Away rotations

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Jan 10, 2018
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I am interested in doing away electives to improve my chances at some relatively more competitive programs, but also to have the opportunity to explore my interest in Psychiatry at health systems other at my home institution. However, I am worried that doing away rotations at certain institutions will give admission committees the impression that I am more interested in those programs or programs in the same geographic region. In reality, I am open to going almost anywhere for residency. So...I was wondering if you thought doing away rotations at a particular institution might hurt my chances at interviewing/matching at other institutions. Currently, I am thinking about doing an away rotation at Einstein in NY and UCLA-Harbor (although I am applying to aways all over the place) -- Einstein because I am curious to see how the practice of psychiatry differs in the Northeast (where I am from), and UCLA Harbor because it has some interesting electives I haven't seen offered at any other institution. However, I can see how doing away rotations at these institutions might give the impression that I am only interested in programs in NY or LA, which is not the case. But maybe I am overthinking this...

Of note, I do think I need to do away rotations to improve my chances at matching. The reason for this is because I received a low score on Step 1 and otherwise have mediocre "stats". However, my faculty evals are consistently good, and I know I can secure good/excellent recommendations from faculty I have already established a rapport with. Moreover, I am planning to give myself extra time to study for Step 2 to improve my stats.

Donald Juan

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7+ Year Member
May 22, 2011
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I really don't know if psychiatry will care since so few people do away rotations. I'm in a surgical subspecialty where everyone does them, and it is typically thought that this does make somewhat of a difference. If you're from the NE and went to school there and did away rotations there, programs in the SE and midwest might be less likely to give you interviews. But again, this is a problem that might be limited to small surgical fields because almost everyone applies to ~70 programs, so the programs are often trying to figure out which of the 200 applicants (for 1-5 spots) actually are interested to come to their program.