5+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2011
Hi all,

MS4 looking at prelim intern programs prior to starting an Interventional Radiology residency. Technically, I can do a Transition year, prelim med, or prelim surgery program. It's my understanding that intern year generally sucks no matter what you do (hours, scut work, etc.). Of course, TY are less sucky in general.

I am more procedure-oriented (I feel energized after scrubbing in and actively participating in a procedure) and am toying with the idea of doing a surgery year. Specific surgery programs get their interns in the OR a lot relative to hierarchal academic programs which make interns just run the floor 100% of the time.

Did anyone on here actually enjoy their surgery prelim year? If so, which programs stand out with a lot of procedure time and less malignant atmosphere?

I spent several minutes searching the archives for this topic, but to no avail.

Thanks for your input!


RSV Fomite
2+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2016
Resident [Any Field]
I'm sure prelim surgery programs exist where there's a healthy culture, you don't routinely violate duty hours, you're not treated like a scut monkey, and you get a reasonable amount of OR time for an intern that has no future in gen surg, but I personally would not take my chances if I was competitive for TY's or cushier prelim med. My surgical colleagues can probably offer you better advice though.
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ASA Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2008
Attending Physician
I have a very low sample size, but the academic-based surgical prelims have minimal OR exposure (maybe 1 or 2 rotations get you in) with the focus being on floor work, see consults and doing discharges. When I did surgery rotations as an intern (I'm in anesthesia) I always allowed the categorical or the more gunner-type prelims get OR time - I was A-OK without it.