Neurosurgery

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by harlantubal, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. harlantubal

    harlantubal Junior Member

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    Can anyone comment on what a second year medical student do to better his/her chances of getting into a good neurosurgery residency program?
     
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  3. snot wire

    snot wire New Member

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    For ANY competitive specialty (including neurosurgery):
    1. GRADES, as many A's or Honors as possible. Keep this in mind you will be aiming for AOA when all is said and done.
    2. Study your ass off for the USMLE step I. You only get one shot. Aim for bare minimum 230's 240's+ to be comfortable.
    3. In your spare time, set to know the prominent <INSERT SPECIALTY> faculty at your school. <INSERT SPECIALTY> is a small world and people across the country know each other.
    Shadow these people. Look at the lifestyle of these people and see if it REALLY is for you. Also try to get hooked up with a research project. If you end up getting published, great. If you get published in a big name journal even better. If you get first authorship, you da man.

    For after third year:
    4. Take step II early (before you interview) and do well.
    5. Plan to do an away rotation at a place you think you'd really like to go. <Although, in radiology the utility of this is questionable.>

    Goodluck,
    Snot
     
  4. gonzo9111

    gonzo9111 Junior Member

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    ...keep it simple....these are the things neurosurgery programs look at...
    1)Step1 score-anything above 230 (having said that people have matched with less)
    2)AOA (not mandatory) but helps
    3)Research-at least have some kind of experiment you can put on paper and talk about
    4)Good letter of recommendations from other neurosurgeons, also doing away rotations and obtaining letters.

    All neurosurgery programs will train a good neurosurgeon but there are differences in emphasis in academic vs clinical training

    Get to know the neurosurgery program at your school very well
     
  5. harlantubal

    harlantubal Junior Member

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    Thank you to all who answered.....

    Now can people also comment on the pros and cons of a field like neurosurgery?

    i.e.
    Why would you personally choose or not choose neurosurgery?
    Where do you see it going in the future?
    What is the "culture" of the field like?

    Thanks...
     
  6. vmn2

    vmn2 Member

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    You should check out "First Do No Harm" a book written by J. Kenyon Rainer (a neurosurgeon). This will give you a pretty good idea of what the life of a neurosurgeon (especially during residency) is like.

    vmn2
     
  7. lipoyl

    lipoyl Member

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    I think Gonzo's post is right on....can't emphasize the importance of knowing people at your home school for phone calls, etc. Away rotations help too, and are necessary if you really want a shot at the top programs.

    I think the applicant pool this year in n-surg is as competitive as ever.....I really think that the acceptance rate will drop after spiking a bit these last two years.
     
  8. livil

    livil New Member

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    Hey everybody!

    I am a third year med student interested in neurosurgery...but I had a few questions (hoping that some kind, good natured person knowledgeable in the subject would help me out! :).... )
    How important is it to take the Step II before applying to Neurosurgery residency programs? Is it essential? When should I try to get things started in terms of away electives? Is it too late to get some research experience? Does anyone know of any research programs that it is not to late too get involved in? Thanking everyone for their help ahead of time.

    G.
     
  9. lipoyl

    lipoyl Member

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    The only reason to take Step 2 prior to applying for the match is if you feel your step 1 score is not high enough. Most people who do well on Step I do not take step 2 before the match, as you run the risk of scoring lower.

    Start thinking about where you'll do your aways now. Certain places (Columbia, Barrow) get 15-20 rotators/year, and spaces can fill fast. Conversely, if you are looking for a letter from you aways, you might be better served going to a less popular program (ie Pittsburgh, Michigan, UVA) where you are likely to leave a more lasting impression.

    Probably the best place to start research is at your own school. If you just want a quick-hit pub, try doing some chart reviews/case reports with attendings that you know publish a lot. If you have some elective time, a month doing lab work can help too. Don't underestimate the importance of research...I know of several people this year with board scores in the 250's who were snubbed from the top programs because they didn't have any.
    .
     

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