Saturday, January 5, 2013


Hey- so first post. I want to start out by saying WELCOME. I finally decided to start a blog so I can just ramble on about different topics instead of forcing those around me to hear about my every thought (which I typically verbalize). For my first post, I am going to make it a serious one and talk about what has been on my mind practically 24/7 over the last 3 months. Residency Applications. Residency interviews. Residency Rank Lists...ahhhhhh. I wish someone could do all of those for me because this entire process is even more grueling and tedious than applying for medical school if you can believe it.
      Unlike most of the medical students I have met, I have always had a pretty good idea of what specialty I wanted to go into. I am not sure why exactly...... They (and by they I mean the medical student ghosts of years past) say that you cannot really know what specialty is right for you until you complete your 3rd year clerkships, but I disagree. According to the AMA Physician Masterfile, there are currently more than 140 ACGME specialties and sub-specialties. The basic specialties that one applies to a residency for are as follows:

  1. Allergy and Immunology
  2. Anesthesiology
  3. Colon and Rectal Surgery
  4. Dermatology
  5. Emergency Medicine
  6. Family Medicine
  7. Internal Medicine
  8. Medical Genetics
  9. Neurological Surgery
  10. Nuclear Medicine
  11. Obstetrics and Gynecology
  12. Ophthalmology
  13. Orthopedic Surgery
  14. Otolaryngology
  15. Pathology
  16. Pediatrics
  17. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  18. Plastic Surgery
  19. Preventive Medicine
  20. Psychiatry and Neurology
  21. Radiology
  22. Surgery
  23. Thoracic Surgery
  24. Urology
During our clerkships.....we rotate through a whopping 5 of these specialties. How in the world are we supposed to know what we want to practice for the rest of our lives? I mean, I could love Ophthalmology and never know it. To make things worse, we essentially have to make the decision over the summer following our 3rd year, because ERAS (the application service used to apply to residency programs in the United States) comes out over the summer and we are allowed to submit it in early September. Lucky for me they changed the date from September 1st to September 15th this year (my wedding was September 1st, but if that had, in fact, been the date to submit our applications, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would have on that day). NO MATTER WHAT MY FIANCE SAID.
     Anyway, the 5 core specialties we rotate through are: Psychiatry, Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine. Different schools have different requirements after this (for example, my school requires radiology, some require neurology), but those +/- a few are the core 5. The order in which we do the rotations varies among students (some places let you choose, some places it is a lottery) so the order also influences people's decision making. Our school has us try to schedule our fourth year rotations in the spring of 3rd year, and it is important to set up audition rotations in the beginning of 4th year to showcase your skills at hospitals you wish to do your residency at, in the specialty that you are applying to.  FYI- scheduling these "audition" rotations is very hard and very annoying. This poses a problem for someone like my best friend from medical school who believed all throughout the first 2.5 years of school that she was going to be an obgyn. So..... she scheduled 3 audition rotations in obgyn at hospitals in and around nyc only to realize upon completion of her ob clerkship in May that she really did not like the specialty. She HATED the specialty. There was no way she could talk herself into doing it even a little bit. PROBLEM.
      Anyway, this is becoming way too long for my first welcome post. I wish everyone a very happy Saturday :)

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