How to Get a Neurosurgery Residency as an IMG

What’s going on you guys? Hey, thanks for watching this video.

In this video, I’m going to tell you how to get a neurosurgery residency as an IMG. I know. I just blew your (bleep) mind right now ’cause you’re thinking, “Oh my God. I’m an IMG. I’m never gonna get a neurosurgery. I want a neurosurgery residency.” A bunch of you guys keep asking me that (bleep). If you bug me long enough, I’ll do it. I’ll tell you how to do it.

Let me just tell you a little caveat here. This is my opinion. I am not a neurosurgeon. I didn’t get a neurosurgery residency as an IMG. I got a general surgery residency as an IMG. But during my residency, I was offered a neurosurgery spot. This is where it comes from.

First, I wanna say that you gotta get your (bleep) together because if you’re somebody that’s half-assing it in school and you’re getting average grades and you’re not showing up sometimes and you sleep through class, this is not the person that can do a neurosurgery residency. This is hard (bleep). Not only can you not get the residency, there’s no way you can actually perform and be a neurosurgeon. It takes some serious (bleep). These guys work, I thought I worked a lot, these guys work all the (bleep) time. Everybody wants to do it, or a lot of people wanna do it, because well, it’s (bleep), it’s great. You do some amazing (bleep). You operate on the brain. It’s pretty awesome until you realize the brain is just like a glob of goo and when you operate on it, it’s not that exciting. You just suck a bunch of blood out and whatever. I’m just kidding.

I’ve only done a couple neurosurgery operations, and it’s usually where it’s an epidural hematoma or subdural. I get to help them out. I get to use this…I just hold the sucker, and I just suck the brains into my sucker there. Anyway, that’s only my perspective.

You cannot be a slacker and be a neurosurgeon. That’s just not compatible. You have to have your (bleep) together. You gotta be a straight A student if you’re an IMG. At this point…In some of my other videos, I talk about why IMGs don’t get residencies because a lot of them just (bleep) around. If you wanna get a neurosurgery residency or any surgery residency, then you have to get your (bleep) together. You better be getting straight As, and you better be studying your balls off for step one because this is basically your only shot. That’s number one. Get your (bleep) together, get straight As, and number three is crush step one. You’re gonna need to get probably over 240 if you wanna get directly into a neurosurgery slot. Four is that you need to apply to IMG friendly programs.

I did my residency in Michigan. There are a lot of IMG friendly surgery programs, general surgery programs, in Michigan. I don’t know if they are IMG friendly for neurosurgery or not because I did not do that. I believe New York, there is quite a few IMG friendly residencies as well. Those are the only ones that I am aware of. I got interviewed at Maricopa County in Phoenix, so they were willing to look at me. Michigan, New York, I got interviews there, and Pheonix. That’s a start. Now go look in the student forums, talk to people, talk to residents that have- or students that have gotten neurosuregery residency as an IMG or just neurosurgery residencies. Ask them are there any IMGs there because it’s few and far between.

That’s four steps. However, that’s not how you get it. That’s the direct approach. A lot of you will not be able to do the direct approach, I’ll tell you right now. It’s because there’s limited spots. Most of those guys that go in there are girls. A lot of US students and crushed every single (bleep) test they ever took.

My opinion, how else can you do that, ’cause that’s what I get asked is you get into a program – a surgical program. Probably general surgery ’cause you’re gonna need a general surgery. First year, you’re gonna need a surgery year anyway because the first year of neurosurgery is a lot of surgery rotations plus neurology and a little bit of medicine. That’s almost a transitional year for neurosurgery, but it’s not quite the transitional year. The usual transitional years are like you’re doing a lot of everything. Neurosurgery, you do heavy surgery rotations, some neurosurgery, but you also do a little bit of medicine and neurology and stuff.

What you wanna do is you get a general surgery program- into a general surgery program that has a neurosurgery program as well, and this is what happened to me. My first year, I did very good on the ABSITE, the American Board of Surgery in Training Examination for general surgery. Then people got to know me. I did a good job, I was a good person, I got to know the people at the hospital. The program directors liked me, the program directors talked to each other. The general surgery program director and the neurosurgery program director, they all know each other. They talk and (bleep).

My second year, I was doing ICU rotations with some of the neurosurgery residents. The first-year residents because they rotated through ICU, and they liked me because I wasn’t a (bleep) (bleep)hole like the other general surgery residents. Then they heard that one guy was gonna drop out, and they needed somebody to fill his slot. They were gonna have to find somebody, and they came to me. They said, “Dude, you should apply to our neurosurgery program. You would be awesome, and we’d love to have you.” These were the interns. Now, I had also worked with other neurosurgery residents. Three, four, five, and the twos. They liked me also because I wasn’t a (bleep) (bleep)hole like the other general surgery residents. You see where I’m going with this?

This is the back door to basically any residency that you want. This is a big gamble. It’s not 100% guaranteed. But if you don’t get a residency, this is pretty much your only shot.

A friend of mine did two years of internal medicine. He did not get a general surgery residency where he wanted to go, so he did two years internal medicine. In his third year, he transferred into general surgery first year as an intern. Then he did a five-year general surgery residency. That’s how he got it. So same thing. Back door.

That’s the secret to getting, basically, any residency you want – especially a neurosurgery residency if you are an IMG. This can apply to ortho. When I was in my general surgery residency, several people traded spots. Ortho residents dropped out, general surgery residents dropped out, got fired. If you were internal medicine, if you were family medicine and you wanted general surgery, get in a spot that has a general surgery. Get in a hospital that has a general surgery residency already. Take the internal medicine then get to know those people.

It’s all relations. You gotta do a good job, you have to have some people pulling for you, and then you have to be like, “Please can I have this (bleep) spot?”

One of my other friends did a general surgery. She decided she hated general surgery. She went into anesthesia in the same hospital. She did, like, six months of anesthesia, decided she hated anesthesia, wanted to go back to general surgery, and now she’s a cardiothoracic surgeon. Boom!

Type in the comments below, “Thank you, Dr. Parker. You’re the (bleep) bomb.” ‘Cause I am.

Hey, you guys, thanks for watching this video. See you in the next one. Comment, share, subscribe, like, all that good stuff. I’ll see you later. Take care.

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