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  1. #1
    fobdout is offline Newbie 510 points
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    204/84 for step 1... surgery still possible?

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    hey guys. i got my score about a month ago and i'm still upset about it. i'm just wondering what are my chances in obtaining a surgery spot. would doing well on step 2 (>230) help. btw, i'm a US IMG... i heard that the surgery programs have cutoffs... it that true for all of them or just some? what else can i do to increase my chances?

    after i got my score... i'm more open to ob/gyn (still has some surgery aspects to it) as well as maybe cardio via IM. any input on those residencies/fellowships w/ my score?

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11629 points
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    ob is competitive too- something like 96-98% fill rate the last few years...

    prelim surg is definitely a possiblity, but a cat spot....will definitely be tougher...make sure you do a surg sub-i somewhere that the PD is well known and well respected (if you are sgu- st. barnabas is a good place- Dr. C. is top 100 doc for NY/NJ and his LoR goes a long way).
    Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Fellow
    ABIM certified IM
    ValueMD-the place "where nothing makes sense, but everything is related-fellow vmd'r gabon

  3. #3
    fobdout is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    ob is competitive too- something like 96-98% fill rate the last few years...

    prelim surg is definitely a possiblity, but a cat spot....will definitely be tougher...make sure you do a surg sub-i somewhere that the PD is well known and well respected (if you are sgu- st. barnabas is a good place- Dr. C. is top 100 doc for NY/NJ and his LoR goes a long way).
    thanks for your reply! i'm actually a ross student. can you explain the difference b/w prelim surgery and categorical? i read somewhere that prelim has no guarantee for a pgy-2 spot... but its more of exposing you to surgery and making you more competitive for a pgy-1 cat spot for the next application cycle? is that true? what's the point of the prelim spot anyway besides what i mentioned?

    also, will improving on step 2 make a difference or it won't matter since i'll be screened out because of my step 1 score?
    Last edited by fobdout; 08-18-2008 at 09:03 PM.

  4. #4
    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11629 points
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    you may not be screen out due to the step I score- the filter for many places are set low- 80-85, though 90 does seem to be the magic number as filters go...apply widely...

    you are correct, prelim guarantees you nothing but the 1st year- look at places that turn over many of their prelims into PGY-2s....some places may have you start over as a PGY-1, but if you really, really, really want surg, it may be the option you have to take (and this wouldn't just because of the low step I score- surg is just that competitive- i know people with great step I and II scores that are in a prelim spot)...

    again LoRs seem to play a bigger role in gen surg than in say IM , get a great letter form someone known to other PDs- it will open doors for you.
    Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Fellow
    ABIM certified IM
    ValueMD-the place "where nothing makes sense, but everything is related-fellow vmd'r gabon

  5. #5
    soweto is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    My Friend, be realistic, with that low score, your chances are really slim......One thing that I can tell you, Do not do prelim surg....its cheap work, you'll get used, work 15 hours/day, and you'll get nothing from that....
    I'll seriously consider other options Ob/Gyn, IM......
    Good luck
    Peace
    Soweto from the Ghetto.

  6. #6
    thethom is offline Senior Member 516 points
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    St. Mary's in CT is good for surgery. You'll work like a dog but its good training. The PD invented TPN, known as one of the 3 great advances in surgery of the century (along with on-pump heart surgery and transplantation). I got a letter from him and so did one of my other colleagues. 204 will probably get you a prelim position but I know at St. Marys the prelims all get categorical PGY1 spots the next year.
    M.D. RUSM c/o 2009.
    Step 1: 260/99, Step 2CK: 236/98, Step 3: 244/99.
    Family Medicine Residency 2009-2012, Board Certified.
    Sports Medicine Fellowship 20012-2013, Board Certified.
    Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
    Currently in private Primary Care Sports Medicine Practice.

  7. #7
    fobdout is offline Newbie 510 points
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    thanks for all the replies!

    so when someone says they're going into general surgery, they still need a categorical residency? i'm sorry but i'm getting confused w/ the terms... i'm thinking "categorical" means a specialty in surgery, like ortho, vascular, neuro, etc... is this correct?

    thetom: i think my friend rotated w/ you... i was actually trying to PM you but i couldn't since i didn't have enough posts. i asked you a question in the wycoff thread in the ross clinical forums... anyway, i would love to rotate into St mary's but they have a minimum step score that's higher than mine so that's out of the question. can you recommend any others? i was looking into rochester since you get to work directly w/ the surgeon so he can write a really personal LOR...

  8. #8
    GuitarHeroMD is offline Member
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    Forget about those people who say you have a 'low score'. A 206 is good enough to get your foot in the door...residency programs have some leway when it comes to who they pick. A 220 with a poor work ethic and attitude is not as good a candidate as a 210 with exceptional work ethic and great interpersonal skills.

  9. #9
    soweto is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarheroMD2B View Post
    Forget about those people who say you have a 'low score'. A 206 is good enough to get your foot in the door...residency programs have some leway when it comes to who they pick. A 220 with a poor work ethic and attitude is not as good a candidate as a 210 with exceptional work ethic and great interpersonal skills.


    I totally agree with you that exceptional work ethic and interpersonal skills will help the application, but b/4 that, you have to meet the cut off to get to the interview. If not how will show your skills? How many sub/I rotations can you do to show your skills?
    ....Again, be realistic, with 206, IMG, the chances for getting Categorical Surg are slim. Thats the reality, whether you like it or not.....
    Peace and Good luck!

  10. #10
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    AUCMD2006 is offline Ultimate Member 6129 points
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    its not a death sentence but its another uphill battle getting catagorical gen surg with a low score. i picked obgyn because it had surgery in it and since i had good scores i could pretty much choose where i did residency. applying for gen surg would have meant applying to a ton of programs and taking anything which you will have to do.

    one think i can say is do not do a prelim surgery year it is a scam at most places. when you interview ask the program how many of their prelims they take for guaranteed spots into catagorical if they say prelim is a "try out" that means try out for how much scut work you can do. if all or most of the prelims are imgs then you aren't getting a spot (look at the catagoricals and see how many are imgs)

    so gotta do what you really want to do. i can tell you though that as an intern in obgyn i was first assist going in the belly for open cases more than 150 times and as primary surgeon another 100. i've done appendectomies along with the usual gyn organ removals. we are also trained to do colectomies, and bowel surgery in gyn onc rotation and in case a gen surg is not available in some out skirt hospital i could do the above. i also repair small hernias and have done some gall bladders. so you gotta look at what surgery you wanna do. 99% of the time you will be doing uterus, tubes, ovaries..just like gen surg moist of the time is bowel, gall bladder and absecess but both will get you in the OR. once you are done you don't have to do ob you can do staright gyn so its not like you are doomed to do deliveiresd
    AUCMD2006
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