Slave to The Man
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2001
Attending Physician
I'm a graduating 4th year applying for surgery prelim spots. This is not my preferred way of doing things; I am on a Navy scholarship and I've been given a 1-year deferment to do a surgery internship then come into the Navy as a general medical officer. My ultimate career goal is orthopedics, and I actually spent a little while on the ortho interview trail before the Navy decided to change my plans for me. I've now done a half dozen or so prelim interviews and am trying to figure out where I want to go.

I know a lot about ortho programs, but don't know a whole lot about surgery.... so I'm soliciting advice here. I am aproaching all of this with the plan that I will do my internship, spend four years in the Navy, then leave and apply for ortho at that point. The places that interested me the most were MGH, UCLA and Northwestern. I'm a solid applicant and have been told by each place that I'll match at whatever program I rank 1st (prelim spots not being too hard to come by).

Northwestern seemed to be the cushiest place to work, and everyone was really happy. Its also my understanding that it probably has the weakest reputation out of the three (although all three are excellent places to train). MGH has the stellar reputation, but everyone works like dogs. I don't know too much about UCLA, but liked it during my interview. All three are in cities I'd be willing to live for a year.

Any thoughts on any of these places? Any advice for someone in my situation (a future re-applicant)? My major concern here is setting myself up for a successful ortho application in a few years, so I'm especially concerned with how the reputation of where I do my internship will enhance my application down the road. Is this a valid concern? Any comments or input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.