Just recently I’ve seen some post regarding someone being interested in Trauma Surgery. I don’t remember the exact post but I believe it had to do with how difficult it would be to get into a surgical residency if you were too old. I was just curious what everyone thought would be the cut off age for having a good shot at getting into a surgical residency? I know there isn’t an exact age where programs would say because you’re over 50 your not excepted but if a person graduate’s med school at say 45 would they still have a shot at surgery? What would be the cut off age?
I remember reading several posts here from a woman who graduated MD at 50 and went on to complete a vascular surgery residency. I’ve seen a few others, but I’ve seen some stats at another website showing the majority of older nontrads choose primary care and psychiatry .
- hopefuldoc Said:
Just recently I've seen some post regarding someone being interested in Trauma Surgery. I don't remember the exact post but I believe it had to do with how difficult it would be to get into a surgical residency if you were too old. I was just curious what everyone thought would be the cut off age for having a good shot at getting into a surgical residency? I know there isn't an exact age where programs would say because you’re over 50 your not excepted but if a person graduate’s med school at say 45 would they still have a shot at surgery? What would be the cut off age?
As was stated in the earlier comment, there have been some late 40's and early 50's OPM members who have graduated medical school and gone on into surgical residencies.
To your specific question, there is no legal cut off age. As to having shot at surgery, and what your chances might be:
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.
Han Solo: Never tell me the odds.
What are your chances? If you don't apply, your chances are zero, zilch, nada, nothing
If you apply your chances are better than that
(sorry if that sounded curt and obnoxious but I'm from new york)
Don't let FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) creep into your plans. Rule one is take a breath. You are currently NOT in medical school or in a trauma residency. The worst that could happen is you won't get in and still wont be in medical school. You'll be no worse off than you are now. You can only go up. Would having low chances from getting into a trauma surgery residency keep you from applying to medical school at all? Would the low chances of getting into medical school, currently 3 to 1 for all students, keep you from trying?
If you want to get into medical school and want to get into trauma surgery, then the only thing you can do is try.
Yeah, it is an atypical attitude but I think more energy is wasted in what MIGHT happen instead of doing your best to MAKE it happen.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming
I came across that “woman’s” name here. It’s Natalie Belle, past OPMer, general surgeon, vascular surgeon. She did all this after the age of 46.
Thank you both for the information. I was just curious after reading some of the post. I’ve been told that surgery is a grueling residency and to be able to become a surgeon at any age is a magnificent accomplishment.
you may be indeed a hopeful doc. If you look at stats, surgery residency positions are among the least attractive to current students. As such, every year, it is in the top 3 of unfilled residencies by number along with along with family practice and internal med. This page provides stats for last year. I came across a blog that states the same thing for the current year but can’t find the URL.
Anyway, if you choose surgery, chances are that you will get a spot. But as you know, it seems one of the most grueling residency out there.
- redo-it-all Said:
Thought I'd just share some insight and experiences "from the trenches"--I know multiple people who had interviewed and ranked surgery in the Match and got the dreaded "You didn't Match" letter. They all were able to scramble into prelim positions, but these are not the same as regular surgical positions, and these people will have to/have had to reapply for a regular surgical position after completing their prelim year.
Certainly not to discourage, just to bring in another side of things. Residency is tough--surgical residency is brutal!
So then what is the best way to get the residency you want. I mean what are the criteria on which you compete? Any info on that?
Very dependent on which specialty you’re looking at. Some are most interested in your board scores and grades in med school, some weigh research experience heavily, some weigh extracurriculars more heavily. And I’d also say being open to a wide geographic area and types of programs is going to open your chances up greatly.
A side note…I plan on posting on the forum in a couple of days some of the information about this year’s residency match results. Hopefully that will be helpful info for people.
Wow to do that at 46 is impressive. I suppose if you want something bad enough then you can get it if you work hard.
OPMs can do and have done whatever specialty they want. That said, most OPMs change careers to go into medicine for the altruistic goal of “helping people” and in their mind that is in a primary care role.