Cancelling Away Rotations

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m1redsox

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I'm applying to Ophthalmology this cycle (2023-2024) and have accepted a few away rotations at programs I'd really like to attend. However, I applied to one more program (my ideal #1) that overlaps with the dates of one of the aways I already accepted (my #3).

Should I withdraw the away application to my #1 before they make their decision in order to avoid any issues? Or should I leave it in and cancel my away with my #3 if my #1 accepts me? I've heard this can be considered poor form or inconsiderate to programs. On the other hand, I've heard that if you are a strong applicant, are nice about cancelling, and leave sufficient time for them to find someone else, then it really shouldn't be a problem.

Thoughts? Thanks!

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How far in the future are the away rotations (#1 and #3)? And when do you expect to hear from #1? I would think you could wait and see if #1 comes through if these rotations are in July / August or later.
 
How far in the future are the away rotations (#1 and #3)? And when do you expect to hear from #1? I would think you could wait and see if #1 comes through if these rotations are in July / August or later.
Yeah both 1 and 3 are July/August, so a bit over 2 months before they start. I have no idea when I'd hear from #1 (their date when they would start notifying applicants of decisions was the beginning of April), but I sent an email expressing interest a few weeks ago and got an automatic reply from the PD saying they were out until the end of May, so it's possible that they won't get back to me for at least another month.
 
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I'd be concerned about burning a bridge w/r/t cancelling a previously accepted away.
 
I'd be concerned about burning a bridge w/r/t cancelling a previously accepted away.
Yeah this is definitely my concern. And I guess no one can say for sure, but I'd be interested to know if this truly burns bridges or if PDs honestly don't care and coordinators are the ones organizing the whole thing.
 
I had similar concern. I had applied for ones I will enjoy going. I also had #1, #2, #3. for each block. I spoke to my resident in home department. He said its not good idea to keep waiting for #1. As #3 has already sent offer. Your goal is to get a spot. Which you will enjoy. Even if #1 will come, by rejecting offer from #3 you are burning bridge. He said you apply only ones which you can accept. Then you accpet first one that offer. You withdraw all other. That means you dont burn any bridge. So I accpetdd what came first for each block I applied and withdrew everything else for that block.
 
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The issue isn't if you withdraw an away that you applied to or got accepted to. They understand that students apply to many aways and some will get accepted to more than they can attend. So they fully expect to receive withdrawals. The issue is when you accept an away rotation and later tell them you no longer want it. I can confirm this by speaking to multiple programs.
 
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If you get accepted and then cancel, odds are you aren't going to match there.
 
What if you don't get accepted. Does that also mean you aren't going to get an interview there?
Not at all. There are many other things that play into aways, like time of submission. With interview invites for residency they will have your step II and complete application. Getting denied for an away doesn’t mean you won’t get an interview for residency
 
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Not at all. There are many other things that play into aways, like time of submission. With interview invites for residency they will have your step II and complete application. Getting denied for an away doesn’t mean you won’t get an interview for residency

The only caveat to this is that some programs give major preference to people who audition, to the point that they don't even match people who don't audition because auditions are ranked at the top
 
This is highly dependent on what that program is. There are programs who will not care, as the people who schedule the away are not the people who are responsible for running the program or the match. In other programs, these are the same people and they care. It's impossible to say unless you know someone at the program who could tell you that information. Withdrawing your app could also be seen (again depending on who is reviewing it) a sign of disinterest in the program. So really there's no good solution here and you have to take a risk either way.
 
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