How to be a competitive candidate for PM&R

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by kati, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. kati

    kati Junior Member

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    Hi everyone.

    I'm MS3 and have only completed two rotations thus far - Neurology and Family. I liked and did well in both of them and will probably be able to get good LORs from my attendings. I start Surgery on Monday (already know I will probably not like it).
    During my Neurology rotation, I got to spend one day following around a Physiatry PGY1 resident (my school doesn't allow an elective in PM&R until MS4), and I loved it.
    What should I do now that would make me a competitive candidate before I actually do an elective in Physiatry? I have worked on a research project (related to Pulmonary/Radiology) between MS1 and MS2, but the completed project probably won't be published until after I graduate. And I spend a lot of time doing community service. What else should I be doing? Who should I talk to? What will give me an "edge"?
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Camber314

    Camber314 Junior Member

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    Kati:

    It's great that you enjoyed the time you spent with the PM&R resident; I certainly think it's a fun day, too. I'll leave your questions as to how to make yourself a more competitive candidate to the more experienced members of the board, but I will offer you a piece of unrelated advice:

    Don't cheat yourself out of a lot of enjoyment and challenge by beginning your rotations with preconceived notions of what your experience will be like. I think it's still very important, especially in your third year, to approach each new rotation with the attitude that you might like it, you might hate it, but for the month you're going to immerse yourself in it. Maybe you won't like surgery; you wouldn't be the first student to feel that way. But you will have a much better time if you show up ready to roll up your sleeves (literally) and 'play' surgeon for a month than if you hate it before it starts. That way, you can truly rule in or out each of the specialties you rotate through; if you go in thinking something isn't going to be your field, you might miss out on some otherwise neat months. I certainly was surprised by a few of my rotations...

    Just my two cents,
    good luck,
     
  4. kati

    kati Junior Member

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    You know, Wes, you are absolutely right. That is really good advice. And to think, I should have learned my lesson. I went into Neurology thinking I wouldn't like it and I loved it so I should know better.
     
  5. kati

    kati Junior Member

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  6. Physiatry in some ways is a combination of Orthopedics, Medicine, and Neurology. Therefore, I would try to do well on these rotations. Basically, making yourself a competitive applicant for PM&R is not unlike making yourself a competitive applicant for other fields. If you want to match at a particular program, you should consider doing an externship there. Doing research is not necessary for matching, but would definitely be viewed favorably -- especially at the top programs. Most of the residents in my class did research during medical school. At this stage, I would just focus on doing well on all your rotations because you don't know which field you'll ultimately choose. I would also try to make some contacts now to learn more about the field and possibly get involved in some projects.
     

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