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Hmmmmm....I don't know whether I agree with this

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DropkickMurphy, Dec 2, 2005.

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Is there any benefit to telling the ADCOM you want to be a primary care doc?

  1. Yes, it will help because ADCOM's prefer those

    9 vote(s)
    8.9%
  2. No, it won't help

    16 vote(s)
    15.8%
  3. Depends on the school

    64 vote(s)
    63.4%
  4. I don't know

    12 vote(s)
    11.9%
  1. DropkickMurphy

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    I was having a conversation with another premed- he's told me that he is planning to be a plastic surgeon- but he told me that he plans on telling the ADCOMs that he wants to be a FP doc. Seeing as how he is from the next town over from mine (read as: very rural) he thinks that the ADCOM's will look more favorably upon him seeing as he is "going to be a rural family practice doc".

    Now, I told him that I don't think they really give a crap what he says he's planning on doing (unless it is something along the lines of "Show me the money!"), since desires are subject to change once we actually experience medical practice for ourselves. His response was to do the same as he plans on doing- given that my disdain for primary care is well known both in person and on here. I have no plans to follow his advice, but what does everyone think about what I told him? I'd especially appreciate the advice of someone such as LizzyM or another ADCOMer.
     
  2. the negative 1

    the negative 1 Bovie to "war crimes" please
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    The one thing I've heard over and over is never say you want to be a surgeon. Ironically, all the people who have told me this are surgeons. Their reasoning being that everyone hates surgeons and think that their egomaniacal pricks. Now this may not apply if your interviewer is a surgeon.

    Nevertheless, my own interest is in emergency and critical care medicine, which is what I flat out say. My research and work experiences all relate to trauma and critical care, and I am very passionate about my desire to continue focusing on these areas as a medical doctor.
     
  3. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    ^^ I don't know about - I got accepted into a school where I said I was interested in surgery (and emergency med). Of course, I was interviewed by a retired surgeon and an M4 applying for trauma surgery residencies....
     
  4. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Any place that would put a very large weight on PCP probably wouldn't be the best place to get a plastics residency from.
     
  5. the negative 1

    the negative 1 Bovie to "war crimes" please
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    My point exactly.
     
  6. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    He shouldn't lie like that. The adcom will probably see through it anyway.

    I'm from a rural area too, but I was honest and said that I didn't want to do primary care (I don't want to do surgery either though FYI). I don't know how well that worked, but I did get an interview at that school. Actually, recently I've been thinking maybe primary care would be a good fit for me afterall. I do agree with you that it's pretty ridiculous for any of us pre-meds to *know* what exact area of medicine we will end up in.
     
  7. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    I think ad coms like to hear the truth. I also think they like to hear, "I'm especially interested in X, Y, and maybe Z, but I'm keeping an open mind...", assuming that's the truth.
     
  8. DrBuro

    DrBuro Senior Member
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    I think ADCOMS don't really give a crap unless you blurt out a field that doesn't even exist.. something like boobology. I think the question is designed to show whether or not you have a sincere interest in medicine. They can tell you're not really interested if it takes you 5 minutes to come up with an answer.
     
  9. gdbaby

    gdbaby Prettier than before
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    I was told by the Dean of Admissions at Colorado when I visited the school last year (must of been some crappy visit since I haven't received an interview) that within the next 20 years there is going to be a shortage of ALL physicians in all specialties, so they don't weight primary care over any other interest in seeking matriculants.
     
  10. sanford_w/o_son

    sanford_w/o_son locl jnky-gota thred man?
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    at an research-focused place, i'd imagine they'd pick someone interested in a specialized area over someone interested in primary care, all else being equal.
     
  11. unicorn06

    unicorn06 Senior Member
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    Just don't say dermatology, even if that's what you're interested in...because then they'll think you just want to take the easiest way out...
     
  12. DropkickMurphy

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    I hope they see through it. Although, he is a very good liar.

    Why do you think primary care would be a good fit for you? That is if you don't mind me asking.
     
  13. SarahGM

    SarahGM Senior Member
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    If *anything* (and this is a big IF), I would say that ADCOMs want to admit people that they see as potential great contributors to the field of medicine... people who will make discoveries, who will be known as teaching greats, etc... people who will make a name for themselves and the institution from which they came.
     
  14. MDDM

    MDDM Senior Member
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    DUDE! Dermatology is by no means the easiest way out. You need stellar grades and boards... In fact, if you say derm. they might realize you're a hard worker and would boost their board scores due to your high ambitions. It's true that once you're all done with your residency it's an "easy way out" in a sense that you would have an easy-going lifestyle, but do you really, honestly think that ADCOMS care much for that as much as they care for how you would perform in their school and represent it? After all, it only adds prestige to the school's name if it has graduates going to the most competitive residencies and scoring >90% on their boards.
     
  15. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff internship ughhhhhhhhhhhh
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    At the same time, you don't want to sound overly noble as if you're the savior to the sick and someone who will revolutionize the medical world etc...

    I wouldn't say ADCOMs don't care about what kind of doctor you hope to be; if they didn't, they wouldn't ask it in interviews. That kind of q can give them insight on more than your interests, things like your reasons for going into medicine.

    At my state school I was honest about what I wanted to do (radiation oncology or radiology or nuclear med etc, things that are not primary care) , even though this school is ranked top 10 in primary care, and I believe that my response was received positively, because ultimately the reason that they accept people from rural areas is this: they are more likely to return to those areas to practice. If you're from podunk, you might go back to podunk after med school, but if you're from metropolis, why the heck would you go to podunk? that's the pull to accept people from rural areas. of course nothing is for certain and they understand that, but at least in my state, that's the reason for the kind of geographical diversity they were looking for - you're more likely to return to an underserved area if you're from one.
     
  16. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    I haven't read anything above, but I know that one should not lie about their intentions into medicine. We need an increase of physicians in primary care, and so it is definitely an advantage at certain school to state your intended interests. DON'T LIE! Its wrong and a very bad way to start your professional career.
     
  17. MDDM

    MDDM Senior Member
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    Exactly... A med. school naturally wants those who will make its name shine... And keep in mind that prospective students look at match lists for schools when they make their decisions, so having students who end up in the most prestigious places is sort of like killing two birds with one stone for these ADCOMS... They would have a good match reputation AND would attract the best prospective students to their school.
     
  18. CerealBox

    CerealBox Senior Member
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    Some schools (a lot of the public ones) specifically state on their websites that they give preference to people wanting to serve underserved communities... So yes, it may help. But I agree with what Brett said above, the schools that are big on primary med probably wouldn't be the best ones to go to to get into a competitive plastics residency
     
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    To some, when you say you are interested in dermatology, you are really saying you are interested in a high paying lifestyle field. This sounds to some like you might be going into medicine for the wrong reasons, so unless there is some specific reason why you want to do derm (a compelling life-changing brush with skin cancer perhaps), its a dangerous area to profess your interest. Surgeons often say don't say surgery, because if you claim you want to do surgery before you actually have even seen one, you are basing your opinions on television or some other bad reason. Finally, I agree with the other poster who said that some schools (especially a few state schools) have mission statements requiring them to serve underserved populations in their state, and thus may have a mandatory bias toward primary care types, so do your research on this.
     
  20. MDDM

    MDDM Senior Member
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    If you look at residency match lists for most schools, you would find a great percentage of the students going into internal medicine and other primary care fields, which I think is simply due to the fact that those areas are not competitive. I don't think the shortage is in internists or other primary care givers per se. The shortage is in primary care fields in certain geographical areas. So if you say you want to go to primary care, it does not necessarily signify that you would be serving some underserved community in rural Wyoming. As for saying you're interested in surgery, it doesn't necessarily mean you're making the claim without seeing one (or only watching it on TV). I myself shadowed live, real-time surgery procedures. Additionally, many undergrad schools offer human anatomy as a course, so if you fell in love with that class, it can be another valid reason for saying surgery. If confronted by such a question and you did not really have a preference, there is really no reason to lie. Saying that you are leaving your options open is a perfectly fine response. After all, the reason you do your rotations is to get a real grip on various areas in medicine in order to make your choice of residency.
     
  21. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I agree that he shouldn't lie, but I don't see how you guys figure that an adcom would know that kind of thing about you. Obviously, if you shadowed 25 surgeons and then declared that you wanted to be an FP, they'd call BS, but for the most part, I don't think it's too important to them.
     
  22. DropkickMurphy

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    Well, then I guess it looks like I want to be a surgeon- I've shadowed several. Of course I've also shadowed quite a few FP docs, several pathologists, a couple of cardiologists, etc.
     
  23. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    Yeah I suck (very badly) at lying, plus I feel dirty afterwards, so I avoid it. I suppose that if he is good at lying, then it might help him get in to med school. (Incidentally, I just found out today that EVMS waitlisted me, so maybe telling them what I did wasn't the optimal strategy, but I feel good in that I didn't lie).

    As for the primary care thing, I enjoy interacting with patients, and it's an area where there aren't enough doctors. Up until recently, I guess I was kind of hung up on the prestige (and admittedly higher and more stable salary) of being a specialist, but I think it might be really great to be a family practice doctor and get to take care of your patients long term and get to know them. And you also have to know at least a little bit about a lot of things, so there would be more variety that way. Like I said though, it's just a possibility that I would like to find out more about, and maybe I won't like it afterall.
     
  24. DropkickMurphy

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    I am personally not interested in "getting to know" my patients in any sense regarding a long term relationship, I am only interested in taking the best care of them, making them better and moving on to new challenges. Part of the reason for this is that if you become close with your patients it hurts that much more when you can't do anything for them. :(


    Beyond that there is also the crappy hours, the high stress and the low pay of being a primary care doc....I think anyone who becomes an FP doc is deserving of the highest level of respect and gratitude for the level of sacrifice they are making.
     
  25. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    I was extremely involved in medical care as a patient family member for several years. I truly felt that getting to know patients was part of good care. Unless a patient is totally unconscious, you need to know them in order to render optimum care. That's not possible in all situations, but if it is and you neglect it, you're not going to give the best care.

    As an example, the patient I was there for was extremely intelligent and aware of treatment options, meds, etc. Doctors who didn't notice this would waste time explaining things as if to an idiot or wouldn't explain at all, giving up a valuable ally (the patient). Honestly, the patient was probably more intelligent than the average doctor, so after years with an unusual and chronic condition, I'd have to say she was an expert on her own medical needs. Any doctor who didn't take the time to learn that was an idiot.
     
  26. DropkickMurphy

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    There's a difference between getting to know a patient in the sense of realizing that they are an individual with differing levels of intelligence and needs, and getting to know a patient in the sense of having a relationship with them, as in their becoming almost a friend. It is the latter category that I do not seek out as a priority.
     

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