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Hello everyone,

Had a question regarding elective planning for 4th year (currently a CC3). I have been interested in General Surgery and ENT since M1 and have done extensive networking and research in both fields to date. As of right now I have not yet decided which I'd rather pursue, and am pretty much divided 50/50. I dont get to do my cores in these specialties until next summer, and have to choose my electives before experiencing them in clerkship. Since I have the 8-week cap, I thought splitting 50/50 wouldnt be a bad idea, but I am wondering if that will hurt my chances for either specialty?

So essentially:

Option 1: Split 50/50 doing 4x two-week electives in both GS and ENT

Option 2 (if I decide ENT is #1): Do 4 electives in ENT, 2-3 electives in General Surgery, 1 elective in anesthesia or radiology, 1 elective in CCU or ICU

Would like to hear any feedback/tips on these strategies!

Thanks!

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7 hours ago, RicardoKaká said:

Hello everyone,

Had a question regarding elective planning for 4th year (currently a CC3). I have been interested in General Surgery and ENT since M1 and have done extensive networking and research in both fields to date. As of right now I have not yet decided which I'd rather pursue, and am pretty much divided 50/50. I dont get to do my cores in these specialties until next summer, and have to choose my electives before experiencing them in clerkship. Since I have the 8-week cap, I thought splitting 50/50 wouldnt be a bad idea, but I am wondering if that will hurt my chances for either specialty?

So essentially:

Option 1: Split 50/50 doing 4x two-week electives in both GS and ENT

Option 2 (if I decide ENT is #1): Do 4 electives in ENT, 2-3 electives in General Surgery, 1 elective in anesthesia or radiology, 1 elective in CCU or ICU

Would like to hear any feedback/tips on these strategies!

Thanks!

Why do any anesthesia or CCU electives (unless forced to do so)? If possible, only do electives in the specialty (or specialties) you are interested in.

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1 hour ago, gangliocytoma said:

aren't you guys also mandated to do an elective in a minimum 3 of direct-carms entry specialties in addition to the 8-week cap? So technically your 1st option wouldn't work.

Have not heard this being a thing. Will look into it though.

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2 hours ago, RicardoKaká said:

Have not heard this being a thing. Will look into it though.

IIRC, we (U of T students) do need to complete electives in 3 direct entry specialties, but that includes our selectives.

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13 hours ago, NLengr said:

Why do any anesthesia or CCU electives (unless forced to do so)? If possible, only do electives in the specialty (or specialties) you are interested in.

They are in the first cohort that has the 8-week cap on electives in any one discipline. The concern is that if you evenly split your electives between two surgical specialties, you may look less committed to either compared to someone who maxed out their 8 weeks in ENT (or Gen Surg) and did only did surgically-related electives for the rest.

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8 hours ago, mew said:

IIRC, we (U of T students) do need to complete electives in 3 direct entry specialties, but that includes our selectives.

This is something that would be new for this year. Not sure what selectives are since we don't have those.

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1 hour ago, Redpill said:

They are in the first cohort that has the 8-week cap on electives in any one discipline. The concern is that if you evenly split your electives between two surgical specialties, you may look less committed to either compared to someone who maxed out their 8 weeks in ENT (or Gen Surg) and did only did surgically-related electives for the rest.

This is what I am afraid of. Anyone else willing to chime in?

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On 11/20/2019 at 6:10 PM, RicardoKaká said:

This is what I am afraid of. Anyone else willing to chime in?

Personally I do think it will make you appear less committed but I'm further away from CARMS then you are so my opinion isn't worth much

Anecdotally I've heard of people trying to back up their main surgical specialty with Gen Surg and getting absolutely grilled about it at the Gen Surg interviews. They still did get interviews though...

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On 11/27/2019 at 12:54 AM, Redpill said:

Personally I do think it will make you appear less committed but I'm further away from CARMS then you are so my opinion isn't worth much

Anecdotally I've heard of people trying to back up their main surgical specialty with Gen Surg and getting absolutely grilled about it at the Gen Surg interviews. They still did get interviews though...

I know someone who did this almost a decade ago at their home school. But they were totally open about it with the gen surg PD. 

Basically went to the PD (who they knew from core rotations) and said "I want to match this other surgical specialty but it is really competitive. If I don't match, I don't want to end up in paych or family because I really want something surgical. If I apply to your program as back up, will you be offended or is that ok?"

PD said it was fine and they appreciated the honesty. The gen surg program then ranked the applicant in the top few people so that if the applicant didn't match to their first choice specialty, they'd still match to gen surg. It helped the PD spent the whole core surgical rotation trying to convince the applicant to do gen surg.

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13 hours ago, NLengr said:

I know someone who did this almost a decade ago at their home school. But they were totally open about it with the gen surg PD. 

Basically went to the PD (who they knew from core rotations) and said "I want to match this other surgical specialty but it is really competitive. If I don't match, I don't want to end up in paych or family because I really want something surgical. If I apply to your program as back up, will you be offended or is that ok?"

PD said it was fine and they appreciated the honesty. The gen surg program then ranked the applicant in the top few people so that if the applicant didn't match to their first choice specialty, they'd still match to gen surg. It helped the PD spent the whole core surgical rotation trying to convince the applicant to do gen surg.

This could work for some but I think it could also end badly. Especially with the increased competitiveness that wasn't there a decade ago.

If the gen surg program gets lots of candidates who have prioritized gen surg since the beginning, they may want to rank those candidates higher, which might not leave enough spots for all those who are backing up.

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38 minutes ago, Redpill said:

This could work for some but I think it could also end badly. Especially with the increased competitiveness that wasn't there a decade ago.

If the gen surg program gets lots of candidates who have prioritized gen surg since the beginning, they may want to rank those candidates higher, which might not leave enough spots for all those who are backing up.

I agree with you. It would probably be a great idea for 1:10 applicants and a terrible idea for the other 9. At this point, it's more of an interesting story vs. general advice.

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I think it will be difficult to assess how people will interpret your elective spread with the new mandated 8 week cap. Anyone giving you advice at this time is purely speculating as we have no idea how programs will assess your application once this huge change is implemented.

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