Apr 26, 2009
114
0
41
Status
Medical Student
I'm thinking of doing an away rotation in Ophthalmology during my fourth year, in addition to the one I'm going to do at my own school.

Does anybody have any recommendations on programs that a) accept 4th year medical students, and b) doing a rotation there would improve your chances of matching there?

I initially wanted to do my away rotation at Michigan, but it doesn't seem they have that option, after looking at their 4th year visiting elective options.

Ideally, as well, I would love to go to a program that would give me the opportunity to get to know a physician well enough in 4 weeks that he could possibly write me a letter of recommendation. I would love to work with a resident, but I would prefer a program with enough physician contact to make a letter of rec possible.

Any help would be appreciated!
 
Last edited:
Apr 26, 2009
114
0
41
Status
Medical Student
Hmmm... no replies so far. Maybe I should ask the question a different way.

Did anyone have any away rotations during their 4th year that they really enjoyed where they got to spend some good time with faculty?
 

MstaKing10

7+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2009
545
117
181
Status
Attending Physician
I think your question is rather vague. There are nearly 100 ophthalmology programs in the country, most of which accept visiting fourth year medical students. Most students would do their rotation during fourth year. I think you have to narrow down your choices significantly (ie. by region, strength of program etc.) and then inquire about peoples experience in those particular programs to get more replies IMHO.
 

bungo

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2006
61
0
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Look at the match list survey and try to figure out which places people got into after doing an away there. For instance, all of the ophtho applicants in my class did at least one away, and none of them got into the places they did aways at. If I were you, I would concentrate on solid "mid-tier" programs in places you would like to live. Stay away from the elites. Everyone wants to do aways there. How many 4th years do aways at Bascom each year? 100? Do you think all of those people cram into 7 spots? Do they even all get interviews? I doubt it.
 
Apr 26, 2009
114
0
41
Status
Medical Student
I think your question is rather vague. There are nearly 100 ophthalmology programs in the country, most of which accept visiting fourth year medical students. Most students would do their rotation during fourth year. I think you have to narrow down your choices significantly (ie. by region, strength of program etc.) and then inquire about peoples experience in those particular programs to get more replies IMHO.
I don't think my question is vague at all. If I were a resident, or whatever, and I had done an away rotation at Colorado, for example, and enjoyed it I would be more than happy to post on a forum like this and tell somebody that I enjoyed my time in Colorado. That's all I'm looking for. But whatever, I guess it was a bad question. I'll just start googling random programs.
 

Iladelphia

10+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2008
62
29
261
Status
Attending Physician
I don't believe your question is vague so don't feel too bad. As far as advice goes though you should definitely try to narrow it down to a region. I, for example, wanted to be somewhere in the Northeast. Therefore I did my away rotations in that area. I do agree with the above poster that big name places aren't all they are cracked up to be because 1) you really are just another student among a crap load of other students, residents, and fellows 2) you seldom get to work 1:1 with people who might write you a letter of rec and 3) an away rotation probably won't guarantee you an interview there. All that being said though, I do highly recommend ocular pathology @ Wills Eye Institute with Dr. Eagle. You will actually LEARN a lot (eye pathology is the foundation of much you will see clinically!) and you actually get TO DO stuff in the lab. So I really enjoyed it. Plus he will write you a good letter of rec assuming you work hard and do the rotation early enough to get it into your app. However, it is an EXTREMELY difficult rotation to get because everyone and their mother wants to do it. Jefferson students get first dibs. If you want to do and get a letter maybe you can schedule it for the end of your third year if you are allowed away rotations then. Almost done...just one more point. If you can find an away rotation with a good wet lab I would recommend that as well. They usually have an abundance of eyes and hopefully the other residents/attendings won't mind if you give phaco a shot.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your apps and the interview process. It can be a grind ~ just read my old posts!
 
Apr 26, 2009
114
0
41
Status
Medical Student
I don't believe your question is vague so don't feel too bad. As far as advice goes though you should definitely try to narrow it down to a region. I, for example, wanted to be somewhere in the Northeast. Therefore I did my away rotations in that area. I do agree with the above poster that big name places aren't all they are cracked up to be because 1) you really are just another student among a crap load of other students, residents, and fellows 2) you seldom get to work 1:1 with people who might write you a letter of rec and 3) an away rotation probably won't guarantee you an interview there. All that being said though, I do highly recommend ocular pathology @ Wills Eye Institute with Dr. Eagle. You will actually LEARN a lot (eye pathology is the foundation of much you will see clinically!) and you actually get TO DO stuff in the lab. So I really enjoyed it. Plus he will write you a good letter of rec assuming you work hard and do the rotation early enough to get it into your app. However, it is an EXTREMELY difficult rotation to get because everyone and their mother wants to do it. Jefferson students get first dibs. If you want to do and get a letter maybe you can schedule it for the end of your third year if you are allowed away rotations then. Almost done...just one more point. If you can find an away rotation with a good wet lab I would recommend that as well. They usually have an abundance of eyes and hopefully the other residents/attendings won't mind if you give phaco a shot.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your apps and the interview process. It can be a grind ~ just read my old posts!
Thank you! That was an incredibly helpful post!
 

dantt

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2006
696
33
261
Status
Medical Student
Look at the match list survey and try to figure out which places people got into after doing an away there. For instance, all of the ophtho applicants in my class did at least one away, and none of them got into the places they did aways at. If I were you, I would concentrate on solid "mid-tier" programs in places you would like to live. Stay away from the elites. Everyone wants to do aways there. How many 4th years do aways at Bascom each year? 100? Do you think all of those people cram into 7 spots? Do they even all get interviews? I doubt it.
How does some one determine which are these "mid-tier" programs?
 

Slide

Finally, no more "training"
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2005
1,006
131
281
34
Status
Attending Physician
Since we're on the topic of 4th year away rotations, is there any disadvantage to doing only one away rotation? I'm doing one at my home institution and an away, and I would like to do another but I would have to do it in September/October and my school will require me to use one of my "vacation" months for me to do it. I was planning on doing my medicine sub-I in September to get it out of the way, but if a second Ophthalmology away rotation looks favorable, then I may need to reconsider my schedule.
 
Jul 22, 2009
81
1
0
Status
Medical Student
I don't think doing another away is particularly helpful to your application. I'd say only do another one if there is a particular program you are interested in bc it's probably only going to help with that single program.
 

Slide

Finally, no more "training"
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2005
1,006
131
281
34
Status
Attending Physician
Do more slots tend to open up during the away rotation process? Some of the places I've applied to aren't taking any more students because spots have filled up; is it like interviews where other students may cancel other offers received and open up spots?