"Audition rotations"

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stretch210

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I am in my second year, and have basically decided 99.9% that I want to do PM&R. I was wondering when I should begin to call schools and try set up rotations in their PM&R departments?
Here are some of the questions I have...

1. Should I set up a "local" PM&R rotation in third year right before I go do "audition" rotations at schools I may want to attend? If so, do you recommend an inpatient or outpatient local rotation?

2. Should I wait until fourth year to do any audition rotations? How late is too late?

3. If I'm going to do them in 3rd year, when should I call and how deep into third year should I try to set them up?

4. We have two elective months in third year, should one of these absolutely be in PM&R or should I use one for a related field...ie. neurology, ortho, rheum, etc.

5. Finally, when should my recommendation letters from these PM&R guys/gals :) be in by for my application...for example if I apply in August of 4th year and do a rotation in september or october and get letters from that, will they be too late?

Thanks, I appreciate all the help now, so I don't regret something later. I know some of this may be way too early, and for all I know, some may be way late, but I just wanted to get some sort of plan/strategy for the next several months.
 

SCIronMike

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I didn't do any PM&R rotations until I was in my 4th year. My opinion is that August through January in your 4th year is the best time for away rotations.
 

Finally M3

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My medial school had one elective M3 year, 3 electives M4 year. I did a a rotation at a community hospital PMR program M3, then my home program and the current locale I'm at my M4 year, in July and August M4 year.

I think sept/oct of your M4 year is the latest you can rotate before you can get a letter in a timely fashion.

"Audition rotations" can help or hurt; if you make a good impression, it will help tremendously in matching the program of your choice. If you mess up, it can kill your chances at said program. Try hard, be interested, be yourself, and you will do fine!
 

Brooklyndo2.1

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with the above being said, definitely do an elective at you "paper" number one choice... even if you mess up... because frankly it could be that you dont like it there....that happened to me so just keep that in mind.
 

armonia

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I would recommend doing a local PM&R elective during your third year. Get a mix of inpatient and outpatient in the same rotation if you can to get broad exposure to the field. In terms of timing, I would vot for scheduling it toward the end of third year. If you're going to have an inpatient component to that rotation, you'll get more out of it if you've already had internal medicine.
As far as getting letters, ask for them as you go along, even if you don't think you're going to use them. Trying to get a letter after a sept/oct rotation is possible but you may find that you'll spend a lot of energy making sure that letter gets in. The whole process is stressful enough without having to chase down letters/letter writers at the last minute.
Away rotations. . .Brooklyndo makes a good point in saying that they are a good way to evaluate whether you like a program, and really only if you really have one or two that really stand out in your mind ahead of time. I wouldn't do them just to impress a program. Practically, you can't do an away rotation at every program you're considering. Also, I don't think it will hurt your chances of matching if you don't do an away rotation.
 

stretch210

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Thanks everyone for the info...anyone have any recommendation of WHEN I should contact these programs?
 

Taus

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Stretch...I'm an M2 as well and am basically in the exact same situation as you. I decided to just call the programs (from the #'s on Freida) and ask when would be the proper time to call for scheduling an elective for an outside student. Some gave a specific time period and some just said whenever their own schools students have had some time to schedule electives (which makes sense but I'm not sure how to exactly interpret that). Anyway, it seems like 3-6 months in advance of when you'd like the rotation should be fine.
If you want to be w/ a specific Physiatrist and only have one specific month that will work for you....you can try calling a little earlier and see what happens.

Hope that helps.
 

axm397

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I am in my second year, and have basically decided 99.9% that I want to do PM&R. I was wondering when I should begin to call schools and try set up rotations in their PM&R departments?
Here are some of the questions I have...

1. Should I set up a "local" PM&R rotation in third year right before I go do "audition" rotations at schools I may want to attend? If so, do you recommend an inpatient or outpatient local rotation?

2. Should I wait until fourth year to do any audition rotations? How late is too late?

3. If I'm going to do them in 3rd year, when should I call and how deep into third year should I try to set them up?

4. We have two elective months in third year, should one of these absolutely be in PM&R or should I use one for a related field...ie. neurology, ortho, rheum, etc.

5. Finally, when should my recommendation letters from these PM&R guys/gals :) be in by for my application...for example if I apply in August of 4th year and do a rotation in september or october and get letters from that, will they be too late?

Thanks, I appreciate all the help now, so I don't regret something later. I know some of this may be way too early, and for all I know, some may be way late, but I just wanted to get some sort of plan/strategy for the next several months.

Like you, I had 2 electives during my 3rd year. At the time, I was not familiar with the field of PM&R so I ended up using the time to do Neurology sub I and Anesthesia. I think taking one of the electives to do a home-institution PM&R rotation may help you feel more confident going into your "audition rotations". I would also recommend purchasing the PM&R pocketpedia. It's small and won't break your budget but will give you some of the basics.

I started contacting possible 4th yr elective institutions about February/March for a July/August/September rotation. Some institutions take FOREVER to get back to you so may need a "backup" plan just in case they don't come through. I ended up with two away electives in August and September. I got letters out of both rotations. Some programs won't even offer interviews until the Dean's letter is in - which is I think is on November 1st - so technically, any letter(s) you can get in by then would help you. I think my last letter writer whom I asked the end of September - got his in within October.

Start working on your CV and possibly even a rough personal statement so when you ask ppl for a letter, you can give those to them.

I had 2 int med(one med/peds program director who was my medicine attending), and 3 PM&R letters. Probably could have gotten away with just 2 PM&R letters.

Hope this helps
 
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