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Away Rotations

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Spetzler-Martin

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I'm still far away from heading into rotations. However, I have a theoretical question. My med school is number 1 ranked for the residency program I want to go into and ideally where I would want to stay for residency. If I have strong connections to the home program, is it fine to do an away rotation for the speciality I'm interested in at some other program?
 

slowthai

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I'm still far away from heading into rotations. However, I have a theoretical question. My med school is number 1 ranked for the residency program I want to go into and ideally where I would want to stay for residency. If I have strong connections to the home program, is it fine to do an away rotation for the speciality I'm interested in at some other program?

I have never heard of any program having a problem with doing away rotations. Depending on the field, they might even strongly recommend it. It's a requirement for most of the hyper-competitive ones. Ideally, the residents and attendings at your home program can tell you the places that are the best bang for your buck to rotate at.

The only issues I've heard of is when people underperform or when they don't do an away at a specific program in a specific geographic area, like UChicago. I've heard of a program writing an applicant off for rotating with all of the Chicago programs except for theirs, for example. They took it as a lack of interest.
 
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Oedipa Maas

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I also don’t think it would hurt to set up a meeting with your home program PD to discuss all of this. In the meeting you can express your strong interest in your home program and ask what kinds of things you should do to set yourself up to match there. You can broach the subject of aways at that time and they might have some advice as to which programs would offer a unique perspective or experience.

One program I interviewed at (home state but not home program) did grill me about why I did an away across the country and didn’t do one with them. I didn’t really think it was a fair question because the away I did was at a very unique facility. If you get asked something like that just have an answer prepped for why you chose that away without saying anything negative about the program you are interviewing for. You’ll be fine.
 
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shouldigomd

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I certainly would not say they are overrated, especially for surgical specialities....

If you are able to show up and be well liked by the residents, impress the attending's, balance assertiveness without being overbearing and leave a lasting impression in 4 weeks than go for it. I think the risk of appearing average outweighs the small chance of leaving a lasting impression but thats just my opinion.
 
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Dr. Anonymouss

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There is a game to be played with residency applications, especially if you are aiming for a competitive specialty. I would be weary of your confidence to aim solely for your home program and to not do away rotations.
 

CyrusHabs7695

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I know the general consensus is aways are not recommended for most specialties like radiology or anesthesiology, but how else would one try to get there foot in the door in a competitive region across the country that they're not from? i.e. from east coast really interested in a Southern California spot (assuming the rest of the app is up to par)
 
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slowthai

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I know the general consensus is aways are not recommended for most specialties like radiology or anesthesiology, but how else would one try to get there foot in the door in a competitive region across the country that they're not from? i.e. from east coast really interested in a Southern California spot (assuming the rest of the app is up to par)

The advice I've heard is to definitely do an away if you're targeting a specific program. For rads, I heard someone give the advice of doing research with someone important (on the residency admissions committee) to really maximize your chances, because sitting there all day trying not to look stupid won't be enough. It's not like doing a surgical away, where you can actually help the service run more smoothly.
 
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Yankees27

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If you are able to show up and be well liked by the residents, impress the attending's, balance assertiveness without being overbearing and leave a lasting impression in 4 weeks than go for it. I think the risk of appearing average outweighs the small chance of leaving a lasting impression but thats just my opinion.
If that is what you believe, then you likely may lack confidence in your ability and I totally understand why you would think they are overrated. Also, please try not to give people the wrong impression by making them believe that the aways are not important, because for some, they may be all the difference in helping match, that is if they are allowed to proceed with aways.
 
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Yankees27

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I know the general consensus is aways are not recommended for most specialties like radiology or anesthesiology, but how else would one try to get there foot in the door in a competitive region across the country that they're not from? i.e. from east coast really interested in a Southern California spot (assuming the rest of the app is up to par)
Who told you that aways are not recommended...where do people on this forum get this bogus information from? For all medical students that monitor this forum, please take everything you read here with a grain of salt, because people flat out lie to try and have an advantage over the next person...so sad.
 
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CyrusHabs7695

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Who told you that aways are not recommended...where do people on this forum get this bogus information from? For all medical students that monitor this forum, please take everything you read here with a grain of salt, because people flat out lie to try and have an advantage over the next person...so sad.

Ive just seen on here that aways for most things besides the super competitive fields are generally not needed, but I was just curious how else to build a connection with a competitive program
 
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Yankees27

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Ive just seen on here that aways for most things besides the super competitive fields are generally not needed, but I was just curious how else to build a connection with a competitive program
The problem with this forum is that some give horrible advice, either, because they are misinformed or more nefarious reasons like trying to reduce competition. Speak to your mentors, advisors, other people who have matched, etc, don't rely on everything you read here.....I'm just trying to give good advice.

To your point about the "super competitive field", you are somewhat right in that it is less important for the non-completive fields, unless you want to go to a top residency.
 

shouldigomd

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If that is what you believe, then you likely may lack confidence in your ability and I totally understand why you would think they are overrated. Also, please try not to give people the wrong impression by making them believe that the aways are not important, because for some, they may be all the difference in helping match, that is if they are allowed to proceed with aways.

Oh sorry I didn't realize your opinion was more valid than mine. I guess I am confidence lacking scum bag.
 
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7331poas

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You are a sad individual and I can only hope you do not practice medicine....to the moderator, why did you delete my last post that called this disgusting person out for using the word scumbag on a forum?

Idk why you are so confident in your opinion. There are definitely specialties where aways are more likely to hurt you. Why would I do an away for IM? Even Gen surg there are mixed opinions on whether to do aways.
 
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longhaul3

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I'm still far away from heading into rotations. However, I have a theoretical question. My med school is number 1 ranked for the residency program I want to go into and ideally where I would want to stay for residency. If I have strong connections to the home program, is it fine to do an away rotation for the speciality I'm interested in at some other program?
With all this hostility going back and forth, they danced around the key point but never actually addressed it: what specialty is this? If it's a competitive specialty in which 1-3 aways are standard, you still need to do them, and you won't match without them. Most top programs match 1-2 home students a year, but everyone goes through the same song and dance.

Also, you never know what you're going to find. My home program in med school was elite, but when I went on my aways I realized that it was really unlike most other programs around the country, and in the end it wasn't the kind of program I wanted for myself. If I had never gone away I would have been happy to stay, but it wouldn't have been the best fit for me. And this is something you can't know until you spend a month at another institution, no matter how well you know your home program.

Edit: also want to add that maybe your home program doesn't like you as much as you hope they do. there were plenty of superstar med students at my school who rubbed the residents the wrong way, and there's no recovering from that, even at your home program.
 
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Spetzler-Martin

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With all this hostility going back and forth, they danced around the key point but never actually addressed it: what specialty is this? If it's a competitive specialty in which 1-3 aways are standard, you still need to do them, and you won't match without them. Most top programs match 1-2 home students a year, but everyone goes through the same song and dance.

Also, you never know what you're going to find. My home program in med school was elite, but when I went on my aways I realized that it was really unlike most other programs around the country, and in the end it wasn't the kind of program I wanted for myself. If I had never gone away I would have been happy to stay, but it wouldn't have been the best fit for me. And this is something you can't know until you spend a month at another institution, no matter how well you know your home program.

Edit: also want to add that maybe your home program doesn't like you as much as you hope they do. there were plenty of superstar med students at my school who rubbed the residents the wrong way, and there's no recovering from that, even at your home program.

I don't start MS1 until the fall so I haven't rubbed anyone the wrong way yet. lol. This was all just theoretical since I was just really curious about the whole concept of away rotations (I know I'll learn about it eventually). However, what did these med students do that led to them rubbing the residents the wrong way . Laziness, abrasive personalities, showing up late, unwillingness to take advice?
 
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