Now that I was starting med school, it was time to figure out which specialties I was interested in so I could start planning for my future and ultimately, The Match. Our first term we started with anatomy, which ended up being my favorite course and, conveniently, the one I did the best in. I was fortunate enough to be offered a position the next year as a TA for our anatomy lab so I could help the incoming first years and prosect their demo cadaver. After reflecting on what I liked and disliked during my pre-clinical years, I thought that I would likely end up doing general surgery, EM, or gastroenterology. I’ve always been a very visual and hands-on person so that’s something that I would get from all three of those specialties. When studying for boards, I made sure I worked harder than ever before so I wouldn’t have a redo of my MCAT. I didn’t want my ability to do a certain specialty limited by a score and thankfully, my USMLE and COMLEX scores exceeded what I would need to apply to any of these specialties.
When I got to rotations, I quickly realized how much I disliked medicine so doing EM or IM with gastroenterology fellowship didn’t appeal to me anymore. My third rotation was general surgery and I quickly fell in love with it. I was rotating at a hospital with a surgery residency program so I really got to see what their day-to-day lives were like and I loved it! With surgery, I had the ability to intertwine my love for anatomy, my visual learning style, and my passion for doing things with my hands into a future career. The hours were long but they were worth it and time in and out of the OR flew by. Even when we weren’t in the OR we would be consulted for procedures needed on the floors and rounding on our patients in the morning was always quick and to the point (a stark contrast to medicine rounds).
I ended up completing my month-long rotation of general surgery then immediately after completing another month in vascular surgery, which I loved even more. It was after we did a knee disarticulation on a patient that I knew finishing out my year of non-surgical rotations would be extremely difficult. I vowed to myself that I would keep an open mind and see if I liked any other specialties more than I loved surgery, but that time never came.
I went into my fourth year having researched every single surgery program on FREIDA and set up my 3 auditions/sub-i’s. I was ready to do everything I could to match into general surgery.