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4th year scheduling confusion

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by anxiousnadd, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. anxiousnadd

    anxiousnadd Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm now in the process of setting up my 4th year electives in EM. My question is, how should I be considering where to rotate through? I know that I should go to programs that I want to hopefully end up going to, but if all the programs I really want to go to are uber conpetitive, then should I maybe be a bit more realistic and go to a couple programs that might be more at my level? Or maybe I'm just being way too skeptical of my abilities? I dunno.

    Also, I was considering mixing it up between a big county program and one or two community programs. Is that decently smart? I'm just really confused with all this and I'm about to gag.
     
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  3. simha1487

    simha1487 Junior Member
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    some considerations :

    1) unless you have a lot of time, energy and money (Away electives can be expensive, housing, travel etc.), about 1-2 away electives in addition to one at your home institution (Especially if it has a residency program in EM) is generally considered sufficient in EM. Remember, your away elective is effectively a month long "interview" and you want to come away from that experience with a letter from an attending or a clerkship director or the PD saying that you are stellar. this can be draining as you are taking on a lot of pressure and stacking up more than 2 of them might be unneccessary. Thats already 3 EM letters (two from aways and one from home)..plus, i've heard directors say that if u are doing ur third EM rotation, you better be "stellar" as they expect you've learned a lot in ur first two rotations.

    2) If you do want to do more than 1-2 away clerkships, consider doing a "specialty" or "niche" experience - EM US, wilderness, tox, etc. it will give you a better chance to standout (less competition) as well in addition to being more interesting

    3)the other consideration is to do an away in a program different from your home institution, i.e. if yours is university, do a county, or community (affiliated and involved with a residency program), etc. if you are from a 3 yr program, go to a 4 yr ED.. that way u'll have something to compare to on the trail

    4) you are doing well by starting to think about this early.. july and august spots fill fast at many programs..alternately, doing a rotation not in july or august gives you a chance to be at a program without all the new residents and other visiting students, and may generally be better.

    5) finally, good luck.. i did my away rotation at harbor UCLA and home rotation at stanford, so if you have further questions, PM me.

    ps: i remember seeing other threads about this.. a search might be at hand..
     
  4. EBKame

    EBKame Member
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    I'd also recommend doing the more prestigious program rotation first, so that ideally you can submit a SLOR to ERAS early from well-known faculty. This should help you in obtaining interviews early at a variety of programs. Also, I would recommend doing your early rotations (August, September) in the region you would like to do residency in. In my case this greatly influenced where I got interviews. This is especially true if you want to go to residency in a region that your medical school isn't in. I'm a student applying this year and this is all from personal experience, so take it with a grain of salt.
     
  5. The Buff

    The Buff The Big Cat
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    I agree with the above, but for me the best thing about doing an away was the fact that it was a completely different program from my home institution. At home I have a tertiary academic-type program, and my away was a prestigious county program. I definitely learned what type of program I fit better in by doing something completely different than what I was used to. There are plenty of prestigious academic, county, or community programs out there and I would recommend trying to get one of the three that is most unlike your home institution. Otherwise, how will you know what you really like when you get onto the trail or when you are making your list of programs to apply to?
     

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