emelec4life

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I am writing in regards to ask if there is still hope for my husband to have residency in Anesthesiology?

He is a US Grad 'class of 2008" at a University medical school
This will be he second attempt for Match in 2009.
He has had several attempts in step 1 and 2ck
Has NOT taken step 3

I hope some one on this forum can help answer this question
along with any helpful information you can suggest to help better his chances to get into this field of work.
 

coprolalia

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Well, first off, he can start by coming here and posting himself instead of his wife (no offense).

Secondly, with "several attempts" at Step 1 and Step 2 CK, he's going to have a hard time getting a gas spot, unless you are willing to apply to all programs and go anywhere. The fact that he did not match this year says a lot (again, no offense intended).

Best bet is to start another residency (like FP or IM) and try to switch into a program that needs to fill a spot. We did that with a guy in your husband's position when we lost a resident last year. The guy we lost was great and the one who sub'ed in for him is terrible and probably won't make it through the program, but he's getting his chance. Anesthesia ain't for everyone.

-copro
 

2ndyear

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I'd say yes. Is he in an internship now? Spots do become available with relative frequency for PGY-2 years, but you absolutely have to complete an internship to get one. It's also a good way of getting some recommendations of your real work skills as a physician. He can get step 3 out of the way somewhere in there and do his best to get a good score on 1 attempt. I realize that it was a competitive match this year, but there are still a lot of spots. Being able to go anywhere will help a lot. If you're looking only in southern california or NYC then it will be much, much harder.
 
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emelec4life

emelec4life

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None taken :) Corpo

reason for myself asking. Is due to the fact that as of Now I am the only strong one trying to hold up this family together.
He is still down on the fact that he didn't match.
So I am at least trying to give him some support with suggestions from others.
We both talked about this field and know that it is very competitive.
and,,He has thought about considering another field like FM "as 2nd year was suggesting"
He was just wondering if later on he can fields and go into Anesthesiology
if he can not get in on his own with Match.
To your question 2nd year
No, he is not in residency at all right now.
this is why He was thinking if he should just apply for FM for next years match and then try to change that field later on, and then try to get a spot in Anesthesiology.
or should he just apply for Anesthesiology. and go from there?
 

jennyboo

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With multiple attempts at passing the boards (a huge red flag to potential employers, no matter how understandable the reasons), he can't afford to put all eggs into the anesthesia basket. I would not waste any more time applying only to anesthesia programs (else you can end up without a job for yet another year). Sure, apply to them, but add a back-up specialty (family medicine, whatever), apply widely for that too (even in FM I suspect he will get a lot of rejections).

At this point, unless you guys are already financially independent he needs a job, which means he needs to not only start but finish a residency -- any residency. In the real world, there is no perfect field of medicine for anyone and the bottom line is employment. You can't be employed as a board certified physician if you have not completed a residency or if you do an internship (preliminary year in medicine or surgery, or transitional year) and can't find a residency afterward.

Don't get me wrong, I like anesthesiology. But it ain't all that, and the bottom line is that it's employment. Few of us are totally and inflexibly in love with our jobs (don't get me wrong, I like anesthesiology, but I could adjust to doing some other field of medicine too -- and so can he). With a very weak application (flunked boards multiple times), the smartest strategy is to find any full residency that you can, and try to avoid getting stuck doing a preliminary year and then not being able to find a residency after that.

At this point, finding employment is more important than finding the "perfect field" for you. And in my personal opinion, any full residency -- even if it's not in your first choice field -- is better than doing a prelim year and being slave to some hospital for a year, then being let go only to reapply through the match and not get anything after that. Like I said, there's no such thing as that ideal field of medicine that you'll love and feel a "calling" for -- just earning your keep at a job that can keep you cheerful (because there are worse jobs).
 

fakin' the funk

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Good to see that we get the cream of the crop here in the Anesthesiology forum.

Couldn't resist, but seriously you should check out the rest of Emelec4Life's posts about the trials and tribulations of the husband
 

Coastie

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Wow, I checked out the previous posts. If this poster is for real, then there is a guy with 5 kids and 3 failed step 1s, failed step 2 ck, and no prospects for a job with huge medical school debt.

Somehow that all makes the troubles of intern year seem a lot less troublesome.
 

InductionAgent

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No, he is not in residency at all right now.
this is why He was thinking if he should just apply for FM for next years match and then try to change that field later on,
Looking into next year's match may ultimately be the best option, but in the meantime, I would look high and low to see if there's not still some FM or other residencies or prelim years with spots yet unfilled. There's plenty of time before July 1 this year, so he might as well see if he can find something
 

buckhorn

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We both talked about this field and know that it is very competitive.
and,,He has thought about considering another field like FM "as 2nd year was suggesting"
He was just wondering if later on he can fields and go into Anesthesiology
if he can not get in on his own with Match.
To your question 2nd year
No, he is not in residency at all right now.
this is why He was thinking if he should just apply for FM for next years match and then try to change that field later on, and then try to get a spot in Anesthesiology.
or should he just apply for Anesthesiology. and go from there?
You can't practice medicine in the USA without passing boards. I would suggest that passing the boards would be priority one. He should secure a FP position since FP residency would be good review for boards plus allow pleanty of time to study to pass the boards.
Alternatively he many want to consider the route many FMGs take, Find the best Kaplan center near you go their 12 hour a day to study until he can ace the boards.
Once he has passed step I, II, & III he may be able to consider trying to get into an Anesthesia residency. Otherwise he may want to consider jobs outside of medicine.
I have heard that some less desirable states have less rigorous standards for passing the board, I.E. an easier state board exam.
 

camkiss

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To add to what everyone else has said, you also have to think about ability to pass Anesthesiology Boards. Our board exams are NOT easy. Failed USMLE exams will likely mean having a hard time passing our boards. If I were you, I would look into FP or IM spots still open.
 

amyl

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I know this is kind of harsh to hear.... but seriously, I am listening to audio blue now (a review source for the anesthesiology boards)...at least the sections I have listened to are strongly based in step one material. I can't imagine not having a good grasp of that material and being able to pass the Anesthesiology boards.
it may suck but there is a reason why programs look at board scores..there are exceptions but in general i think there is a pretty good correlation between ability to do well on the usmle exams and the real boards.
not passing the anesthesiology boards is a really big deal -- I think they are only offered once a year (someone please correct me if I am wrong) so you sit out a whole year again if you fail. then finding a job (horrible! i would imagine if you failed the Anesthesiology boards)....
look at the bright side, he will still be a doctor and make a good living....no one should ever be down about being any sort of doctor...it is a great accomplishment. tell him to remember that ---not just anyone can do it. get him a spot somewhere in something and then see if something opens up but I think it would be really bad to sit out another year.
 

narcusprince

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Amyl
Not to threadjack but your already listening to audio blue. Your making me nervous ohh well maybe I should crack Morgan and Mikhail on my cruise. By the way missed you at dinner Amyl.
The Prince
 

Planktonmd

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It's just the wrong time to do anesthesia for people with marginal situations, 10 years ago anyone could have gotten an anesthesia spot while it was difficult to get into medicine and other primary care specialties, everyone then thought that the future was for primary care medicine because of the changes that health care system was going through.
In a few years when anesthesia jobs start shrinking and our salaries start going down the cycle might start over and anesthesia residencies might start having trouble filling up their spots, after all this is how it always was, a cycle.
You can actually think about it in a similar manner to the mortgage crisis, every one wants to become an anesthesiologist like every one wanted to become a real estate investor.
 

Gern Blansten

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Just want to clarify something Amy stated. If you fail the written boards, you do not "sit out" a year. You continue at whatever job you had and retake the exam the next year. The problem that many have is that they work more hours at their private practice job initially than they may have during the end of their residency. The further away you are from residency, the harder the exam is to pass (more money, more responsibility, more family commitments, more $ for more vacations, away from the educational environment, out of the study mode and difficult to get back into it, etc) so the miserable pass rate for retakers is understandable (below 50% of retakers pass-moral of the story, prepare and pass on first try).

So, while you don't sit out a year, your future may be in peril. Most groups have board certification as part of the requirement to become partner. So, not making it could cost you a couple hundred thousand, PER YEAR!! Not to mention the heartache that goes along with not passing it year after year. Pretty soon you realize that your kids are grown up and you missed it, and you're STILL not board certified. This scenario is not too uncommon.
Meanwhile, family med board certification pass rates have traditionally been in the high 90's.

So, finishing a residency in Family Med usually means you have the info to become board certified. Finishing anesthesiology...not necessarily. And we haven't even discussed the oral boards yet!

Trouble with standardized exams can be a real problem, and I believe that, more often than not, it is a warning sign for people that may struggle with the certification exam(of course, everyone knows someone who struggled with the USMLE but was an outstanding resident and killed the certification exam, but they are more the exception than the rule).

If I were the hubby, I would pursue a different residency. He, unfortunately, picked the field of anesthesiology at the height of its popularity(had he graduated in the late 90's and had a pulse, he could have gotten a spot). If he sits out a year, it will make it even more of an uphill climb for academic and financial reasons(you will be broke and hungry and nobody wants a candidate who has not been in clinical medicine for a couple of years, especially with the USMLE black marks)

It is my opinion that the ship has sailed for now on anesthesiology and waiting until next year will not make things better. It seems harsh, but I learned pretty early on that I didn't get to be an orthopod or dermatologist (not that I wanted to be). Maybe in a few years, things may be different for him.
 

kraphtymac

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If it were me, I would strongly consider contacting drug companies about being a drug rep. If you've had that many Step failures, that's a problem. Maybe that's mean, but the step exams are meant to make sure you can be a doctor.
 

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Jeff05

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i'm sorry to hear about your situation.

some practical thoughts.
1. anesthesiology is a relatively competitive specialty, there are far less competitive fields he can apply to...
2. having said this, i do not believe it is possible to do a residency without passing step 1.

3. this brings up a difficult to discuss issue: a part of medicine is memorization and application of certain concepts. while grossly imperfect, the boards do test some of those concepts. while i sympathize with the fact that your husband has 5 children, it would be fair to say that the responsibility of raising them should not amount to a substandard medical education. it seems that due to his other responsibilities your husband has not been able to fulfill his med school tasks. personally, i would not want to go see a physician who is so busy with other things in life, no matter how important, that he does not have time to study medicine.

i would either
1. have him take a hard core princeton review/kaplan class and then take the boards again...
2. explore careers where a medical degree would be useful.

best of luck,
jeff
 
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emelec4life

emelec4life

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I would just like to Thank everyone on here for all your inputs :)
My husband and I
both understand that this is a very competitive field.
I believe with all the hard work he put into Medical school just like others on this forum.
This field is just not meant to be for him.
and I believe that he has come to realize that.
Thanks to all for the words of wisdom and advise.
and I wish nothing but the best to all in your future!
 

TaiShan

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The other option is to finish FM residency first, then look for anesthesia spots when he is WORKING as a FP. I know several people going through the path. Programs will probably look at him differently when he becomes a board-certified attending. For you guys, it will be much less stressful finanically and emotionally.
 

amyl

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prince - listening to audio blue for the first time while driving to work etc. not sure how much I am getting out of it while driving honestly as he runs through formulas and regional anatomy too quickly to get much info just listening. kill your liver on your cruise it will not be long before we have soooo much to study and read.
 
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