lunchboxbeats

10+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2008
3
0
Status
Lets say you already have your M.D. and have practiced medicine as a primary care physician for two years, what are the steps to switching to neurosurgery. Lets say the person is 27 years old.
 

Doctor

of Doctors
10+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2006
852
0
Arctic
Status
Post Doc
So did this person graduate college/medical school 3 years early? Usually someone would be 21 out of college, 25 out of med school, 28 out of FP residency, etc. (Of course some others, such as myself, are 10 years behind that schedule.)

Basically though, I'm guessing they'd have to apply to neurosurgery residencies and I'm guessing it would be uber-hard to get in as someone who has already practiced in another field for a while. Someone else will have to tell you how common it is.
 
About the Ads
OP
L

lunchboxbeats

10+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2008
3
0
Status
do you know the requirements to become a surgical fellow; my primary question is if it matters how many years are between when you graduated med school and are applying to the residency?
 

barcalounger

10+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2008
65
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
There is no fellowship path from FP to neurosurgery. This doesn't even sound like a serious question, coming from a practicing physician.

If you wanted to do neurosurgery after family practice, you would have to apply to neurosurgery for a PGY-2 position, do a PGY-1 surgery year, and do the whole residency just like a beginning neurosurgery resident.

If the question is: is age 27 "too old" to start a neurosurgery residency simply from the point of view of a disadvantage in applying, the answer is, "no."
 

dizzyorange

10+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2007
168
8
Status
Right, in fact, 26/27 is the most common age for starting residencies, so you would be fine.
 

NSGYRes

New Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2005
7
0
Status
do you know the requirements to become a surgical fellow; my primary question is if it matters how many years are between when you graduated med school and are applying to the residency?
As a neurosurgeon let me answer this for you.

First, you seem extremely uneducated about how the medical education system works... so I highly doubt you are an actual primary care physician.

If someone graduated medical school. Then did a family practice residency (3 years long) and then praticed independently as a primary care physician for 2 years... they would be approximately 31 years old, not 27. So, I will not address age here, since your age hypothesis is very off unless this person skipped several grades and did a combined B.S./M.D. in 6 years instead of 8 years.

No matter what your specialty is... if you want to "switch" to neurosurgery you have to apply to a neurosurgical residency just like any medical student who might be in his 4th year of medical school who is also applying for neurosurgery. In fact, you would utilize the EXACT same application process and would be applying for the EXACT same positions. There are no special "swtiching into neurosurgery positions". Of course the 4th year medical student has a HUGE advantage in gaining one of those positions over a physician who has been practicing in primary care for 2 years. One, the 4th year med student has access to the neurosurgical department at his medical school, has done recent neurosurgical rotations and has made contacts with neurosurgeons in the academic world who can write him letters of recommendation. Secondly, he has probably done some research projects related to neuroscience or neurosurgery recently.

If someone is in another field and they are serious about wanting to become a neurosurgeon you have to convince your prospective employers (neurosurgical residency directors and chairmen of neurosurgical residencies) that you have the intellectual capacity (neurosurgery is one of the hardest residencies to match into), dedication (this would be especially hard for you to convince them of... you would need to essentially take time off from your job as a primary care physician and "volunteer" your time rotating through hospitals and working with neurosurgeons to prove that you tested your interest ) you would also need to do this to get your letters of recommendation. Even with all of this... your chances are very very low... on the order of less than 10%.
 

BusterDO

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
165
2
VA
Status
Medical Student
cant you just do a fellowship if you decide to switch from FP to NS?
how did i miss this post?

let's see how many fun smilie's i can answer this question with...

:scared::eek::confused::wow::eyebrow:

and of course :lol:
 

spearman

Zorro
10+ Year Member
May 5, 2008
4
0
Status
Post Doc
As a neurosurgeon let me answer this for you.

{...segment deleted}

If someone is in another field and they are serious about wanting to become a neurosurgeon you have to convince your prospective employers (neurosurgical residency directors and chairmen of neurosurgical residencies) that you have the intellectual capacity (neurosurgery is one of the hardest residencies to match into), dedication (this would be especially hard for you to convince them of... you would need to essentially take time off from your job as a primary care physician and "volunteer" your time rotating through hospitals and working with neurosurgeons to prove that you tested your interest ) you would also need to do this to get your letters of recommendation. Even with all of this... your chances are very very low... on the order of less than 10%.

Perhaps his/her chances are not as bad as you estimate..., especially if he sits for a fresh set of USMLE ( to document his intellectual capacity...)
and simultaneously enrols in a "pre-residency" neurosurgical fellowship at an academic institution somewhere (to obtain the case exposure and letters of reference...). If he/she does that, then there is no need to "volunteer" their time for free because of the fellowship stipend (usually at the R2 level).

Buena suerte!
 

Aphelion

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2004
31
0
Jacksonville, NC
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I want to add a little here.

I am military (Navy). My interest is in NS, however you don't train for NS without having gone to sea for a while (2 tours I think) and then you have to pay back the 6 years. So in all the path to NS while military will involve PGY1 + 4-6 years at sea, 6 years residency then 6 year payback. I am 10 years from retirement, which will make it a tough pill to swallow to pay back the 6 years of residency training at 1/2 salary (I could be getting 50% pay without working after military retirement).

So here is this path.

FM residency (3years) payback of scholarship and residency (3 years). Practice as Navy doc (battalion surgeon) until retirement (4). Now I am 47 with no loans and really wanting to be a Neurosurgeon.

Would any of you NS's out there look kindly at this kind of application?
 

mpp

SDN Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2001
3,398
18
Portland, OR
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I don't think it would be a good idea to begin neurosurgery training at age 47. I am thinking you would be at a significant disadvantage during the match.
 

gisel

10+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2009
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Do what ever makes you feel better about yourself, don't be discouraged by the negativity of people, get out there and if NS is your dream then fight for it, like I am fighting for my dream to be a doctor. Listen to wise, encouraging words, learn to recognize negative, downgrading words, not worth listening to.
 
About the Ads

Flownominal

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
262
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Do what ever makes you feel better about yourself, don't be discouraged by the negativity of people, get out there and if NS is your dream then fight for it, like I am fighting for my dream to be a doctor. Listen to wise, encouraging words, learn to recognize negative, downgrading words, not worth listening to.
I agree. If NS is what you truly desire to do, work hard for it. The road might be tough, but what road isn't?
 

JeffLebowski

Just got Nard-dogged
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2008
572
4
Paper Street
Status
Medical Student
There is no fellowship path from FP to neurosurgery. This doesn't even sound like a serious question, coming from a practicing physician.

If you wanted to do neurosurgery after family practice, you would have to apply to neurosurgery for a PGY-2 position, do a PGY-1 surgery year, and do the whole residency just like a beginning neurosurgery resident.

If the question is: is age 27 "too old" to start a neurosurgery residency simply from the point of view of a disadvantage in applying, the answer is, "no."
My guess is that the OP is a foreign medical grad, and is thus less familiar with the U.S. system, and is hoping there is an easy way to transition from his current position as a FP to more desirable one in NS (I'm not saying "more desirable for everyone", but definitely to us and him).

But yeah, the idea of sliding into a "neurosurgery fellowship" to become a board-certified neurosurgeon out of FP is kind of ludicrous. I mean there's not even a way to do that from general surgery, or any other kind of surgery for that matter. You have to match into a full-length (6-7 years), categorical ACGME-accredited residency spot to become a neurosurgeon in the U.S., there's really no way around that.
 

thethom

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2009
182
15
Southeast USA
Status
Attending Physician
LOL at the original question...

(sorry I know its rude)

To the OP, lets also not forget that in most states at least, if you decide to do a second residency, medicare will not pay the hospital for your salary (as they do for "first timers") and the hospital will have to absorb it...
 

GeraldMonroe

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2007
555
0
Texas
Status
Medical Student
Analogous question :

"How do I switch to being an astronaut"?

There's only 188 neurosurgery spots, and over 25,000 new physicians start residency every year in the U.S. You do the math.
 

jabreal00

10+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2009
595
99
USA
Status
Attending Physician
There is no way the the OP was serious. Even a FMG/IMG who is practicing in primary care in the US knows the basics about residencies. They after all applied to their current spot. Most probably tried other fields (surgery, derm, surgical subspecialties) and realized that their applications were dead in the water so primary care was their recourse. ---------------- Listening to: Daddylonglegs - Bareback via FoxyTunes
 

JeffLebowski

Just got Nard-dogged
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2008
572
4
Paper Street
Status
Medical Student
There is no way the the OP was serious. Even a FMG/IMG who is practicing in primary care in the US knows the basics about residencies. They after all applied to their current spot. Most probably tried other fields (surgery, derm, surgical subspecialties) and realized that their applications were dead in the water so primary care was their recourse. ---------------- Listening to: Daddylonglegs - Bareback via FoxyTunes

I don't know, man.

There's some dumb/uninformed people out there.
 

thethom

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2009
182
15
Southeast USA
Status
Attending Physician
Then again, its possible for him in the match if he has good scores, considering most of you AMGs in neurosurg residencies have pretty unimpressive ones (amazing how easy it is to match into NS/ortho/rads/etc based on just the name of your medical school)...
 

GeraldMonroe

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2007
555
0
Texas
Status
Medical Student
Then again, its possible for him in the match if he has good scores, considering most of you AMGs in neurosurg residencies have pretty unimpressive ones (amazing how easy it is to match into NS/ortho/rads/etc based on just the name of your medical school)...
There are AMGs who fail to match with Step 1 scores over 260.
 

JeffLebowski

Just got Nard-dogged
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2008
572
4
Paper Street
Status
Medical Student
Then again, its possible for him in the match if he has good scores, considering most of you AMGs in neurosurg residencies have pretty unimpressive ones (amazing how easy it is to match into NS/ortho/rads/etc based on just the name of your medical school)...
Why would you say something intended entirely to be inflammatory and hostile? Did a NS/ortho/rads/etc resident cut you off on the way to the hospital today?

There are AMGs who fail to match with Step 1 scores over 260.
Just like every other specialty. I would't want to be a part of a profession wherein a really high standardized test score guarantees a spot.
 
About the Ads