competition, surgery, n stuff!!!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by impotentking, Sep 26, 2001.

  1. impotentking

    impotentking Junior Member
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    I've heard that general surgery residencies have become less competitive over the last few years. Is this true, and if so, to what extent? Why do you think gen. surgery has lost its appeal? Just for the fun of it, lets try to rank the various specialties in order of most competitive to least. I think it goes something like this:

    1) Orthopedic Surgery
    2) Dermatology
    3) Neurosurgery
    4) ENT
    5) Opthalmology
    6) Urology
    7) General Surgery
    8) Anesthesiology
    9) Internal Medicine
    10) Family Medicine
    11) Pediatrics
    12)Psychiatry

    What do you all think? Please don't go gettin all P'd off, this is just for fun, K?

    Later all
    USA RULES!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    There are people who know alot more about this than I do (why should that stop me from giving you my opinion), but I'll give you some ideas.

    Think about it as economics. First, there are a ton of general surgery residencies compared to those with are more competitive -- supply.

    Next, there are factors that influence the demand of fields like ENT, Derm and Ortho. Derm has great hours, high pay and limitted contact with insurance companies. ENT and Ortho are both surgical subspecialties which do not require fellowships, thus you can go straight through in five or six years.

    General is a minimum of five years. If you want to do a fellowship and be competitive, you will need to do a research year. That means you are probably looking at eight years if you want to do something like vascular surg. That's a long time.

    Finally, if you don't want to do a fellowship your path is narrowed. Many of the "sexy" surgeries that were formally done by general surgens are now done by specialists. If you live in a medium to large city, you will see specialists in bowel, breast, gastric, liver surgery and more. What does that leave you? A whole lot of appies and hernias and probably some trauma. Now if you don't mind living in the boonies, you can do it all, vascular, GI, CT (probably including on animals too!).

    Those are the kind of things that have been going through my head.

    Steve
     
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  3. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    From what I remember of the NRMP's list of the specialties with the highest unmatch rate, your list is a little off. Both Urology and Dermatology have higher unmatch rates (i.e., are more competitive) than Orthopedic Surgery. Further, Radiation Oncology has moved into the ranking as one of the toughest matches.

    Go to www.nrmp.org for more information and the official list.
     
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  4. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    I wouldn't use unmatch rates as the sole indicator of competitiveness - for the extremely competitive specialties, there is a significant amount of self-selection going on so that most people applying to Ortho, Derm are most likely top-notch students to being with.
     
  5. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    While that may be true, the unmatch rates in both of those specialties is still pretty darn high and if self-selection does occur (which I'm sure it does), then the published unmatch rates are a severe underestimate of the specialty's competitiveness.
     
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  6. DNALadder2002

    DNALadder2002 Senior Member
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    Where does that leave OB/GYN and ER?
     
  7. impotentking

    impotentking Junior Member
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    How's this for accuracy in your opinion?

    Real Tuff:
    1)Derm
    2)Neurosurg
    3)Ortho
    4)ENT
    5)Optho
    6)Urology

    Moderately Tuff:
    7)Radiology
    8)Gen Sug
    9)Emergency Med.
    10)OB

    Not Tuff:
    11)Anesth
    12)IM
    13)Peds
    14)FP
    15)Psych
    16)Pathology

    Take care all!
     
  8. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    In my opinion the rankings are as follows:

    Toughest (Better have awesome boards, great grades and maybe research or you will not match)
    1. ENT
    2. Neurosurgery
    3. Ortho
    4. Derm
    5. Urology
    6. Plastics


    Tough (Good boards and grades, reasearch helps. Still may not match.)
    7. Radiation Oncology
    8. Radiology (at least last year)
    9. Optho
    10. ER

    Kinda tough (Will match somewhere no matter what, but hard to get good spots)
    11. General Surgery
    12. OB/GYN
    13. Peds

    Not tough (Can find a good spot with average credentials. Only need a pulse to match somewhere.)
    14. Medicine
    15. Anesthesia
    16. Neuro
    17. Psych
    18. Path
     
  9. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    DoctorB19,

    I would quibble with your list a little bit. In my observation you have overstated the competativeness of optho, neurosurgery, ER and GU. Thoses matches require good (but not great) board scores, rank, and grades. Certain specific programs will be exceptions in their competativeness, but in general you don't have to be an all star to have a good shot somewhere if you interview enough.

    I think that ortho, derm, and integrated Plastic surgery spots are far and away the toughest applicant pool due to the limited # of positions and the self-selecting applicant pools
     
  10. Fah-Q

    Fah-Q Senior Member
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    I think neurosurgery is a little bit high on most of your lists. According to the SFMatch website, the average board scores for those who matched into neurosurgery this past year was 227 and the non-match rate for US Seniors was 7%. Just to have something to compare that to the same statistics for otolaryngology was avg. boards of 236 with a non-match rate of 19%. These number don't include all the programs and applicants because not everyone uses this match service but its a good estimate. Neuro is still tough but not as tough as derm, oto, or ortho. Neurosurgery is such a ****ty lifestyle and I think a lot of the top students are realizing this and going into other fields. Besides, most of neurosurgery is spine and you can get into spine through ortho and do it faster (5+1 vs. 6-8+1).
     
  11. Fanconi

    Fanconi Senior Member
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    Any idea what the average boards were for derm matchers last year?
     
  12. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member
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    i'll agree that it's relatively easy to match into internal medicine due to the large number of spots open- but how about matching into one of the top IM programs in the country? or furthermore, is there a difference in competition between matching into primary medicine and categorical? just curious...

    bud
     
  13. DO2

    DO2 Junior Member
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    Which are the least competetive ACGME Dermatology programs?
     
  14. am

    am Junior Member
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    They are ALL extremely competitive. I would guess that the programs away from the coasts, large cities, at less prestigious places would be least competitive.

    My one piece of advice would be to get solid letters of rec. from influential people in the field.
     

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