kap79

10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2006
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Medical Student
My school has a 4th year EM rotation requirment at its affiliated sites. It was my first EM rotation I learned alot but had poor attending contact and continuity (I was told only to present to residents, attending shifts did not match student shifts so often would old work with one attending for four hours). I did not get a letter of recomendation from this site. I did not ask any individual attending for a reccomendation because of poor attending contact and continuity. I did ask the clerkship director to meet to reveiw evaluations to see if they could write me a composite letter, but I found out that many attendings did not fill out the evals, and if they did they didn't make comments but just circled numbers on the evals. This didn't bother me to much I just took it as a learning experience (importance of attending contact and continuity for a letter of rec.) and I never planned on applying to their program. So my question: Is not having a letter from this emed rotation a red flag on my application (I will have SLORs from two other emed electives that I plan on applying to) and if so what can I do to lessen the blow (put an extra paragraph in my personal statement regarding this?)?
 
May 31, 2003
928
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42
FL
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Attending Physician
My school has a 4th year EM rotation requirment at its affiliated sites. It was my first EM rotation I learned alot but had poor attending contact and continuity (I was told only to present to residents, attending shifts did not match student shifts so often would old work with one attending for four hours). I did not get a letter of recomendation from this site. I did not ask any individual attending for a reccomendation because of poor attending contact and continuity. I did ask the clerkship director to meet to reveiw evaluations to see if they could write me a composite letter, but I found out that many attendings did not fill out the evals, and if they did they didn't make comments but just circled numbers on the evals. This didn't bother me to much I just took it as a learning experience (importance of attending contact and continuity for a letter of rec.) and I never planned on applying to their program. So my question: Is not having a letter from this emed rotation a red flag on my application (I will have SLORs from two other emed electives that I plan on applying to) and if so what can I do to lessen the blow (put an extra paragraph in my personal statement regarding this?)?
Could you ask to just come in and work a couple of shifts with a particular attending so that you can ask that person for a letter? A number of people at my institution have done this when they felt that their contact time was lacking or when they were in need of an additional SLOR?

Either way though, it sounds like you have enough SLORs from other places and I don't think you should address the issue in your personal statement since it might create a problem out of a likely non-problem
 

EM_Rebuilder

Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2006
1,228
54
Texas
Status
Attending Physician
I do not know if it would have changed anything for me, but I did two away EM rotations and yet only got one SLOR from the place that probably gave me a much worse SLOR than the other would have (espically considering the 'other' place that I failed to obtained a SLOR is the place I am at now!).

I had a very strong EM attending LOR (non academic) and IM LOR from my home campus, got a SLOR from my first away rotation, and decided I did not want to mess with asking for any more letters. I did my final rotation and was very well liked, but still did not get a letter. This simple fact came up so much during my interviews that I started explaining it myself before they had a shot at bringing it up.

I could have lied and not told them where I rotated at, instead I told them I rotated at X and Y and thought it was just too late to get a letter from Y. That kept the questions away and hopefully doubts out of their minds. Early on, a few people told me flat out they were concerened that I did this away rotation and had no reference from it in my file.... i.e. you must have sucked so bad there that they would not even write you a letter!

So, with that said, I would certainly try to get a SLOR from them....even a generic one may be better than none. Trying to go get a few more shifts in your off time could certainly help that. I would surely hope that if you are even close to decent, the academic people at your own school would buff a SLOR for you just a bit.

I would not discuss this in the PS. Also, I hope you are at least doing one of these two away rotations right at this moment...as time is ticking!
 
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kalico

TV doc
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2001
118
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Hey there,

My first (school-required) EM rotation was at a small community hospital, and I actually got two letters from them, but it wasn't academic in the least, so I put those on the bottom of my list. Then I did 2 EM Sub-I's and 1 EM related elective at strong academic centers and used those SLOR's instead. No one asked me about the required rotation AT ALL, except for the question, "What has your EM experience been so far?"
 

ditch doctor

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2005
181
1
Status
Attending Physician
I rotated at two places and only got 1 SLOR and I matched at my first choice. So, on an otherwise strong application with good interviews, I don't think it would make much of a difference. Some PD's on here can chime in if I'm wrong.
 
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