Possible match in Gen Surg?

skylina

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    I know, I know another "can i match" post. I apologize if this is redundant, but unfortunately my medical school's advising is far from helpful. I tried to set up an appointment with PD of our school hospital and got a "he doesn't meet with students" reply from secretary. Needless to say, I still do speak to deans who advised to dual-apply.

    -Briefly, I failed 1 semester of Pathology my second year and thus had to retake the semester, I passed all other 1st/2nd yr courses.
    -Step 1: 217
    -P on all Clinical Rotations except surgery which I got an HP (Clinical honors, shelf put me down).
    -2 papers in surgery, with ongoing research.

    I was wondering if I could get some advice regarding the following:

    -I am applying for General Surgery, but wanted to know an honest assessment of my chances given the failure of 1 course, the mediocre step 1 and HP in surgery. Should I apply to a back-up specialty (IM) or pre-lim surg? If the latter, are there any suggestions of pre-lim places that are highly reputable for placement after 1 yr. It seems to vary widely between programs and year.

    - I am very realistic and understand big academic programs are out of the question. But what about smaller academic programs? Also, any suggestions for community programs in the Midwest or Northeast that are reputable.

    Thank you very much, any other advice would be appreciated as well.
     

    Black Surgeon

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      I know, I know another "can i match" post. I apologize if this is redundant, but unfortunately my medical school's advising is far from helpful. I tried to set up an appointment with PD of our school hospital and got a "he doesn't meet with students" reply from secretary. Needless to say, I still do speak to deans who advised to dual-apply.

      -Briefly, I failed 1 semester of Pathology my second year and thus had to retake the semester, I passed all other 1st/2nd yr courses.
      -Step 1: 217
      -P on all Clinical Rotations except surgery which I got an HP (Clinical honors, shelf put me down).
      -2 papers in surgery, with ongoing research.

      I was wondering if I could get some advice regarding the following:

      -I am applying for General Surgery, but wanted to know an honest assessment of my chances given the failure of 1 course, the mediocre step 1 and HP in surgery. Should I apply to a back-up specialty (IM) or pre-lim surg? If the latter, are there any suggestions of pre-lim places that are highly reputable for placement after 1 yr. It seems to vary widely between programs and year.

      - I am very realistic and understand big academic programs are out of the question. But what about smaller academic programs? Also, any suggestions for community programs in the Midwest or Northeast that are reputable.

      Thank you very much, any other advice would be appreciated as well.


      will you be a US grad?
       
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      VeryVeryTired

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        A cursory glance would lead me to guess that you could match as a categorical somewhere as long as you play the game correctly, and barring other factors that may further impair you.

        Matching is highly dependent upon the number of programs you rank. The number of programs you rank should be equivalent to the number at which you interview (if you are truly willing to do what it takes to be a surgeon). Finally, your number of interviews is bound by the number of programs to which you apply. Now, combine this with being realistic regarding where you apply (save 1-2 stretches for peace of mind), and you should match.

        If I were you, and assuming I were back in third year (I'm guessing based on the time of year), I would do my utmost to earn some better grades on upcoming rotations, have some LoC writers fall in love with me, and show a stronger Step 2 in time for it to matter. I would also try to get an away at a program I like at the upper end of my plausible match range as I perceive it. Finally, when the time came to apply, I would not apply to a back-up specialty. Instead, I would just apply to more GS programs likely to take me. Most here pursue surgery because they could not imagine any other career. I am an aberration as I am in surgery exclusively to earn millions annually and spend my copious free time flying a G650 full of hookers between Vegas and Miami clubs.

        FYI, "prelim" is an abbreviation of "preliminary," and therefore does not take a hyphen. It should, however, technically take a period to show the abbreviation, but I suspect that this is just a sign of me getting touchy post-call.
         

        skylina

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          Thanks a lot verytired, I appreciate your comments/suggestions. Do you know of a list/thread somewhere that gives a good idea of prelim (noted proper spelling) programs that match well, or is this a "word-of-mouth" thing?
           

          Black Surgeon

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            Relax, a 217 isn't "mediocre", its prob along the lines of an acceptable score with 220s being average, 230s solid and 240 great etc... Don't sell yourself short, a mid to low tier academic should be within your reach. Look at the NRMP match report. Your chances with a 217 should give you more than 70% chances of matching, and if you take step 2 before the second week of September and score a 230 or higher than you may have a chance at some of the more competitive programs. I personally know plenty from the class of 2011 and 12 with similar step 1 and a good peformance on step 2 who have done well.

            Grades in the first 2 years won't keep you from matching.

            Your research is a plus, but becareful not to alienate community programs
            .
            Your weakest point is prob your third year grades, although they can be deemed acceptable. Having good LOR can help offset those.

            Take step 2 early, apply to a good number of programs, ensure a good mix of academic and community programs, be realistic. An away or two at reach programs can help.

            Just a subjective opinion , take it with a grain of salt.

            It's extremely surpising that your dean doesn't meet with students, that sounds very weird to me.
             
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            Black Surgeon

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              There is no good preliminary program IMO. Stay far away from prelim, they are mostly dead ends.

              Plus, It is way too early, I wouldn't even consider that an option at this point. If you find yourself having to participate in the new scramble system then you can pose that question again. However, I doubt you'll have difficulty matching into A program.
               

              skylina

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                Thanks BlackSurgeon. Appreciate the advice, and re: Prelims, from reading through sdn it seems that some of the more "desirable" prelim spots get filled up rather fast, and marginal candidates are applying to/ranking them, so I thought I would inquire about which ones are worth applying to.

                Also, to clarify, it was not the dean but the Gen Surg Program Director of the hospital a/w my school. Still odd and annoying.
                 

                SLUser11

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                  Thanks BlackSurgeon. Appreciate the advice, and re: Prelims, from reading through sdn it seems that some of the more "desirable" prelim spots get filled up rather fast, and marginal candidates are applying to/ranking them, so I thought I would inquire about which ones are worth applying to.

                  Also, to clarify, it was not the dean but the Gen Surg Program Director of the hospital a/w my school. Still odd and annoying.

                  I hate participating in WAMC threads, but I echo BlackSurgeon's sentiment. You should focus on matching categorical, and leave preliminary positions off the table. Strong LORs from your Sub-I will be very helpful. Everyone says to "rock Step II" but a dramatic change is unlikely....everyone goes up a little bit. You'll have to apply broadly and go on a lot of interviews, but that's a good idea for all applicants. Do your research before the interview season, and cast an intelligent net.
                   

                  Buzz Me

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                    Thanks a lot verytired, I appreciate your comments/suggestions. Do you know of a list/thread somewhere that gives a good idea of prelim (noted proper spelling) programs that match well, or is this a "word-of-mouth" thing?

                    If such a list existed, it would be widely discussed every fall come application time here on SDN. Alas, no such luck.

                    You can look at individual programs' residents and see how many of their PGY-1/2 prelims eventually go on to stay in that program (or go elsewhere)...but that's a lot of work. I agree it may be a little premature to be thinking of prelim programs...you still have lots of ways to improve your application.
                     
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