Apr 22, 2014
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Have anybody ever switched from anesthesiology to ENT? Had two options during medical school, started anesthesiology residency which is nice and suitable (been anesthesiology resident 2,5 years), but considered also ENT. Now I had an opportunity to experience ENT for 3 months and after that have to make a decision. Have anybody done the same? Any opinions about that?
 

DrBodacious

15+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2003
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It is rare, but where there is a will, there is a way.

I would recommend that for a reasonable chance of success, you need to build a relationship with a prominent ENT department, where they would end up taking you, or someone who has connections could call other departments on your behalf. This may mean a research year, for example.

If you just plan on applying with standard LORs, I would not give you favorable odds. I suppose if you have a superstar application, and you are a superstar in an interview, anything can happen.
 

neutropeniaboy

Blasted ENT Attending
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Feb 10, 2002
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In addition to the above, you need to hunker down with your current ENT department. Talk to the program director. Get his or her sense of the playing field at your institution. This is probably where you have the best chance. I would also be prepared to hear the warning that you'd have to repeat your intern year. There are very few PGY-2 spots open, and this might help at some places. More likely than not, you will be applying for a complete cycle through otolaryngology.

As DrBodacious mentioned, a research year might be helpful with your home institution or another.

I suspect people in your boat are much fewer than the interns who are applying for PGY-2 spots.

Another thing to consider is what is often a pervasive thought: did this candidate truly have a change of heart or does he just not know what to do with his life?
 
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Maestro87
Apr 22, 2014
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Maybe I should have been more precise, I do not work or study in US, in Europe we have different system. I have spoken with my current ENT department and unfortunaly they don't have any resident positions, but if it will come available (maybe in next winter), then they would gladly take me, although there are several other applicants, but they know me and my skills. I got an offer in another hospital and when this 3 months is over and position will come availabe, they would take me too. My question was more like: have people switched from one field to another including anesthesia-ENT and have they been satisfied with their decision (giving up one thing they are good at and taking risks...).
 

neutropeniaboy

Blasted ENT Attending
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Feb 10, 2002
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Yes, and yes.

But that's such an open ended question that it's difficult if not impossible to answer for you. I guess it depends upon how much of a risk taker you are and how much you liked ENT compared to your much longer time on anesthesia.