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EM more popular?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by SuziQ, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. SuziQ

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    I have wanted to go into EM ever since I first volunteered in the ED..and now it seems like EVERYONE wants to go into it. Do you think more people are trying to go into EM than in previous years? Do you think it's making it harder to get into an EM residency program? I'm not picky about trying to get a top program, I just want to get into one. Is there anything I should be doing once I start med school in the fall? (other than do well academically- obviously)
    I know posts like this are sort of annoying so I apologize! :oops:
     
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  3. awdc

    awdc Senior Member

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    EM has been popular for a long time already... maybe ever since that show began airing and possibly even before that. "Everyone" does seem to want to do it but some will find other interests, though. Like you said, do well academically but also get involved in an extracurricular activity or something non-academic. Try going for leadership roles. If your school has one, join the EM interest group. Best wishes.
     
  4. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon

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    I had the same experience as an M1/2. It has been surprising to watch people peel away from the EM track for other specialties. In my first 2 years easily 30 people in my class were "going to do EM." Now that we are all M3s it has settled down to about the avg (13-15).

    I think EM is sort of like Surgery, at some point (no matter how brief) most people consider it as a career.

    Your experience may also be related to the sort of people who choose the field (read: vocal). If you look at the numbers, Pediatrics is a much larger specialty. Future pediatricians just tend to be a more low-key bunch.
     
  5. substanceP

    substanceP Member

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    Join EMRA as a med student member. It's only something like $40/year for med students and it give you access to lots of interesting and useful stuff (med student survival guide, med student pearls, med student-resident mentoring program etc). Also, I think (and others can say yay or nay) it shows that you've got a strong interest in EM since you're joining a professional society in your chosen specialty when you're still a medical student.

    After you get settled into med school (the first semester you're basically figuring out how to study for med school), go to the EM department and see if there are any research projects that you could jump in on. Also try to see if there's someone who would let you shadow them for a shift whenever you have free time.

    Go to one of the national meetings. I'd say if you can only go to one, go to the Medical Student Symposium at SAEM in May of your third year of medical school. The reason why that one is (IMHO) the more important one is because in May the PDs are done with the stress of the previous year's Match and they haven't started with the stress of the next (your) Match, so they have both the time and the interest to talk to you. Also, if you go to the one at the end of your third year, you can check out the programs that you're interested in and introduce yourself to those PDs (especially the ones you've scheduled externships at).

    Try to do as well as you can your first two years, but don't stress too hard over it. If you're going to stress over anything during your first two years, stress over step 1 because it's the most important thing in your first two years. That being said, I think it's less important in comparison to other factors (SLORs, third year shelf grades, the interview, etc.) Others with more knowledge can comment on that one.

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll do just fine! :)
     
  6. SuziQ

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    Thank you so much for your input! I really appreciate the encouragement.
     
  7. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    What would you recommend for those schools without programs? I'm debating whether to seek out projects within the trauma surg or anes programs this summer.
     
  8. GreenShirt

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    A lot of the popularity at the pre-med level has to do with the high exposure to the ED through activities such as volunteering and doing the EMT thing. Since it's the only department a lot of pre-meds will see, they just assume it's what they want to do b/c they haven't been exposed to other kinds of medicine. At the med school level, there is a shifting prefence for shift-based specialities. Those factors (and of course the TV shows) have led to increased popularity. Eventhough, lots say that EM is waht they want to do, a lot will change their minds a million times by the time they get through med school.
     
  9. Dr.Evil1

    Dr.Evil1 Senior Member

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    All of that stuff by substanceP is GREAT advice. If you know you are interested in EM then getting to know someone by volunteering to do research with them is huge. Also the earlier you get involved in this the better, you will be more likely to actually get a publication. Additionally you may be able to do a "research elective" sometime in 4th year which will allow you time to study for step 2 and/or interview yet still look good on the transcript.

    First and foremost, though, get through the academic stuff. Don't worry about trying to do too much all at once. Do the academic stuff really well and you will put yourself in a great position in order to succeed.
     
  10. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon

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    Somewhat aside, it has been very interesting to watch classmates peel away from EM in decent numbers. At one point (M2) I don't think I would have been exaggerating to say that EM was in the "top 3" for about 40% of my class. Now as we coast into 4th year we're at about 10%, or avg for my school. Biggests reasons seem to be...

    -finding out they love the OR
    -wanting their own pts
    -going for real "lifestyle" fields like Anesthesia, Ophtho, etc
     
  11. substanceP

    substanceP Member

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    Just because your school doesn't have an EM residency program doesn't mean that the attendings in the ED won't have research projects going on. My school doesn't have an EM residency program. My first year I asked some of my seniors which attendings in the ED had research projects going on. That led to getting in on a project with one of them, which led to meeting other ED attendings and shadowing them whenever I had free time. You could try doing that, since it worked for me it could work out for you too. Some of my friends (who have also now matched into EM) worked with the trauma surgeons on research projects. I don't know of anyone interested in/who matched into EM who did research with anesthesia. I don't know how EM residency programs will view research in anesthesia or trauma surg vs. research in EM.

    What Dr.Evil1 said about getting in on research early is good advice. I started first year and was lucky enough to get published and get a poster. Of my friends who started third year I believe 1 got published and 2 didn't. A big part of that is luck, though.

    That being said, I think that as a general rule research is one of those assets that can be viewed as "icing on the cake". It's great if you have it, but it doesn't take the place of good board scores/shelf exam scores/SLORs. I hope that made sense. Good luck!
     
  12. Blue Frog

    Blue Frog Junior Member

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    Many people have mentioned shelf exam scores...how do residency programs see those? I didn't think those were usually reported on the residency application.
     
  13. a_ditchdoc

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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  14. SuziQ

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    That's really interesting and good to know...thanks!
     
  15. roja

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    Do not panic. People constantly shift in med school. Me? I was dead set on being a pediatric rhuematologist. Dead set. I was annoyed to learn 'adult medicine'. The ED had never even crossed my mind. Then in third year, I kind of liked a little bit of everything. and I hated peds inpt, nicu and peds clinic. Not boding well for my burgeoning career. Then, I was on my last rotation.... IM. Paired with an ED freak. And we hung out there, he sold me on it and I started shadowing. Loved it but was still reserved. On my first EM shift, during fourth year, I was so relieved because I loved it. I hadn't touched an EM organization or anything else. I rapidly joined EMRA. I continued to shadow and did some research.

    So, keep an open mind in med school. learn as much as you can to become a solid physician. Have a life outside of med school. Join EMRA and your med schools EM interest group. Shadow a little bit. If you like research, give it a shot. Do well on your step 1 exam. Did I mention, have a life outside of med school? :)
     
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  17. SoCuteMD

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    Did you forget to forward me that memo? :mad:

    :p
     
  18. roja

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    You ignored it because you were studying. :D
     
  19. Blue Frog

    Blue Frog Junior Member

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    Seriously...I don't understand. Can anyone clarify if/how shelf exam scores are available to residency programs?
     
  20. Hawk22

    Hawk22 Senior Member

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    Not sure how heavily shelf exam scores are considered by EM residency programs, if at all. Our scores are only mentioned in our Dean's letter if they are above a certain percentile (90th maybe?) and are otherwise not really mentioned much there. EM isn't like surgery or internal medicine that have their own specific shelf, so shelf scores generally aren't that big of a deal (assuming you pass) and are a handful of data points in a much larger picture. In general, your EM letters of rec, your EM grades, your cinical grades, and your board scores are much more important.
     
  21. StudentDoc327

    StudentDoc327 Member

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    I guess this maybe different for each individual medical school, but our residency packages include both our shelf scores and grades for individual rotations (beyond the H, HP, P, F categories) in graphical data along with everybody elses performance and the mean. And I by no means go to a gunner school. In fact we are probably as anti-gunner as you can get and I don't think we are ranked by US News.
     

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