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General Surgery Residency Program Advice

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raytek

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Hi everyone,

I am an M3 (as in finished M3) currently taking a research year at a mid-tier midwest school looking to match categorical general surgery. I was hoping to get some advice/input on solid programs both in and out of the midwest that would be good options to look into. As far as defining my goals this is something I am continuously trying to figure out but here are some of them:

- Above all I want to get excellent clinical training, like no matter what **** gets thrown at me I'm completely unfazed and ready to handle it without hesitation. Even if it means dealing with some tough love I can handle feeling like an idiot if it means I will be an excellent surgeon at the end of it. Technical skills are important to me (as they are to all surgeons obvi) and I would definitely like to go to a program that cranks out surgeons with solid technical skills (worked with a guy who trained at U of L, dude's a damn wizard)
- I am on the fence as far as whether or not I want to pursue academics vs community/private practice as I love the idea of contributing to medical research and advancing knowledge on current therapies and establishing quality standards of care. It would be awesome to be a leader (or at least well respected) in the field, give talks at conferences, and contribute to medical education, but from what I've seen academics is a lot of work with less pay so that seems like kind of a raw deal. Still working on this one.
- I have been strongly considering plastics, whether that's integrated plastics or a fellowship after gen surg, and I would definitely like to keep competitiveness for plastics fellowships/other subspecialty fellowships on the table
- Atmosphere: camaraderie would be ideal, I'd like to train with people I consider teammates who share similar values and are trustworthy. I'll be honest in that I still am not quite sure what "malignant" means as I've seen posts ranging from pretty basic surgeon personality stuff to actual physical abuse both be termed "malignant" so I guess not too malignant? I'd much prefer a mentor who is hard on me but makes a concerted effort to teach and identify tangible areas of improvement than someone who tells me I'm doing great all the time even when I know damn good and well I'm slacking. If there are programs with tough attendings that are good teachers I'm good with that.
- Weather: anything but frozen tundra (sorry Mayo)
- Also I'd like to get solid trauma training, so a program in a big(ish) city probably preferable

A little about me for reference:
Step 1 and 2CK: 250s
Clerkships: All honors except HP in family med (a little salty), proficient sub-I level performance on surgery rotation (per faculty comments)
Research: 2nd author pub in respected basic science journal (pre-med school work), 2 poster presentations, currently working on a first author basic science publication for my main research year project and co-authoring a review paper (looking to be as productive with my research year as possible while also enjoying life a little)
Not gonna laundry list my CV here, just looking for general categories of programs to look into

Any and all input is highly appreciated, narrowing down residency programs is hella daunting. Thanks everyone! :)

P.S. I'm new to SDN, if there is a specific place to post things like this that is not here feel free to let me know!
 

Banco

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I just went through the surgery match this year. With 250s on Step1/2 and strong research experience you are in a strong position for academic general surgery programs. For Integrated plastics you are also competitive stats wise, but they do like to see dedication to the field - so you want to network/do research that is relevant. With a basic science research year you can likely spin it any which way though.

That being said, you should also apply to some community and hybrid programs. It’s always important to have a balanced list. I’d start based on location and narrow down programs that way.
 

raytek

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I just went through the surgery match this year. With 250s on Step1/2 and strong research experience you are in a strong position for academic general surgery programs. For Integrated plastics you are also competitive stats wise, but they do like to see dedication to the field - so you want to network/do research that is relevant. With a basic science research year you can likely spin it any which way though.

That being said, you should also apply to some community and hybrid programs. It’s always important to have a balanced list. I’d start based on location and narrow down programs that way.
Thank you for your input! Any programs in particular stand out to you when you were interviewing? Any thoughts on the relative benefit of the more "prestigious" programs (Hopkins, Duke, MGH, etc.) over less prestigious programs? Would I even be considered at said prestigious programs? Any hidden gems with regards to community and hybrid programs? As far as location, so far I'm looking at the midwest, D.C. area, and the northeast.
 

Banco

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Yeah I think you’ll be considered - the competition at that level though is very high.

As for the relative benefit it’s hard to generalize. Big name likely helps for fellowship match/academics. Some of the academic programs are more top heavy - meaning you operate mostly in the final 2-3 years vs. some have operative training consistently throughout the 5. Many programs have required 2 research years. You will pick this up and judge this better for yourself during interviews.

Good thing for you is there are a ton of programs in that geographic range.
 

bluelamin

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dude why are you taking a research year? your scores and research are good....and i know people who matched with way less
 

raytek

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dude why are you taking a research year? your scores and research are good....and i know people who matched with way less
I am very interested in this particular research area so I decided to pursue the research year in order to get involved with and publish in this particular field. I wouldn't have done it if I couldn't get into this particular field of research. Although I have to say, now that I'm here I am loving the stipend and the amount of free time I have :D
 

bluelamin

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I am very interested in this particular research area so I decided to pursue the research year in order to get involved with and publish in this particular field. I wouldn't have done it if I couldn't get into this particular field of research. Although I have to say, now that I'm here I am loving the stipend and the amount of free time I have :D
wats the field...if you dont mind me asking? also nice username lol i think ive seen u in the OR before....
 

raytek

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wats the field...if you dont mind me asking? also nice username lol i think ive seen u in the OR before....
Haha yeah I do a pretty good job making sure **** doesn't get left in the abdomen :p I don't know how to PM on here but I can tell you about the research that way. I'd like to stay somewhat anonymous on here lol
 
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