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Discussion in 'Pathology' started by joedogma, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. joedogma

    joedogma Senior Member
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    I am currently trying to set up my fourth year electives for pathology. Does anybody have any advice on a good program (preferably northeast) to do a month rotation. I am currently thinking of doing one at Einstein or University of Rochester. My goal is to get a good exposure to the field (tough to do in one month I know...) and possibly get some good LOR's. I would like to hear about your experiences whether good or bad and how it helped (or hindered) your journey into pathology. Since I will probably only get to do 1, maybe 2 electives in path I don't want to blow it by going to a program that sticks the medical student in the corner, pretends your not there, and tells them to go home at 2 o'clock :thumbdown: Please post (or PM) your stories/advice!
     
  2. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I'm full of advice (among other things) today. Maybe it is the loopy-ness that comes from being close to graduation but yet humbled by the knowledge that I have 6 more weeks of clinical electives. Foolish me! Future graduates must wisely plan their fourth year such that vacations are moved to the end of the year. The pain of a january rotation will be soothed by the calming salve of realization that during May you shall be free to journey far and wide, visiting such wondrous sites as the Brandenburg Gate, Angkor Wat, the heights of Mt Kilimanjaro, the majestic beauty of Bryce Canyon, the canals of Venice, and of course the world's largest beam of light at the Luxor in Vegas.

    Anyway, my advice is to do a rotation at a place that you are really interested in for residency. It might provide you with good contacts when you apply, or alternatively it could open your eyes to show you that place might not be where you want to actually go. Some programs are tougher to get rotations at, because they hold enrollment until at least may, so that their own school's students have a chance at first dibs. I don't know which ones these are, but you can generally find out via the school's website or by contacting the appropriate individual. I don't know of any particular place that gives good clerkship rotations, but as I said in another post a lot of it is user dependent. They might offer to send you home at 2pm, but you can stick around (they certainly won't be mad) and experience whatever you choose.
     
  3. Weil-Felix

    Weil-Felix Super Flying Squirrel
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    I agree wholeheartedly with Yaah. Absolutely do a rotation at your top one or two places for residency. This will serve you two purposes.

    1) You will "get in good" with your top choice program(s). Some programs will rank a person who did an externship highly just because they know them, even if their numbers are lower than some other applicants. In fact, there are a few programs that have so few spots (one or two), that only those applicants who have done an externship get ranked highly enough to actually go there.

    2) You will learn tons about these programs, both good and bad. A program can hide major problems/deficiencies for one interview day, but it is difficult to do that for an entire month. It's really, really important in my opinion to find out if you would fit in at a particular program, or if you would be miserable there for the next four years. Spending a month with them is the best way to do that. I know you said you don't want to "blow it" by doing an externship at a place that sticks you in a corner and ignores you. You're right, it's a wasted experience in a sense, and pretty much sucks. This actually happened to me at one of my externships. (Pretty much ignored for an entire week, nasty uncalled for remarks about my home school made to me by a couple of attendings, among other things) Although it was miserable, it gave me some invaluable insight into the program, and so I knew better than to rank them highly because I could see the problems in the program. This saved me from making a grievous mistake, as I might have otherwise ranked the program first. I am actually very happy that I did the externship there.

    The big question you might have, then, is which programs to consider as your "top choices" for residency at this point. Are the two you have listed (U of Rochester and Einstein) pretty high on your list of potential residency choices? If so, I would absolutely, positively do externships there. If there are other schools that you are contemplating, maybe you could list them and if someone here has done an externship/interview/etc there, they might be willing to PM you with more info.

    By the way, Yaah. Yes you were very, very silly to not schedule a vacation for this month! I am currently on an "independent study" month. I am "independently studying" while waking up at noon every day, shopping, and hiking in the mountains. Tee hee! (Not to rub it in your face, or anything.. :p )

    Oh my, look at the time. I'm late for my Starbucks latte run! Ta, ta!
     
  4. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I don't think I could sleep until noon if I went to bed at 7am. You are lucky, the schedule here at UMass is a bit rigid for 3rd and 4th year. No elective time in 3rd year. 4th year we have to fill 8 months, and 6 of these have to be a "clinical" elective which includes enough patient contact to warrant a designation as such. Thus, any research, independent study, radiology, anatomy or other basic science electives, and of course pathology does not count among these six. So since i did an away elective at another program, and another path month here on hemepath which I really wanted to do, I am stuck with the remaining 6 months being consults and required electives like my medicine sub I and neurology. Thus, my current banishment to Infectious Diseases with the resultant MRSA precautions and advice on whether someone's antibiotics should continue for 4 or 5 weeks. Darnit all, I'm going to be MRSA colonized myself at the end of the 4 weeks. Next month I have neurology.
     
  5. joedogma

    joedogma Senior Member
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    Thanks for the words of wisdom. I am still collecting all the information I can trying to come up with my list of places I will apply to. Hopefully I can put myself at an advantage by doing a rotation at one of my top choices. I think I would like Einstein, it has a great reputation and strong program (even if it is in the Bronx.) I am still trying to figure out U of Rochester... is it a good program? I would also consider dartmouth but it may be more difficult to do a one month rotation there. Well, the wheels continue to turn in my head...thanks for the tips...feel free to send more my way :thumbup:
     

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