During your fourth year of medical school you will have the
opportunity to take some electives. Most program directors agree
that the fourth year of medical school should be spent learning
things you won't get to during residency years. Recommended electives
include: anesthesia, radiology, intensive care (either surgical
or medical), pulmonary, and cardiology. You should refer to the
American College of Surgeons Prerequisite Objectives for Graduate
Surgical Education: a Study of the Graduate Medical Education
Committee and determine wherein your deficiencies lie. Arrange
your electives accordingly.
Most general surgery programs do not require that you do a
surgery elective at program sites that you are interested in
(sometimes referred to as audition electives). However, orthopedic
surgery programs do make a strong recommendation that you do.
The other specialties lie somewhere in between. You need to identify
an advisor or two and get their input as to the impact of doing
such an elective.