Geraltofrivia

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Jul 20, 2016
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I'm a DO student with a Step 1 of 225. The average was 229 with std dev of 20. I am basically average I guess. I started surgery this month and I cannot begin to express how ridiculously but pleasantly surprised I am at how much I love surgery. I can honestly say, I see myself doing this for the rest of my life. My particular interest is trauma surgery, but i would like to know based on what I've given whether I am even competitive for surgery or not.

Thank you. I look forward to everybody's replies, both positive and negative.

More about me: I bust my butt at the hospital. I'm there 30 min early, I try to help out nurses, I try to get in as many cases as I can in the OR. I try to figure out how to manage patients. I read A LOT. If anybody has more tips as to how I can get more out of it, please let me know too. Thank you all.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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I'm a DO student with a Step 1 of 225. The average was 229 with std dev of 20. I am basically average I guess. I started surgery this month and I cannot begin to express how ridiculously but pleasantly surprised I am at how much I love surgery. I can honestly say, I see myself doing this for the rest of my life. My particular interest is trauma surgery, but i would like to know based on what I've given whether I am even competitive for surgery or not.

Thank you. I look forward to everybody's replies, both positive and negative.

More about me: I bust my butt at the hospital. I'm there 30 min early, I try to help out nurses, I try to get in as many cases as I can in the OR. I try to figure out how to manage patients. I read A LOT. If anybody has more tips as to how I can get more out of it, please let me know too. Thank you all.
30 min early? Do you pre round on one patient?

I don't know how being a DO affects it, but I think a 225 would be fine for a US MD student so long as they did well in the clinical years, got good letters, etc.
 

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I'm a DO student with a Step 1 of 225. The average was 229 with std dev of 20. I am basically average I guess. I started surgery this month and I cannot begin to express how ridiculously but pleasantly surprised I am at how much I love surgery. I can honestly say, I see myself doing this for the rest of my life. My particular interest is trauma surgery, but i would like to know based on what I've given whether I am even competitive for surgery or not.

Thank you. I look forward to everybody's replies, both positive and negative.

More about me: I bust my butt at the hospital. I'm there 30 min early, I try to help out nurses, I try to get in as many cases as I can in the OR. I try to figure out how to manage patients. I read A LOT. If anybody has more tips as to how I can get more out of it, please let me know too. Thank you all.

your score is good enough.

but don't count on surgery. it's an awful field and isn't worth the effort. it's very early in your 3rd year...I urge you to find something else.
 
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Geraltofrivia

2+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2016
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30 min early? Do you pre round on one patient?

I don't know how being a DO affects it, but I think a 225 would be fine for a US MD student so long as they did well in the clinical years, got good letters, etc.
I am at a "seasonal" community hospital. I have 2-3 pts ATM. How can I get better at pre-rounding and such? What more can I do?
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Maybe I just don't know wtf I'm doing. Can you go through what you do?
I wouldn't worry. Like I said... efficiency is different but so is the complexity of
patients and attending expectations/idiosyncrasies. I'm not saying you are doing anything wrong but if you feel nervous just keep asking your residents and attendings for feedback. What I do probably won't apply to you.


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Geraltofrivia

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I have no residents at my hospital, it is just me and my attending. I ask him for feedback and according to him he thinks I am performing above my level, I just don't feel that way personally though. Also I spoke to a 4th year friend of mine who goes to my same school and he told me that I've closed most doors if not all with my Step 1 score. It's really bringing me down, do you think this is an accurate statement?
 
Dec 5, 2014
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If you're interested in surgery, I urge you to rotate at a hospital with residents ASAP. Your community hospital rotation is surely a lot of fun, but it's nothing like what you'll experience in residency. Nor will it prepare you for residency.

I rotated through both community hospitals and academic hospitals with residencies. At the community site I would arrive maybe 1 hour before the OR cases started, haphazardly see patients (I had no idea what I was supposed to do), go "play" in the OR all day, functioning as a first assist for all cases, and then I was usually done for the day around 4 PM. It was a total blast. And then reality hit when I did a "real" surgery rotation. I had to arrive 2+ hours before cases started in the OR to pre-round, then have to spend an hour actually rounding and presenting my patients, followed by 8 hours in the OR twiddling my thumbs, practically begging to be given anything to do - even retracting became "exciting," and then would finish out the day rounding one last time before being "freed" at around 7 PM. The rotations were vastly different.

To be fair, I probably wouldn't have chosen surgery if I had never rotated at a community hospital. That experience showed me what being a community general surgery actually looked like (and I think medical students who never rotate in a community setting miss out on that - most physicians work in the community, not at academic institutes). But, rotating through an academic institute showed me what I'd have to do become a community general surgeon - and that is MUCH less glamorous than what you're experiencing now. You also will not be prepared for residency if your only surgery rotations are at community hospitals without residents.

P.S. I'm a DO, in an ACGME surgery residency, with a comparable Step 1 score. Doors are not closed yet, but you need to rotate through hospitals with residents, preferably at some "big name" places. Best of luck!
 

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If you're interested in surgery, I urge you to rotate at a hospital with residents ASAP. Your community hospital rotation is surely a lot of fun, but it's nothing like what you'll experience in residency. Nor will it prepare you for residency.

I rotated through both community hospitals and academic hospitals with residencies. At the community site I would arrive maybe 1 hour before the OR cases started, haphazardly see patients (I had no idea what I was supposed to do), go "play" in the OR all day, functioning as a first assist for all cases, and then I was usually done for the day around 4 PM. It was a total blast. And then reality hit when I did a "real" surgery rotation. I had to arrive 2+ hours before cases started in the OR to pre-round, then have to spend an hour actually rounding and presenting my patients, followed by 8 hours in the OR twiddling my thumbs, practically begging to be given anything to do - even retracting became "exciting," and then would finish out the day rounding one last time before being "freed" at around 7 PM. The rotations were vastly different.

To be fair, I probably wouldn't have chosen surgery if I had never rotated at a community hospital. That experience showed me what being a community general surgery actually looked like (and I think medical students who never rotate in a community setting miss out on that - most physicians work in the community, not at academic institutes). But, rotating through an academic institute showed me what I'd have to do become a community general surgeon - and that is MUCH less glamorous than what you're experiencing now. You also will not be prepared for residency if your only surgery rotations are at community hospitals without residents.

P.S. I'm a DO, in an ACGME surgery residency, with a comparable Step 1 score. Doors are not closed yet, but you need to rotate through hospitals with residents, preferably at some "big name" places. Best of luck!
This is where there is a big disconnect for students. Some argue that residency is temporary, so seeing how things work in a community setting (where the vast majority of physicians end up practicing) is a way to see what life would be like down the road. OTOH, those who don't see how things work in an academic surgery program are in for a huge culture shock as an intern, which only magnifies the amount of doubt and stress associated with training. Having the ability to see the disconnect between training and actual practice is important. There are also community based residency programs that have a very different feel from academic programs; some send their residents to an academic center for transplant or peds rotations so there is some academic experiences.
 
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Geraltofrivia

2+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2016
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Medical Student
If you're interested in surgery, I urge you to rotate at a hospital with residents ASAP. Your community hospital rotation is surely a lot of fun, but it's nothing like what you'll experience in residency. Nor will it prepare you for residency.

I rotated through both community hospitals and academic hospitals with residencies. At the community site I would arrive maybe 1 hour before the OR cases started, haphazardly see patients (I had no idea what I was supposed to do), go "play" in the OR all day, functioning as a first assist for all cases, and then I was usually done for the day around 4 PM. It was a total blast. And then reality hit when I did a "real" surgery rotation. I had to arrive 2+ hours before cases started in the OR to pre-round, then have to spend an hour actually rounding and presenting my patients, followed by 8 hours in the OR twiddling my thumbs, practically begging to be given anything to do - even retracting became "exciting," and then would finish out the day rounding one last time before being "freed" at around 7 PM. The rotations were vastly different.

To be fair, I probably wouldn't have chosen surgery if I had never rotated at a community hospital. That experience showed me what being a community general surgery actually looked like (and I think medical students who never rotate in a community setting miss out on that - most physicians work in the community, not at academic institutes). But, rotating through an academic institute showed me what I'd have to do become a community general surgeon - and that is MUCH less glamorous than what you're experiencing now. You also will not be prepared for residency if your only surgery rotations are at community hospitals without residents.

P.S. I'm a DO, in an ACGME surgery residency, with a comparable Step 1 score. Doors are not closed yet, but you need to rotate through hospitals with residents, preferably at some "big name" places. Best of luck!
Wow thanks for this post. Unfortunately I will not have an opportunity to rotate at any hospital with any residents until my fourth year. It is the unfortunate nature of this game. When did you rotate at an academic place and how did you learn how to not completely screw things up. I am indeed having a blast, but I think your description of everything hit the nail perfectly on the head... Now I'm scared
 

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Don't freak out yet, like other's have said it's still very early in your 3rd year. If you still decide you want to go into surgery towards the end of your 3rd year, you need to set up several surgery rotations at hospitals with general surgery programs early on in your 4th year. You need to see what the life of a resident is like, and get an idea of the daily grind and what is involved. You also need to see what you will have to endure for 5 years of your life in order to get to that community general surgery job you are enjoying right now - like others have said, they are two very different beasts. As a DO you will benefit from working hard at a few programs to obtain letters of recommendation and if you're lucky, impress the residents/attendings enough to get an interview.

I am a DO and had to go through a very similar road (with a similar USMLE score) several years ago. I can't stress how important it will be to do some away rotations to get LOR's and interviews if they like you. Take your step II as early as possible and do better on it, that will open some doors for you as well.

Keep an open mind this year, and good luck finding the right specialty for you
 
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