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Having trouble deciding between TY and PM

Discussion in 'Internship' started by saiyagirl, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. saiyagirl

    saiyagirl Guest

    Aug 23, 2002
    Hi everyone,

    I'm applying into ophthalmology this upcoming year. I'm having a hard time deciding between doing a transitional year or a prelim medicine year.

    I was at first thinking about a prelim medicine year, mainly because I love medicine and actually had not-an-easy time deciding between medicine and ophtho as my ultimate specialty. There is a big part of me who would rather spend the year doing something I really enjoy, and learning more about one subject rather than a little about many, even if it means I have to work harder.

    However, I've heard many ophthalmology residents suggest I go for a Transitional year instead. Some of the electives I can take (surgery, anesthesia, neuro) are more related to ophtho, and they suggest I really don't want to be burnt out when i start my PGY-2 year - as that first year is no walk in the park.

    I'm not sure what to do and was wondering how people have decided in the past. Regardless, I hope to be in an academic center with tons of teaching. I am not the "effing amazing" applicant that many ophtho candidates are but am not bad (Step 1 = 248, have not taken step 2 (and won't in time for apps), 3rd year all HP, honored my medicine Sub-I, 1 year of bench/clinical research, not AOA, probably somewhere in the top 30-40 in my class of 100?) I honestly know very little about how competitive it is to get a transitional year, so am not sure how I measure up. Trying to learn!

    Can I apply to both?

    Thanks :)
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  3. FutureOph123

    FutureOph123 5+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    I am doing ophthalmology, and I will be starting my transitional year this summer. I think the major benefit of doing a prelim medicine year is that you will be more likely to get a year in the place that you want (more places have prelim and they are usually less competitive). So you will be better able to precede your three years in New Haven with a prelim medicine in New Haven. In that sense, you may want to apply to both types of programs. However, I would suggest going for a transitional because you will have some reading time for ophthalmology, and be more rested. Plus, you can always do ward medicine, MICU, or CCU electives on your transitional year if you want (put yourself in the situation, you just worked 80+ hours a week for a month... the next month you can do rheumatology or derm or you can do the same thing all over again.) Medicine will help you for ophthalmology, but I doubt (without having the experience myself) that going from 5 to 9 months of ward medicine and adding on a couple MICU months will be more useful than 5 months of wards and several electives etc.
  4. 4424

    4424 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    i'm also doing ophtho in 2008 and matched for transitional this summer. it was a tough call for me but in the end, i listened to the advice given to me and thought i'd be better rested and have more a chance to prepare for ophtho. you still do MICU and ward months so you will get the training you need in a transitional year. it's just nice to have the elective time to do a month of ophtho, rads, etc. i applied to both and i got a very nice transitional year and you are a bettter candidate step 1 wise than me. good luck to you.
  5. saiyagirl

    saiyagirl Guest

    Aug 23, 2002
    Thank you both for your replies! I would love to hear from people who decided on a prelim program too, just to offer the full balance of opinions?

    Also, this may seem like a strange/irrelevant question, but it's kind of important to it hard to make friends during a transitional year when you're switching rotations every few weeks...versus a prelim year where you would get to know the categoricals pretty well?

    Thanks :)
  6. chicamedica

    chicamedica 1K Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    I am doing prelim medicine this year pre-anesthesiology in a major academic center. I am really thankful for my choice both in terms of opting for prelim medicine as well as doing it at a relatively rigorous program (though I have to say it really has been do-able). I feel like i am getting a quality background in medicine and as i'm studying for step 3 these days, I'm constantly surprised at how much I've learned this year even just by osmosis.

    I am not sure though that my situation is completely comparable to yours, as i can definitely see how surgical experience and time in the OR would benefit you pre-ophtho. For anesthesia, surgical rotations really wont add much compared to the benefit that learning medicine would. However, as far as time in the OR goes, usually surg interns dont get to be in the OR much so be careful about that, especially in a major academic center.

    Another benefit to doing prelim med, considering your difficult decision betw med and ophtho, is that if you fall in love with IM during your prelim med year, it's usually not that difficult to just stay on as categorical IM (some former prelims are actually doing that at my current program). If you decide to go for ophtho and later decide you liked medicine better, you probably wouldnt need to repeat intern year either, especially if you return to the same program where you did prelim. Dont know if the same can be said for transitional year. So in other words, prelim med would leave a lot more possibilities open for you.

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