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Ortho research if interested in general surgery?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by frodohobo, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. frodohobo

    frodohobo 2+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2013
    I have the opportunity to do research with an orthopedic surgeon at a hospital or with my anatomy professor at my program. If I'm only kinda interested in ortho but for sure want to do general surgery at least, which type of research would benefit me? Would it look bad to GS residencies of I did ortho research? As in it looks like I didn't get into ortho and went GS as a backup. Should I play it safe by doing just general anatomical research which is more universally related to surgery?
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  3. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Do the one that is more likely to get you publications, it's really as simple as that. Obviously the ideal situation is that you do your research in the field you end up applying to, but any (published) research is better than no research!
    tiedyeddog and DermViser like this.
  4. JJMrK

    JJMrK J to the J Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2007
    Orthopaedics and general surgery are actually really different and in my experience, usually appeal to a different subset of students. It's worth investing some effort to figure out which you want to do. If ortho, you should be doing ortho research.
  5. DrEnderW

    DrEnderW 5+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    Rishi Maze
    I'm not disagreeing at all, but I would be curious to hear you elaborate on that.

    I have respectable ortho experience/research/pubs for my stage in the game but limited GS exposure even though it intrigues me intellectually and technically.
  6. Petypet

    Petypet Physician 7+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    If you are interested in ortho do the ortho research, for both publications and contacts. If you are interested in anything else, do whichever one will give you more opportunities to publish and be involved. Don't over think it because in the end its the time spent, publications, and experience that are more important.
  7. Winged Scapula

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

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    The problem with Ortho research is if the OP decides to apply for GS and his app is filled with "Ortho this, Ortho that", GS programs will assume he's only applying as a back up.

    So good for Ortho, not so much for GS. Not an application killer but it must be trod on lightly.
    DermViser and southernIM like this.
  8. giantswing

    giantswing 7+ Year Member

    Jan 12, 2010
    This. Plus, ortho won't care if its gs research.
  9. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    As WS said, you run the risk that programs will view GS as either a literal backup specialty (i.e. you're cross applying to ortho and general surgery in the match) or a figurative backup (i.e. you decided you weren't competitive enough for ortho and "settled" for general surgery).

    It's not a killer, but is worth being mindful of.

    If it is a productive research project, I don't think there is anything wrong with spinning it that you were passionate about the project, learned a lot from a great mentor, but realized general surgery was what you are passionate about.
  10. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    Exactly. If you apply to General Surgery with Ortho ECs, Ortho pubs, they will automatically assume and hold on to the belief you're using their field as a backup regardless of your protest to the contrary.
  11. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    That's why I think it's so precarious for OP to choose carefully. Many people cross apply in Derm with others, but it's much easier -- you can do research in cutaneous oncology and then say that spurred your interest in Heme Onc, autoimmune derm and then say it spurred your interest in Allergy/Rheum, do dermpath stuff and say it spurred your interest in path, or Pedi Derm research and say that's why you liked Peds.

    Ortho is so separate from GS that any explanation 0n the part of the applicant will look like they're stretching it at the best, and look like a liar at the worst.
    roflolhahaha and JJMrK like this.

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