Right, I was just wondering if I could bounce off some thinking off the wise folk of TSR as I'm not quite sure what to do. Currently I'm an FY1, and I'm not quite sure what I want to do with my career but I've always enjoyed my surgical rotations and since I did an FY1 job in General Surgery I've been increasingly thinking it might well be for me. I liked the practical, fast paced nature of the job, I find the diseases and the post surgical management interesting (especially the critical care cross-over part) and I liked going to theatre. That said, I have my reservations; namely that I've always been very interested in wilderness and global medicine and that surgical training seems a lot less tolerant of my wandering ways than say anaesthetics, emergency medicine or O&G (the other specialities that are still in contention for me)- this is actually something thats pretty important for me; and that the life of the surgical trainee, especially considering the bottle-necking at ST3 seems quite uncertain and I find this to some extent daunting. I would also quite like to take (at least) a year out after FY2 to do the DTM&H, locum and possibly travel a little, and I know that I'll be disadvantaged (or atleast need to reach more demanding criteria) applying for ST3 more than 5 years post-grad so again my wider life/career aspirations seem to somewhat conflict with surgery.
At the moment, I've got a pretty gentle largely supernumary FY1 post, which means that its probably the best opportunity I'm going to get during foundation to prepare for exams if I want to, and I've been wondering if it would be worth trying to do the MRCS Part A in April. As far as I can see, the pros are that:
a) if I do end up applying for CST and pursuing surgery, getting Part A done early will be really beneficial
b) At the moment, I'm not doing any book work whatsoever, and I can feel myself losing my finals knowledge through disuse atrophy (!) so the whole process of doing an exam will provide me with the curriculum and motivation to learn things, which can only be a good thing
c) All the other specialities that I like have a lot of cross-over with surgery, so even if I don't end up doing surgery I don't think I will have necessarily wasted my time
1) Its expensive and a lot of work to do for an exam thats only necessary for a career path that I'm in no way certain that I'm going to do
2) Its going to involve a lot of hard work, and I'm actually quite enjoying "just" doing my job work and having the time that I'm not working free to do other things
3)Success rates a pretty low, so I could end up going through all of this and have nothing to show for it in the end
Does anybody have any advice/ experience of doing it in FY1?
I'm mostly posting so that stupid spambot doesn't come along and ask if you're sure you've posted in the right forum. I do know people who took part A in FY1 and passed, and they've not all gone on to be surgeons. It is handy if that's what you have in mind, but will also give you points on some other specialty applications including anaesthetics (don't know about others).
Although it is nice to have a fairly cushy job, the work for exams still needs to be done at some point and it doesn't get any easier as you get more senior!