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.
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?
) 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?