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No match - plastic surgery


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It sounds like you were very close - I'd for sure consider a research year and trying again.  Unless you want to start residency soon for whatever reasons, or there's another specialty that really interests you, then you don't have anything to lose.  Maybe try to see what happened during your interviews through informal channels.  

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Sorry to hear. I agree about trying to get some candid feedback from a trusted mentor if you can. In such a small specialty, you'd want to know whether you'd have people going to bat for you in the program, as this would be important in order to secure a spot in the future. I'm not sure I would do a research year unless there was a pretty good indication that this would be successful (such as prior history of other candidates doing this successfully, faculty offering to set up such opportunities for you). I would go for another 5 year surgical specialty if that would be acceptable to you.

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21 hours ago, rockBottom said:

It sounds like you were very close - I'd for sure consider a research year and trying again.  Unless you want to start residency soon for whatever reasons, or there's another specialty that really interests you, then you don't have anything to lose.  Maybe try to see what happened during your interviews through informal channels.  

I did speak to people and even one PD, and apparently my interviews went well... I did research during preclerck but didn't publish. 

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Almost all candidates would interview well, as they have already gone through medical school interviews successfully. Most times, in such a small specialty, the program would already have a good idea of who they will be ranking highly among the candidates who are known to them.

You need to look at what is available in the second round and act fast. Not much time to get updated letters targeting your intended fields.

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1 hour ago, 1D7 said:

You need to check if there have been any applicants who have matched to plastic surgery at all after 1 attempt before attempting to pursue it anymore. I suspect for plastics that doesn't happen much or ever.

I would recommend family medicine.

Not easy, but definitely does happen. I am aware of 2 plastics applicants who matched to their top choice the second time applying last cycle.

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I have heard of 2-3 candidates in Quebec in the past few years who have matched after a year of research. Connections matter, but I think number of publications also matters (a lot of plastics candidates have 10+ publications).

I think it's worth doing for plastics, it seems to be the norm. A lot of people even do a research masters before applying to carms the first time. 

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To OP: How many interviews did you get in total? 

I know 3 plastic "gunners" who went unmatched, attempted 1 year of research but still did not match in the following cycle. With a new pool of qualified applicants every year, I would imagine that most residency programs do not have any incentive to take a previously unmatched applicant, especially in the highly competitive areas. 

 

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9 hours ago, ArchEnemy said:

To OP: How many interviews did you get in total? 

I know 3 plastic "gunners" who went unmatched, attempted 1 year of research but still did not match in the following cycle. With a new pool of qualified applicants every year, I would imagine that most residency programs do not have any incentive to take a previously unmatched applicant, especially in the highly competitive areas. 

 

Very risky indeed. 

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11 hours ago, ArchEnemy said:

To OP: How many interviews did you get in total? 

I know 3 plastic "gunners" who went unmatched, attempted 1 year of research but still did not match in the following cycle. With a new pool of qualified applicants every year, I would imagine that most residency programs do not have any incentive to take a previously unmatched applicant, especially in the highly competitive areas. 

 

 

11 hours ago, ArchEnemy said:

To OP: How many interviews did you get in total? 

I know 3 plastic "gunners" who went unmatched, attempted 1 year of research but still did not match in the following cycle. With a new pool of qualified applicants every year, I would imagine that most residency programs do not have any incentive to take a previously unmatched applicant, especially in the highly competitive areas. 

 

yeah no clear answers - those that have seen many cycles at this point now people where it worked and people where it didn't - I have someone go through 3 cycles looking for a competitive specialty prior to going into family. Painful process - although if there is nothing else you are interested in doing just like a premed that didn't get into medical school there is an argument for continuing if you think there is a reasonable chance. The lack of publications in this case I think likely is barrier and a research focus might deal with that. 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 3/7/2020 at 4:49 PM, 1D7 said:

 would recommend family medicine.

This is terrible advice and people need to stop recommending it. When you don't get what you want doing family medicine isn't going to fix that.

Do what you love. If it can't be plastic surgery then think about something else that you love. Don't do family medicine because your school wants to up its match numbers. 

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3 hours ago, unmatch said:

This is terrible advice and people need to stop recommending it. I also did not get my first choice specialty and ended up in family.

I hate my life and program site. When you don't get what you want doing family medicine isn't going to fix that.

Do what you love. If it can't be plastic surgery then think about something else that you love. Don't do family medicine because your school wants to up its match numbers. 

I disagree. I think at some point the applicant needs to understand that they are not competitive or suitable for that specialty and move on with life. 

There are so many niches within family medicine (e.g. ER, Palliative, Anesthesia, Women's Health, OB, Chronic Pain, Surgical Assistant, Endoscopy etc) that one should be able to find something that they enjoy.  And if one still cannot find something that they enjoy, then maybe they should consider careers beyond clinical medicine (e.g. administrative, start-ups, consulting etc).

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27 minutes ago, ArchEnemy said:

I disagree. I think at some point the applicant needs to understand that they are not competitive or suitable for that specialty and move on with life. 

There are so many niches within family medicine (e.g. ER, Palliative, Anesthesia, Women's Health, OB, Chronic Pain, Surgical Assistant, Endoscopy etc) that one should be able to find something that they enjoy.  And if one still cannot find something that they enjoy, then maybe they should consider careers beyond clinical medicine (e.g. administrative, start-ups, consulting etc).

They might not be competitive for their original specialty, but they could be competitive for something else. I'd imagine someone who wishes to move on from plastics would much rather do ENT, ortho, or gen surg than family medicine.

Giving everyone the blanket suggestion to back up with family creates bitter and poor family doctors. Yes family is flexible, but not everyone has the ability to practice one of those things you suggested either due to competition (ER) or their community does not have a need for it (someone from the GTA won't be able to market their +1 anesthesia). 95% of family doctors will be soliciting patients to get their flu shots for their $2000 bonus or telling their thousandth patient with mechanical low back pain that there's no treatment for them. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have friends that work in some of the most competitive specialties, many of them in the US. My best piece of advice to those considering competitive specialties, consider writing the USMLE's and opening up your options to the US. High step scores, plus publications will give you a very good shot. 

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9 hours ago, swoman said:

If I wanted plastics and didn't match, I would do family and do cosmetics, lifestyle family medicine. Botox, fillers, derm, out of pocket stuff. You could even do skin cancer excisions and biopsys!

I don't think this is very feasible.

People would rather go to a derm/plastic surgeon for cosmetics, and they can do so without being placed on a waitlist.

Also, skin cancer excision and biopsies are not worth it because  the cost of the materials is higher than what you can bill for it. This is not lucrative even for the derms/plastic surgeons, you'd have to get payed derm or plastic surgery consultation numbers to make up for it.

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13 minutes ago, MDinCanada said:

I don't think this is very feasible.

People would rather go to a derm/plastic surgeon for cosmetics, and they can do so without being placed on a waitlist.

Also, skin cancer excision and biopsies are not worth it because  the cost of the materials is higher than what you can bill for it. This is not lucrative even for the derms/plastic surgeons, you'd have to get payed derm or plastic surgery consultation numbers to make up for it.

It is feasible in the right areas. I'm aware of GP's starting up cosmetics practices and getting patients even within an hour's drive of saturated markets like the GTA. Granted, it may take a bit of time to advertise and build up a client base. Most people who go into family medicine just aren't interested or aware in these so it isn't popular, but certainly doable.

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On 3/8/2020 at 9:41 PM, MDinCanada said:

I have heard of 2-3 candidates in Quebec in the past few years who have matched after a year of research. Connections matter, but I think number of publications also matters (a lot of plastics candidates have 10+ publications).

I think it's worth doing for plastics, it seems to be the norm. A lot of people even do a research masters before applying to carms the first time. 

Is this an exaggeration, or do many plastics candidates legitimately have that many publications? I am struggling to think of how that might be possible without doing a PhD. 

Do most plastics gunners aim to get into clinical research, as this allows for quicker publications? This seems kind of unfair to applicants who might have done basic science research and had a similar overall research productivity but only 1 or 2 publications to show for it.

I am not even in medical school, and current med students say not to even think about residency until you are in med school, but how can you not when the bar is set so high for competitive specialities :/

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4 hours ago, garceyues said:

Is this an exaggeration, or do many plastics candidates legitimately have that many publications? I am struggling to think of how that might be possible without doing a PhD. 

Do most plastics gunners aim to get into clinical research, as this allows for quicker publications? This seems kind of unfair to applicants who might have done basic science research and had a similar overall research productivity but only 1 or 2 publications to show for it.

I am not even in medical school, and current med students say not to even think about residency until you are in med school, but how can you not when the bar is set so high for competitive specialities :/

Yeah I would say most plastics candidates have 10+ publications, and it's not uncommon in other surgical specialties. Msc research years, or lots of low quality "research".

Almost anything can get published, even an opinion letter.

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5 hours ago, MDinCanada said:

Yeah I would say most plastics candidates have 10+ publications, and it's not uncommon in other surgical specialties. Msc research years, or lots of low quality "research".

Almost anything can get published, even an opinion letter.

Kind of an aside, but does quality matter when going for more competitive specialties or is it a purely quantity game? Doesn't take a PhD to know that 10 reviews/opinion pieces is not the same as 10 basic science or original projects ... 

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26 minutes ago, procrastinating said:

Kind of an aside, but does quality matter when going for more competitive specialties or is it a purely quantity game? Doesn't take a PhD to know that 10 reviews/opinion pieces is not the same as 10 basic science or original projects ... 

Yeah quality matters, but most clinicians don't produce high quality research anyway, so probably quantity matters more than quality. 

Honestly, I think research is more of a check-box, you just have to show that you have an interest in that specialty, and doing research with the team allows you to make deeper connections. I really think the high number of publications is just a reflection of how these candidates have spent their entire med school years doing the scutwork for those departments. It's probably quite rare that a med student can impress a commitee with their research.

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