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Future of CT Surgery

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by mdfirst, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. mdfirst

    2+ Year Member

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    As im considering possible career options, CT surgery seems to catch my interests a bit. But, i keep hearing stories about its bleak future. Anyone have a take on this? Do you believe that CT surgery will remain a viable field?:confused:
     
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  3. SLUser11

    SLUser11 CRS
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    Expect some flames. But start here:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=457999

    Also, if you search "CT surgery" or "cardiothoracic" or any similar topic, you'll see that we talk about this a lot and there's lots of threads you can use to answer your question.
     
  4. Don't forget that you can't be lazy in CT Surg. ;)
     
  5. mdfirst

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    im not really lazy, i was over exaggerating. I just like doing things that spark my interest more, thats all
     
  6. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    Yikes, I just read the post Blade quoted... CT surgery is all about mundane details and hard work, like most of surgery. But if you get it wrong, the stakes are much higher than for a hernia. But look, the important thing is that you can decide not to be lazy, to relentlessly pursue getting the mundane details right. You just have to decide to do it, and practice changing yourself in that way. The fact that you recognize those tendencies in yourself is the first step.

    As far as the future of CT surgery, there are a lot of threads on it, but in short no one can tell the future. On the one hand, we have people graduating from their third and fourth fellowship having a hard time getting jobs, and on the other you have people graduating (usually from a relatively small group of excellent programs, with a good reputation for training their residents well) who are able to find good jobs in the current climate. On top of that, CT surgeons as a group are rather old, so many of them will have retired by the time you graduate, and there are fewer CT fellows being graduated every year, so the expectation is that things will get better for new graduates over the next 10-15 years.

    The vitality of the field is probably the more important question. One of the reasons cardiac surgery is in the situation it is in right now is that it became strongly attached to a single set of tools, and when the tools changed they didn't pick up the new tools, seeing themselves as above it. In certain centers there are now good opportunities to learn the new tools (endovascular techniques, robotic surgery, Heart Port, VADs) as a fellow. These same centers tend to have more excitement about CT surgery. At other places (e.g. Hopkins) they are under the impression that cardiac surgery is dead, and if you go into it you're going to wind up driving a taxi.

    In any case, if you're a medical student at this point, you have time to decide -- the rest of medical school and 4-6 years as a general surgery resident before you apply for fellowships. If you decide earlier than that, you have the integrated or comibined programs available to you.

    Best of luck!
    Anka
     
  7. jc7721

    jc7721 Member
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    I think Anka hits the future of CT surg training spot on: programs need to offer comprehensive training in not only traditional cardiac and open thoracic surgery (including esophageal), but endovascular techniques (thoracic aneurysms [suck it vascular!], valves, etc), extensive VATS exposure, endoscopy, bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, VADs, minimally invasive cardiac, off-pump cabg, and, while not necessary in my opinion, its always a bonus to have tranplant and endarterectomy experiences too. Fellows that don't get trained in most of these techniques will find it hard to compete, both for jobs and for patients, against those who have a complete set of skills and techniques at their disposal.
     
  8. ESU_MD

    ESU_MD Old School
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    the other intangible aspect of getting a job

    -having people like you. If people like you, they will let you do stuff in the OR and call their friends and tell them to hire you. In alot of ways, its just like a high school popularity contest.

    -if people dont like you- you might as well sign up for a few superfellowships, the wind up doing general surgery. or even worse, working for 130k and doing crap cases
     
  9. JackADeli

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    Yes
     

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