Interested in Neurosurgery; did my 1st semester ruin my chances?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by forrestrocko, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. forrestrocko

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    As the subject says, I'm interested in Neurosurgery, but had a horrible first semester. I got a few A's, but also a couple B's and 2 C's. Luckily, no fails. I am in my third year now, and have done quite well since that first semester. For the most part, A's, with a couple B's sprinkled in. I did what I would say is pretty decent on Step 1, a 245. I also have some research to help me out, too, specifically research at a Brain Institute.

    If it makes any difference, my performance during that first semester was due in large part to personal tragedy. In that ONE semester, I lost my best friend, as well as my grandfather (who was like a father), my actual father experiencing a stroke, and my wife filing for divorce. It was truly one blow after another, and I'm hoping that the fact that I was able to forge ahead through that quagmire of **** will allow the residency directors to see that I have what it takes, to be admitted into their program.

    What do you guys think my chances of obtaining a Neurosurgery residency are? I know it's not quite to the level of Ortho, Optho, and Derm, but it's slightly more competitive than most. Any suggestions would be helpful, as to what I could do to set myself apart further. Obviously, my goal is to honor each rotation, but aside from that.....anything?

    Thanks for any replies.
     
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  3. doc05

    doc05 2K Member

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    Why would you want to pursue neurosurgery?
     
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Moving to Allo
     
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  5. forrestrocko

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    Haha, b/c it fascinates me. Don't we all want to do what we actually enjoy?
     
  6. CaptainSSO

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    That’s a great answer, and the correct answer. Don’t forget that. I chose to do a fellowship which *doesnt* fascinate me, that I lied to myself about, and I’m somewhat depressed about it now.
     
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  7. Entadus

    Entadus Happy on 5-HT

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    I got straight passes in my first semester and wound up with AOA.

    Is that typical? No way.
    Did I pull off something miraculous after that? Perhaps.
    Is it possible? Clearly so.
    Will it happen to you? God only knows.
    Was it worth it for me? I sure as hell hope so. At least the residency program directors have liked it, so there's that.
     
  8. forrestrocko

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    Thanks for your replies, I'm hoping that I too, can do what you did Entadus. Captain SSO, I'm sure there was a reason you chose the fellowship you did, even if only a small part, you just need to concentrate on the part that gives you satisfaction. I had a great job with law enforcement prior to med school, and although it was at times exciting, a lot of it was horrible.......gross, depressing, and outright boring. I chose to concentrate on the parts I liked, and not dwell on the rest of it.
     
  9. Anti-PD1

    Anti-PD1 Neurosurgery :)

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    On the neurosurgery trail now. No one cares about preclinical grades.

    What matters: Step 1, research, letters.

    The average Step 1 last year was 249. 245 is a decent score, but it's not going to open every door, just being honest. Work on your CV, rotate well and earn good letters.
     
  10. neusu

    Staff Member Administrator Physician

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    Honestly, I don't think it will matter. Your step score is adequate. Do you have any research? Where do you plan to do aways?
     
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  11. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member

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    No one cares about clinical grades at all. Go get on a departmental research project, even a poster. People care about that and gives you something to talk about on interviews.
     
  12. doc05

    doc05 2K Member

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    A lot of things are fascinating. Make sure you get a ton of exposure to the field. It's very challenging and not for everyone.

    P.S. Not my field but I've seen several colleagues quit early on because it wasn't what they expected. Don't let that happen to you.
     
  13. forrestrocko

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    I was sort of thinking along those lines......I mean, I assumed preclinical grades would matter a LITTLE, but compared to Board scores, rotations, and letters, not nearly as much. So far, I have two away rotations scheduled, one at the University of Kentucky, and another at the University of Utah. If anyone has recommendations of good places to do an away rotation, fire away! doc05, trust me, I've done a ton of research, shadowing (operative days, as well as clinical days), and I still really like NS. You're right, though, although I don't know anyone that actually went into NS, I've read too many stories about it not being what people expected......which is exactly the reason I did so much shadowing. I guess a lot of people see it as being prestigious and elegant? It's really not, lol, it's just more interesting than the other specialties to me.
     
  14. fastlane

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    To get your best idea of what your chances are, look at charting the outcomes from 2016. Unfortunately Neurosurgery is listed to be one of the most competitive Specialties to match. Another option is always to do another research year to bolster your application

    Sent from my SM-G930P using SDN mobile
     
  15. austintr

    austintr 5000 candles in the wind

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    Sounds like a good opportunity to spin things if it comes up during interviews and such. I would guess neurosurgeons need to be more resilient than many other physicians, and I'm sure the divorce rate in NSG is above average for physicians as a whole. So it couldn't hurt to tell them you've been through hell already and it hasn't stopped you yet. Best of luck.
     
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  17. libertyyne

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    If you are serious about nsg. Find a mentor stat. It is my understanding that board scores are not everything matching from a us MD school. Displaying a clear commitment to the specialty connections and research will get you a long way. You can make it happen if you really want this.
     

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