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7+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2015
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Hi all,
I was hoping to elicit some advice from the SDN community out there for choosing M3 electives. I'm a rising M3, about to take Step 1, so this isn't something I want to be particularly worried about rn, but it's hard not to be because my school just gave us our clerkship schedules for next year and has given us the go-ahead to register for electives (without giving us any real guidance lol).

Anyways, I am so far undecided when it comes to what specialty I think I might want to practice long term and I'd ideally (like many other M3s I'm sure) like to use M3 year to figure that out. I'm hoping that I can illustrate some of my personal situation here and receive some useful advice from people.

My situation:
Core clerkships: IM, Surg, OB/GYN, Peds, FM, Psych, Neuro (2 weeks in-patient/2 weeks out-patient; optional, but recommended)
Elective time: 10 total weeks (6 weeks if I take neuro, which I am told is very useful)
Personal preferences/criteria:
- Leaning towards peds as of rn because my best hospital experiences so far have come in peds and because I love kids
- Leading away from surgical specialties, because I honestly think the lifestyle would make me miserable. I want to dedicate myself to my career, but I want to be able to have a good life outside of it as well when it comes to hobbies, family, etc...
- I likes doing things with my hands (anatomy was my favorite M1 course), so I like the idea of doing a specialty that has procedures
- In my mind, I think I would love a specialty with continuity of care where I can develop relationships with patients/families (but this is the criteria I am least certain about)

I'd be grateful for any advice and suggestions on how to approach my M3 electives! A.k.a. should I do a neuro clerkship? Which electives should I try to schedule? Any other advice?

Thanks ahead of time!

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What are your options
I mean basically anything you could think of is an option. Electives that I have some level of interest in include (all 2 weeks):
Cardiac Intensive Care
MICU/Critical Care Medicine
Pediatric Cardiology
Pediatric Critical Care
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Pediatric Endocrinology
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Pediatric Nephrology
Pediatric Neurology
Radiation Oncology
Diagnostic Radiology
Interventional Radiology
Radiology in Practice
Minimally Invasice Laparoscopic Surgery
Minimally Invasice Laparoscopic Surgery and Robotics
Plastic Surgery
Surgical Oncology
Transplant Surgery
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Honestly just sign up for whatever sounds interesting to you right now.

Going through the year if you find a specialty you like, you can tailor some electives to be within that field.
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I would say EM if you plan to take CS at the beginning of 4th year... It's a very helpful rotation for CS.
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Obviously biased but I’d do an anesthesia rotation. It’s one of those specialties that you have no idea whether you’d love it (or hate it) until you actually do it. Plus it is very hands-on.