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4th year away rotations

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useless1

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How important are audition/away rotations in your fourth year if you are looking to do IM. The advisors at my school don't believe that it is important for IM. What are your feelings on this?
 

retroviridae

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useless1 said:
How important are audition/away rotations in your fourth year if you are looking to do IM. The advisors at my school don't believe that it is important for IM. What are your feelings on this?

I would think it can only help ... if you do a good job.
 
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useless1 said:
How important are audition/away rotations in your fourth year if you are looking to do IM. The advisors at my school don't believe that it is important for IM. What are your feelings on this?

For IM, it is not an audition rotation as much as it is a 4 week free trial period of the residency. You can see if you like the program. Many people who do these end up realizing they do not like the program and rank them lower on the list. This is one of the advanatges of going into IM. There are a lot of programs and it is relatively less competitive, which gives you the opportunity to choose a program that you truely like. Other smaller less competitive fields (rad onc, ophtho, derm, etc) do not offer this luxury...you take what you can get.

I recommend NOT doing a sub-I. Do a supspecialty..less hours...no call....weekends off...focused body of knowledge. This will give you more time to explore the city as well to see if you like the geographical area. Also, with a more focused knowledge base, you can actually learn a lot and look a bit smarter as well. If you take a medicine sub-I, you get a pt with COPD, then cellulitis, then renal failure, then diverticulitis, then dementia, then tylenol overdose, then tertiary syphils, then something weird like tularemia...so broad you never can read enough to look half-way competent.
 

alhkim

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I agree...IMHO, it can only hurt, not help (based on my experiences and the several others who did away rotations in IM, both sub-I and specialties). Interestingly, and opposite to what I would've expected, none of us who did away rotations matched at those hospitals.

Scholes hit it on the head that it was a valuable experience for me to "evaluate" the program, rather than for the program to evaluate me.

scholes said:
For IM, it is not an audition rotation as much as it is a 4 week free trial period of the residency. You can see if you like the program. Many people who do these end up realizing they do not like the program and rank them lower on the list. This is one of the advanatges of going into IM. There are a lot of programs and it is relatively less competitive, which gives you the opportunity to choose a program that you truely like. Other smaller less competitive fields (rad onc, ophtho, derm, etc) do not offer this luxury...you take what you can get.

I recommend NOT doing a sub-I. Do a supspecialty..less hours...no call....weekends off...focused body of knowledge. This will give you more time to explore the city as well to see if you like the geographical area. Also, with a more focused knowledge base, you can actually learn a lot and look a bit smarter as well. If you take a medicine sub-I, you get a pt with COPD, then cellulitis, then renal failure, then diverticulitis, then dementia, then tylenol overdose, then tertiary syphils, then something weird like tularemia...so broad you never can read enough to look half-way competent.
 
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alhkim said:
I agree...IMHO, it can only hurt, not help (based on my experiences and the several others who did away rotations in IM, both sub-I and specialties).

I don't think it will hurt you unless you do not work hard, act arrogant or confrontational, or look stupid.

I have talked to many people who did away rotations at top institutions in peds and IM. Several of them were offered more of a "special interview" for people they look upon very favorably. They were able to meet more of the faculty and had more of a social experience than other interviews. So do a good job and it can definately help.
 

alhkim

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True...doing well helps you get an interview (everyone who did IM aways did interview at that institution), but ultimately, I feel like it doesn't really influence where you are on their rank list. I would be very interested to hear from more people about this, or what people have heard from PDs.

There seems to be a huge theorectical advantage in doing away rotations, but from my experience, it did not pan out. I did a sub-I away, got Honors there, ranked them #1, didn't match there. I just think your other grades and scores just play such a strong role in the match process. While a good away rotation may change your ranking within a quartile or quintile of the match list, i just don't think it will bump you up much more than that.

scholes said:
I don't think it will hurt you unless you do not work hard, act arrogant or confrontational, or look stupid.

I have talked to many people who did away rotations at top institutions in peds and IM. Several of them were offered more of a "special interview" for people they look upon very favorably. They were able to meet more of the faculty and had more of a social experience than other interviews. So do a good job and it can definately help.
 
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alhkim said:
I did a sub-I away, got Honors there, ranked them #1, didn't match there. I just think your other grades and scores just play such a strong role in the match process. While a good away rotation may change your ranking within a quartile or quintile of the match list, i just don't think it will bump you up much more than that.

That does not by any means indicate that it did not help you. First of all, honors grades are given out like candy during fourth year. Iserson says in his book that PD's do not give fourth year honors grades much merit because they know how meaningless they are. I do not know anything about you but you may be an average student who did an away rotation at a top program. Keep in mind there is not much of a screening process at most places when accepting people for away rotations. Without the away rotation, you may have been ranked much much lower. Plus, you have no idea how deep they went on their ranking list when they filled all of their positions. And you have no idea how far down the list you were. They may have only gone through 35 positions to fill their 18 spots and you may have been number 36. The Dean of Curriculum at my school (former PD) said "If you perceive yourself as either a jerk or lazy, then do not do an away rotation. Otherwise, it is an excellent idea."
 
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