Quantcast

California Away Elective Advice

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

vert310

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Hey Guys,

I wanted to get an opinion from the experts on which away elective I should do in LA. I'm trying to decide between UCLA and USC.

A little background: I'm an alright student, I'm originally from LA, displaced to a middle tier school in Philly, trying to get back to Cali for residency and an alright student. I've mostly HP and Honors 1st and 2nd year, Step 1 222, I've HP everything 3rd year except Medicine which I honored, and I'm currently on Surgery. I'm planning to take my Step 2 in Aug to try to bump my score a bit.

I know UCLA is pretty competitive so I was maybe thinking of doing an away elective there because I feel I might not even be considered for an interview there. I'm pretty personable so I feel this can better my chances putting in face time there.

USC on the other hand, I feel I have a decent chance of getting an interview and doing an away there I heard really helps.

In the end, I'm trying to get back to Cali. I would love to go to UCLA but would be glad to go to USC as well. Should I use my away at a long shot or at a school that is more at my level?

One more thing to note, for the previous couple years, my school did not match UCLA anesthesia but this past month, 2 kids from my program matched there.

Thanks for the input peeps!

vert
 

DO4lifer

Gold Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
296
Reaction score
0
i'd recommend USC. Its better to go for the program you have a better chance at interviewing/matching than a long shot where you may end up getting no interview at all since you just want location. If you wanted to go for the better program, i'd choose UCLA.

without the high profile stats, USC makes more sense.
 

Uegis

1 Down 3 To Go
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
0
I would agree that USC would be the more logical choice here. They offer a lot more interviews than UCLA and not as competitive. USC is actually a very solid program that somehow developed a reputation as a workhorse program because of its association with county. Their schedule is not bad at all and you get great clinical exposure. And yes, they are working on improving their written boards score per the chairman this year.
 

mstudent12345

medical student
10+ Year Member
Joined
May 15, 2007
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
I was in a similar situation and actually ended up doing my away at USC last year and I think I can give some good advice.

I think the major questions you need to ask yourself are 1) Is this an LA or bust thing or a "I would like to get back to LA, but I really want the best program I can" thing and 2) outside of these two programs, do you think you can be competitive at some solid programs.

USC is a decent program but after spending a month there I found some major deficiencies. For example I saw a CRNA teaching a CA-1 with the attending in the room and saying nothing, most (though not all) attendings came for intubation and extubation only, never taught, and have their "cookbook" for how to do the case. Want to try to turn off the gas early and wake the pt up on prop, wont happen, want to try morphine instead of fentanyl to learn - won't happen, etc. Also I found the residents there to be OK but not necessarily up on their reading.

That said they do have a reasonable diversity of cases and tend to get fair PP jobs in SoCal on graduation, though almost no fellowships (although it seems UCLA gets better jobs)

For me USC ended up being a good move because it gave me a very good chance of getting out there but I already was in well with my home program where I knew I could get a top notch training.

So if you "need" to get back to LA do USC, but if you can deal with some more time away I would say bust your a-s at UCLA and go for the top program.

Feel free to PM me with questions
 

NavyFlightDoc

Back in the saddle
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
119
Reaction score
4
I might be a little biased, having gone to med school in the area, but there are a couple other programs that are in the sprawl that is the LA metro. If you have to get to SoCal, it wouldn't hurt to consider Loma Linda or UC Irvine. And Loma Linda is definitely a place you might want to spend a few weeks finding out if you fit in, but an awesome place if you do.

There are a couple other programs out there as well, but probably not at the top of anyone's lists.
 

vert310

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the replys, any more input from others would be appreciated. Still on the fence.
 

vert310

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
I've decided to go to USC for my away. I have a better chance at getting back to Cali if I do.
 

yancantcook

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
188
Reaction score
9
does anyone know anything about UC davis for aways?

I'm also planning on going to Cali for residency and doing an away there.

Does a cali anesthesia letter play a big role for residency interviews?
My schedule is currently: acute pain (home), SICU (home), anesthesia away or at home hospital. I can only get letters from my 1st three month's rotations so..my question is...if I'm already planning on getting at least 1 or 2 anesthesia letters from my home school, do I need to do the clinical OR anesthesia at my home school still?

My only concern is..Acute pain is not a pure OR anesthesia rotation and SICU is more critical care with some anesthesia attendings...

what do you guys think?

thanks in advance
 

Uegis

1 Down 3 To Go
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
0
does anyone know anything about UC davis for aways?

I'm also planning on going to Cali for residency and doing an away there.

The UCD away is an awesome experience. There is great flexibility in the schedule, good lectures, and the IOR for the elective, Dr. Rivera, is fantastic. Lots of good hands on stuff and you get to play in the Sim Suite and run some mock cases in there. There are several written assignments and a take home test, along with doing a practical, real case in the end. UCD is a great place and truly a hidden gem. I highly recommend an away here, but I am biased because it is my home institution.
 
Top