GeddyLee

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Hey guys....looking for some feedback on my latest failsafe plan for the future. Here goes...

I was thinking of trying to scramble for a anesthesia position for 2005. if I get it, I'll have a place to go after I finish my preliminary medicine program. I will also apply for OPH for 2006. If I match, I will do a year of anesthesia, leave the program, and do OPH. If I don't match, I will do anesthesia, and apply each year. Thus I won't lose much time if OPH never works out.

What do ya's think?

Geddy
 

singkwon

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To Geddy or anyone out there:

Has anyone considered the logistics of reapplying during an internship year? For instance, will there be time to take off to interview at a substantial number of programs? After all, you will have patient duties even if you're doing an elective block.

And how accomodating are program directors/ chief residents when they organize your schedule (there's no guarantee they'll give all 4 weeks of your vacation as one block; it's more likely they'll give you 2 weeks here and 2 weeks there)?

And let's say you're working in the ICU during the peak interview season. Usually it's a q3 to q4 overnight schedule. Even if you tried to schedule an interview on your day off, you wouldn't be able to make it given you normally won't get off post-call until 10 am (very earliest) to noon.

Anyone have any thoughts about this? :confused:
 

Goober

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If you want ophthalmology, give it your best shot. Do your internship and maybe research year. I agree with singkwon it would be easier to apply during your research year. The fact that you got a lot of interviews probably means you have a good chance of matching however you probably overestimated your ability to match.

Don't you think it would be hypocritical after your other post about dishonesty during interviews to take an anesthesia spot? Are you going to tell the PD that your intentions are to leave as soon as you get a ophtho spot?

Funny thing is that I actually know a guy who didn't match in ophtho from a very good medical school. Rather than reapply he took an Anesthesia residency at a decent program. He is a now miserable anesthesiologist and basically just works to support his family and his big house.
 
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Molly Maquire

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Hi,

I am not going for Optho, but I often wonder what happens if I go for a competitive specialty and don't get it.

Although your proposed course of action will provide a backup in case the optho thing dosen't work out, it seems to me that it does nothing to improve your application to optho. I would think, if you really wanted optho, that it would be better to do a year of research, publish and get to know people in that field. I think the idea is to enhance your application before reapplying. How does doing medicine and a year of gas make you a more attractive candidate for optho?

Would you enjoy being an anesthesiologist? If not, then frankly, this is a terrible plan. Why gas? Other then the fact that you both spend time in the OR, what does gas and optho have in common? Please don't tell me it's the money--if this is the reason, this is a very, very bad plan.
 

GeddyLee

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Molly and Goober,
Thanks for your feedback. Anesthesia is a valid backup plan for me, because it offers the opportunity to do things that I enjoy....procedures, learning and applying physiologic principles, and having a manageable lifestyle. I'm not going to scramble for a spot like I had mentioned. I've decided against this, just because I like OPH so much and can't imagine not giving it another all out try. But to some degree, I feel like I can't keep applying for OPH for the rest of my life, and at some point I will have to consider a backup plan.

If go unmatched again next year, and do a research year (my current plan) and again go unmatched, I would have to assume that I'd never match to OPH. I think the cards are heavily stacked against me right now for many of the reasons mentioned here....I won't do much to improved my application, I won't have the time to interview at a huge number of programs as an intern, and I'll be a "re-applicant".

Considering all of this, I'm really taking a big gamble with my future by re-applying year after year. At what point do you close out your other options? After failing to get an OPH residency 3 years in row, would I still be competetive enough to even get a good IM residency, let alone something like gas? Is it better to be a miserable, failing re-applicant who will never get a career off the ground than a miserable resident in a specialty that will eventually lead to having a job in medicine?

All of this is just made even more ridiculous knowing that people with worse boards, worse grades, and a tenth the motivation to do OPH have spots locked in for 2005. It just doesn't make any sense.
 

rice

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Geddy,

I'm further along in the re-applying path of pain. I did the ophtho research this year (and generating a couple pubs) and didn't match. I'm not trying to discourage you, as I know people who have done this and matched the following year. I had a backup plan for Internal Medicine and I am using it; I found out that I did match in IM today. I do like the opportunities in IM...GI, for example, provides lots of opportunity to perform procedures like colonoscopy, upper GI, ERCP, and the like. Plus I do like the subject. I don't really like cards, but I hear GI is really competitive too so there's no guarantee I'll even get that. Oh and I don't think you'll never get into IM; they need bodies to do the work and if you are a US medical grad you shouldn't have any problems matching. This is what it boiled down to for me: I already tried the research route and it didn't work, so I'd rather get something started and move my career forward. I will cool off on applying this year (except maybe applying to the few places I didn't apply this year) but instead concentrate on doing well on the internship, get to know the faculty, and choose someone who would be able to write me the best letter of rec. I will try to do an elective, if possible, in the ophtho department of that institution. The following year, I will hire a secretary to do the paperwork and re-apply for ophtho and GI (and maybe endocrinology? I somewhat like that) and apply to some ungodly combined amount of programs so that I can specialize in something, as I just don't see myself as a generalist. This plan should almost be failsafe, but you just never know. I still love ophtho and it would be my first choice, even AFTER an IM residency.

It depends on how far you want to go and sacrifice to get an ophtho spot. I am not going to do years and years of research, getting paid little in order to have a small hope of matching every year. For me, it was worth one year, but no more, for there is a difference between the miserable failing re-applicant and the miserable resident: the miserable resident gets paid more and has a future. Now I'm not saying that I will be miserable either; I might actually like it! I'm not going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of being miserable...I have to use cognitive behavioral tactics to get my mind out of that rut. But I will keep trying for ophtho, because one of these years someone might realize how committed I am to it. Or at least I hope.
 

Yogi Bear

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u could still do 3 years of Internal med and then apply to optho right?
 

BeefyRedEye

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I totally missed this thread the first time around - Geddy how did things go? I am in full support of you brotha, in fact I went down the exact same path. I ended up matching at NY Presbyterian/Cornell for gas, and couldn't be happier. In case you are still considering this option (you might of already matched somewhere, then congrats!) The many things you mentioned about both fields having in common (procedures, learning and applying physiologic principles, and having a manageable lifestyle) are certainly true. I have a good feeling that you'll like anesthesia a lot more than you think. I hadn't even really considered it throughout medical school, but after doing a rotation I knew I could like it just as much as Ophthalmology.

If you feel like you were destined to do ophtho, by all means go for it again. If you came to ophtho by process of eliminating other fields that didnt have the attributes you desire, you should give gas another look.

PM me for more specific information on gas programs. There are TOP programs that reserve spots exactly for qualified applicants like you (apply ERAS for a CA-1 PGY-2 spot in 2005), and due to the mass shortage of anesthesiologists I know of top programs that are looking to expand. You wouldn't even need to wait out an extra year.
 
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