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switching specialties.

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by aye, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. aye

    aye Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 30, 2002
    hey guys. just a hypothetical question... lets say you settle for IM or family practice because that's all you can get into. you become a family doctor and thrive but then five years down the road you decide you want to be a surgeon. how do you go about switching specialties?? would you have to reapply to surgical residencies again?? if so... would the programs look at your med school GPA, step 1,2,3 scores that are 5+ years old??? :eek:
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  3. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 7, 2005
    Beats me, but we've got at least two current profs that started out doing surgery (one got all the way to a CT fellowship) and then switched over to Path. Bizarre.
  4. DocOB

    DocOB 2+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    Gladwin, Michigan
    Also, what if you do IM and start working for a while and making a normal IM salary and then you decide that you should have done that Card fellowship? How do you go from making about 150k a year to 50k a year on a fellowship! Ouch. Or would it be different somehow?
  5. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2006
    I know people that worked as an IM attending for one year before fellowship (mostly secondary to the fact that they didn't decide until late in their PGY-3 year that they wanted to do a fellowship).

    One worked as a Hospitalist x 1 year. She said that it was very tough to cut back to a fellow's salary after a year with the good bucks. That said, she went into a pretty lucrative field so I'm sure she'll look back on it as a good decision.
  6. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel 5+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    I think that if the specialty that you want to switch into is closely related to your field, you can sometimes do a "fellowship" that is shorter than a residency (maybe something like if you're in IM and you decide you want do Neurology). But if it's a switch such as IM to surgery, I'm pretty sure you'd have to do residency over. I have no idea how they'd evaluate your app, but you'd definitely need new LORs from doctors you work with. If you go on the general residency forum and do a search, I think this has been addressed (in better detail).
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    It's probably not all that different than the change in income a lot of nontrad career changers have gone through. If it's what you want, you can live with the change in budget. Hopefully you didn't obligate yourself to a huge mortgage or anything like that until you got more settled.
  8. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc. 10+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    The Best Coast
    I few years back on auntminnie (the radology site) I remember reading about a neurosurgery attending for like 10 years who went back to do rads.
  9. menaniac

    menaniac Moxious! 2+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Central NJ
    A couple of years ago I went to have LASIK, and the surgeon who did the surgery had been a pediatrician for 5 years, until all the crying babies drove her crazy. She went back and did another 3 year residency in surgery, and was running a pretty big LASIK center 2 years after finishing her 2nd residency.

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