Away Rotations

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Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2016
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Hey everyone,

3rd year going on 4th year medical student interested in diagnostic radiology. I've searched the forum for advice and the general advice seems to be to not do aways in DR unless there is a specific program you are interested in, if you want to "unlock" a new location, or if there's a reach program you're interested in.

In my case, I am more curious as my medical school does not have a home program. I should be able to rotate with some radiologists early 4th year, but i'm somewhat worried my letters won't be as good due to the lack of a program.

Curious on your thoughts.


Edit: To add, I would enjoy an away rotation but I am somewhat concerned about the added costs, which is my primary hold up

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It is difficult to show interest as a student in a DR rotation. At my institution, the DR clerkship director promises to write a generic LoR to anyone who needs it, and students have matched fine with it. DR is unique in that your clinical letters will carry more weight. Thus, PDs recommend getting 1-2 DR letters MAX (See AMSER guide).

If you have to do an away to secure a strong personalized LoR, do an IR away. You can get more involved clinically, resulting in a better LoR. But make sure to inform the IR faculty that you are applying DR and they state so in their LoR. One of my colleages matched top 25 DR with IR faculty letters as Rads LoRs.
Lots of people recommend against doing a DR away rotation but I disagree. Most programs are looking for a good personality first and foremost to fit into the program, so if you have good peoples skill, easy to get along with, then an away rotation will go along way towards helping you land at said program. To "impress" clinically, all you need to do is offer to write up a couple of case reports with some of the faculty. Case reports in radiology are a dime a dozen and in a 4 week rotation you can easily write up and at least submit a couple of case reports.