5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2004
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I am probably a normal derm applicant and attend a state medical school lets say in the Northeast. I am interested in matching all over the country. Right now I will have one away in the northeast (1st one, big school, hoping to get one more letter here), one in Texas (at a good program, but no need for letter from them, more just want to check it out to possibly match), and one in California (at a dream program during one of my vacay months, I get no credit for this).

I am worried that perhaps I am doing too many aways "away" from the NE to speak, I know my best shot of matching is here. So I am thinking of changing my Texas rotation to another NE program. Let me break down my pro's/con's here:

1) Do the Texas away-
pro- good away opportunity, big program, would love an interview there
con- looks like I'm not committed to NE programs

2) Find another NE away for my second away
pro- solidifies my status as a regional based applicant
con- miss the opportunity to check out a cool new program kinda far away and maybe secure an interview there

The politics and mind games of this whole match process are mind boggling, will I alienate my local region by going away? Should I just be happy and solidify my status as someone interested in the NE? Questions... questions... questions...


7+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2009
Attending Physician
I don't think there is much benefit to doing a lot of rotations in the region where your medical school is located. The programs from the NE will already assume that a NE applicant has no problems with staying in the NE. It won't score you any extra points by doing a large #of rotations in this region.

In contrast, doing an away rotation in another region (even if it is "off the record" / not listed on your transcript) helps show midwest programs that you are interested in their program and their region. Many MW programs seriously want to know that you would be interested in living in that region.

West Coast programs have their pick of applicants (everyone loves the west coast), so it doesn't help as much here.

I was in a similar situation in med school and did an away in the midwest. During interview season (and even on my application) I felt that it was very helpful to be able to say that I had spent some time in the midwest and would love to train in that region.


7+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2010
Resident [Any Field]
I agree with Tamahawk.

Most people will get a majority of interviews in the region of their medical school. For some reason everyone seems to assume you want to do residency in the region of your med school, even if you grew up on the opposite end of the country. Maybe this is because it can be difficult to tell where an applicant's family is based on ERAS (you list birthplace, but who knows what signficance that has), and even if you mention your hometown in your personal statement, they may not read this carefully.

If you are interested in going somewhere distant from your medical school (esp the South or the Midwest), it's a great idea to do an away rotation in this location.