shortcoat

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2005
8
0
Status
I'm a third year at a middle-tier Chicago medical school and I've decided on anesthesia. Is it necessary to do a rotation at my home institution for a letter from my chair? Or can I jump right into externships at better programs and hope for letters from those programs?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks.
 

powermd

Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2003
2,679
415
Northeast
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
yankeeh8r said:
Do the rotation at your home institution and make sure you work hard and really pitch in during your rotation. Your home institution letters will carry more weight as those people are the ones with a better opportunity to know you and for you to know. Audition rotations are simply that, "auditions", they can go well or poorly and the only thing worse than having a form letter for your LOR is busting your butt for a month to receive no letter at all. With your home department you'll have the opportunity to work with lots of people and make an impression as well as show your face around grand rounds, etc.
I disagree. Away rotations are not just about auditioning, particularly in anesthesia. They are about checking your own fit with the program, and gunning for a powerful LOR as well. While a home rotation is a good idea if your home hospital has a well known program, you may want to do at least one outside rotation at a prestigious hospital (more prestigious than where you hope to match) and get a letter from a prominent faculty member who is well respected nationally. PDs may not know your home program's faculty, but they may trust the word of someone well known. It's not hard to get this kind of letter either- just walk right up to the chairman and ask. Even if you barely know each other, the reason for you asking is clear, and he will interview you, or ask around in order to write you a meaningful letter. I did this and think it rounded off my package of letters nicely.
 
About the Ads

IV Doc

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2004
74
2
Status
I think it is good to start at your home program even if it not a big name program to get some experience in the field. That way when I did the away electives I looked like I knew something. Two other things, first read the first 100 pages of baby miller before the rotation starts so you understand what is going on. This is an enormous help that many people don't do. Also realize that to get most off your letters you need to do the electives by Aug, and possible Sept. so it is important to schedule the electives for the beggining of the year.
 

IV Doc

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2004
74
2
Status
One last thing away electives can be very important based on where you want to go for residency. I go to medical school in NY but want to go back to CA for residency. I found that rotating in CA was an enormous help. When I interviewed in CA everyone talked about the CA letter while on the east coast no one metioned it and everyone was talking about the NY letter. So the point is there is a regional bias which is partly because people know the people and the programs near their own.
 

VentdependenT

You didnt build thaT
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Oct 3, 2003
4,010
24
44
Louisville
www.somethingawful.com
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
IV Doc said:
One last thing away electives can be very important based on where you want to go for residency. I go to medical school in NY but want to go back to CA for residency. I found that rotating in CA was an enormous help. When I interviewed in CA everyone talked about the CA letter while on the east coast no one metioned it and everyone was talking about the NY letter. So the point is there is a regional bias which is partly because people know the people and the programs near their own.
Excellent point. Having rotated at UW people were familiar with the letter I received at that program and I'm sure that increased the strength of my app in that area. I had a friend who had identical board scores and basically same app as I did but didn't get interviews in the northwest. Only real difference was the letter. Yeah, its anecdotal but something to ponder.

Getting a letter from someone who has been involved with ASA is great, but not a requisite.
 

vanelo

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2004
314
1
ShuffleiPods4Free.com
Status
IV Doc said:
I think it is good to start at your home program even if it not a big name program to get some experience in the field. That way when I did the away electives I looked like I knew something.
I totally agree with that. Do your first rotation at your home institution, get the experience, possibly get a strong LOR, and then do at least 1 away rotation at a respected institution. That is a winning combination.
 
About the Ads