Preliminary Surgery? What is this exactly?

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emlopez2

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Hello. I was looking through some unmatched programs to get an idea of what programs have plenty of open spots and came across Prelim surgery. I'm kind of confused about what exactly this is.
Do you so the same kind of work a regular surgical resident would? Get paid?
If so does this 1 year count as part of the 5 required years for a surgery residency? Any info to clear this up would be great.
 
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deleted87716

Prelim surgery spots are usually filled by people who only need a year of general surgery training before matching into a sub-specialty field, like urology, ENT, etc. There are a few non-surgical specialties (gas, derm, and even psych) that give applicants the option of doing a prelim year in either medicine or surgery.

In some cases, prelim surgery spots go to applicants who couldn't match into a categorical position. Most of these folks are hoping that a categorical spot will open up, either in their program or through the match if they re-apply the following year.

Generally, you do the same work as any other surgical intern, and are paid accordingly.
 

emlopez2

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Thanks for the reply. So you said some programs require this 1 year prior to starting their specialty such as ENT or urology. Does this mean they are already in the ENT or urology program or do they have to apply for it for the next year. What is the difference then when applying directly to the Urology residency.
 
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deleted87716

Thanks for the reply. So you said some programs require this 1 year prior to starting their specialty such as ENT or urology. Does this mean they are already in the ENT or urology program or do they have to apply for it for the next year. What is the difference then when applying directly to the Urology residency.

You can match directly into ENT or urology as a fourth-year med student. You could also fail to match, take a prelim surgery spot, and try again.

I'm not a surgeon, so maybe somebody else can chime in with more details.
 

Samoa

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What KentW said. Most people doing prelim years in surgery are in one of the following categories:

1) matched already into a surgical subspecialty, which requires an internship year in general surgery

2) wanted to match in surgery or a surgical subspecialty, but failed to do so, and are doing a prelim year so that they can jump into any opening without losing time. If that doesn't happen, they can go through the match again, having proven themselves to be competent junior house officers. If they match, they may or may not have to repeat the intern year.

3) Crazy people in specialties that give them a choice of internship in medicine, surgery or a transitional year, and they choose the surgical internship.
 
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emlopez2

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Thanks for the info Somoa. That about clears up the rest of this question for me. Thanks again.
 

Leukocyte

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Some "corrections". Unlike medical internships, Prelim. sx DOES NOT EQUAL Cat. sx.

There IS a difference between Preliminary Surgery Internship and Categorical Surgery Internship....That is why most people (even those who want to go into general surgery) try as much as possible to avoid doing a Prelim SX internship. Also, that is why there are so many open spots....BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS A PRELIM. SURGERY SPOT (Unless they absolutley NEED to do one).

Some differences:

-Very few to NO operating room time. Preference is always given to the Categorical interns. And even if there is OR time, the Prelim is placed in the "small/quick" cases.

-Most of the Prelim's work is "floor work".

-Some (or most, if you ask me) General Surgery categorical programs will not accept a prelim. surgical resident to a Cat. PGY-2 position (due to the LOW operating room experience). Some will require that a Prelim. REPEAT the Intern year as a Cat. Intern.

Go to the Surgical forum if you have more questions about surgery.

Good Luck.
 
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Dr. V

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Some "corrections". Unlike medical internships, Prelim. sx DOES NOT EQUAL Cat. sx.

There IS a difference between Preliminary Surgery Internship and Categorical Surgery Internship....That is why most people (even those who want to go into general surgery) try as much as possible to avoid doing a Prelim SX internship. Also, that is why there are so many open spots....BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS A PRELIM. SURGERY SPOT (Unless they absolutley NEED to do one).

Some differences:

-Very few to NO operating room time. Preference is always given to the Categorical interns. And even if there is OR time, the Prelim is placed in the "small/quick" cases.

-Most of the Prelim's work is "floor work".

-Some (or most, if you ask me) General Surgery categorical programs will not accept a prelim. surgical resident to a Cat. PGY-2 position (due to the LOW operating room experience). Some will require that a Prelim. REPEAT the Intern year as a Cat. Intern.

Go to the Surgical forum if you have more questions about surgery.

Good Luck.

It's not that way at our residency program. I am a categorical surgery resident, our prelims are treated EXACTLY the same as the categoricals, the exact same rotations and the exact same OR time etc (and that's alot cause I had over 200 cases in January and the prelims had just as many as I did, that's counting central lines and minor cases but we will all have around 100 major cases as Surgeon Jr. by the time we finish our intern year.).

So, how prelims are treated is program dependant.
 

Leukocyte

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how prelims are treated is program dependant.

Well, yes. That is why I said "some" and "most", not all. I am speaking from personal experience as an US-IMG. Prelims at the programs I rotated at (3 in NYC, and 1 in Conn) were treated just like extra warm bodies. None of the IMG prelim. surgical interns that I know went straight to Cat. PGY-2. They ALL had to REPEAT the PGY-1 year as a Categorical intern EVEN IN THE SAME RESIDENCY PROGRAM IN WHICH THEY DID THE PRELIM. One of those IMGs did 3 (three) years of Prelim. sx before he was able to land a Cat. spot.

Again, I am speaking from an IMG point of view. AMGs have it MUCH easier.

Just trying to point out that (IN GENERAL) Preliminary Surgery is not similar to Cat. Surgery. Internship (at all places).

Prelim. sx is tough, and NOT a sure way into Cat. surgery. People like me (us-imgs) have to really think hard before going for Prelim. sx.

Is it worth giving up a Categorical spot in a non-surgical field for Prelim. sx??? That question should not be answered carelessly (especially by US-IMGs like self).

Good Luck.
 

medstudent99

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preliminary surgery is tough as nails. why do you want to do the prelim in the first place? is it to secure a position in surgery? if so then it's a no brainer, go for it, otherwise i would do a transitional year or a prelim medicine/peds year (uh-hem ::wink:: ::wink:: ::nudge:: nudge:: for all you gas passers...)
 

medstudent99

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i don't really read what other ppl post so if this has already been said i apologize...
 

Sugar72

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preliminary surgery is tough as nails. why do you want to do the prelim in the first place? is it to secure a position in surgery? if so then it's a no brainer, go for it, otherwise i would do a transitional year or a prelim medicine/peds year (uh-hem ::wink:: ::wink:: ::nudge:: nudge:: for all you gas passers...)

Starting anesthesiology next year and doing a surgery prelim. It wasn't my first choice as an intern year....I am SOOOO glad I did it though. Seriously, it has really pushed me - more than a transitional year would have. I am really glad I did it. My program is one of the programs that treats prelims and categoricals the same so that probably makes a difference. Although, I don't really care about going to the OR so I usually let the categoricals go even when giving the opportunity. I have been really pleasantly surprised with how great this year has been....I was kind of worried in June!
 
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