How many aways to apply for?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by MackandBlues, Mar 1, 2017.

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  1. MackandBlues

    MackandBlues 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 1, 2012
    VSAS season is getting started and I was wondering if anyone could please offer some advice on the number of applications to send out? I heard apply to 4 per rotation spot but then I saw in the ROL thread someone applied to 15 and only got one rotation. Thanks!


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  3. Gator7

    Gator7 2+ Year Member

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    I applied to a total of 5 for 2 away months. Accepted for all 5 so had to turn down 3. I did not receive interviews at 2 of the 3 I turned down. Just my n=1 experience.



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  4. RockFlag&Eagle

    RockFlag&Eagle

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    I applied to 6 schools for 2 rotations and was offered 4. I think the biggest factor is having your stuff all together so you can apply early (re: right when it opens up) with no holes in your application. If you're later in the game you'll definitely need to apply to more. That is just drawn from the experience of myself and a couple friends tho. And fwiw I also did not get interviews at the two schools that offered but I declined...and statistically speaking I definitely should have been competitive for those programs .
     
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  5. SamtheWise

    SamtheWise

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    I applied to 5 places per away spot I wanted to fill, but I was dead set on doing my aways during the summer way in advance of application season. If you are more open to doing later aways (october/november) then you can be less conservative, however you if you have a specific timeframe I would probably say at least 4-5 per month you want to fill.
     
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  6. MackandBlues

    MackandBlues 5+ Year Member

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    What do you think applying late means? Like day, days, weeks after the school opens?


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  7. EMPertinent

    EMPertinent

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    I applied to 4 aways in July (Highland, Vanderbilt, Carolinas, UCSF) and got none of them. I ended up interviewing at 3 of the 4. Point being, aways at certain programs are more competitive than getting a residency interview. If you're planning on doing aways in July/August with everybody else, and are planning on applying to competitive programs/regions, I would apply to least 5/block.
     
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  8. EastCoastEMApplicant17

    EastCoastEMApplicant17

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    If you're not applying ~the day it opens, you're applying late IMO

    I applied to two aways and did those two aways
     
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  9. zyx189

    zyx189

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    I was pretty late when applying... I kept delaying it until that "oh ****" moment. Applied to 1 away, called the program to express my interest - had my acceptance that day.
     
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  10. gleegum

    gleegum

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    I applied to 5 and got 3. One was non-VSAS and I was notified in early March (for August). I then did 4 VSAS applications for 2 spots I wanted to fill, but only did 2 at a time to try to avoid having to turn any down (ie, applied to 2, accepted one/rejected from one, panic-applied to two others, took the first one accepted to/withdrew from the last). Note that all were at smaller, typically less competitive places (or at least not huge name places), mostly chosen based on geographic region I wanted to be in. Not sure there's any one right way to play the game, but I would advise to have everything ready to go for back-ups if you don't want to navigate doing the more-applications-than-slots-you-need-to-fill dance.
     
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  11. KinesiologyNerd

    KinesiologyNerd 5+ Year Member

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    I would say like anything else in this process being a stellar candidate is most important.
     
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  12. kittykattat

    kittykattat Meow 2+ Year Member

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    I was under the impression that most sites are first come first serve for away rotations and that this actually kind of levels the playing field and gives more average applicants a chance, compared to the interview season. Is this not the case? Or are you just working under the assumption that the best candidates are also the ones most likely to have their titers drawn and paperwork uploaded early?
     
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  13. AlgernonMed

    AlgernonMed 5+ Year Member

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    This has been my impression as well...a lot of programs I'm looking at don't require USMLE scores as part of the application, unless these are usually included with the transcript and CV.
     
  14. EMGui2017

    EMGui2017

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    I applied to double digits and got 1, had to email/beg for a second one. I sent out applications as early as they opened.
     
  15. AlgernonMed

    AlgernonMed 5+ Year Member

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    What type of places were you applying to? (if you don't mind me asking) Were they some of the better-known programs in big-name cities or was it pretty independent of the specific program?
     
  16. KinesiologyNerd

    KinesiologyNerd 5+ Year Member

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    If they ask for your step scores it's not first come first serve. IIRC from last year most of the big places want step scores/transcripts/maybe an essay/first born son.
     
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  17. SamtheWise

    SamtheWise

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    OHSU requires a letter of rec if I recall correctly. Some places require step scores, some places don't, my strategy was to apply to a mix of competitive nationally known aways and maybe less competitive but still well respected programs close to home or in a place I would like to relocate to. Also, for what it's worth, I canceled 2 aways, one didn't interview me (and I'm pretty sure I was competitive for it because I interviewed at other similar programs in the same region) and the other sent me a first round interview invite and I'm actually ranking it quite high. So it seems the pettiness varies by program.

    Oh and yes, as others have said, get your titers and PPD/Quantiferon done ASAP, you should be applying for aways the moment they open. You may need to redo your hepatitis B titer because not all medical schools require a quantitative titer (as the AAMC form requires).
     
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  18. EMGui2017

    EMGui2017

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    All over the place really. I should have posted a disclaimer that I really only had 2 months available in my schedule to fit in the aways so I may have been more picky than some people in that sense but most places I applied were on the less competitive side and in less competitive locations which is what I found most odd. Ironically the two I did get were probably the two most competitive I applied for.
     
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  19. alexalex

    alexalex

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    I think if you apply right when apps are open, with 4-5 you should be OK. Many don't require step score or LORs so it's more of a first come first serve basis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  20. HistoHelper

    HistoHelper

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    Posting in this thread since it's a similar topic. Is one away rotation adequate? I will also do an EM AI at my home institution. If i wanted to do a second away it wouldn't be until October which I feel like is pretty late, and pointless in terms of letters since the SLOE wouldn't even be posted until at least mid November. Let me know what you all think. Thanks!
     
  21. unnumzaan

    unnumzaan 5+ Year Member

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    My understanding is that 2 SLOEs by interview season is plenty, and that 3rd one you mention would still make it in before rank lists are made.

    Separate question: My school has a separate peds EM rotation. Is that a SLOE-able rotation or nah?
     
  22. EMPertinent

    EMPertinent

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    I think one is probably adequate for most people. If you're a weaker applicant, adding a second AI might be helpful, provided you crush all of your rotations. In general, places require 3 letters (1 or 2 SLOEs) for your application to be complete. If you do one home, an away and get a letter from some rando mentor you're good to go. Also, as someone who did 2 aways, I was feeling pretty salty by the end of my last rotation. Being in the ED is obviously fun, but the pressure to be a smiley puppet and find ways to appear useful, engaged, exuberant, etc...can feel like a grind after awhile. Just my $0.02.
     
  23. rkmoto121

    rkmoto121 7+ Year Member

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    Since programs require 3 LORs for your app to be complete and the max is 4, how do you use your last SLOE if you do more than 3 AIs? Let's say you did 4 in a row July through October, that September SLOE won't be in until October and the October SLOE won't be in until November. That means to be complete in September when apps open you'd have to add a random LOR and that would only leave one LOR slot with 2 SLOEs left.


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  24. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

    Usually not and even if they did offer to write a SLOE it wouldn't carry the same weight as a regular SLOE.
     
  25. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

    You'd just have to pick 1 SLOE from the last 2 rotations.

    Unless you're able to do 3 EM rotations before September you won't be able to submit 4 SLOEs with your application.
     
  26. SpacemanSpifff

    SpacemanSpifff 5+ Year Member

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    If you can possibly get a second away at a program you are very interested in, I would recommend doing it. In retrospect, I would have loved to have more data on any of the programs in my top 5. Spending a full month immersed in the program gives you a much better understanding of the nuances of the program than a single interview day. That said, @EMPertinent has a very good point re: fatigue during aways.
     
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  27. MelMcT2009

    MelMcT2009

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    Did you interview at the program you withdrew from? I see a lot of people mention not getting interviews at places where they declined an acceptance, but am wondering if the same happens if you withdraw before a decision is made?
     

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