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EM Re-applicant, No idea if my SLOEs are good/bad

Doctor W

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Howdie Folks,

I didn't match into EM this year, but did match into my backup specialty. I'm hoping to reapply this year. I had 2 SLOEs, but I wasn't shown what they had written. I'm hoping to get a 3rd SLOE if my residency program schedules an EM rotation before October. ERAS told me that I must ask my letter writers to resend the SLOEs for the next cycle, but considering this is probably my last shot at applying to EM, what's the consensus on asking for a copy/summary/hint of what they wrote? My advisors didn't have access to them as my school didn't have a home program. It's killing me not knowing whether they're good or bad, and with CORD recommending only 1 SLOE this year, I'm very anxious. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
 
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gamerEMdoc

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Howdie Folks,

I didn't match into EM this year, but did match into my backup specialty. I'm hoping to reapply this year. I had 2 SLOEs, but I wasn't shown what they had written. I'm hoping to get a 3rd SLOE if my residency program schedules an EM rotation before October. ERAS told me that I must ask my letter writers to resend the SLOEs for the next cycle, but considering this is probably my last shot at applying to EM, what's the consensus on asking for a copy/summary/hint of what they wrote? My advisors didn't have access to them as my school didn't have a home program. It's killing me not knowing whether they're good or bad, and with CORD recommending only 1 SLOE this year, I'm very anxious. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

If you didn't match in EM, they almost certainly were bad. Maybe one was mediocre and one was bad at best. People with good sloes don't fail to match.

That being said, don't ask to know what is in them. This is a clear violation of the AAMC letter writing rules if you waived the right to see them.

If you can't guess which sloe was bad, or think they both were, then you may be better off just rolling with one that you get this year. In past years, you'd want to have at least two, so people had to try to reuse them. However, considering that this year CORD is saying to only have one, you can use that to your advantage.

Also, there will be a non-EM sloe this year, so if you have an IM, Surgery, Trauma, ICU, FP rotation that goes well, you can always get an off-service SLOE as well.
 
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Doctor W

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If you didn't match in EM, they almost certainly were bad. Maybe one was mediocre and one was bad at best. People with good sloes don't fail to match.

That being said, don't ask to know what is in them. This is a clear violation of the AAMC letter writing rules if you waived the right to see them.

If you can't guess which sloe was bad, or think they both were, then you may be better off just rolling with one that you get this year. In past years, you'd want to have at least two, so people had to try to reuse them. However, considering that this year CORD is saying to only have one, you can use that to your advantage.

Also, there will be a non-EM sloe this year, so if you have an IM, Surgery, Trauma, ICU, FP rotation that goes well, you can always get an off-service SLOE as well.
Thanks for the reply. So when I reapply this year, should I put (2 non-EM sloes + EM sloe), or (1 non-EM SLOE+1 EM SLOE + 1 LOR)? If it's the 2nd option, does the LOR have to be from an ER physician?
Thank you
 
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I can say, as someone who had a bad letter and knew about it, that you simply want new letters. Get SLOEs or a SLOE during your internship. Don't use the old ones.
Also, apply to places you didn't apply to before. The other ones will cross reference your old app and likely look at those letters.


I know this because of the places I interviewed at my first time, only 1 gave me an interview the second time around. And the places that didn't interview me the first time around suddenly found me to be worth interviewing. Sadly, nobody would say "don't use the letter", even though they knew what was in it.

Trust no one. Do your best, and good luck.
 
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Doctor W

Sworn enemy of Organic Chemistry
7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2013
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196
I don't Know!
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I can say, as someone who had a bad letter and knew about it, that you simply want new letters. Get SLOEs or a SLOE during your internship. Don't use the old ones.
Also, apply to places you didn't apply to before. The other ones will cross reference your old app and likely look at those letters.


I know this because of the places I interviewed at my first time, only 1 gave me an interview the second time around. And the places that didn't interview me the first time around suddenly found me to be worth interviewing. Sadly, nobody would say "don't use the letter", even though they knew what was in it.

Trust no one. Do your best, and good luck.

We still haven't received our schedules yet, but I know that 50% of residents get one EM block in their first year, while the other 50% get it in their 2nd year. It'll take massive luck for me to 1)be part of the 50% that get it the first year, and 2) have it scheduled before October. Maybe I'll be able to swap blocks with another resident if the program permits it. If not, I'll be left with no choice but to reuse one of my old SLOEs. Thanks for the advice Dr.McNinja
 
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gamerEMdoc

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We still haven't received our schedules yet, but I know that 50% of residents get one EM block in their first year, while the other 50% get it in their 2nd year. It'll take massive luck for me to 1)be part of the 50% that get it the first year, and 2) have it scheduled before October. Maybe I'll be able to swap blocks with another resident if the program permits it. If not, I'll be left with no choice but to reuse one of my old SLOEs. Thanks for the advice Dr.McNinja

Does your program know you are trying to switch to EM already? Because you will have to have their support for letter purposes as well as so they don't make a big deal about it to the NRMP. First you will need to get a LOR from your PD. Also, realize that matching/scrambling into a program does so with the intent of finishing the program in good faith. Things come up, people change their mind, and programs are cool with it most times. But its dicey if day one you show up and are trying to switch to reapply to EM the second you get there. If a program REALLY wanted to be a jerk about it, its technically a match violation, though I'd imagine most are just going to be supportive if you approach it the right way.

Also, realize its not up to your program to "release you". That isn't allowed if you want to reenter the match to pursue another specialty. You have to apply to the NRMP for permission, and if they don't grant it, you can't leave. It's not up to the program, it's actually up to the NRMP.
 
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gamerEMdoc

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Here's more info on the waiver process.
 
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Doctor W

Sworn enemy of Organic Chemistry
7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2013
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196
I don't Know!
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Does your program know you are trying to switch to EM already? Because you will have to have their support for letter purposes as well as so they don't make a big deal about it to the NRMP. First you will need to get a LOR from your PD. Also, realize that matching/scrambling into a program does so with the intent of finishing the program in good faith. Things come up, people change their mind, and programs are cool with it most times. But its dicey if day one you show up and are trying to switch to reapply to EM the second you get there. If a program REALLY wanted to be a jerk about it, its technically a match violation, though I'd imagine most are just going to be supportive if you approach it the right way.

Also, realize its not up to your program to "release you". That isn't allowed if you want to reenter the match to pursue another specialty. You have to apply to the NRMP for permission, and if they don't grant it, you can't leave. It's not up to the program, it's actually up to the NRMP.

I didn't know that you had to apply for a Waiver for a specialty change, thanks for that. I was planning on telling the PD about the change at the end of july/beginning of september, after getting my feet wet at the hospital, because as you said it would be "dicey"/ungrateful If I told them on Day 1.
 
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mancub

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Were you planning on re-applying EM when you originally ranked your currrent program? Depending on the specialty have you considered just a sticking it out then evaluating in 3 years? Reapplicants have rough numbers and it would suck to be unmatched and orphaned from your program.
 
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Doctor W

Sworn enemy of Organic Chemistry
7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2013
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I don't Know!
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Were you planning on re-applying EM when you originally ranked your currrent program? Depending on the specialty have you considered just a sticking it out then evaluating in 3 years? Reapplicants have rough numbers and it would suck to be unmatched and orphaned from your program.

Yup, I was planning on re-applying to EM when I ranked the IM program. Figured it would've been better to match into a specialty, rather than not have a safety. Thankfully IM is only 3yrs, and I might consider finishing the residency if I don't get interviews (That's IF my PD allows me to apply in the first place), but good lord, the idea of rounding for 3 years gives me the heebie jeebies.
 
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