[2017-2018] Emergency Medicine Application Thread

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GandalfTheWhite

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SamtheWise

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Let me provide a translation for common phrases heard on the interview trail:
Residents:
"Yeah we're busy but I still find time to climb" (I've been twice since starting)
"I moved here not expecting any outdoors activities but was pleasantly surprised" (It sucks here)
"The faculty is generally really nice, but sometimes shifts are so busy we don't have time for teaching" (they still yell at us like it's 1980)
"The MICU hours are long but the autonomy results in truly great learning opportunities" (I violate duty hours and feel unsafe taking care of too many sick patients)
"Our relationship with surgery is great, we trade off running traumas and doing procedures" (Surgery does everything, except airway, which anesthesia manages)

Applicants:
"Yeah, the away rotation was intense, great place, but probably not for me" (I sucked and got a terrible SLOE)
"I think standardized tests are a poor representation of intelligence" (I took a two week vacation in the middle of step 1 prep and scored accordingly)
"What do you guys do for fun here?" (PLEASE ask me about my hobbies)
"I'm interested in critical care" (I'm not planning on doing a fellowship)
"where do your graduates end up practicing?" (has anyone made it to california or colorado?)
 
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theWUbear

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i recommend applying for a nice credit card right now. you'll reach minimum spend through ERAS apps, and fly free on your points to your interviews. i use US Bank altitude, chase sapphire reserve is the most popular. there are many. costs you $0 if you cancel w/in 1st year
 
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GandalfTheWhite

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i recommend applying for a nice credit card right now. you'll reach minimum spend through ERAS apps, and fly free on your points to your interviews. i use US Bank altitude, chase sapphire reserve is the most popular. there are many. costs you $0 if you cancel w/in 1st year

Except where you take a big hit if you cancel a credit card. Downgrade it instead. But the CSR is a great card, wouldnt ever cancel it.
 
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Dannyboy676

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yes, really. If i close a 10K limit credit card, and my overall credit limit across all cards is 30K, I will take a huge hit on my score.

That's why you downgrade to a free card before you get hit with an annual fee...been there done that.
Going to close my chase sapphire reserve I've made $1700 on after $450 annual fee soon, looking for another one to open soon.


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triplehog22

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yes, really. If i close a 10K limit credit card, and my overall credit limit across all cards is 30K, I will take a huge hit on my score.
This just isn't true. You'll take a slight hit because it'll reduce your "average age of accounts" but simply reducing your amount of credit isn't going to significantly impact your score.
 

Dannyboy676

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This just isn't true. You'll take a slight hit because it'll reduce your "average age of accounts" but simply reducing your amount of credit isn't going to significantly impact your score.

It most likely won't but it can effect your debt utilization ratio if closing that card heavily decreases your overall limits and you're still carrying a big balance on your cc's.
You can avoid this by transferring the credit line to another card


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triplehog22

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It most likely won't but it can effect your debt utilization ratio if closing that card heavily decreases your overall limits and you're still carrying a big balance on your cc's.
You can avoid this by transferring the credit line to another card


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

you're right, just assumed that we're talking about accounts that you pay the balance in full monthly
 

kittykattat

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To any of you who arent tied down or otherwise limited by geography, how are you deciding where to apply? I am open to anywhere in the country, I just want good training, but there are so many programs I dont know how to further narrow them down without going on the interviews and learning the juicy details. I have tried looking at the program websites but honestly they all kind of sound similar after a while. I also dont have a 3 yr or 4 yr preference at this point.

I have 59 programs saved in ERAS right now that all seem like great places to train, in cities I wouldnt mind being. Would like to get down to 35 or 40 but struggling to do so for fear of missing out on a gem (is program FOMO a thing? haha). Any advice or anecdotes on what yall are doing would be great! Thanks!

P.s. Also highly recommend Chase Sapphire Reserve!
 

Donald Kimball

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To any of you who arent tied down or otherwise limited by geography, how are you deciding where to apply? I am open to anywhere in the country, I just want good training, but there are so many programs I dont know how to further narrow them down without going on the interviews and learning the juicy details. I have tried looking at the program websites but honestly they all kind of sound similar after a while. I also dont have a 3 yr or 4 yr preference at this point.

I have 59 programs saved in ERAS right now that all seem like great places to train, in cities I wouldnt mind being. Would like to get down to 35 or 40 but struggling to do so for fear of missing out on a gem (is program FOMO a thing? haha). Any advice or anecdotes on what yall are doing would be great! Thanks!

P.s. Also highly recommend Chase Sapphire Reserve!

In pretty much an identical position, so would love to hear thoughts on this.
 

KinesiologyNerd

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fear of missing out on a gem (is program FOMO a thing? haha). Any advice or anecdotes on what yall are doing would be great! Thanks!
You'll hear about places you wish you had applied to but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ just pick 30-40 you like the sound of and deal with the consequences.

honestly they all kind of sound similar after a while
They are.
 
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SamtheWise

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To any of you who arent tied down or otherwise limited by geography, how are you deciding where to apply? I am open to anywhere in the country, I just want good training, but there are so many programs I dont know how to further narrow them down without going on the interviews and learning the juicy details. I have tried looking at the program websites but honestly they all kind of sound similar after a while. I also dont have a 3 yr or 4 yr preference at this point.

I have 59 programs saved in ERAS right now that all seem like great places to train, in cities I wouldnt mind being. Would like to get down to 35 or 40 but struggling to do so for fear of missing out on a gem (is program FOMO a thing? haha). Any advice or anecdotes on what yall are doing would be great! Thanks!

P.s. Also highly recommend Chase Sapphire Reserve!

I know very little and all I can provide is my framework, but I used this strategy and was very happy with where I matched.

The best thing you can do is find a good advisor who 1. knows the application process (what it takes to be competitive) and 2. will provide honest, unbiased advice to you.

Next, be willing to have an honest conversation about what your competitiveness truly is. Be careful saying you're willing to go anywhere in the country unless you very much mean it. If all you truly care about is quality of training, then there are plenty of places that aren't Cinci, Carolinas, Highland, Denver, and the SoCal programs that provide similarly top notch training, but you'll need a knowledgeable advisor to help you navigate. There's also a fair amount of programs where residents aren't pushed out of their comfort zones, aren't given a variety of learning environments, and are prioritized as laborers rather than learners. That's not to say that any graduate of a US EM program is incompetent, because that's absolutely not true, but there are differences in training, like it or not.

Then, finally think about your away rotations, what you liked and disliked, i.e. if you rotated at UCLA Harbor and loved the county vibe and population then big quaternary care academic centers by and large won't scratch that itch, but if you rotated at Michigan and loved the cerebral vibe, super complex patients and resources available to you then you won't be happy at a low resource, high volume safety net institution.
 
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MelMcT2009

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What's the general consensus on needing 3 letters by sept 15 to be "complete"?

I thought I'd have 2 SLOEs + a letter from my PI, but turns out I'll only have 1 sloe + a letter from my PI. I have 2 SLOEs coming at a later time.

Should we have 3 letters in by sept 15th to have our app marked as "complete", or does that not matter? I think I can get a filler letter if needed.
 

lucid_leprechaun

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What's the general consensus on needing 3 letters by sept 15 to be "complete"?

I thought I'd have 2 SLOEs + a letter from my PI, but turns out I'll only have 1 sloe + a letter from my PI. I have 2 SLOEs coming at a later time.

Should we have 3 letters in by sept 15th to have our app marked as "complete", or does that not matter? I think I can get a filler letter if needed.
Doesn't matter if you only have one right now, just be sure to have 2 or more come October. Most places will invite for interviews with only 2 letters.
 

MelMcT2009

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Doesn't matter if you only have one right now, just be sure to have 2 or more come October. Most places will invite for interviews with only 2 letters.

Thanks! I have a few more ERAS questions as well.

1. As far as volunteer stuff, I have a bunch of things I did one-two times (ex helped with new student orientation), but nothing that really lasted a long time. Should these short experiences be included in the app?

2. I have a job that I did three summers in a row that is in no way medically related, but was a huge part of my life and what I love to do. Should this be added, or is it better left under hobbies

3. I have a poster that I presented at a conference. My PI took a similar poster to a few other conferences (has my name on it. I think it may be the same title though). Should I list it more than once, or just the conference I presented it at?
 

doggydog

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Listing a one time volunteer experience seems like application padding but realistically no one is going to read that part of your app anyway so it doesn't really matter.
 
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MelMcT2009

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Listing a one time volunteer experience seems like application padding but realistically no one is going to read that part of your app anyway so it doesn't really matter.

I ended up listing things under the organization I did them with, rather than individually. So if I did 5 one time experiences with a certain club I just listed it as one experience and listed each one individually under the description. Seemed like a good compromise and didn't feel as much like padding.
 
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AthleteDoc7

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sorry if this is the wrong place for this, but i'm a third year US MD student who will be going into EM. does anyone know where I can get tips on VSAS and how early I should have everything prepared for applying for aways? There are a couple specific aways i'd really like to get so i'm trying to be on top of it when the time comes. thanks everyone and best of luck!!
 

SpacemanSpifff

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sorry if this is the wrong place for this, but i'm a third year US MD student who will be going into EM. does anyone know where I can get tips on VSAS and how early I should have everything prepared for applying for aways? There are a couple specific aways i'd really like to get so i'm trying to be on top of it when the time comes. thanks everyone and best of luck!!
Use the search function. There are a number of well worn threads describing the VSAS process. Heads up - you are way early.
 

AthleteDoc7

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Use the search function. There are a number of well worn threads describing the VSAS process. Heads up - you are way early.

I tried searching and it never seems to provide what I'm looking for, but i'll try again. I know i'm way early but i just wanted to know what to be prepared for and when to be prepared by. thanks for the help and good luck to you
 

Jabbed

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sorry if this is the wrong place for this, but i'm a third year US MD student who will be going into EM. does anyone know where I can get tips on VSAS and how early I should have everything prepared for applying for aways? There are a couple specific aways i'd really like to get so i'm trying to be on top of it when the time comes. thanks everyone and best of luck!!
Make a list of programs that you're interested in and see what dates they opened this year on VSAS. The earliest that most programs will open is late February, although there are some that have "year round" application review like Hennepin. Get your vaccination paperwork done as soon as possible, review any necessary supplemental documents that certain programs require (often specific medical forms and proof of mask fitting/BLS cert), and make a calendar of when applications are going to be accepted. The biggest time sink is getting your vaccination records and supplemental medical documents approved, so try and have all your supplements printed so you can do everything in one visit.

July/August dates are HIGHLY competitive. Submitted 47 applications and got 3 offers.
 
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surely

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Make a list of programs that you're interested in and see what dates they opened this year on VSAS. The earliest that most programs will open is late February, although there are some that have "year round" application review like Hennepin. Get your vaccination paperwork done as soon as possible, review any necessary supplemental documents that certain programs require (often specific medical forms and proof of mask fitting/BLS cert), and make a calendar of when applications are going to be accepted. The biggest time sink is getting your vaccination records and supplemental medical documents approved, so try and have all your supplements printed so you can do everything in one visit.

July/August dates are HIGHLY competitive. Submitted 47 applications and got 3 offers.
Great advice! Also be aware that some programs do not use VSAS. Cross-reference the programs listed on VSAS against the programs listed in the spreadsheet in the first comment on this thread to find ones that don't use VSAS, then look up their websites to see what their application process looks like. There's no list of these programs, and it changes every year (John Peter Smith started using VSAS just this year, for example). Some may not provide a timeline on their website, in which case you could theoretically apply as early as you want. A guy I met said he arranged one of them outside of VSAS during November of his ms3 year! He had a 250+ Step score, which helped.

My advice:

Apply on the day the application opens.

Having higher Step scores helps, in some cases. I know of one person with 250+ scores who applied to 5 rotations (on the first day they opened) for July/August and was accepted to 4. If this applies to you, you may not have to do dozens of applications.

Target programs that open their applications early and review applications early, so that you can hear back sooner and not have to apply to as many places! Obviously, only apply to places you're actually interested in, but prioritize those with early application processing.
 
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jw3600

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Make a list of programs that you're interested in and see what dates they opened this year on VSAS. The earliest that most programs will open is late February, although there are some that have "year round" application review like Hennepin. Get your vaccination paperwork done as soon as possible, review any necessary supplemental documents that certain programs require (often specific medical forms and proof of mask fitting/BLS cert), and make a calendar of when applications are going to be accepted. The biggest time sink is getting your vaccination records and supplemental medical documents approved, so try and have all your supplements printed so you can do everything in one visit.

July/August dates are HIGHLY competitive. Submitted 47 applications and got 3 offers.
What were your stats though?
 

surely

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I will have 1 SLOE and 1 other letter by sept 15. Do I need 3 letters for my app to be looked at? I've heard mixed things on this

No, you don't need 3 letters for your app to be looked at! On the EMRA match directory, there are only a handful of programs that claim to require 2 SLOEs to extend an interview - the rest either want 1 or didn't answer the question.
 

boomshaketheroom

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So as far as letters go: I have 1 SLOE, will be getting another soon, and a then will get a third by the end of october. I also have a non-SLOE from my advisor. Another EM attending recently offered to write me a letter as well. This would leave me with 5 total letters when all is said and done. Should I just pick one of the non-SLOE letters and go with it, or is it possible to use both and then un-assign a letter and exchange it for that last SLOE when I get it?

Hope that isn't confusing/hasn't already been answered somewhere.
 

sfwtboy

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So as far as letters go: I have 1 SLOE, will be getting another soon, and a then will get a third by the end of october. I also have a non-SLOE from my advisor. Another EM attending recently offered to write me a letter as well. This would leave me with 5 total letters when all is said and done. Should I just pick one of the non-SLOE letters and go with it, or is it possible to use both and then un-assign a letter and exchange it for that last SLOE when I get it?

Hope that isn't confusing/hasn't already been answered somewhere.

SLOE are regarded much higher than regular letters. I would forgo an individual letter to leave room for the SLOE and just have 4 total. I'm sure the person will understand if you explain you only have 4 slots and you've already filled them.
 
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EM2be1957

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So as far as letters go: I have 1 SLOE, will be getting another soon, and a then will get a third by the end of october. I also have a non-SLOE from my advisor. Another EM attending recently offered to write me a letter as well. This would leave me with 5 total letters when all is said and done. Should I just pick one of the non-SLOE letters and go with it, or is it possible to use both and then un-assign a letter and exchange it for that last SLOE when I get it?

Hope that isn't confusing/hasn't already been answered somewhere.

You can't unassign letters as far as I know. I'm reapplying this year. Was in a similar situation last year with letters. Just assign the one SLOE and the best non-sloe (preferably the one from EM doc) you have so you have at least 2 of some kind of letters for places to look at then add the other 2 SLOEs as they come for a total of 4, which is the max. It's fine only having one SLOE at this point.
 
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