switching from surgery to anesthesiology

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10+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2008
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I'm in a prelim gen surgery residency. I'm thinking of switching to anesthesiology but don't want to take a year off, since 2009 slots were filled in last year's match. Anyone know how to go about finding an open 2009 slot and should I also apply through ERAS for a 2010 spot and just take the year off?

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would try through ERAS, and also sign up for findaresident on the NRMP web site. It's cheap to sign up for 1 year if you are already in ERAS...I think it's about $40-70, can't remember.

Even if you want the 2009 spot, you can apply for 2010 via ERAS and then bring it up during the interview that you want a spot ASAP,and they might offer you a 2009 spot if they have one and they like you. This happened to my friend...same situation...switching from prelim surg to anesthesiology. There are open spots in anesthesia fairly frequently.
I have a similar query, although I am in path and wanting to switch and am confused about the whole prelim yr thing.

I spoke to the PD in anesthesia at my current program and realized that were I to go for anesthesia, I would have a gap in my training if I started a prelim year in medicine in 7/09 and the best I could hope for would be a CA-1 spot beginning 7/11, since I have done no formal rotations in Anesthesia and hence have no letters from attendings to recommend me to PDs.

So, my dilemma is, should I aggressively apply, call, do whatever, etc to get a spot in CA-1 to begin 7/10, or apply now for prelim IM, formally take some elective time in the spring to do a rotation in anesthesia, and have a gap year to spend doing God knows what? I've even thought about spending the year doing either some formal research in the field or even paying tuition to get an MPH (something which I am genuinely interested in), or even applying this time next year for outside the match 2010 openings.

I am so confused about the process and compounding the grief is that I am so unhappy in my current position and time is so very much not in my favor right now, it being the week before Thanksgiving and nothing gets read before the first week of Dec. Please help!