSG department for months now. But no one is responding to my e-mails. I even went through the secretary, who CC'd me on e-mails to ask if they had free time, but still I heard nothing....so I kind of feel like I won't be able to make any connections until I'm actually doing my rotation in December/January because I just don't know what else there is left for me to do or try.
In my experience, e-mails are not enough. You'll have to make phone calls and even stop by their offices and meet them or the secretaries in person. I was in a similar position last year and had to be a bit more persistent than I'm used to in order to achieve the desired results (meetings / contacts within the department).
 
OP
A

addy

5+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2013
438
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Status
Medical Student
In my experience, e-mails are not enough. You'll have to make phone calls and even stop by their offices and meet them or the secretaries in person. I was in a similar position last year and had to be a bit more persistent than I'm used to in order to achieve the desired results (meetings / contacts within the department).
I'm glad I'm not the only one to have this problem, for a while I had wondered if it was just because we are a no-name program or something.

Hmm. I could have done that during my outpatient month, but now I don't have time to meet with people between 7a-7p until January, which is the end of my surgery clerkship. Hopefully one of them would be willing to meet after hours...
 

joker2400

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Jul 11, 2011
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In my experience, e-mails are not enough. You'll have to make phone calls and even stop by their offices and meet them or the secretaries in person. I was in a similar position last year and had to be a bit more persistent than I'm used to in order to achieve the desired results (meetings / contacts within the department).
I've never had luck finding a surgeon in their office unless I had prearranged a meeting or dropped into clinic (nor recommended unless you already know the surgeon).

OP: call the secretary and set up an appointment to meet with them
 

grt398

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Sep 17, 2008
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Other option that's worked for me in the past with multiple fields: find out when they have weekly grand rounds and start showing up to it when you can (it's easier during MS1-2), particularly if they have didactics later on. Depending on the department, they may be fine with you sticking around, people will get to see that you're interested and start recognizing your face, and many of the attendings will be there so you can just approach them in person at the start/end of grand rounds. Oh and neurosurgery often tends to be more formal about their grand rounds, so make sure you show up in your white coat and business casual dress (a tie might not hurt if you're a guy). This will obviously vary by institution but that's the safe way to go.
 
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