just be sure you really want to do derm not JUST for the sake of the lifestyle. Though the subject of derm can be very interesting, you'd have to be happy with the bread and butter of it too (moles, acne, eczema, psoriasis, seb Ks, etc.) If one isn't happy with the subject matter (ie, the job itself) I don't think the hours or pay alone would make one happy!
Sigh, not that I want to go into derm, but I had to laugh reading that last post, since from where I'm sitting at the moment (burned-out third year med student), I think that the combination of the hours and the pay of derm would make me VERY happy, even if I was doing nothing more interesting than staring at a wall listening to jingles for kitty litter all day. :laughing: Don't listen to me though, I'm not in my happy place at the moment.
I am one of those not-yet-a-med-students (M1 this fall - one month! Woo hoo!) who is going to delve into this thread.
I just wanted to ask three things.
One, I have heard what may be more important than your grades and scores for residency slots is how you do on your rotation. If you do a rotation at a hospital with a program you want to apply to for residency and really shine (read: kick ass and kiss ass) you will have a good chance of getting that slot over students with better grades and scores but without that experience. Anyone heard / seen this to be true?
Second, I live in Florida, and most OBs here go bare, which means they do not carry malpractice insurance. Any thoughts on that? Is there a thread on that somewhere I should search for? Seems risky, but it would sure increase the take home.
Third, How many people are interested in/have done programs that pay back loans for you? Anyone here do National Health Service Corps or find jobs that do this?
hilseb, most of us cannot go bare. I am not sure how they can do it in Florida, but in most places, hospitals require you to have malpractice insurance in order to get privileges. Most specialties need hospital privileges, but not all. Some states even require you to have malpractice insurance in order to have a medical license.
If you do go bare, you have to have some way of protecting your assets, which requires a lawyer's help (I don't know the details). I think there is also some kind of escrow account that can serve as an alternative to malpractice insurance, but again I don't know the details.
Hopefully by the time you are in practice, things will improve on the malpractice front.
The doctors I know that go bare are OBs in South Florida who have hospital privileges. I know this from personal experience in their offices, where there are big signs by the front desk announcing this is the case. I have not taken or read a survey as to how common it is, but I hear it is pretty common. From what I have heard, these doctors generally try to put most of their assets in a spouse's name.
I can try answering your question regarding grades/board scores and doing away rotations and shining. Yes, in theory this is "possible" (doing well in a roation and getting IN versus someone with better numbers not getting in) *but* I think this may be highly dependant on the specialty of choice *and* the residency spot in question (competitive program versus not). For example, someone applying derm with a 215 board score and passes in third year can do an away rotation at X program and do extremely WELL and yet NOT match there. Competitive specialties have cutoff numbers and may not interview anyone (yes these do exist) with less than a 250 in USMLE 1 and regardless of how well you "shine" they may still not interview you or they may give you an interview and still not rank you (remember, programs interview quite a bit of folks and they do NOT rank all). Another scenario, is let's say a less competitive specialty like IM but you are aiming for a top program like Hopkins. Again, you can shine a lot but IF you do not have their "other" criteria of a particular score you may get screened out. Sure, there will always be the story of the one person with a 190 that got into a competitive specialty but these folks are in the vast MINORITY. Things do not ease up (numbers wise/grades wise) for our future endeavors (residency/fellowship)...and it seems that medicine is still quite number driven to some extent.