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How many hours of Residency is required for MDV following Med School?

My plan is to attend Med School for either a Physician/Surgeon specializing in Neurology or I may plan to go to Veterinary Medical School. My concern is the number of years/hours that are required in residency for General Surgery are much more challenging than those that my be required for Veterinary Med School. The answers here may help determine the focus area that I am planning on pursuing. #college #career #medicine #healthcare #health #veterinary

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Hassan’s Answer

Hi Hailey!

First of all, I commend on you on undertaking the brave task of becoming a physician, an often self-less and daunting career but full of great rewards, both external and internal. In order of thoroughness, which seems to be an essence of your question, becoming a surgeon is one of the most elite tasks within medicine all together, and therefore the training is quite rigorous and one must be well prepared for that sort of ride. First you must clarify if you want to be perform surgery on people, whether you want to be a General Surgeon, or a Neurosurgeon as those are very different. Typically, General Surgery residencies are five years, while Neurosurgery can last up to seven (but both vary depending and should be looked up by program). Neurosurgery is one of the most prestigious and demanding fields within medicine, and thus, amongst the most difficult to obtain a training position in. General Surgery is much more obtainable but also a tough residency. The option of simply becoming a Neurologist is also a viable option. This is being a Physician practicing the non-surgical side of Neurology similar to the many forms of non-surgical specialties within medicine (i.e. Internal/Family Medicine, Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, OBGYN, etc).

Veterinary medicine is an amazing field but do realize it is a whole different ballpark really, as far as everything from the school’s you’d attend, places you’d train, and the organizations you’d be shuttle through). Human life is, somwhat by default, valued more heavily than animal life, and thus, training will organically reflect that in it’s comparitive stringency. Nonetheless, your question is a bit vague and instead of attempting to answer it too precisely, I isolated four various links for you mentioning the four potential routes I could gauge seemed interesting to you and hopefully they may provide you with some insight into each option.

An Overview of the ‘General Surgery Program’ at Johns Hopkins

Neurology Resident Schedule at Darthmouth (following ACGME guidelines)

“Typical day in the life of a neurosurgery resident” (a less formal citation but gives you an idea from someone’s firsthand account of what a day is like)

ACVS: American College of Veterinary Surgeons (of great note*** there are detailed PDF’ manuals for training standards and requirements at bottom for each year)

The last two are probably the one’s you should focus on if Veterinary is the way you want to go. Again, this response is not intended to sway you in any which direction but rather just to provide you with relevant content. Make sure to do all your own homework before choosing a life path. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors Hailey!

Best Regards,

Hassan Chaudhry, MD

Hassan recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to professionals (through LinkedIn or forums, etc) in each of your fields of interest. You'll be surprised how many of them will speak candidly about their experiences, struggles, life satisfaction, etc.
Reach out to professional organizations such as the ACGME or ACVS to get the best information.
Maintain a high GPA and do well on standardized exams (i.e. the MCAT's) as these are crucial determinants for getting into medical school!
Attend professional events! Network, network, network! A friend of mine who attended Harvard once told me they had a saying there, "Network or No Work" (lol) The power of knowing the right person/people at the time right can do wonders for a one's career and life in general.
Keep a balanced routine and a balanced mind. Don't be too hard on yourself. Never be afraid to fail and always analyze/learn from your mistakes. Most of success boils down to two things: time and stress management. Work hard and play hard. Take care of your body and your soul: the rest will fall into place naturally. Cheers!
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AnnMarie’s Answer

Hasan provided an EXCEPTIONAL answer on the human medicine front, and I agree with nearly every word of his response. I would disagree with this message however:

"Human life is, somewhat by default, valued more heavily than animal life, and thus, training will organically reflect that in it’s comparitive stringency."

DVM programs are INCREDIBLY stringent/challenging/intense, and often are harder to get accepted into than human medicine because there are far fewer schools to choose from, here in the US at least.

As with human medicine, you may choose to specialize in a broad range of areas, including there are absolutely neuro specialists in animal medicine. Most vets re more like a 'primary care doctor', but who handle a broader range of problems and only send animals to specialists in more extreme cases. This means a vet typically has to have a pretty indepth understanding of ranges of care in all sorts of areas - from digestion to joints to neurology and also behavior - and for MANY species!

AnnMarie recommends the following next steps:

If you are considering vet med, I would recommend finding out about "potential student" tours at your closest Vet Med university program. The amount of information they can provide is exceptional.
If you are considering vet med, I would also highly recommend volunteering at a local veterinary office, rescue and/or animal shelter. It will teach you an enormous amount about the intricacies of veterinary medicine, and also you will need vetcare hours on your university application.