Is it bad to focus too much on a specific subspecialty for residency apps?

little_giant

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I am thinking about taking a research year after 3rd year to conduct research on transplantation, which is what I am pretty interested in. I am interested in applying for gen surg residency, but I think I read somewhere that seeming too gungho about transplantation is not looked favorably by PDs of GS programs - they want to see that we will be fine with doing regular GS procedures like hernias?

So is seeming too passionate about a really small subspecialty within a program not the best way to present myself?

Also side question - does anyone have experience starting clinical research for the first time starting after MS2 after doing solely basic science?
 

wanderingorion

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I think that the consensus is it's alright to talk about your interest in a subspeciality, but also mention that you're open to all the facets of GS and look forward to learning more.

And DM about your side question, that's happened to me.
 
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Banco

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I mean, transplantation is a subset of GS, you're not betraying GS by pursuing research in it. If anything, there is very little research that is pure GS oriented, whatever that even means. Most translational and basic science labs are answering specific questions (oncology, transplantation, immunology etc.) Plus there is no dedicated transplantation I6 or something, so again, no reason to doubt your goals.

Long story short, don't worry about it, do what you like and be productive.
 
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Don't worry about it.
Transplant is a field where lots of surgical skills get utilized and you need a broad GS knowledge base.
Plus, transplant surgeons do occasionally do some "boring" GS stuff on their own patients.
 
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Tenk

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This is fine. Transplant has a good academic rep/vibe. I think, at least in my limited experience, they get more annoyed with applicants who say they want to just go do plastics fellowship after GS residency so they can drive a lambo and have fat stacks of cash. The only reason the PDs don’t like this is because they are jealous af and wish they had done that themselves.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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This is fine. Transplant has a good academic rep/vibe. I think, at least in my limited experience, they get more annoyed with applicants who say they want to just go do plastics fellowship after GS residency so they can drive a lambo and have fat stacks of cash. The only reason the PDs don’t like this is because they are jealous af and wish they had done that themselves.

1605382915817.jpeg
 
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Quantal Reasoning

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This is fine. Transplant has a good academic rep/vibe. I think, at least in my limited experience, they get more annoyed with applicants who say they want to just go do plastics fellowship after GS residency so they can drive a lambo and have fat stacks of cash. The only reason the PDs don’t like this is because they are jealous af and wish they had done that themselves.

Kinda tangential to that, what if money isn't really an issue for you, and you're genuinely interested in Plastics?

Would you tend to believe what an applicant says after that?
 

frenchyn

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The goal of a research year is to increase match chance and match at a good program. I took one....not to gen surg or transplant so my opinion may not apply but here is my thought: If you are competitive to match into a gen surg program, don’t take research year. Do it during residency instead as I know some do (Ped surgery) if transplant fellowship is competitive. Only reason I say so is it is different between doing research as med student vs as resident. As Med student you mainly just help out, you may be author 2-3-4-5 but not first...sometimes none lol...As resident, you have more power to start your own project, take control of it and publish as first author. It is way easier to do research as resident than being a minion as med student
 
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little_giant

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The goal of a research year is to increase match chance and match at a good program. I took one....not to gen surg or transplant so my opinion may not apply but here is my thought: If you are competitive to match into a gen surg program, don’t take research year. Do it during residency instead as I know some do (Ped surgery) if transplant fellowship is competitive. Only reason I say so is it is different between doing research as med student vs as resident. As Med student you mainly just help out, you may be author 2-3-4-5 but not first...sometimes none lol...As resident, you have more power to start your own project, take control of it and publish as first author. It is way easier to do research as resident than being a minion as med student
Thank you! Our research advisors actually said something similar - don't take a research year unless you change your plans really late, are gunning for a really competitive specialty, or you have a really good opportunity for research. What you said makes sense. I am only considering it because I want to go back home for residency in the NE, which I know is very competitive for many specialties (though GS isn't the most competitive, getting into a well known one there is still difficult)
 

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