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

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

  1. forrestrocko

    forrestrocko 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    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 10+ Year Member

    May 24, 2003
    Why would you want to pursue neurosurgery?
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Chief Administrator Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Moving to Allo
    AdmiralChz likes this.
  5. forrestrocko

    forrestrocko 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Haha, b/c it fascinates me. Don't we all want to do what we actually enjoy?
  6. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO 7+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    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.
    Gurby likes this.
  7. Entadus

    Entadus Happy on 5-HT 7+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2008
    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

    forrestrocko 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    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


    Dec 29, 2016
    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.
    Fracture and Gurby like this.
  10. neusu

    neusu Staff Member Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    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?
  11. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    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 10+ Year Member

    May 24, 2003
    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

    forrestrocko 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    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.

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