Micro115

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With just considering the following three programs, can you compare how competitive an applicant would be for a pediatric surgery fellowship coming from a general surgery residency at U of Missouri-Columbia vs. Michigan State-Lansing vs. SLU? If I remember correctly, some people on this forum had talked about the strength of SLU's peds program with its stand-alone children's hospital, but what about Michigan State and Missouri-Columbia? U of Missouri-Columbia only has one peds surgeon... does that make a difference? How is the peds surgery experience at both places? How are the peds surgeons and their teaching? I can't find very much on the websites, including where the graduates go, so I'd appreciate anyone's perspective. Thanks.
 

SLUser11

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With just considering the following three programs, can you compare how competitive an applicant would be for a pediatric surgery fellowship coming from a general surgery residency at U of Missouri-Columbia vs. Michigan State-Lansing vs. SLU? If I remember correctly, some people on this forum had talked about the strength of SLU's peds program with its stand-alone children's hospital, but what about Michigan State and Missouri-Columbia? U of Missouri-Columbia only has one peds surgeon... does that make a difference? How is the peds surgery experience at both places? How are the peds surgeons and their teaching? I can't find very much on the websites, including where the graduates go, so I'd appreciate anyone's perspective. Thanks.
The truth is that it would be a very uphill battle from any of these 3 programs because they represent "average midwest academic programs."


As far as which program of the three is the most prestigious, I would say Mizzou, but you just mentioned that their Peds experience is weak, with only one surgeon (whose life must suck by the way). SLU would probably give you the best exposure to Peds surgery, but is not as competitive to get into overall.

If you really want to do Peds, you should go somewhere else, with a big name, because there's only 33 or so spots per year. But, I feel like you've posted a lot of questions on here regarding a certain group of programs, so those big name places may not be an option.

My best advice, and PLEASE LISTEN TO IT, is to rank according to which program you like the most and will give you the best surgical education. Your chance of still wanting to do Peds in a few years is small anyway.....
 

Pir8DeacDoc

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My best advice, and PLEASE LISTEN TO IT, is to rank according to which program you like the most and will give you the best surgical education. Your chance of still wanting to do Peds in a few years is small anyway.....


I've bolded the part that is most important in this thread. Go for a place that will make you happy for 5-7 years (or as happy as any of us are as residents) and let the chips fall as they may. Duke might be the best program ever for producing pediatric surgeons (just an example) but if you don't happen to fit in there and are miserable then: your life will suck, your performance will suffer, and you'll end up not being competitive for fellowship anyway.

This is a tough time of year for the 4th years and I empathize with your decisions. In the end things truly do work out.
 
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Micro115

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Thanks so much to both of you for your responses! I've been creating and modifying my rank list as I'm going through interviews, but I'm still not quite satisfied with it simply because interviewing with a program for 1-2 days is too little time to get a fair perspective. Also, even if I may not have "felt" it at some programs, how do I know that I may end up liking it or adapting to it anyway? Originally, I did not want to come to my current medical school and stay at this location, but in the end, I absolutely love it and would choose it again if I had the opportunity.

So many people tell me that if I don't mesh with the residents during interview day, then I probably won't do so during residency, but I still believe that there are some people out there whose personalities take getting used to. Ultimately, you never know if you'll end up becoming best friends. I guess what I'm trying to say overall is I have more hope for a program than my first impression which is making it really hard to make my rank list. Anyone else go through the same experience?
 

size_tens

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I guess what I'm trying to say overall is I have more hope for a program than my first impression which is making it really hard to make my rank list. Anyone else go through the same experience?
I'm also applying for GS this year and happen to be a SLU student. I agree that first impressions on interview day might not be truly representative, whether positive or negative. In many ways matching to a residency is a bigger commitment than getting married, and finding reliable information to make an informed decision isn't easy. On the bright side, I feel that regulations for medical training are strong enough that any accredited program should provide an adequate education.
 

SLUser11

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On the bright side, I feel that regulations for medical training are strong enough that any accredited program should provide an adequate education.
And if you are happy being adequate, then I guess any residency will do. But, if you want to be excellent, you have to look a little deeper at these programs and see the major flaws that will affect your education.

You can teach a monkey to operate, and I agree that most programs can adequately teach a resident to be an okay technician, but there is so much more to being a general surgeon than that.

The general surgeon is the last true man-of-all-seasons in the hospital. Don't let anyone take that away from us. It's all we have.:(
 

Pilot Doc

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simply because interviewing with a program for 1-2 days is too little time to get a fair perspective.
You make a good point. There is NO way to get a fair perspective to adequately compare multiple programs. Even if you could, programs change over 5 years and so do you. It's a crapshoot - you do the best you can. Residency is truly what you make of it.

So how do you make a rank list? I'd concentrate on figuring out which programs might be a really bad fit for you and moving them down your list rather than worrying about #3 vs #4. If you do need a way to order your list better, use objective, concrete qualities that will clearly affect your happiness - distance to family, affordability of housing, proximity to good ski slopes - whatever is important to you.
 
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