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    Mader2000 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Neurosurgery ?? Help

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    Hi There everybody, I have my MD from the UNAM (mexico university), and i have started my surgery residency, and derived to neurosurgery. I was wondering what it would take me to be acknowledge, in the US. And to be able to excercise medicine in the us.
    Or maybe perhaps do a Fellow.


    Also could someone plese tell me how the neurosurgery residency is built up and what you need to be able to enter it.
    Looking forward to your help.

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    Compassion MD's Avatar
    Compassion MD is offline Permanently Banned 517 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mader2000 View Post
    Hi There everybody, I have my MD from the UNAM (mexico university), and i have started my surgery residency, and derived to neurosurgery. I was wondering what it would take me to be acknowledge, in the US. And to be able to excercise medicine in the us.
    Or maybe perhaps do a Fellow.


    Also could someone plese tell me how the neurosurgery residency is built up and what you need to be able to enter it.
    Looking forward to your help.

    Step 1, 2. Neurosurgery is a 7 year residency program. Only around 150ish spots were available for 2008 MATCH. Extremely competitive. Absolutely need 99 on Step 1 and 2. It would be nice if you have research background and recommendation letter from a US neurosurgeon will be very helpful too since its a small community.

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    OveractiveBrain is offline Newbie 511 points
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    FMGs dont match into Neurosurgery. I knew two guys from Cuba who came to the US as techs. They eventually got residencies as neurologists. These were seasoned veterans in neurosurgery in Cuba and south america, something like 8 years of accomplished independent work.

    That being said there is still a chance, but "99" isnt good enough. you need a 250+ to match into neurosurgery. People with a 230 get "99". Research, letters of recomendation, and a family friend high up in the beauracratic ladder will help.

    Best of luck to you, it is a real tough road to come into neurosurgery from outside the US.

    Musts:
    (1) pass Step 1 (240+)
    (2) pass Step 2 (240+)
    (3) letters of recomendation from a US accredited program. Contact department chairs or residency directors to see if you can do a visiting rotation as a visiting resident. Better to wait until you're done and let your intentions be known. Dont go to UPenn or UCSF, go to garbage programs like Tulane. Once you get the residency (and a green card) nothing will stop you from being a neurosurgeon in the states.
    (4)

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    Residenttutor is offline Newbie 510 points
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    truth from an IMG who is in a neurosurg residency

    I really wish everyone would stop the hype (just kidding). On the other hand most of you were right to some extent about the difficulty in obtaining a neursurg residency as an IMG.

    Of course step 1&2 must be >95 (preferably 99). Yes, some select programs will inform you ahead of time on their website that they specifically want 240 or more however not most of them.

    Three key component will secure you an interview (your #1 target):

    1. Know a US neurosurg attending who's willing to recommend your expertise, and if you don't have this, score very high on your boards. The higher the better.
    2. Apply very early, like within the very first 5 days of the San francisco application season.
    3. A neurosurgery elective in the US and/or a passing step 3 USMLE score (which you can only undertake with an ECFMG certificate anyway)



    • After having those components to aid you in obtaining an interview, the ball is in your court to impress the panel. Should you be a US permanent resident, your chances will go up. Should you still know someone in the department, your chances will go up. Should you have a published research background, your chances will go up however only in those programs within a teaching hospital (else research might be useless).


    In brevity, your first goal now is to ace your step 1 & 2 boards. Work toward an option of either being a US permanent resident ahead of the game or seek to know a US neurosurg attending who can follow you along this journey.

    There are on 59 programs in the US. Almost 46 of them only take one resident per year. A handful will take about 5-7 residents. The rest are in-between, accepting only 2-3 residents per year.


    PLAN B in obtaining a US neurosurgery residency.

    1. Still aim for a high academic result from your USMLE exam.
    2. Apply to Gen surgery programs only in hospital with a neurosurgery program. It's easier to switch from Gen surg into Neurosurg within the same hospital than from one hospital to another.
    3. In order to have the flexibility to make this move without any restriction from your Gen Surg residency, I urge you to pass your step 3 boards before starting your Gen surgery residency. That way you will enter with an H1b work visa, which is more easily acceptable during transfers that the regular J1 visa.


    I hope i was able to add a few more cents of info to what others have provided you so far. It's a long journey worth taking if you are determined and willing to pay the price. I wish you all the very best in your upcoming endeavors.

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