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So I guess I need to scramble in surgery, any advice?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by lightning, Mar 18, 2002.

  1. lightning

    lightning Junior Member

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    Mar 4, 2001
    Des Moines, Iowa
    What do you think my chances are of scrambling into a categorical general surgery spot? You can be totally honest I am big enough to take it. I am a D.O. student in the top quarter of my class with a USMLE Part 1 of 210. I have awesome rec letters from both M.D. and D.O. surgeons. This really did blind-side me. Two of the programs I ranked all but guaranteed me spots. Oh well I must be more naive than I thought. :confused:
     
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  3. Sevo

    Sevo Senior Member Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lightning:
    <strong>What do you think my chances are of scrambling into a categorical general surgery spot? You can be totally honest I am big enough to take it. I am a D.O. student in the top quarter of my class with a USMLE Part 1 of 210. I have awesome rec letters from both M.D. and D.O. surgeons. This really did blind-side me. Two of the programs I ranked all but guaranteed me spots. Oh well I must be more nieve than I thought. :confused: </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Still pretty good, especially for a community program. How many programs did you originally rank?

    The big thing is to be as aggressive as you can during the initial hours of the scramble.
     
  4. lightning

    lightning Junior Member

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    Mar 4, 2001
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Maybe that was the problem, I only ranked 5 programs. As I said, I had such a good rapport with all of them esp the top 2 that I didn't think that I needed to rank more programs. Guess I was wrong.
     
  5. carddr

    carddr Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />

    You have my vote to go for it...469 opportunities are out there for YOU!!! Your scores are competitive. Go for it!!! That's a definite&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;go.
     
  6. dr.evil

    dr.evil Senior Member Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 30, 2001
    All right. There are probably only ~40 or so categorical surgery spots still open (the other spots open are most likely preliminary spots). We'll see tomorrow how many spots are actually categorical.

    You definitely can get a preliminary spot. A categorical spot is a definite possibility but definitely won't be easy. Whether right or wrong, there is still a bias against D.O.'s and many programs think that will "make their program look bad". Many unfilled spots in categorical surgery are left unfilled by the program director/chairman because their program is approved for more spots than they think there should be.

    I was actually surprised that there weren't more spots open in general surgery. We'll see tomorrow when the stats come out.

    Go for it and good luck but don't be surprised if you have to settle for a preliminary spot.
     
  7. johnM

    johnM Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 8, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    I'm wandering in here from the pre-med forum, and just curious about the difference between categorical and prelim residencies. I'm kind of interested in surgery, is this is only field where you have to worry about this stuff? How hard is it to get in to surgical residencies?
     
  8. fourthyr

    fourthyr Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 22, 2001
    word on the street is 58 unfilled categorical spots, is that true?
     
  9. fourthyr

    fourthyr Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 22, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lightning:
    <strong>What do you think my chances are of scrambling into a categorical general surgery spot? You can be totally honest I am big enough to take it. I am a D.O. student in the top quarter of my class with a USMLE Part 1 of 210. I have awesome rec letters from both M.D. and D.O. surgeons. This really did blind-side me. Two of the programs I ranked all but guaranteed me spots. Oh well I must be more naive than I thought. :confused: </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">lightning,

    what did the programs tell you exactly? what did they guarantee in what format (letters, phone calls, interview)? when did they tell you (interview, after interviews, after match list closure)?

    I would be interested in knowing, because many applicants are told many things.
     
  10. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    While I won't comment on your chances (ie, no one ever really knows - some allopathic programs are admittedly biased against DOs), let this be a lesson to others (I know, it sucks to have your behavior be made an example of)...

    1) never assume a "guarantee" will come to fruition. I have some friends told the very same thing last year, a la "We'll see you here next year", "It will be great having you here with us"...blah blah blah - only to be sorely disappointed when match results come out. What might have been true when they met you can change as other applicants come to interview, as the committee sits down, etc. Sometimes its simply a "polite" way to end the conversation - unfair as it is.

    2) rank more programs. 5 is pretty low, even for a non-competitive specialty like General Surgery this year.

    Of interest is the numbers quoted as open for Categorical spots. If 40 or 58 are true, that's fewer than last year.

    To the poster who wanted to know the difference between Categorical and Prelim:

    Categorical residencies are spots for the ENTIRE residency, ie, in general surgery for 5 years +. Although you are generally hired on a year-to-year basis, it is expected that you will complete the program.

    Preliminary spots are 1-2 years which often serve as a "starter" year. Many specialties require a Prelim year - ie, Rads, Psych, ENT, Derm, etc. You generally choose between a Surgical or a Medical Prelim year. Upon completion of this year or two, physicians then go onto their chosen specialty for the remainder of the residency. Many people who do not secure a Categorical position will take a Prelim spot in hopes of proving themselves and having an easier time gaining a position the following year in the match.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 23, 2002
    Leaving chaos in my wake
    One of my fellow gen surg classmates counted 58 categorical slots unfilled, which jibes with fourthyr's data. Some of these are at pretty decent programs, too. Suerte.
     
  12. Yogi Patel

    Yogi Patel Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 21, 2001
    These are the 58 unfilled categorical surgery spots in this year's match:

    Carraway Methodist-AL
    1006440C0 3 1

    Good Samaritan- AZ
    011440C0 6 1

    UC San Francisco - East Bay
    3625440C0 7 5

    Howard Univ Hosp-DC
    2193440C0 5 4

    Orlando Reg Healthcare- FL
    1107440C0 3 2

    U Florida HSC-Jacksonville
    1101440C0 3 2

    Atlanta Medical Ctr-GA
    1112440C0 2 1

    Med Coll Georgia- GA
    1985440C0 5 1

    Morehouse Sch Of Med- GA
    2099440C0 2 1

    U Kansas SOM-Kansas
    1208440C0 4 3

    LSUHSC-Shreveport- LA
    1232440C0 5 4

    Tulane Univ SOM- LA
    3073440C0 5 4

    St Agnes Healthcare- MD
    1247440C0 3 1

    MSU-East Lansing-MI
    2436440C0 4 1

    U Minnesota Med School
    1334440C0 7 4

    Brookdale Hosp Med Ctr-NY
    1419440C0 3 2

    Maimonides Med Ctr-NY
    1428440C0 5 4

    SUNY HSC Brooklyn- NY
    1426440C0 8 4

    SUNY HSC-Syracuse-NY
    1516440C0 5 3

    Fairview Hospital- OH
    3187440C0 3 1

    Good Samaritan Cinn-OH
    1550440C0 4 3

    West Res Care/NEOUCOM- OH
    1585440C0 2 1

    Wright State Univ SOM- OH
    2011440C0 4 2

    Mercy Catholic Med-PA
    1636440C0 1 0

    Temple Univ Hosp-PA
    1646440C0 6 5

    Rhode Island Hosp/Brown U
    1677440C0 5 4

    Greenville Hosp Sys-SC
    1683440C0 3 2

    Palmetto Richland Mem- SC
    1681440C0 3 2

    Christus St Joseph -TX
    1718440C0 3 1

    U Texas HSC-San Antonio
    1722440C0 5 4

    Carilion Health System-VA
    1748440C0 3 2

    University of Virginia
    1737440C0 4 1

    Med Coll Wisconsin Aff Hosps
    1784440C0 7 5
     
  13. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I'm really surprised that there weren't more bigger names among this list. I know from talking to our vice-chair, the recent past-president of the Amer. Board of Surgery, that a lot of program directors were sweating bullets about the match this year especially at programs with large #'s of categorical spots (&gt;6). It looks like there's an ~45% decrease in the # of categorical spots for the scramble, a surprising decr. trend (assuming the aforementioned list is correct.

    If I were scrambling, I would be all over the spots @ UVA, Med. College Wisconsin, Brown, or San Antonio. The community programs @ Orlando Regional & Good Sam(Cinncinnati) are also pretty good.
     
  14. wbd161

    wbd161 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 8, 2002
    If you were a program director of the programs posted by Yogi, would you have done anything different prior to the match? Would you have listed down more people on your ROL? These guys must be shi&*ing rocks right now.
     
  15. nyskindr

    nyskindr Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 27, 2001
    NYC
    There are always people around out of the match who can fill these slots especially categorical ones.There are plenty of IMGs looking for such positions.Many of these individuals are highly qualified having trained in surgey for several years abroad. Many program directors, especially this year have been preparing for this contingency.
     
  16. dr.evil

    dr.evil Senior Member Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 30, 2001
    Did anyone find it odd how the general surgery unfilled spots ended up? I was just dumbfounded (well, actually I'm just dumb but I digress) that some quality programs had MULTIPLE openings.

    Good Sam in AZ is a great community program but I hear their big time attending is leaving so I guess that's why they went unfilled.

    UVA is the strangest on the list. Anyone have a reason for that?

    Med. College of Georgia, Wisconsin, Brown, San Antonio, Orlando, Good Sam (Cinci) are all pretty decent programs. I have no insight on why some of these programs went unfilled. Does anyone?

    Hey lightning, give us an update on your scramble status if you get good news.
     
  17. wbd161

    wbd161 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 8, 2002
    I'm not (obviously) on his year's match but I'll be on next year's. Ranking more programs does make a lot more sense than ranking just a few but i was wondering: how many programs max. can you write down when you submit your ROL? Can you rank, like, 50?
     
  18. Bovie2Me

    Bovie2Me Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 2, 2002
    For the base fee, up to 15 programs can be ranked. You can rank more than 15, but you start paying additional for each.

    To clarify Peustow's post, it was Medical College of Wisconsin, not Wisconsin (ie University of, ie Madison) that went 5/7. UW filled. I liked both programs and am surprised that either MCW or UW would go unfilled. They were both on my ROL.

    This year I interviewed at &gt;2 gen surgery programs that each had one or more categorical spots unfilled last year. I was surprised that these programs had been unfilled because I had considered them to be well reputed and very desireable. The PDs were candid and accepted the responsibility for the programs not filling, citing poor match strategies (e.g. not interviewing deep enough, not ranking deep enough, etc). This year those programs filled. So, one answer the above question - multiple openings may point to a poor match strategy.

    Here's my question: suppose you are a PD, if you've completed interviews for all your candidates, do you compose your ROL low enough to include candidates with red flags just so you are less likely to have your program go unfilled, or do you choose not to list candidates with whom you don't feel comfortable and hope to fill with better candidates in the scramble? Additionally, as a program director, do you feel that you can pick out the red flag candidates during the scramble? These could be tough decisions, especially in a specialty that is not accustomed to having good programs go unfilled.

    Regarding UVa, I think they made a tactical error by sending out that secondary application. It was an email form that requested nearly all of the same information that had been on our ERAS apps. I didn't bother to return the secondary app, choosing to withdraw my application rather than take the chance of matching at a program that was already giving signs of inefficiency and scut, even pre-interview. Don't think that I'm lazy or unwilling to pull my share of the scut, but when programs were extending interview offers and I started pruning down the number of interviews I wanted to do, that secondary application was enough to keep UVa off my list.

    With Brown, they remain among the programs that let us know on interview day that they will not be contacting anyone with follow-up letters, emails, or phone calls. Does that make them cold or antiquated? No. It's just their interpretation of the match guidelines, but it could also make it hard for them to compete with the programs that are following up with warm fuzzies. I didn't see any other reasons why they would not fill. They were upper-half on my ROL.
     
  19. Castro Viejo

    Castro Viejo Papa Clot Buster 10+ Year Member

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    Gosh, I really thought there'd be fewer university programs and more community programs in the mid-West. 4/8 for Downstate. Oh well.
     
  20. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    Just a thought...

    the NRMP numbers reflect only those spots filled in the match; therefore, any out of match offers will not be reflected here. Perhaps, some PDs, in fear of not filling, may have offered some spots outside the match at some of these programs - I personally know that some spots listed last year as unfilled were actually filled before the match.

    I'd be all over that UVA spot as well...I loved the place. :D
     
  21. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun 7+ Year Member

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    I was also totally surprised by UVA--while I thought the secondary application was kind of silly, I did fill it out, interviewed and really liked the program and the people there; (I was already very familiar with Charlottesville). Among my classmates, our complaint about the place was having to move to Salem for 3 months every other year. My best guess is that they didn't rank deep enough.
     
  22. miami

    miami Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    May 28, 2001
    " ."

    This is not completely true. I matched early (in Oct.) in IM and the program informed the NRMP and they adjusted their "quota". The process takes about 1 month, so if a program offers a spot to a student less than approx. 1 month from the match it is possible that the spot will appear as unfilled. Just food for though.

    Miami MSIV NSUCOM
     
  23. I was wondering about this, too. I thought that the PD's had to notify the NRMP in February about their final quota, so that if they took early matches, the final number could be adjusted. I would assume that the numbers released yesterday really do reflect the number of available positions. Is this true?
     
  24. I was wondering about this, too. I thought that the PD's had to notify the NRMP in February about their final quota, so that if they took early matches, the final number could be adjusted. I would assume that the numbers released yesterday really do reflect the number of available positions. Is this true?
     
  25. carddr

    carddr Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    :confused:

    Was very surprised about UVA but, heard about my friend who goes to med. school there and she wasn't going to even apply for a residency there but they called her in and asked her to apply. Which I find quite interesting...we'll know tomorrow why PD did that. (Her father told me that!) So very interesting. Were they having trouble getting applicants to apply because of second form, I think so. Students are notorious for ignoring forms...me included!!!
     
  26. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    if the "inconvienence" of filling out a second form would discourage you for applying to a first class training program like UVA, they are probably better off without you in their pool anyway!
     
  27. Bovie2Me

    Bovie2Me Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> if the "inconvienence" of filling out a second form would discourage you for applying to a first class training program like UVA, they are probably better off without you in their pool anyway!
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You gotta be kidding! DrOliver, I realize that back in the day it was different than today, but this was a buyer's year for surgery applicants. UVa is a first class program, but so are a lot of others.

    When I was being offered interviews and received this secondary application, it really wasn't a tough decision to politely decline. With 22 invitations to programs that I considered at least as desireable as UVa, there really wasn't any reason to continue with my application. DrOliver, you remember what it's like, little differences between programs can have a big effect on your ROL, especially when you're deciding amongst programs of the same tier. I knew I wasn't going to do 23 interviews, and I believed that any program that would ask me to resubmit the same application information would likely be replete with inefficiency, so I opted not to continue.

    If this were a tougher year to match in surgery, would I have been so quick to make that decision? Probably not. If I had to scramble this week, would UVa be at the top of my list? Absolutely! But to this year's applicants it was no secret that this would be a year when we could be selective. Programs were very concerned about not filling, and we could sense it. I interviewed at UofL early last autumn, and I remember that this fear was already tangible, so I know you were also aware that some very good programs would go unfilled. My only point is that it didn't seem that this would be a good year to add another screening process. Perhaps UVa screened themselves out of filling. I know they screened me out. And maybe you're right, they didn't need me in their pool anyway. But don't worry, I can assure you that I'm not in your pool either.
     
  28. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Medical students just kill me! I never get over talking to some of my students about just how short-sighted, petty, & just plain ignorant they can be when they get ready to go thru the match. Getting haughty about having to do a modest secondary application (which can help programs learn more about you)to a superior program because you feel empowered with the smaller applicant pool is not a very mature decision in my view.
     
  29. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    I'm currently on my surgery clerkship at UVa. There's a story to why they didn't fill, and the secondary application plays no part in it. If you're interested, call the department. I imagine they'll give you the details.
     
  30. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    do tell.....
     
  31. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun 7+ Year Member

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    Pilot Doc--
    I sent you a PM.
     
  32. carddr

    carddr Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    Insatiable curiosity.....plz.plz tell!!!!

    Note:had a friend who attended med school there was asked to apply, interviewed and they didn't match her...in EM...what gives??? Anyone's guess... kinda feels bad as she is getting married in May and husband will still be in med school there for one more year and she has to leave the st. for residency. Not a great way to start a marriage. Me thinks!!!
     

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