Since this post regarding my thoughts on the Neurosurgery match process is one of my most viewed, I thought I’d update it a bit.
Since March, I applied to two away rotations at major academic medical centers (you would recognize the names – so I won’t write them). My goal was to schedule those for August and September, and then after meeting with one of our attendings who is relatively younger and rained at “big name” institutions, pick a third rotation. Unfortunately, in June, two sets of things happened: initially, I wasn’t able to meet with the attending for some time, so I didn’t get any new information about programs and couldn’t decide on the third program. Then, in mid-June, both of the programs scheduled me for the same month. Cue panic in my brain. I immediately tried to reschedule them, but couldn’t, and had to withdraw from one and reapply for October. Except that now it’s mid July and I still don’t have a rotation for September, and don’t definitely have a rotation for October.
Lesson: Decide on your aways early on, like march-april at the latest (december-january would be better since some institutions accept applications 6 months in advance). If you wait till <60 days before the rotation starts, you will be in a difficult position.
Fortunately, after I started writing this post, a third medical school came through for September, and I actually now have two possible options for October. So sometimes things work out?
Additionally, I’ve been working on some projects at my home medical school that will hopefully be submitted for publication (2 papers, potentially). So that will help.
I’ve also been reading a smattering here and there. I’ve read almost all of Essential Neurosurgery (which I weakly recommend), chapters from Greenberg and Shaya’s Neurosurgery Rounds (pimp-question format). I have a couple bigger textbooks (Ellenbogen, which is appropriate for students, and two neurology/neuroanatomy books which I don’t recommend). It’s a real challenge to know what I should be reading.
I’ve also been reading a biography of Penfield, which is pretty interesting, and I have a biography of Cushing teed up next. So I’m definitely keeping busy.