Aways in the upcoming COVID cycle

OtoBro

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As an osteopathic medical student applying ENT this year and the new recommendations should I be worried about having too many aways scheduled? I have been reading that some specialties are frowning upon having more than 1-2 aways. If anyone has any insight from their own program and their current stance I would really appreciate it.
 

DrNoseBest

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Advice for aways is pretty specific to the individual. There's a reason most people only do 1-3: the more you do, the tougher it is to remain on your A+ game for what is essentially a month-long interview as fatigue sets in. But as a DO student, aways may be an important way for you to get your foot in the door at institutions that historically do not take many DO residents.

The other factor to consider is that aways are a double-edged sword. You can showcase yourself and wow a program, but if you look better on paper than you perform in person, it's worth considering whether maximizing aways is really the best strategy for you.

But as far as being worried that the specialty itself frowns on doing more than 1-2 aways:

a) I don't know that that's true, and
b) Interviewers have no way of knowing how many you do unless you outright tell someone at an interview.

So I wouldn't sweat it.
 

OtoBro

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Advice for aways is pretty specific to the individual. There's a reason most people only do 1-3: the more you do, the tougher it is to remain on your A+ game for what is essentially a month-long interview as fatigue sets in. But as a DO student, aways may be an important way for you to get your foot in the door at institutions that historically do not take many DO residents.

The other factor to consider is that aways are a double-edged sword. You can showcase yourself and wow a program, but if you look better on paper than you perform in person, it's worth considering whether maximizing aways is really the best strategy for you.

But as far as being worried that the specialty itself frowns on doing more than 1-2 aways:

a) I don't know that that's true, and
b) Interviewers have no way of knowing how many you do unless you outright tell someone at an interview.

So I wouldn't sweat it.


Thank you, I really appreciate the thoughtful response. That is great to hear. Our school has been telling us it we may be frowned upon for doing aways and I currently have around ~8 scheduled which I have had before all of this COVID happened since historically everyone at my school who matches ENT tends to do a ton of two week auditions. I just felt nervous about cancelling those to not look "selfish" yet be blacklisted for cancelling my auditions and being proactive about it. Really felt like a lose-lose situation with the views that NSG and EM are seem to be having on people doing more aways than needed.
 
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oto8484

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Thank you, I really appreciate the thoughtful response. That is great to hear. Our school has been telling us it we may be frowned upon for doing aways and I currently have around ~8 scheduled which I have had before all of this COVID happened since historically everyone at my school who matches ENT tends to do a ton of two week auditions. I just felt nervous about cancelling those to not look "selfish" yet be blacklisted for cancelling my auditions and being proactive about it. Really felt like a lose-lose situation with the views that NSG and EM are seem to be having on people doing more aways than needed.
Hey I'm also in the same boat! I have auditions scheduled and don't know what to do. Have you canceled any? Is your school letting you go to them?
 

OtoBro

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Hey I'm also in the same boat! I have auditions scheduled and don't know what to do. Have you canceled any? Is your school letting you go to them?
I haven’t cancelled mine yet. My school has been completely fine with them at the moment. They require us to do aways and essentially if the place will let us rotate then it isn’t a problem.
 
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Preston Garvey

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former D.O ENT programs definitely do not look down on students doing multiple aways. Whoever told you that is just plain wrong. All of us know that former D.O programs really value audition rotations, so rotating at as many as possible is expected. Hopefully all the auditioners this year don't have their rotations canceled this year due to COVID but we will see.
 
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DocInTheMaking23

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I just matched this year (2020) and as an osteopathic applicant the more aways the better. I had 5 aways, and only received interviews at the 5 places i auditioned at. Pretty similar story for most of the other applicants, you tend to interview the places you audition at. A couple programs (UPMC Hamot, Ascension Macomb, Maybe St. E? I can’t remember) will invite you for an interview if you didn’t audition but had stellar scores. This was only the case with one or two interviewees on interview day.

Another point along the “double edged sword” lines, just because you audition somewhere that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed an interview. I met a couple kids I auditioned with that were not invited back for an interview.

5 aways is mentally exhausting and I was burned out by the end of it but it is unfortunately necessary.

DMs are open if you have any specific questions along the way

Good luck
 
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oto8484

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former D.O ENT programs definitely do not look down on students doing multiple aways. Whoever told you that is just plain wrong. All of us know that former D.O programs really value audition rotations, so rotating at as many as possible is expected. Hopefully all the auditioners this year don't have their rotations canceled this year due to COVID but we will see.
Thank you for your response, appreciate it!
 

oto8484

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I just matched this year (2020) and as an osteopathic applicant the more aways the better. I had 5 aways, and only received interviews at the 5 places i auditioned at. Pretty similar story for most of the other applicants, you tend to interview the places you audition at. A couple programs (UPMC Hamot, Ascension Macomb, Maybe St. E? I can’t remember) will invite you for an interview if you didn’t audition but had stellar scores. This was only the case with one or two interviewees on interview day.

Another point along the “double edged sword” lines, just because you audition somewhere that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed an interview. I met a couple kids I auditioned with that were not invited back for an interview.

5 aways is mentally exhausting and I was burned out by the end of it but it is unfortunately necessary.

DMs are open if you have any specific questions along the way

Good luck
Congratulations on matching!! So exciting!!

Thanks for sharing that!
 

FutureDoC_72

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So it sounds like some programs are starting to cancel auditions for the upcoming cycle. Our school was also trying to limit the amount of out of state auditions we were doing, but from the sounds of it, they may not have to anymore. Does anyone have any idea of how this will affect the upcoming cycle in terms of receiving interviews? I know a strong emphasis was placed on auditions before so will programs focus more on higher grades and research?
 
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FutureDoC_72

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was there a specific research or was it bland COVID reason?
Pretty much just due to COVID. It was a resident emailing a group of us introducing themselves and letting us know they were not taking auditioners this year and stuff they had in place to substitute for auditons. I had not officially been told they were not taking auditioners before that email by anyone else.
 

DrNoseBest

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Thank you, I really appreciate the thoughtful response. That is great to hear. Our school has been telling us it we may be frowned upon for doing aways and I currently have around ~8 scheduled which I have had before all of this COVID happened since historically everyone at my school who matches ENT tends to do a ton of two week auditions. I just felt nervous about cancelling those to not look "selfish" yet be blacklisted for cancelling my auditions and being proactive about it. Really felt like a lose-lose situation with the views that NSG and EM are seem to be having on people doing more aways than needed.
I think COVID has really thrown a wrench in everyone's plans and there isn't a clear best way to handle things. You'll ultimately have to follow whatever your school and the other institutions mandate, even if it means canceling aways. If you do cancel, I'd make sure to contact the program and explain it's because of COVID restrictions rather than lack of interest, and inquire about alternate ways to experience what they have to offer.
 
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oto8484

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My school mentioned that we should only do 2 away rotations and not to leave our state and that it would look bad on us to do a bunch of away rotations. On otomatch a resident also said it would look bad if it's more than one or two. Knowing that a few old AOA programs have also canceled auditions scares me to think what other programs will think of me going to different states for these auditions! Can programs that you apply to see where you did auditions?
 

You shall know the Truth

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My school mentioned that we should only do 2 away rotations and not to leave our state and that it would look bad on us to do a bunch of away rotations. On otomatch a resident also said it would look bad if it's more than one or two. Knowing that a few old AOA programs have also canceled auditions scares me to think what other programs will think of me going to different states for these auditions! Can programs that you apply to see where you did auditions?
You will be submitting your transcript and the fall rotations will be on it. I assume they will know what you did in the fall
 

FutureDoC_72

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You will be submitting your transcript and the fall rotations will be on it. I assume they will know what you did in the fall
If our school approved all of our rotations, would you recommend we still keep them then or cancel some of them? I don't want to cancel and then have that negatively impact me
 

FutureDoC_72

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keep, my school said not to cancel. If your DO then it will be a pleasure to meet you on the trial
Alright good to know. I am DO so I'm sure our paths will cross at some point in the upcoming year! Looking forward to meeting you and the rest of the students in similar situations as well. It will be interesting to see how things turn out this year
 

You shall know the Truth

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Alright good to know. I am DO so I'm sure our paths will cross at some point in the upcoming year! Looking forward to meeting you and the rest of the students in similar situations as well. It will be interesting to see how things turn out this year
I agree, it is going to be a very interesting cycle.
 

freyamal

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mine haven't been cancelled yet.. and I hope it won't. I hate it that with this virus everything went upside down and people had to accommodate to a new way of studying, exercising and living. Even the way of walking outside, going to the groceries store and in the park has changed. Now, it is necessary to wear masks anywhere with gatherings of people. I even ordered myself a pack of KN95 face masks so if I lost one I would always have a backup.
 
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DrNoseBest

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You will be submitting your transcript and the fall rotations will be on it. I assume they will know what you did in the fall
Nope. My and other transcripts I've seen at least just show aways as "otolaryngology elective" or "surgery elective." They don't have any info labeling it as an away at an outside institution, let alone listing the institution. So you won't be giving away that info on a transcript unless your medical school is weird.
 
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