Away Elective Advice

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Junior Member
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15+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2002
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Hey Everybody, First of all I wanted to thank all you guys for doing a great job on this forum especially Dr. Doan. I know this topic has been covered at exhuastum but I was wondering what your thoughts were about away electives. Specifically when is it best to do them? How much experience should I have before I do them? How do I choose where to do them? Which programs are known to be exceptionally good at teaching, especially any programs which has plenty Didactics. I am not particularly looking for a big-wig program, or one with a high volume but for one which the faculty are unusually committed to teaching.
Really appreciate your help.


Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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Oct 1, 2002
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Come to Iowa. e-mail: [email protected] (medical student rotation coordinator).

Best time: Late Spring or Early Summer during the year you apply.

Purpose: Learn about the program and possibly get a supportive letter from faculty.

Preparation: Come with enthusiasm. Read about new cases you see in clinic. You should know how to do the basic exam, and split your differential into broad categories: infection, neoplasm, inflammation, congenital, trauma, vascular, and idiopathic (dump for I/we don't know - often nobody knows).

Iowa is great for teaching medical students with daily lectures from sub-specialties. Hiliary Beaver, MD runs the rotation, and it's top-notch. I'm currently working on a basic ophthalmology book with Dr. Beaver for students and primary care providers. She is awesome.

Where to look? Here: http://www.eyerounds.org/rotations.htm