Competetiveness of GS fellowships?

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by Toadkiller Dog, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. Toadkiller Dog

    Toadkiller Dog Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2001
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just trying to gauge how difficult it is to get into the various subspecialties from GS. They include (I think): pediatric, CT, plastics, surg onc, vascular, trauma (not a true specialty, I believe), transplant (also not a full specialty?), critical care, and hand surgery (have to do plastics first?). Have I left any out?

    Also, what exactly does it mean for a fellowship to be competetive? Must one come from a prestigious academic center? Or publish? Or what?

    So, in the humble and unbiased opinion of surgery hopefuls or (better yet) those involved in surgery, how should they be ranked?

    That was about the most poorly written post I have done in a while. But hey, I'm tired. I hope you all got my point.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. tussy

    tussy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1999
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    You missed a few:
    colorectal, hepatobiliary, surgical oncology.
     
  4. surg

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    39
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Specialties. There are more GS subspecialties than you can shake a stick at. You name it, somebody has created a "specialist" for it. In an article I read recently in a throwaway, they advocated that someone specializing in hernia surgery should be the only one to tackle recurrent hernias.

    As far as generally acknowledged specialties the most well established are: (I am doing this off the top of my head, but I think it's accurate

    those with their own boards:
    Cardiothoracic
    Colorectal
    Plastic Surgery


    Certificates affiliated with ABS:
    Vascular Surgery
    Critical Care
    Pediatric
    Hand Surgery

    Certificates issued by others that are well recognized:
    Transplant (ASTS)
    Surgical Oncology (SSO)

    Other common "specializations" that have offered fellowships, but not a "certificate" that I am aware of.

    Laparoscopic
    Endocrine
    Hepatobiliary
    Breast

    As far as "ranking" there is no way to rank these things. You do what you like. All are competitive in the sense that there aren't very many programs in any of them and more people that want them than are spots (with the exception of Critical Care and very recently Thoracic has come down in numbers, and Breast that is still very new). Also some programs are difficult to get into, but others within the same specialty are incredibly difficult, and often programs take internal candidates so the number of spots available can shrink in any given year depending on how many internal candidates are available at different programs.

    I know this wasn't the answer you were hoping for, but I hope it helps you clarify where programs sit.
     
  5. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    10
    Absolutely not.

    Graduates from my respected community program have gone on to cardiothoracic, colorectal, plastics, minimally invasive (laparoscopic), vascular, and breast fellowships, to name a few. My classmate just matched into plastics, which is highly competitive at the moment, and basically had his pick of programs.

    You need high absite scores, excellent recommendations, and usually research in your field of interest.

    The most competitive fellowship is pediatric surgery. If you are interested in doing academic medicine/research, or if you know you want to apply to highly competitive programs or sub-specialties (like peds), then you should do your residency training at a prestigious academic institution.
     
  6. APDoc

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    sorry if i'm being ignorant-- but what are absite scores?

    thanks,

    apdoc
     
  7. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sort of practice boards for surgeons.

    It's the inservice exam - a standardized national test given every year to all surgery residents. You are graded against your year (eg as an intern, your score is a percentile of all intern scores across the country.)

    It simulates the written portion of the test you will be required to pass after graduation in order to become board certified.
     
  8. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,555
    Likes Received:
    72
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Womansurg,

    actually the applicant pool for peds surg has shrunk dramatically in the last few years to almost 1:1 applicant/program ratio. There have been real concerns @ meetings about whether the number of new surgeons being produced will be adequate (same with CTVS, but the future workforce demands are harder to predict for that specialty). It's hard to compare how competative some of these specialties are b/c the # of of positions can vary dramatically, but as far both the most number & highest % of people failing to match it is clearly Plastic Surgery. I think Surg Oncology would be next, but they have many fewer programs & applicants per spot so its hard to truly compare the two
     
  9. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    10
    Aaahh...interesting.

    I suppose that makes my classmate's match into Plastics even more noteworthy!

    Surg onc is the most interesting surgery to me - huge resections which can traverse tissue planes and organ systems which a general surgeon might otherwise seldom perform. But the emotional issues are so great.... I would be very affected if I had to deal with those issues on a regular basis. The occasional cancer resections I will see as a GS, mixed in with the happy results of fixed hernias, gallbladders, appendicitis, diverticulitis, parathyroids, and in my practice, vascular repairs - that's plenty for me.

    -ws
     

Share This Page