3rd year elective ICU or Pulmo before IM rotation

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Oct 24, 2008
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So am I just asking for trouble if I try setting up a pulmo or ICU elective in the Fall before I even do my IM rotation in the spring? It's either I try for those two or use my elective for neuro. Will programs even let you rotate in those without IM experience? My school has been remarkably unhelpful in helping us figure out what we can and can't do.

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At my program, many (if not most) sub-i's require that you have completed specific core rotations, Internal Medicine being the most common one. So chances are you wouldn't even meet the criteria for that sub-i. Ask your school or look at your subi requirements
As far as I understand, OP is talking about an elective, not a sub-I. An elective/subspecialty rotation is not the same as sub-I, although some electives may require completion of core clerkship, so OP should definitely check that with their school.

As far as doing critical care/pulm vs neuro as your third year elective, it depends on your goals. At my school, depending on your clerkship schedule, you can have IM electives (including MICU, cardio, renal) before your general IM block, and it doesn't seem like it hinders anyone's performance/learning experience on subspecialties.
On the other hand, if you don't have neuro as one of your core clerkships, I'd rather do neuro than an IM subspecialty in third year (and do the subspecialty in the 4th year). Because neuro is pretty darn important in general medicine, and being proficient at neuro and mental status exams helps. Plus, who knows, once you're exposed to neuro you may be swayed to make it your future specialty.
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I'm a second year too, but the advice I got from a faculty member at my school was that I would be fine doing a subspecialty before my IM core rotations, but that it would probably be a mistake to do ICU beforehand since I wouldn't have any prior experience in the IM wards.
Pulm you can
ICU I would wait until after you do medicine. Otherwise you'll just be lost for a month
Thanks for the advice. All the info that the school gave us is more relative to 4th years so I'm just going to have to wait to see what they tell us in regards to what we can and can't do. For sure I'll hold back on ICU since I'd rather not make a bad impression on any program.
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