tncekm

MS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
3,616
5
Status
Medical Student
I'm a premed student and I've been trying to do a little bit of research on different specialities, etc. But, I know that not everyone can match into whatever speciality they would like to. I've been very interested in surgery for quite some time. I'm just absolutely fascinated when i see procedures (with the exception of facial reconstruction and using that damn chisel thing...haha). But, what does it take to be a surgeon? Say, a neurosurgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon. What exactly do these people have (aside from the desire and motivation) that others don't to get into these specialties?

Thanks in advance, I appreciate it!
 

rad_one

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2002
110
0
Visit site
Status
As anyone who has gone through college, medical school , internship, residency, and then a susbspecialty residency (or fellowship) will tell you, getting to become a practicing physician is a test of stamina. Yes you have to be smart, think on your feet and under pressure, and be able to multi-task. But the long haul from high school until board certification can be from 11-15 years. Those folks who do specialty surgery ( cardio, peds, neuro, etc.) go through a hell of a lot of training and hours and sacrafice a great deal.

Becoming a doctor is truly a test of stamina and "ganas" (desire). Once you've climbed the mountain and look back at where you started from, its an achievement of which you can be very proud. As Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own--" Its the hard that makes it great. If it wasn't hard, everybody would do it."
 

mjl1717

Senior Member
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
May 24, 2003
1,608
8
64
Westbury,NewYork
Visit site
Status
rad_one said:
As anyone who has gone through college, medical school , internship, residency, and then a susbspecialty residency (or fellowship) will tell you, getting to become a practicing physician is a test of stamina. Yes you have to be smart, think on your feet and under pressure, and be able to multi-task. But the long haul from high school until board certification can be from 11-15 years. Those folks who do specialty surgery ( cardio, peds, neuro, etc.) go through a hell of a lot of training and hours and sacrafice a great deal.

Becoming a doctor is truly a test of stamina and "ganas" (desire). Once you've climbed the mountain and look back at where you started from, its an achievement of which you can be very proud. As Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own--" Its the hard that makes it great. If it wasn't hard, everybody would do it."
well said!
 
About the Ads

Hard24Get

The black sleepymed
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2006
4,768
2
In my skin, when I jump out you jump in!
Status
Resident [Any Field]
tncekm said:
What exactly do these people have (aside from the desire and motivation) that others don't to get into these specialties?

True desire and motivation is usually enough for most US grads (85% for NS) - the majority of those that don't match in surgical specialties.... don't apply.
 

Blue Dog

Fides et ratio.
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2006
12,413
5,252
Status
Attending Physician
rad_one said:
As Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own--" Its the hard that makes it great. If it wasn't hard, everybody would do it."
I've always loved that quote. :) :thumbup:
 
OP
T

tncekm

MS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
3,616
5
Status
Medical Student
Awesome...thanks for the replies everyone!

So basically, if i want to be a neurosurgeon bad enough, I can be? (just as an example specialty and assuming I make it through all of the med school, etc -- which I will by the way :D )
 

TicToc22

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2005
43
0
Status
Medical Student
Basically, neurosurgeons and cardiothoracic surgeons have one thing that a lot of people don't have: the willingness to give up their entire life to live for medicine. Other than that, neither field is that difficult to get into if that's what you really want. But you have to decide whether other things are also important to you, like family, hobbies, free time, etc. It's all up to you.
 

Callogician

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2005
424
3
36
Philadelphia, PA
Status
Medical Student
Hard24Get said:
True desire and motivation is usually enough for most US grads (85% for NS) - the majority of those that don't match in surgical specialties.... don't apply.
You're misleading the opening poster. These statistics often result from self-selection. People know that they will not match, so they don't apply (often by subconsciously convincing themselves that they want to do something else). The truth is that students fail to match into their dream specialties all the time. Several smart/well motivated students failed to match ortho in the last match at my school.

My advice: Try very hard, have a backup plan, and enjoy life.

BTW, Cardiothoracic surgery is a long and grueling path, but it's not all that competitive per se.
 
OP
T

tncekm

MS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
3,616
5
Status
Medical Student
TicToc22 said:
Basically, neurosurgeons and cardiothoracic surgeons have one thing that a lot of people don't have: the willingness to give up their entire life to live for medicine. Other than that, neither field is that difficult to get into if that's what you really want. But you have to decide whether other things are also important to you, like family, hobbies, free time, etc. It's all up to you.
Awesome...well, its me and my fiance. she'll be a dental hygienest in less than two years and she'll be supporting me while I go to medical school. I've talked to her about it, and I know I basically wouldn't be getting paid "squat" until i was almost 40 and she said that's okay. I'm a rather boring guy...I have pets, love to eat, and lift weights. I'm happy with that, so I can dedicate my life to medicine (if I so choose when the time is appropriate).

I was just curious, however. I know I have to take it one step at a time.

I appreciate all of your responses!
 
OP
T

tncekm

MS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
3,616
5
Status
Medical Student
Callogician said:
The truth is that students fail to match into their dream specialties all the time. Several smart/well motivated students failed to match ortho in the last match at my school.
And, that's what I"ve heard...that's the scary part. In this situation, if you want it you can still apply right? Also, can you try to match again later on?
 

crys20

make it happen!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2004
1,130
1
Status
To the OP...

YES. If you want it bad enough it WILL happen, in medicine. I am someone who just, JUST wanted it bad enough....That, coupled with the will to work my a** off for as long as it took. This is key...You will have to work very hard, and possibly for a longer time than you anticipated originally...But wanting it bad enough will be enough. This isn't business, or pro sports...It's medicine, and it's hard but not so hard that it's unattainable for pretty much anybody.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,895
Status
Attending Physician
tncekm said:
Awesome...thanks for the replies everyone!

So basically, if i want to be a neurosurgeon bad enough, I can be? (just as an example specialty and assuming I make it through all of the med school, etc -- which I will by the way :D )
I actually know a surgeon who says that he never would want anyone on his team that "knew" they wanted to be a surgeon before medical school. His reasoning was that you cannot possibly have any real perspective prior to at least doing your surgery rotation, and thus are likely basing your career decision on TV or something similarly dubious. Thus if you might want to be a neurosurgeon, the trick is not to want it "bad enough", the trick is not to want it at all YET. Just do the best you can in your studies, and take it one step at a time. If, when the time comes, you still like the idea of surgery, go for it.
 
OP
T

tncekm

MS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
3,616
5
Status
Medical Student
Law2Doc said:
I actually know a surgeon who says that he never would want anyone on his team that "knew" they wanted to be a surgeon before medical school. His reasoning was that you cannot possibly have any real perspective prior to at least doing your surgery rotation, and thus are likely basing your career decision on TV or something similarly dubious. Thus if you might want to be a neurosurgeon, the trick is not to want it "bad enough", the trick is not to want it at all YET. Just do the best you can in your studies, and take it one step at a time. If, when the time comes, you still like the idea of surgery, go for it.
I already addressed this:

TNCEKM said:
so I can dedicate my life to medicine (if I so choose when the time is appropriate).
I can't decide where I'll go just yet...that would be stupid :) I just know what interests me.
 

gostudy

Black covfefe. No sugar, no cream
10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2005
8,304
1,531
Status
Attending Physician
TicToc22 said:
Basically, neurosurgeons and cardiothoracic surgeons have one thing that a lot of people don't have: the willingness to give up their entire life to live for medicine. Other than that, neither field is that difficult to get into if that's what you really want. But you have to decide whether other things are also important to you, like family, hobbies, free time, etc. It's all up to you.

There is a man by the name of Benjamin Carson. You should read about him.
 

Hard24Get

The black sleepymed
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2006
4,768
2
In my skin, when I jump out you jump in!
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Callogician said:
You're misleading the opening poster. These statistics often result from self-selection. People know that they will not match, so they don't apply (often by subconsciously convincing themselves that they want to do something else). The truth is that students fail to match into their dream specialties all the time. Several smart/well motivated students failed to match ortho in the last match at my school.
I did not mean to be misleading, but I have not been aware of tons of people being dissuaded from their desired specialty. My school always tells us we can go whereever we want.... maybe 'cause it's top 5? I just would assume there are enough different specialties for diffeent folks for most of us to end up satisfied. It must really suck to have to settle after all that training... :(
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,895
Status
Attending Physician
Hard24Get said:
I did not mean to be misleading, but I have not been aware of tons of people being dissuaded from their desired specialty. My school always tells us we can go whereever we want.... maybe 'cause it's top 5? I just would assume there are enough different specialties for diffeent folks for most of us to end up satisfied. It must really suck to have to settle after all that training... :(
How far along are you? Certainly nothing is written in stone during the first two years, but doors start slamming shut for some starting with Step 1. Also if you are in the top of your class in terms of grades, boards, etc, you might not get the full appreciation of how folks are herded into more realistic directions, even at your school. At most places, if you have, eg. low board scores and lukewarm clinical recs and mediocre grades and no research, no one is going to let you apply to, say, derm, at most schools. Someone will sit you down and have a heart to heart with you somewhere in the process -- a little friendly advice. It's in your best interest, as well as the school's, for folks to all be realistic and match.
 
About the Ads