Do most people who match into T10 IM programs do aways there these days?

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Mar 13, 2020
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The general consensus I've read is that for IM applicants, away rotations are not recommended, since you can hurt yourself more than it helps you. Is this true for elite programs as well? Are most of the people that match at mayo/stanford/UTSW etc NOT doing away rotations there before matching?

(stats: USMD, T30 med school, half honors half letters, anticipate high step 2 score, no AOA)

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Yes. Don't bother. I can't say for certain if people matching at those programs did or didn't do aways there, but the vast majority likely could have matched at those programs without the away, and doing the away is a red herring.

IM programs are large (and typically rank ~10x the number of spots they have) so the idea that doing an away at a program with 50 spots is going to magically move you from 501 on the rank list to 5 is a fantasy. Maybe it moves you from 55 to 45, but either way you were going to match there.

If you want to do an away to get an idea of a new location or decide whether a program you've heard mixed things about might be a good/bad fit for you, then maybe it's worth it. But also keep in mind that most top (and mid-tier) programs don't allow core or sub-I away rotations anyway. So doing a nephrology (or whatever) elective won't typically get you face time with the core faculty and program leadership anyway.
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Aways are mostly for lower tier applicants (DOs, IMGs, red flags) to prove themselves to mid-tier programs. I don't see how you would benefit from doing one at a T10 program if you're already a reasonably competitive applicant.
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I went to a top tier program. I don't know any co-resident who had done an away there. Every med school classmate who ended up at top programs didn't do an away either. The med students that would rotate through my program were pretty much irrelevant. There are so many of them, often on meaningless rotations with random attendings, that sticking out will be very very difficult to do. And they had to pay their way into it on top of all that. Save your money and time. You have a strong app and there's lots of good programs out there that you'll be competitive for.
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