Did't match ENT and struggling to continue on

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Jan 9, 2024
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Hi everyone, I did't match ENT last year and struggling to continue with the current ERAS process applying to general surgery. I made this decision under distress and I am currently in a prelim position and applied just to Gen Surg positions this year. I am now feeling like i cannot continue through the gen surg path after receiving the number interviews I did and experiencing life in Gen Surg this year. I regret not reapplying this year and wondering if there is another path forward I can take if withdrew from the match this year that will get me closer to ENT.

any thoughts or anecdotes will be helpful!

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I think the key to your question is figuring out why you didn’t match the first time. From your other post, your scores were average ish and you seemed to have done some research. Why do you think you didn’t match the first time?

So much of your application is set in stone, and there are very few things you can modify at this point. It’s really just research you can improve with a research year, and possibly letters if you’re able to do research someone good with well know letter writers. Research years can also help students who didn’t have home programs.

But here’s the little secret about research years in ENT: they’re almost as competitive now as the match itself. They all want their people to match the next cycle, so they only take people with amazing applications but not enough ENT research. Your app may be close - seemed that S1 of 250 as a screening cutoff was rather common. Haven’t heard any S2 cutoffs yet but I imagine they will be higher given the scaling differences.

Basically, if there’s something that kept you from matching the first time AND you can fix it or have fixed it already, you may have a very very very slim chance (1:10). Remember, even a research year at this point only gives you a few months before ERAS is due again.

Given your last post, going gen Surg and then picking a fellowship with some ENT overlap like endocrine or Surg onc may be a much better move.

Remember: you haven’t experienced life in gen Surg, you’ve experienced being a prelim scut-monkey intern in gen Surg. Being categorical will immediately improve your life, and you’ll already be good at interning so the year will be much easier, people will respect you more because you’ll start off well ahead of your new PGY1 classmates. Just as in all of medicine, life gets better the further along you get in training.
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Great advice above.
Have you considered one of the fields that could utilize your intern year? I.e. something like advanced spots in Anesthesia or maybe radiology, PM&R. 3 years and you're into practice. Sometimes we think there is only one path to happiness as a doctor. There are a ton of great fields and ways to be happy. best wishes.