seltikfan

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Guy I wanted to ask around.

I’m a US citizen IMG. 2018 graduate.
step 1- 211 and ck- 231

I’ve always had an interest in general surgery and I was wondering if I should apply prelim this year. I don’t think I’m competitive enough for categorical this year. I’ve heard of people matching general surgery with average scores like mine.

I have 4 months of USCE in internal medicine. Strong LORs and one from Stanford where I did a clinical rotation.

not able to get a general surgery clinical rotation.

Any information is appreciated
 

mikeGR

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IMHO, if you only want gen surg, prelim would be your best shot (whether you apply this year or later), so I don't see any reason to delay it. I would caution you though that chances are a prelim spot will not lead to a categorical GS spot later (it is possible but unlikely), so keep your eyes open for alternatives and be flexible.
 

gyngyn

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Now that surg prelim PD's are being held accountable for the successful match of their interns, they have become a lot more circumspect regarding the folks they are likely to rank (or SOAP). I recommend doing everything possible to find a specialty into which you can find a categorical match.
 
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ThoracicGuy

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Now that surg prelim PD's are being held accountable for the successful match of their interns, they have become a lot more circumspect regarding the folks they are likely to rank (or SOAP). I recommend doing everything possible to find a specialty into which you can find a categorical match.

When did this change occur? What are the prelim PD's being looked at for exactly?
 

mikeGR

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Now that surg prelim PD's are being held accountable for the successful match of their interns, they have become a lot more circumspect regarding the folks they are likely to rank (or SOAP). I recommend doing everything possible to find a specialty into which you can find a categorical match.
I'm also interested to hear what changed. There are hundreds of prelim positions each year (the majority of which are filled which people who will not match after)- any idea what will happen with these?
 

gyngyn

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When did this change occur? What are the prelim PD's being looked at for exactly?
I was told about it 2 matches ago by one of the PD's (U of Washington, as I recall).
She told me that they could lose prelim positions if their current crop failed to match (or find a categorical position by other means) by the end of their prelim year.
It doesn't matter what they match into as long as they match into a categorical program.
It certainly changes the strategy of those in the SOAP. Before, strong scores and a good medical school were a big plus and it didn't really matter what you failed to match into. Now the failed ortho applicants are not as desirable as surg prelims because of their tendency to re-apply in the same (difficult) specialty.
 
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ThoracicGuy

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I was told about it 2 matches ago by one of the PD's (U of Washington, as I recall).
She told me that they could lose prelim positions if their current crop failed to match (or find a categorical position by other means) by the end of their prelim year.
It doesn't matter what they match into as long as they match into a categorical program.
It certainly changes the strategy of those in the SOAP. Before, strong scores and a good medical school were a big plus and it didn't really matter what you failed to match into. Now the failed ortho applicants are not as desirable as surg prelims because of their tendency to re-apply in the same (difficult) specialty.

Interesting. I think this will tend to hurt the manpower situation that many of these programs would have to deal with if they had a large prelim contingent traditionally.
 
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seltikfan

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IMHO, if you only want gen surg, prelim would be your best shot (whether you apply this year or later), so I don't see any reason to delay it. I would caution you though that chances are a prelim spot will not lead to a categorical GS spot later (it is possible but unlikely), so keep your eyes open for alternatives and be flexible.

yeah that’s a risk I’ll have to consider. It’s tough.
how many prelim programs do you think I should I apply to?
 

mikeGR

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yeah that’s a risk I’ll have to consider. It’s tough.
how many prelim programs do you think I should I apply to?

I'm not super familiar with the prelim match, but I think you should apply very broadly (if you decide to go ahead with gen surg). There are lots of applicants with great scores/research in the prelim match - oftentimes these applicants represent the cream of the crop in their home institutions, and their only red flag is that they didn't grow up in the US.
 

seltikfan

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Sep 5, 2015
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I was told about it 2 matches ago by one of the PD's (U of Washington, as I recall).
She told me that they could lose prelim positions if their current crop failed to match (or find a categorical position by other means) by the end of their prelim year.
It doesn't matter what they match into as long as they match into a categorical program.
It certainly changes the strategy of those in the SOAP. Before, strong scores and a good medical school were a big plus and it didn't really matter what you failed to match into. Now the failed ortho applicants are not as desirable as surg prelims because of their tendency to re-apply in the same (difficult) specialty.

Hmm that’s actually an interesting point to consider. But I feel like for IMGS the better route would be prelim. Although categorical is ideal and best case scenario.
 

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