Elective at johns hopkins/Harvard

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by FelixFelicius, May 10, 2008.

  1. FelixFelicius

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    Hey guys,

    I'm an aussie med student and am trying sort out my elective for next year. I want to do it in the US but am not too sure which place is the best. I only know the famous medical schools in the US like Harvard and Johns Hopkins, and was wondering how they are in terms of electives? Is it true that JH only offers research electives to international students? And also I would really appreciate it if some one would let me know if there are any good electives being offered at lesser known medical schools. The ones at harvard n JH are highly competitive and it would be good to have some other options!

    Cheers
     
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  3. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    What fields are you interested in? Internal medicine? Family medicine? Pediatrics? Surgery?

    Also - how are clinical rotations set up in Australia? Do they expect you to start acting like an intern, or is there a LOT of shadowing?

    If most of your rotation experiences have been shadowing, then you're going to be in for a tough time trying to play "catch up" if you went to Hopkins or Harvard - and that might detract from your experience.

    You will probably also need to check on how much malpractice insurance will be required. If you can't cover the malpractice insurance, then your experience in the US will be very limited.
     
  4. FelixFelicius

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    Umm i am interested in Internal Medicine. And yes, i am pretty much expected to act like an intern here, not much shadowing. I'm not too sure about the mal practice insurance, how much is it usually? Also, i was wondering if i should ask my professors to write letters of recommendations for me? Do harvard n JH take them into account?
     
  5. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    I asked about your previous rotation experience, because (to my surprise) I've found that it varies widely by country. We had a guy from England who, despite having done a year of rotations, was clueless as to what medical students in the US are expected to do. ("Ooohhh...I am supposed to write the post-op note?! ME?!? REALLY?! :confused: We don't do that in England....Oh.")

    I am not sure how much malpractice insurance would be for an internal medicine rotation. I am doing an OB rotation at a different hospital (same state), and my malpractice insurance requirements was something like $1 million dollars per incident, and $3 million dollars in aggregate. Fortunately, my school pays that for me, but...yeah...it's a LOT. (I'm also in a high-malpractice state. Other states, like Texas, are much less.)

    If you're interested in malpractice insurance, check out the international forums a little farther down the list, or the international rotations subforum [http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=297] They may have tips on how to get malpractice insurance.

    If you don't get malpractice insurance, your options will be much more limited, and your role will be limited to an "observership". You'll be able to round with the team, but you will not be able to see patients by yourself. You won't be able to even put a stethoscope on a patient without a resident watching you - which I'm sure is NOT what you're accustomed to in Australia! Then again, you won't have to take call, and you won't have to admit patients. :D

    There are MANY other great hospitals besides just JHU and Harvard. Pittsburgh is a very good hospital with a GREAT internal med program - and they are very, very student friendly. There are also many hospitals in Chicago that have a good reputation, both for internal medicine and for being open to students. Lots of other options, besides just the two giants!

    Good luck! :luck:
     
  6. lankysudanese

    lankysudanese antibiotics fetish

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    speaking for Hopkins:

    we have plenty of students doing clinical electives and sub-internships here. a fair number of them are international students too (UK, Singapore, India). I have no idea what the application process is like, but I doubt that it involves letters of recommendation (more likely a transcript and maybe a personal statement or something). The most popular electives are infectious disease, oncology, cardiology and GI. Unfortunately, I dont think that you will be allowed to do an Internal Medicine sub-internship within the Osler Medical Program (since that is saved for Hopkins students). But you will be allowed to do a sub-internship within the other medical services (hospitalist service, POLK service etc....). In summary, you are more than welcome to apply for electives, and I think that everybody will be welcoming once you come here (as long as you work hard and show an enthusiasm for learning)

    I have never heard of any of these students having to worry about malpractiice insurance. and yes, you will be allowed to see patients on your own, write in the chart and all the other stuff that a 3rd/4th year is allowed to do.

    Good Luck
     
  7. PaddyofNine

    PaddyofNine Senior Member

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    Don't bother your arse applying for Harvard.

    I applied, and stupidly put off other applications until I heard from them. I thought it looked expensive (at $3100 dollars for a month) but hey the name on the CV would be worth it. They wouldn't even let me apply until three months ago (and most international electives can book up 12 months in advance!).

    After hearing nothing for weeks, and getting constant rudeness whenever I rang up, they told me last weekend that they would not be able to schedule me for an elective in July. (This is despite me putting down a list of seven choices, in case some of them fell through). So here I am, six weeks before the summer with no elective sorted due to their stupid system.

    Anyway I asked them if I could see if there was anything free in August - after all, the application took me weeks to get together, as well as the $100 processing fee. They told me I'd need to send the whole thing in again, with another $100, only TO SEE if there were places free in August. If you ask me it's a ripoff and reflects very poorly on the excellent name the hospital has. Needless to say I told them to shove their second application up their hole.
     
  8. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel

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    I agree that their elective app process sucks, but it is clearly outlined on their website...
     
  9. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    No, he's not "more than welcome to apply for electives."

    Since you're actually a student AT Hopkins, you don't have the misfortune of having to deal with Hopkins' crazy away rotation policies.

    http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/students/policies/visitors.html

    * Hopkins is kind of unique in that they will ONLY take students from LCME licensed schools (i.e. only from the US or Canada). They have formal exchange programs with certain schools in other countries - but no affiliation with any schools in Australia.

    * Hopkins DOES require malpractice insurance for all students from other US or Canadian schools. The students in the international exchange program are probably covered under some malpractice insurance agreement that Hopkins has worked out with these other med schools - but, trust me, everyone NEEDS malpractice insurance before doing an away rotation.

    I considered doing an away at Hopkins, but their numerous odd requirements (plus the fact that their rotations are 4.5 weeks long, when almost all other programs are 4 weeks) turned me off.
     
  10. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Yeah, that was a really bizarre post . . . to the point where I question if that person is even a Hopkins student.

    He/She's never heard of someone having to have medmal insurance? Good God, what are they teaching those kids up there? :laugh:
     
  11. lankysudanese

    lankysudanese antibiotics fetish

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    question all you want, the fact remains that I have never heard anything from any of the visiting students regarding medical malpractice insurance.

    and since away rotations are not very popular among Hopkins students, very few of us have to worry about the specifics/requirement. So they don't "teach" us such minor details "up here".
     
  12. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Just because you've never heard of it doesn't mean that it isn't a requirement.

    It's not a frequent topic of conversation here, either - even when we're discussing away rotations! - but it's a real requirement that needs to be addressed.

    ALL U.S. MEDICAL STUDENTS that have clinical duties MUST BE COVERED BY MALPRACTICE INSURANCE. You don't realize it, but in order to allow you to rotate through the hospital (even your home institution), your medical school had to cover you. Anytime there is a possibility of a malpractice "incident," you need insurance coverage. (So yes - even you're covered.)

    The thing is, these malpractice insurance arrangements are usually done quietly, and not announced to the students until such a time is necessary. I didn't even know whether or not I HAD malpractice insurance until I read the application to do an away rotation, and freaked out. I called my dean in a blind panic, and she told me that, actually, I've been covered for the past year now. :laugh:

    If the visiting students that you see are even TOUCHING patients without constant resident supervision, then trust me - they're insured in some way. If they don't have insurance, then they CANNOT do even a basic lung exam without a resident in the room. We had a visiting student who, for financial reasons, did an observership. All she could do was talk to the patient, and get a history - but she couldn't do an unsupervised physical exam.

    I don't know if I'd be proud of my ignorance in how things are done at other institutions. Especially since you might match at one of these other institutions at some point - not everyone can stay at Hopkins forever.

    And these aren't minor details! These are details that reflect the financial and legal climate of how we practice. If you're a resident, you need malpractice insurance. That's just how it works. And if you're a student, even to do a mandatory third year rotation at your HOME INSTITUTION, you also need malpractice insurance.

    I can't believe that Hopkins students don't want to do away rotations. Baltimore isn't THAT nice that I'd turn my nose up at a chance to do a radiology elective in Maui or San Diego.

    (It also depends on who you talk to. Away rotations are, generally, fairly uncommon among people who plan on going into internal medicine. They're somewhat more common among people who plan on doing surgery, OB/gyn, and emergency. They're VERY common among people who plan on doing urology, ENT, and ortho.

    So it could be that you're just not talking to the right people. Even the people at Hopkins who want to do something uber-competitive - ex: ortho or ENT - will do multiple away rotations. That's just the way it works out.)
     
  13. lankysudanese

    lankysudanese antibiotics fetish

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    just as an example, my 3 roomates are going into derm, plastics and urology. None of them are doing away rotations. but if they decide to, i will make sure they know about malpractice insurance.
     
  14. FelixFelicius

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the replies. I called Hopkins up to find out about my elective options, and the moment I said I’m from aus they cut me off saying they don’t offer clinical electives to international students, however I can apply for a research elective, which runs for 8 weeks.

    Any idea what a research elective's like?

    Any ways, it doesn’t sound too appealing to me. I called Harvard up too, they were pretty nice on the phone, but yea the application process is really intense! They ask for whole lotta stuff, including malpractice insurance. By the way, thanks for the tip re: Harvard not letting you know if u got in or not till the last minute, will keep it in mind. I was also looking at the New York Presbyterian hospital, I’ve been reading up on it and it seems like a good place to go and learn, does anyone have any personal experience, or know anything about it that would be helpful?

    Thanks guys, appreciate it!
     
  15. lankysudanese

    lankysudanese antibiotics fetish

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    I am sorry to hear, and I apologize for having misinformed you.
     
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  17. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!

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    That's b/c their personality might ruin an otherwise impecable application..;)

    There's more of a chance to **** up than shine on a away elective when you're coming from top med schools (with top grades).
     
  18. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Do they teach you to run your mouth about things you don't know anything about?

    :laugh:
     
  19. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    I don't care where you're a med student--applying to plastics without doing aways is not good Match strategy. Most people that match in plastics do at least 2 away rotations. Maybe if you're a stud you could get away with it in derm or uro but I wouldn't recommend it.

    Even if you come from a great "name" med school that doesn't guarantee anything. A couple of years ago Harvard went 0-for-3 in the integrated plastics Match and I think there was at least one Harvard student and maybe a couple from NYU who failed to match this year as well. I know Hopkins placed 4 or 5 into integrated spots this year, but I still don't recommend skimping on anything that could help your app.
     
  20. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    NYU was definitely my favorite NYC hospital.
     
  21. lankysudanese

    lankysudanese antibiotics fetish

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    why are you interested in what they teach at Hopkins? anyway, i just checked with our registrar office and they handle obtaining malpractice insurance for visiting students and for us when we do away rotations. all the student has to do is sign a piece of paper and it's done. hence the "never heard of any of these students having to worry about malpractiice insurance".
    as amusing as it may be to you, i have to point how odd it is to have a resident trolling in the clinical rotations thread. i'm sure u'll keep it up.

    ur probably correct. my pre-plastics roomate said that out of the 3 people who just matched into plastics from JHU, only 1 did an away rotation, which happened to be at UMaryland (which is 5mins away). anyway, he will find out the outcome of his strategy come match day.
     
  22. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    Tired is not a troll, and neither am I.

    Good luck to your pre-plastics roommate. If I were him, I would try to set something up somewhere, especially since word on the street is that the chair at JHU just stepped down. Personally, I was a strong applicant who did everything I could to make myself a good candidate and I still wouldn't wish the stress of the integrated plastics Match on my worst enemy.
     
  23. lankysudanese

    lankysudanese antibiotics fetish

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    I never accused you of trolling. I took your advice seriously, and responed to your post honestly.

    regarding Tired; he/she is not providing any useful input, so yes he/she IS trolling.
     
  24. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Yeah - it's surprising that malpractice insurance for students is not a more common topic on these forums. Even though I have many 4th year friends who did away rotations, and have had a number of visiting students as my sub-Is on various rotations, I didn't even know about malpractice insurance until I had to start applying for away rotations. They just never talked about it - and really, why should they?

    :eek: That's a pretty ballsy way to wait and find out. After reading about the horrors of scrambling on several of these forums, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    And if DrDre is right, and the chairman at Hopkins just stepped down...oooph. That could really be bad. :(

    In any case, I'm excited to do an away rotation. It'll be interesting to see how other hospitals do stuff...broaden my horizons a little bit. And it'll be cool to see how quickly I can adapt to a whole new way of doing things, in a different region of the country - kind of like a "trial run" for when I become an intern. Scary, but interesting.

    I know it's frustrating to have him tease you (but if you've done your surgery rotation, this shouldn't be new to you at all!), but he's within his rights to say what he feels like on these boards. As long as he's not saying anything openly inflammatory or racist/misogynistic/etc., then he can say what he wants.
     
  25. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    Yeah, I know Tired can be a little sharp in his responses but he's an ortho resident and thus can offer excellent perspective (having gotten into a competitive specialty). Definitely not a troll, just someone who says what he thinks.

    Also, I'm a huge proponent of away rotations. People might say that if you suck then you can hurt your chances by doing aways, but I don't want someone who sucks to match at my program. If you hide your suckiness by not doing aways and manage to match, then you, your co-residents, and the faculty will be miserable for the duration of your stay. So don't suck, and do away rotations.

    And you can learn so much simply by rotating at a different program! Being exposed to different ways of doing things really helps reinforce learned concepts (for any field of medicine), but it also really helps you figure out what you want in a program by giving you something to "compare & contrast" vs. your home program--there is no substitute for this kind of knowledge when you make your rank list. It's much better to have firm idea of what will make you happy than just to base your ranks on how the various PD's sell their programs on interview day.

    I'm a better and more knowledgeable surgeon for having done away rotations as a student. I regard the experience as priceless, and I know that I wouldn't have ended up at the right program for me (which I did) without having done aways.
     
  26. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Not to mention the fact that I'm completely right . . .

    I mean honestly, this supposed JHU student has now informed us that

    1) No malpractice insurance is necessary for rotating students at Hopkins

    2) Away rotations are unnecessary if you are competing for a competitive speciality

    3) Oh wait, nevermind, actually malpractice insurance is required, but . . . <wait for it> . . . Johns Hopkins will take care of that for you if you rotate there.

    C'mon, give me a break. I was never an international student trying to rotate in the U.S. but even I know that the places you rotate don't pay for your insurance.

    But I'm the troll . . . either this person is not actually a medical student, or is really really not very informed about much of anything.
     
  27. LadyWolverine

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    My God, how do you get to 3rd year without knowing whether or not you have malpractice insurance??? We are covered starting as MS1, and it seems logical to me that this would be true of any school with a "clinical medicine" course or program in the first 2 years (which seems to be just about everywhere these days). 3rd year you see a drastic increase in the amount that you need (and thus your premium increases), but it's laid right out there in our Tuition and Fees schedule every year. All students should be aware of their coverage and requirements.

    I would hardly call malpractice insurance a "minor detail."
     
  28. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    Niiice. That is one of my favorite movies. Yippee kai yai, mother******!
     
  29. LadyWolverine

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    Funny. Yours is from my favorite track off one of my favorite albums. Brings back many fond high school memories. ;)
     
  30. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!

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    I agree 100%.

    It boggles my mind that people land residencies these days with minimal AI's. How the hell do you know you want to be ______ (fill in the blank specialty) if you've only rotated for 1-2 months at your home program? Give me a f'ing break!

    What's worse is that this approach is more prevalent among top applicants.

    PD's should demand at least 1-2 aways MINIMUM on top of your rotation at your home program.
     
  31. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    I agree. I think it's foolish not to take an opportunity to see how things are done in other hospitals/programs. It really lets you reaffirm your decision to go into whatever specialty as well as think about what you like and dislike from the programs at which you rotate. When I was interviewing for PRS I was asked very frequently about how many aways I had done and where I had done them. PD's (at least in PRS) do look at this stuff.

    Most successfully matched PRS applicants from my year had done at least 2 aways, sometimes 3, and I even met a guy who had done 5 (no, I'm not sure how he scheduled them all).
     
  32. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    My questions to the OP:

    1) What is your purpose in doing electives at Harvard and JHU?
    There are plenty of good US hospitals which program a great educational
    experience, that do not charge you tuition, and are easier to get in. As
    a matter of fact, some (including Baylor where I rotated) will pay for your
    malpractice insurance.

    2) Assuming your electives here are to assist in getting a US residency (which
    may or may not be true), do you honestly believe that an LOR from a
    Harvard faculty member (whom you may or may not spend much time
    with) means that much more than a letter from say, University of
    Louisville, U of Michigan, etc.?

    3) Perhaps JHU has changed their policy, but I was able to rotate there,
    UCSF and UVA (all of which forbade internationals) by asking a faculty
    member to sponsor me. Have you tried this? It can't hurt to ask,
    although yes, perhaps policies have changed.

    4) All rotations in which you have clinical contact with patients will require
    malpractice insurance. If your school does not provide it, you will need
    to do so. Do you have it?

    5) Almost all schools will not guarantee you a spot before their own students
    have finished enrolling in the courses. Its SOP although it does leave you
    in a bit of a lurch.

    6) Most schools will also require health insurance good in the US. Do you
    have this?

    7) Finally, if you are looking for an LOR a research elective doesn't really
    cut it. You want your LORs to be based on your clinical acumen, which
    you should have a fair bit of coming from Oz. I don't see the benefit
    really unless its one of several US rotations.
     
  33. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    I got the impression that the OP named Harvard and Hopkins because he was familiar with those names. But I agree - there are many other schools in the US with excellent internal med programs that ALSO happen to have a great reputation for teaching, and are willing to accomodate students. University of Michigan, Baylor, University of Louisville were all named. I think that University of Pittsburgh is another great place to try - they're known for being good teachers, and having extremely well-known IM programs. Trying places in DC such as George Washington University might not be a bad idea either.

    Out of curiosity - do you think they were more willing to accomodate you because you're a US citizen?
     
  34. DrDarwin

    DrDarwin Naturally selected

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    I had no idea half of these things were required either, until I started applying for aways and almost pissed my pants when I saw that the school covers me for up $12 million in liability insurance.
     
    #32 DrDarwin, May 22, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  35. nickolas

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    Are there any success stories for a Harvard elective?
    They state that about 80%-90% of the applications are fulfilled so things shouldn't be that bad regarding that.:confused:

    Please post your impressions!
     
  36. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    To the OP: forget about H/H and go to a lesser known program.

    To everybody else: away rotations are mostly bull**** and you DO NOT NEED THEM TO MATCH INTO A COMPETITIVE RESIDENCY if you are already a strong US applicant. Its not worth doing just based on the pain in the ass of securing housing for 4 weeks.
     
  37. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    This statement is patently false with regards to competitive surgery subspecialties. I know from extensive personal experience that away rotations are essentially a requirement to successfully match into plastic surgery, and anecdotally I believe most successful applicants in ortho and urology also do at least one away rotation. There is some debate regarding the utility of aways in otolaryngology on SDN and I'm not sure about neurosurgery, but I still recommend doing away rotations for surgery subs.

    Most derm residents I've spoken to have also done multiple aways as students, but I know less about the derm application process than I do about surgical subs. Any successful derm applicants are free to provide their input on this topic.
     
  38. Agreed that strong away rotations are critical for fields like Plastics, Ortho and GU.

    I did two away rotations as an MS-IV - one at a big West Coast county hospital, and one at a big East Coast "ivory tower" because I wanted exposure to two very different styles of practicing surgery. I also wanted to get my name out there and get strong letters of recommendation, obviously.
     
  39. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    Matches among a selected group of schoolmates (including myself):

    3 urology
    2 plastics
    2 derm
    4 ENT
    3 rad onc

    Grand number of away rotations completed in the whole group: 5

    So again I call BS on the myth that its a must to do away rotations. Depends on the quality of applicant.
     
  40. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    Are you the Rad Onc guy, then?
     
  41. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.
    Physician Faculty

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    Attending Physician
    First thing any ortho resident or attending asks me (and every other ortho person in my class) about our 4th year schedules is: When and where is your away?

    They see it as non-optional.

    Something on a different school's website when I was looking up aways had advice from different specialties, and ortho said something to the effect of "it's basically a requirement."
     
  42. spleezy

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    thanks for the info
     
  43. That's pretty amazing - I agree with others here where the experience has largely been that aways are necessary.
     
  44. indianmedic

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    Hi..
    I am a Medical Student from India. I am presently pursuing the fifth semester of the nine Semester MBBS programme. I wish to apply for an Elective Programme for a permissible duration in the academic year 2010-2011.

    In this regard, I would be grateful if you would kindly clarify a query that I have regarding the requirements for these electives:

    Almost all universities require students to be in their final year when they wish to participate in the programme. In India, Final Year is spread out over two years and these years are called Final Year Part I and Final Year Part II respectively. As such, can I apply for the elective whilst I am in Final Year Part I?

    I can give more details regarding the course if someone actually replies....:oops:
     
  45. pampiniformplexus

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    Dear all,

    I have a question regarding Harvard application. My school is not included in their list, even though I e-mail them to add my school to the list (this is what their website told me to do) they reject to do that by just saying we are unable to do that right now. Have you guys encountered this kind of problem? Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     

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