DZT

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Is it really that much easier to get a plastics spot after general surgery? I know that the placement rate when a senior med student applies is 58-60% but what is the placement rate for those who apply as a general surgery resident. Thank you for your responses.
 

GSresident

PGY4 on July 1, 04
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Last year's rate was around 40% and it probably won't be any better this year, probably worse. There are more applicants this year and fewer spots. If I were you I would try to get a spot from medical school. Its only going to get harder and harder to get a spot after GS. Every place I have been to so far this year has either had an integrated program or was in the process of switching. By the time you apply if you decide to go the general surgery route, there will be far fewer programs than there are now.
 

dr. troy

Univ. of Oklahoma
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The placement rate from Medical School is not that high. This year there is a pool of just under 300 for 70 spots. Thats about a 25% match rate. The rest of us will do general or something. There are more fellowship spots with fewer applicants, and the rate of match has usually been about 50%. Check the numbers yourself online. Also, I am not sure how competitive it is too match a fellowship, or even what makes you competitive there, maybe someone else can comment on that. But to match into integrated, you must be the best of the best, AND have a personality that attracts program directors to you. By the time you are there, you will need a Step I score of 240 and great letters from away rotations. And thats just to get interviews. It is really pretty much like that now.

Anyone know this year's fellowship applicant# vs spots?
What makes a competitive fellowship applicant?
 

dr. troy

Univ. of Oklahoma
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Also, the poster above said that places are in the process of switching to integrated programs. Thats just not exactly accurate. This is evidenced by the fact that only ONE new integrated program has opened in the last 5-10 years or so, that's Las Vegas, and they are new, not switched from a traditional route. It is very difficult to get RRC approval for and integrated program. Hell, 3 or 4 integrated programs have CLOSED in the last ten years.
 

GSresident

PGY4 on July 1, 04
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Dr. Troy,
There are ~400 applicants chasing <100 spots for fellowship this year. Of those 400, at least 50 didn't match last year and are applying again, having secured hand or burn fellowships. There are at least 20 programs in the fellowship match this year that already have combined/integrated residencies set up and are offering fellowship spots either to fill vacancies or because they are awaiting approval to switch completely to the combined/integrated model. If I were a 3rd year medical student, I would see the writing on the wall. By the time they apply for fellowships it will be 6 years from now. My guess is that there will be at the very minimum 20 fewer fellowship spots and more likely about 50 fewer spots. Meanwhile the number of applicants will continue to skyrocket as interest in plastic surgery continues to increase.

There have been numerous programs in the last 10 years that have switched from the independant model to the combined/integrated model. The one that I have the most experience with is KU. When I was an intern (2001) they matched their first combined resident. Now it has completely switched over and is no longer combined but integrated. Almost every place I have been this year has been in the process of switching to a combined program. One noteable exception is U Louisville but they didn't specifically address the issue. Dr. Oliver would be a better person for info on those plans. Other programs (MCG) for instance have been very open about their desire to switch. On my site I have links to every fellowship program in the country and if you want more specific info on how many spots they offer you could check there.

Bottom line is that beneath the surface a lot of programs are planning on switching and the number of fellowship spots will be drastically lower 5 or 6 years from now. If you want to be a plastic surgeon you should do everything possible to secure a spot from medical school. If not then do general surgery at a place that has a strong plastic surgery department. Publish a couple of papers. Score in the top 25% on the absite every year. Get to know the plastic surgery department at your institution. When it is your turn to apply then roll the dice and keep your fingers crossed. There are no givens in the fellowship match. I know people who didn't match last year who did 12, 14, and 17 interviews. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of them and they meet the 'ideal applicant' mold. Its just tough and its going to get tougher. Best of luck.