Is it possible to transition from IM residency to Urology? I am considering on doing atleast a year of research and then apply for Urology. I am currently first year in IM. I was just wondering if any of you has ever heard anyone trying this or is this a futile plan?
Never heard of it. It will be difficult but not impossible. The hard part will be getting clinical experience/doing away rotations, as you don't have a medical school to back you up on this. I'm not sure how you would go about it. Without those connections/letters, it may be an uphill battle to match regardless of the research you have under your belt.
I matched this year and will be starting as a uro-1 intern so take this with a grain of salt because I am relatively new the the field of urology...that being said, I would talk to some urologists where you are training in IM. I assume you have a good reason for the desired swtich. If you could get some really meaningful urologic research under your belt (ie at the NIH, a major cancer center, a well known urology program, etc) that would go a long way. You're gonna need a way to demonstrate a committment to surgery and urology though and aptitude for the OR. If you got some sort of research fellowship that allowed you to do an away that might help...or if you rotated on uro/surgical rotations as a med student and have people who will back you from those experiences, that might help too...If you wanted to take a really long road you could do a gen surg prelim year (those are pretty easy to get into...you might even be able to scramble this year if any are open)...and then do the research...and then start over as a uro-1 or try to find a vacancy as an R-2. You're gonna need someone well known in urology to get behind you and a steadfast dedication to making this happen in some non-traditional way. It will probably take longer that you want it to and I would set my sights on 5 year programs and 1 year fellowhips to make up for the lost time in training =). However, in the long run, you're no different that someone who gets a masters or PhD before finishing med school...you've lost a little time but if you end up where you're meant to be that's really all that matters. Urology, though, I think is one of the more difficult fields to switch into, especially from a non-surgical specialty. Good luck!