View Full Version : My Surgery Core Dilemma... to UK or not to UK

12-23-2011, 10:56 AM
Hello, I am looking for some advice and guidance on my situation. I have been confirmed to go to Ealing in the UK in May for my surgery core which I am super excited about. I love traveling and have always wanted to go to London. However, I am interested in surgery and may want to apply for a general surgery rotation in the future. I was told by the head of my internal medicine program that if you are interested in a field, you should probably do it in the US as a letter of rec from a US doc is usually better than a UK doc.

Recently, my mentor and family friend, became the chief hospitalist at St. Agnes in Baltimore (my home town). I was assigned the core surgery spot in the UK because I was told that all Baltimore (and US) spots had already been filled. I told this to my mentor and he said he would talk with some of the other higher ups at St. Agnes and see what he can do. He called me a while ago and said he could probably get me a spot on a team but it would make the team lopsided, but it would be doable.

Should I try to cancel my May appointment to go to London for surgery if I can get a spot at St. Agnes? My family think I would benefit from the experience of learning over seas, but my mentor thinks this is a great opprtunity that shouldn't be passed up. I've heard from other IM students that St. Agnes is brutal but this might be a good place for training.

Thanks for your input, much appreciated!

12-23-2011, 01:32 PM
Go to UK for surgery and then do a surgery sub-I in Baltimore. You get all the bumps worked out in the UK and you will look better in the sub-I.

12-23-2011, 01:41 PM
As far as hours are concerned, surgery is much more chill in the UK. You get a lot of hands on experience in the OR (first assists in some pretty cool operations), but you get little to no practice writing surgical notes or doing any of the other various forms of scut work that you'd have to do in the US.

12-23-2011, 06:04 PM
I'm at Ealing for surgery and I agree that it is fairly chilled out and you don't "have" to do scut work, like the US. However, it is what you make of it, the junior doctors are more than happy to have you help with the scut if you want. As far as the op note, when the surgery is done-grab a piece of blank paper and write down the op note. Then you can ask the registrar (or rarely the Consultant) what they think. In the UK, and probably elsewhere: the rotation is what you make of it.

I also agree with Eileen that it would be good to do the core in the UK, get the experience and then do an elective in the states (that is my plan anyway)

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