Surgery: Not Cutting It

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by LoneSEAL, May 28, 2002.

  1. LoneSEAL

    LoneSEAL Senior Member

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    In the May 27 issue of Newsweek, there's a blurb about the lack of interest in general surgery. It says, "As 15,800 med-school students graduate this month, surgery residencies are grappling with rejections as a FOURTH of their slots go unfilled..."

    One-fourth??? Is that a mistype?
     
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  3. The Pill Counter

    The Pill Counter Senior Member

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    I think that includes preliminary spots, so it might skew the numbers a bit.
     
  4. entropy

    entropy Senior Member

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    i applied for a surg internship spot this year....

    i met some of the people that were applying categorical....

    the impression i got from the faculty was that
    they have had a decrease in overall applications..

    the combination of brutal calls, tons of patients,
    long years of training, and poor compensation ...

    that is enough to turn away many potential applicaants....

    my own biggest turnoff: the bowel,
    and -ostomies :-(

    but, i think that there will always be people that
    are serious enough that will do it,

    anyways, my 2 cents worth....
     
  5. tussy

    tussy Senior 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 entropy:
    <strong>
    my own biggest turnoff: the bowel,
    and -ostomies :-(
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hey! Colorectal is the bread and butter of general surgery. If you don't like that then you might want to rethink your career choices. Nothing is more fun than taking down a colon!
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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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 tussy:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by entropy:
    <strong>
    my own biggest turnoff: the bowel,
    and -ostomies :-(
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hey! Colorectal is the bread and butter of general surgery. If you don't like that then you might want to rethink your career choices. Nothing is more fun than taking down a colon!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hmmm...to each his own! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> I find a LOT more things fun than taking down a colon.
     
  7. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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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 LoneSEAL:
    <strong>In the May 27 issue of Newsweek, there's a blurb about the lack of interest in general surgery. It says, "As 15,800 med-school students graduate this month, surgery residencies are grappling with rejections as a FOURTH of their slots go unfilled..."

    One-fourth??? Is that a mistype?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That DOES include Prelim spots which traditionally have had LOTS of unfilled positions (why would you choose to do a Surgical Prelim year if you could choose an IM one?).
     
  8. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus

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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 entropy:
    <strong>....

    the impression i got from the faculty was that
    they have had a decrease in overall applications..

    the combination of brutal calls, tons of patients,
    long years of training, and poor compensation ..</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">While the length of training has remained constant and the call is LESS than it used to e, there have been a # of factors involved in the declining pool of applicants. As you point out, financial reimbursement declines have made a lot of the "less convenient" aspects of surgery training & practice more unattractive. I think equally or more contributory are:

    1. older average age of medical students and more non-traditional students

    2. more women in medical school (now &gt;50%)

    3. decreasing surgical exposure during medical school (traditionally as much as 3 months of your core rotations were surgery, with some schools now down to 6 weeks) and the emphasis on primary care fields starting with the admissions process (although general surgery may eventually be reclassified as this for workforce issues)
     
  9. Careofme

    Careofme Senior Member

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    Do you think that in 4 years (when I will be applying for residencies, etc.) this situation will have changed or do trends like this generally take longer to change?

    care
     
  10. droliver

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    Things can always change quickly. For instance, when I was a fourth year student, the # of large anesthesia programs that FILLED in the match was just a handful in desirable locations (UCSF, Seattle). However, the issues with the surgery workforce are much more deeply involved issues than anesthesia & I would not expect much to be appreciably changing as far as training in the next five years except for more compliance with the RRC reccomendations re. working conditions/hours. There will continue to be a signifigant shortage of general surgeons for the forseeable future.
     
  11. jephyboy

    jephyboy Senior Member

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    Can someone tell me, in detail, the difference between categorical and prelim? Are there any other types of classification? Thanks.
     
  12. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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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 jephyboy:
    <strong>Can someone tell me, in detail, the difference between categorical and prelim? Are there any other types of classification? Thanks.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Simple.

    A Preliminary position implies a spot for 1-2 years. These are generally filled by surgical subspecialty residents who need 1 Preliminary year of General Surgery before going onto their specialty (ie, Urology, Ortho, ENT, etc.). There are other fields which also require a Prelim year but these residents are given a choice of doing Medicine or Surgery (ie, Anesthesia, Psychiatry, etc.) - for obvious reasons, most choose to do a Preliminary Medicine year. Typically these Preliminary spots in Surgery are not very competitive, hence many of them remain open after the match (take with a grain of salt: some spots at some programs are competitive)and thus, the artifically inflated number of open positions in surgery.

    A Categorical position implies a spot for the entire training track. Therefore, a Categorical Surgical resident has (barring being fired or other problems)been accepted into the track which will graduate him/her having completed the training in that field (this would mean 5+ years in General Surgery). There ARE Prelimi residents who desire to obtain a Categorical spot and therefore use the (Prelim) year to essentially "audition" for a spot in the Categorical track. Many fields have Categorical positions - not only Surgery.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. jephyboy

    jephyboy Senior Member

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    thank you very much.
     
  14. hosskp1

    hosskp1 Senior Member

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    There is no debating the fact that surgery is malignant. With every third night on call and the brutal hours many people will not want to do it, so be it. It is better to find out you do not like something early than in your 2nd or third year. You have not wasted time that someone els may have gotten more out of. If I go general surgery route, I will try for plastics ( a personal choice). I am kind of hoping for ortho- I liked it better as a third year and I am doing most of my away electives in it.
     

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