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Surgery Questions

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by BeeGee, Dec 25, 2001.

  1. BeeGee

    BeeGee Member
    7+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2001
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    To any residents or surgeons reading this post or all else who feel that they can help... i have a question concerning which programs to apply to. I don't want to waste money applying to schools that only want students w/ 3.8 GPAs, AOA, and 98% on their boards. However, I do want to match with a good university program in order to either do further research or enter a fellowship. I've checked out FREIDA and the "How to Get Into a Surgery Residency" website to find no answers to what the schools really look for in applicants or what they base who interviews or who gets a position on. Is there anyone I can call that will give me straightforward honest info about what my grades, scores, previous research experiences, etc. should be if I would be granted an interview or a position. Or does anyone know of another website or book that can steer me in the right direction. All other advice is appreciated. --BeeGee (P.S. I'm a 3rd year and rapidly approaching the 4th yr of med school. This year has flown by...)
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  3. Winged Scapula

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

    Apr 9, 2000
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    Attending Physician
    As I'm sure you're aware, the competitiveness of General Surgery has dropped overall, although there are still programs which are highly selective within the field.

    In general, "big name" programs are going to be the more selective ones, ones which require top notch gpas, AOA, etc. This is likely to be true with any residencies at these places. For information, I would suggest the following sources:

    1) faculty and residents at your school - most academic physicians are aware of which programs are competitive, especially younger faculty and residents who have recently been through the match process

    2) there is a book called "So you Want to be a Surgeon"; available on-line now I think. I'm not sure how up to date it is or how accurate its ratings are, but it does list for each program how competitive applicants should be.

    It is likely to be low yield to contact programs directly because unless you have an "inside" source the party line you will get will likely be "we review all applicants and have no cut-offs for gpa, etc.".

    Less competitive academic programs will be those in undesirable locations, those with a higher than average amount of IMGs and those known to work their residents hard and without much prestige.

    Start with the sources listed above and I think you'll get a better idea of places you might be competitive at.

    Best of luck.
  4. godfather

    godfather Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2001
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    All you will need is a pulse to get into a decent university program this year. Apps are way down. At the place i'm rotating right now, for the first time in like many years they got like 5 fmgs in categorical spots. if somebody wants to become a surgeon now is a good time to be applying. It is going to be like this for a long time.
  5. GTMD2Bee

    GTMD2Bee Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2001
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    Not much disagreement with the above posts. I did not consider myself the most competitive candidate, but I was pleasently surprised by the number and quality of interviews I recieved. It is a "buyer's market", and there are a lot of good programs out there. I personally did not find the on-line version of "so you want to be a surgeon" as helpful as the original book version would have been. The book listed categories of students that they normally interviewed with class standing etc... The on-line version does not do that.

    Residents and 4th year med students are a great source of information. I pumped my interns and 2nd years for loads of info before I started the interview trail. They'll usually give you the info on not just what programs are competitive but the feel of the programs, too which was my most important consideration. Sometimes you can hear things during the interview trail which can be good and bad. When I'm interviewing, I usually take more stock in fellow applicants info than the residents when they talk about other programs (you tend to run into the same people). It's not that I don't trust the residents but because I saw my own med school lie blatently about their program and others to make themselves look better (very surprised to hear them say that too). You can look at the unmatch rates of schools too, and see those that may be less competitive. Strong university programs are almost always competitive and community programs in key (cush) locations are very competitive also.

    Just as an added note, I wouldn't discount all community programs because you want to do research and get in a fellowship. I disagree strongly with the current idea that university programs are the only way to get into a fellowship. There are a lot of community programs out there that are strong academically (thanks to recruitment of university attendings to the private sector) and give the opportunity for research. Can you match into any fellowship from a private program? Probably not. If you want to do a CT fellowship at Harvard, you'll probably need to go to a university program. But I have interviewed at numerous programs that matched people in good fellowships. Also, some of the better community programs with optional research years have matched people in very competitive fellowships including transplant and peds.

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