Away Rotations

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by davidgreen, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. I've heard the pros and cons of doing away rotations. A summary:

    Pros - You shine, they love you, you match there. Case closed.

    Cons - Even if you're good, good enough to earn an A on the rotation, the program takes the "grass is always greener" approach and is more impressed by applicants whom they only see on paper and meet for a few minutes on interview day. (Kind of like how the hottest girls are hotter the less often you see them. Anyone you see every da*n day becomes less exciting.)

    I've heard some people go so far as to say that unless you have an exact personality match with a majority of the residents at a given program, don't do an away rotation there. Apply there, and let your app and your interview do the talking. It's easy to pretend that you're "that guy" during an interview, but it's impossible to do for a month.

    I'm planning on doing an away rotation at the place I most badly want to match in. Problemo: I'm not the hard-drinking type. The guys there aren't, either, but let's face it: having a few brewskies on the weekend is standard fare for most residents.

    It'd be one thing if the night before the interview I didn't throw down a couple with the guys, but if, after a month of hanging out with the residents, I refuse always to share a beer with them (on account of my recovering from an alkie problem that I'd rather hide from them), then I'll get tagged as the party-pooper. No one wants to work with the party-pooper for the next 2-3 yrs, so I could get shafted in the rank process.

  2. Jim Picotte

    Jim Picotte Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2001
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    For the places that you're interested in, talk to the first or second year residents in that field and find out if they did a rotation there. You may find that all of the residents there didn't so much as set foot in the state or hospital. If that's the case, don't do an away rotation. Some places certainly prefer candidates that they know well, so if the majority of the current residents did a rotation at the hospital or in that department, then I'd do it.

    You're right though, it can hurt you or help you. If you look good on paper, I honestly wouldn't do an away rotation unless you're undecided about going to that program and are doing it to help you decide, not to try to increase your chances of matching.
  3. migraineboy

    migraineboy Member
    7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2001
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    Personally, I think it is a good idea to rotate at places you are considering. A - you get a good look at the program for a month. My "dream" anesthesiology program fell off of my match list after I rotated there. B - I got interviews at places I might not have otherwise because I showed enough interest to rotate at their programs. Plus, my interviews at these programs went much smoother than the other people interviewing on those days. Hope this helps....
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
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    Attending Physician
    I'm not sure "having a few breskies" every weekend really is the standard at most programs. You may be suprised but many residents are married and spend their off hours either with their spouse or other SO, or even when socializing don't often kill lots of alcohol.

    Its not entirely truthful but you could try the following...

    don't order your drink from the table side wait person, get it from the bar, out of earshot of the other guys/gals - you can come back with some non-alcoholic beer or some mixed drink that looks alcoholic. The latter is easier to do because you don't run into the "share a pitcher" dilemma. No need for anyone to know.

    Best of luck to you.

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