Sartre79

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AMG M3 here, planning on doing psych then sleep. Academically I'm pretty average with good evaluations thus far. Step 1 is on the lower side, hovering around 200. I would like to go to the best program possible, prefer the midwest. Is it neccesary for me to do an externship this fall? My wife is having our first child in July and I really don't want to leave her alone with a new baby for a month at a time. Any thoughts? Thanks
 

OldPsychDoc

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AMG M3 here, planning on doing psych then sleep. Academically I'm pretty average with good evaluations thus far. Step 1 is on the lower side, hovering around 200. I would like to go to the best program possible, prefer the midwest. Is it neccesary for me to do an externship this fall? My wife is having our first child in July and I really don't want to leave her alone with a new baby for a month at a time. Any thoughts? Thanks
By externship do you mean an away rotation in addition to your required clerkship at your home institution?

If so, I really would not consider it to be necessary at all. An average AMG with good interest in psych should have no problem matching, if you interview widely enough. Even as competitive as psych has been getting, you will still have plenty of opportunities in the midwest.
 

Sartre79

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By externship do you mean an away rotation in addition to your required clerkship at your home institution?

If so, I really would not consider it to be necessary at all. An average AMG with good interest in psych should have no problem matching, if you interview widely enough. Even as competitive as psych has been getting, you will still have plenty of opportunities in the midwest.

Yeah, I mean away rotations. What about schools like Wash U, Northwestern, or U Wisc?
 

billypilgrim37

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Given your situation, you'd probably be best served by doing an away only for your own opportunity to evaluate one of these good programs, but as you express a personal preference to avoid doing an away, you should probably avoid doing an away.

In similar geography, Michigan is probably a better program than those three, and Cincy is just as good as those three. All five would be solid programs.
 

pingouin

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just curious when doing an away rotation... should you try to schedule a general psych month? or if you have an interest in a particular subspecialty is it better to do that? something else altogether? I guess I'm (prematurely) wondering how to make the most of a rotation like that- both in terms of maximizing learning and as an "audition" for residency consideration.
 

Sartre79

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just curious when doing an away rotation... should you try to schedule a general psych month? or if you have an interest in a particular subspecialty is it better to do that? something else altogether? I guess I'm (prematurely) wondering how to make the most of a rotation like that- both in terms of maximizing learning and as an "audition" for residency consideration.

I'm not doing one as of yet...I'm curious if I can get by without doing one and still get into a good program b/c I'm having my first child this summer and I don't want to leave my wife (who works full time) alone with the baby for 4 weeks.
 

pingouin

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d'oh! sorry- I wasn't referring to you specifically, just generally speaking. I wasn't clear about that in how I asked it. yes- you made it very clear that you have excellent reasons for not wanting to go away. Lots of people don't do them, so I've never gotten the impression (from SDN anyway) that it would put someone at a disadvantage.

I was just trying to use your post as a thinking point- if you were to wind up doing one, would it benefit you more to do a sleep rotation since that's your interest? or general outpatient or inpatient since that's where you'd get exposure to more of the residency faculty? I'm thinking a different subspecialty for myself so I just left it vague to be able to speak in broader terms.

sorry for the confusion..
 

peppy

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I think when deciding whether or not to do an away you also need to consider that away rotations can hurt you as much as they can help you.
If your application is competitive for the program on paper, it may not be worth the risk of running into the one jerk in the department or having a misunderstanding that spoils your chance there. At the program I am presently at, we did have a situation where a med student whose app looked good made a bad impression when he rotated here.
 

peppy

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Cincy is just as good as those three.
Definitely agree that Cincy is a good program - but the call schedule seems to be relatively harsh by psych standards, which might make it less than ideal for someone with a young family they'd like to see. :)
 

psychattending

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AMG M3 here, planning on doing psych then sleep. Academically I'm pretty average with good evaluations thus far. Step 1 is on the lower side, hovering around 200. I would like to go to the best program possible, prefer the midwest. Is it neccesary for me to do an externship this fall? My wife is having our first child in July and I really don't want to leave her alone with a new baby for a month at a time. Any thoughts? Thanks
I would agree with the others that if your Step 1 score is 200 then you should not have a problem matching assuming that you have no other potential flags in your application (e.g. failure in a course, extended training). The main reason to do a sub-I away would be if you had a specific program that you were interested in. Doing a rotation at that program will give you a much better feel about that specific program and whether it should be your #1 place. Also it will raise your profile at that school. If you really feel the need to do a sub-I away, have you considered doing it late like in December time frame? You would still have the benefit of sampling the program prior to turning in your Match list but your child would be more like 6 months old, making it much easier on your wife.
 

psychattending

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just curious when doing an away rotation... should you try to schedule a general psych month? or if you have an interest in a particular subspecialty is it better to do that? something else altogether? I guess I'm (prematurely) wondering how to make the most of a rotation like that- both in terms of maximizing learning and as an "audition" for residency consideration.
In general I would say that if your goal is to get to know a program well (and allow them to know you), then you should do the rotation on one of their main teaching services. If on the other hand, the point of the away rotation is to take advantage of training in a specific locale because of family or weather, then you could do whatever rotation you wanted.
 

Little Bay

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I think you'll be fine without doing an away.
I did one to learn about a subspeciality. I'm glad I did, but I did not go to that place, in fact, I ranked them nearly last.

The bottom line: don't leave your wife while she has a newborn baby. Sometimes family has got to come first.
 

notdeadyet

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I agree with the others in being conservative with away rotations if your sole reason to do an away is to match at a particular program. Everyone assumes that their presence will boost their application ("surely they'll love me..."), but we've all had the evaluation or two in which we got ho-hum marks for reasons largely of just not clicking with a particular attending. If that happens at your dream program, it could sink your boat.
The bottom line: don't leave your wife while she has a newborn baby. Sometimes family has got to come first.
Amen to this. Leaving my wife and newborn for a month for something critical to my career would be a chin-scratcher. Leaving my wife and newborn for a month for something not necessary for my career would be an easier decision.