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Surgeon wanting to switch into rad with not so rad grades...

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hmaier888

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Hey everyone...

I know there are some similar posts, but I feel my situation is different enough to warrant its own. So here goes.

I am currently a categorical PGY1 surgery resident at an academic institution. I love surgery, but am very quickly realizing its just not for me. After being out in the real world for a whole 29 days and counting, I am beginning to see that the 'dark side' is right up my alley (likes, interests, lifestyle, attitude).

The problem is that I wasn't an all star med student. My scores are 196/80 and 235/95. I have P on my clinical years, and H on everything in 3 and 4 (hence the discrepancy in my step 1 and 2 grades). I also have loads of research (non rad related), including a grant and a few presentations at the national level.

So, what do I do? Do I:
A) Apply to the match this year, let me PD know now and get crucified by the surgery team, lose my contract, and risk not matching?
B) Wait another year?
C) Try to slip directly into a rad spot (not exactly sure on how to make this happen...

And do I really even have a chance in hell?

Does the fact that I've been a bona fide doctor in a real program mean anything when applying for a rads spot? And what can I do AT THIS POINT to really bolster my application?

Thanks for any responses.... If anyone knows 'easier' programs or any openings, PLEASE feel free to PM me
 

Whisker Barrel Cortex

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Although going through the match is an option, I would say that trying to find an open radiology spot would be a better bet. There are usually a decent number of spots to be had either through program expansion or resident loss (a much rare event in rads than in surgery, but it does happen). My program took on general surgery switcher and one orthopedic surgery resident in the 5 years I was there (one due to program expansion and one b/c a resident switched to PM&R). Surgical residents are definitely viewed as good additions to rads residency due to their expected work ethic, their knowledge of anatomy, and their comfort with procedures. I would directly contact the PD at as many programs as possible to see if there are any openings. Your home program would be a great option, if it were possible. There are rare random postings on www.auntminnie.com forums for open spots as well. Although you should cast a broad net, definitely includes smaller community programs in you search.

Now comes the hard part. No matter which approach you take, you need to tell your PD about this. Unless you are in a highly malignant program or were a bad intern, your program should offer you some level of support. Any rads program that takes you is probably going to want a letter of rec from your current PD and may even contact them directly to find out more about you. No rads program wants to take someone with a bad reputation at their old program or someone that keeps secrets from their current PD.

Your scores will probably hurt you a little bit, but your clinical honors and Step II score will help. Good letters or conversations with your current PD could also go a long way.

Good luck.
 

Ratchet

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I don't know your exact situation, but 29 days is a very short amount of time to already want out of a residency. I assume you based your decision to go into surgery on more days than that.

That being said, I wouldn't postpone a conversation with your PD. He/she has probably heard this many times before and may have some good advice. And I can't say I blame you for wanting to switch to radiology.

Good luck.
 
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