Away Elective in November

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by meathooks, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. meathooks

    meathooks Perpetual Resident

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    I was considering doing a general surgery elective or sub-I at UCSD in the month of November, but now I'm reconsidering. Is it worth it, considering that I might have to get away for interviews and that it's too late for the letter to be of any use? I'm finishing school in NYC and I'm trying to make my way to Cali for residency. Would the away be of any help in getting interviews with other Cali schools (by showing that I'm serious about coming out west)? Unfortunately, my school has stuck me doing ambulatory medicine for the month of October, so this is the only time I can get out of here.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Excuse my rambling.
     
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    It isn't necessary to post the same question, or version of, in multiple forums (matter of fact, its against the SDN TOS).

    As I noted in your other post, November is too late to use a Sub-I for letters (since your application deadline for surgery programs is November 1) and is a bad time because you want to impress this program as much as you can (I'm assuming you've heard all the stories about UCSD surgery? :eek: ) but you'll require time off for interviews.

    I don't think programs are going to be sufficiently impressed just hearing that you have a California elective (so what? Getting an elective is not really an achievement, is what they'll think.) and any evaluation you might obtain from the rotation will be received too late to make a difference in getting an interview.

    Your best chance in getting a California residency is your LORs, grades, USMLE, etc. There may be a slight preference for Cali residents, but even if you were, the bad news is that it wouldn't be a significant factor in offering you an interview or a residency spot.

    There are programs in California which are less competitive - Kern and UCSF-Fresno are two that come to mind; many of the others are very competitive and difficult to match into, but that shouldn't dissuade you from trying.

    Any chance you can do your Sub-I during August or September?
     
  4. meathooks

    meathooks Perpetual Resident

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    Sorry about multiple posting - I completely forgot that I mentioned this in another thread. I'm starting an away elective (trauma) at Jackson Memorial in Miami during the month of August, and I was going to study during september for Step 2. The problem with doing an elective in California is that their schedule is staggered from that here in NY, so any away taken during september would confilict with a required rotation here. If it really doesn't influence their decision either way, then I'll just pick up a SICU elective at my home school.

    My letters, grades, and step 1 score are all good, so that might be the plan I'll choose. Sorry if it's an inane question, but I appreciate the help. Any further input you have would be great.
     
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    No worries...its a reasonable question.

    Ok, so you can't do your California rotation any earlier. While November is really too late to help you get letters, it does allow you to see the program from the inside out. Therefore, perhaps its worth it to do, although as noted before, when you do a Sub-I, you want to focus and if you're gone several times for interviews, that will be hard. Most rotations, whether elective or not, have a limit on the amount of time you can be gone - although admittedly the rules are stretched for people who are residency interviewing. Why not study for Step 2 in November (since your Step 1 is good there is really no reason to take Step 2 "early") and use that as your month off to travel and study, taking either an away elective or a home-based SICU rotation in September? I'm sure you've spent much more time than I figuring this out and have your reasons, but in my experience, most 4th year students have relatively easy rotations during November, December so they can take time off without a hassle.
     
  6. meathooks

    meathooks Perpetual Resident

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    Thanks for all of your advice, Dr. Cox. It's helped me a lot in terms of sorting out my schedule. I think I'll use September for my SICU rotation, and finish squaring away my letters here at my home school. The thing that's really holding things up is the mandatory ambulatory rotation. However, this change in schedule leaves me with Nov, Dec, and Jan all free, so I can finish the step 2 CK and CS, interview, and get involved in some research during my spare time. By the time I interview, I'll have finished 5 weeks of vascular, two months of trauma (at level 1 trauma centers), and my SICU rotation.

    Thanks for taking the time to help a confused 4th year sort out his schedule.
     
  7. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Sure...glad to be of some help. Best of luck to you.
     

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