rebith75

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I dont know whether to go into medical school after grad or get a graduate degree. I dont think I would be happy working as a GP my whole life. How hard is it to get into the specialties, do you have to be very top of your class? would holding a graduate degree improve your chances dramatically in matching to the specialty you want? I just dont want to get to med school, not perform well and be basically forced to be a GP.
 

Ross434

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rebith75 said:
I dont know whether to go into medical school after grad or get a graduate degree. I dont think I would be happy working as a GP my whole life. How hard is it to get into the specialties, do you have to be very top of your class? would holding a graduate degree improve your chances dramatically in matching to the specialty you want? I just dont want to get to med school, not perform well and be basically forced to be a GP.

Yeah i'd like to know the same thing. No offense to Primary care people, but, I wouldnt go to med school if i couldnt do surgery of some sort. I'm looking at med school right now as just something i need to do in order to get into the career i want (orthopedics). I am an extremely hard worker, but if theres only a 1% chance that i'll get into such a specialty, I dont know if med school would be worth it.
 

TeddyKGB

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Gentlemen,

I'm a 4th year, just matched ophtho which is one of the more competative subspecialties. I wanted ophtho before I even got into med school. While I think that's an ok frame of mind to be in, I knew that I wanted to be a doctor no matter what, and if I didn't get it I would have probably done research for a year after med school and then reapplied. But, I was also comfortable with the fact that if someone really told me I couldn't have done ophtho, I would have done some other specialty.

Having said that, if you KNOW you want to do a specialty, it's to your advantage to know early because there are lots of things you can start working on from the beginning of school to increase your chances of matching. The first thing is getting to know the chairman or program director of that specialty in your school. They'll be the ones who decide if you get an interview and if you'll match at their program. After your first year, you'll have a little break for the summer. Some people just screw around, some people work, some do an 'externship' in their desired field. Of course, I recommend the externship without reservation. Contact some faculty in the department in January of your 1st year and set it up. It's a good opportunity to get clinically involved in your chosen field, and to do some research (get it published!!!, either in a journal or present at a national meeting.). You can do this at the program at your school, or even go away to a cool city with a higher ranked program and do it there. During the rest of med school, you can pick up research projects here and there with your home program just to solidify your interest in their eyes.

I did all this stuff and made damn sure they all knew who I was. At the same time, I never kissed ass and acted like a gunner, I just had a goal and worked hard. Keep in mind, no matter how much you become involved with all these things, they're no substitute for good class rank and board scores. Your step 1 score is the most important determining factor for whether or not you get an interview. Most programs of highly desired specialties have cutoffs for step 1 scores and if you don't score higher than that, you're out, no matter how much research or clinical stuff you've done.

Trust me. Coming into med school with the knowledge that you want to do something specific, and it's a competitive sub-specialty, you're about to fight a war make no mistake about it. But like any war, it can be won with good planning and solid work. If that's your dream, then go get it. And you don't need grad school to get it. If med school isn't even your thing and it's just a means to an end, how will you feel about grad school on top of that? It sounds like a road to getting burned out fast to me. There are a few people that decide to do an MD/PhD in which they do their 1st 2 years of med school, then 2-3 years for their PhD, then finish the last 2 clinical years of med school. I have a friend who wants to do neurosurgery that's doing this. And there are some programs for that which take like 1 regular med school grad and 1 MD/PhD per year, that's their quota. So in that case you'll have to think about that. But in a vast majority of specialties, you won't need that at all.

Good luck, hope that helped.
 

Ross434

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beriberi said:
There is no such thing as a GP. Spend some time browsing the general residency forums.
No need to get fussy about terminology. Im sure he meant FP.