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Heme & Onc electives in med school

Discussion in 'Hematology / Oncology' started by coffeebeanjenn, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. coffeebeanjenn

    7+ Year Member

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    Hey all. I'm a MS3 and a big "plan ahead" kind of person. I'm taking a break from reading and have a few questions about electives in med school and whether and how they'll impact my application for heme/onc fellowship later on. I realize I still have a long way to go, but I'm just trying to keep on top of how things are going for fellowship match so I'm not stuck with any regrets.

    I like my home institution, at least for internal med. For personal and financial reasons, doing lots of away rotations is not really a great idea for me. Will it look strange if I'm a "homebody," so to speak? Would doing an away elective as a MS4 even really help my chances for a fellowship at that institution later on?

    As far as electives go, I could easily fill my time with all of the heme and onc electives we offer here. If it comes down to taking "advanced" oncology vs something like palliative care or diagnotic radiology, what should I do? I like being multi-faceted and learning new skills, but will it look strange if I don't take the "advanced" course?

    Thanks for the advice and help!
     
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  3. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat
    Administrator Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    Your choice of MS4 electives and their location will make absolutely no difference in your ability to match when it comes to fellowships. In fact, I would argue that you should do one specialty-specific elective and then spend the rest of the time either doing things that could be relevant to your presumed eventual specialty, or that you will never get a chance to do again.

    As an MS4 I did 2 onc electives, a palliative care elective, a pain management elective and a pulm elective. In retrospect, the only choice I regret was doing 2 onc months and no rads or path electives, both of which would have come in very handy.

    I think that this largely holds true in residency as well (assuming you do enough hem/onc rotations to get 1 or 2 good letters for fellowship apps). No need to stack your schedule with onc electives...you'll get plenty of time for that in fellowship. Better to do some renal, cards, ID, GI and Pulm...stuff you'll need to know for onc but may not otherwise get a ton of in residency.
     
  4. coffeebeanjenn

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    thanks!!!
     
  5. carrigallen

    carrigallen 16th centry dutch painter
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    I agree. If you plan on staying at home institution for residency, doing a light "research rotation" may also be helpful if you plan on continuing the project during residency. I would start with a project that has already been developed. For example, an unpublished correlative data set from an old clinical trial.
    Any published research project, however small, may be helpful for your fellowship application.
     
  6. coffeebeanjenn

    7+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I'm hoping to spend some elective time doing research in my 4th year, if I can get a project lined up.
     

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