kdburton

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I keep hearing people say that you need to apply for your electives early (i.e. now) in order to get the ones you want but it looks like many of the schools that I would consider rotating at participate in VSAS and many don't even process applications (let alone publish the available electives) until May. Is there any way to get around this so that I'm not going to be stuck with a month off and nothing to do or do I just have to cross my fingers and apply to a few of my top choice places to rotate?
 

RxnMan

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I keep hearing people say that you need to apply for your electives early (i.e. now) in order to get the ones you want but it looks like many of the schools that I would consider rotating at participate in VSAS and many don't even process applications (let alone publish the available electives) until May. Is there any way to get around this so that I'm not going to be stuck with a month off and nothing to do or do I just have to cross my fingers and apply to a few of my top choice places to rotate?
Check all of the sties you want to go to now. For my away, they don't participate in VSAS and I had to submit a paper app. Given the popularity of the rotation, I got mine in just after they opened up in early March. I just got my acceptance letter. So double-check now.

If you're looking at VSAS-only rotation sites, then get your paperwork together now. This includes things like:

-Imm records
-Grades
-USMLE score(s)
-LORs
-personal insurance info
-malpractice insurance info
-permission from your dean
 
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It may also be a good idea to start working on your CV and personal statement as many programs will want these. Also, good to just get them done.
 

RxnMan

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It may also be a good idea to start working on your CV and personal statement as many programs will want these. Also, good to just get them done.
+1. Good point. Forgot that.
 

kdburton

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It may also be a good idea to start working on your CV and personal statement as many programs will want these. Also, good to just get them done.
I've got a CV I keep updated, but do programs seriously ask for personal statements when you're applying for rotations? I mean I realize that I'll be applying for residency around that time, but right now it just seems so early.
 

Doctor4Life1769

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I've got a CV I keep updated, but do programs seriously ask for personal statements when you're applying for rotations? I mean I realize that I'll be applying for residency around that time, but right now it just seems so early.
I'm with Kd on this ... I also have an updated CV, but I think a personal statement at this point is a tad premature?

Not to say I'm not working on one, because I am, but it's not where I would need it to be. One program asked me for a CV, the others have not.

I'm also doing the paper thing. I only have a confirmation from 1 program (MD). I should have one for another program soon (a DO one). I need to figure out where to rotate for the month of September and then I'm golden.
 

Aphasic

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Is there something specific a personal statement is supposed to cover? Or is it just "tell me about yourself" or "why do you want to go into ---?"

For my VSAS aways (though none are accepting applications and only half have published their available rotations) I have my CV and picture, and am waiting patiently. I also had one on paper that was due earlier this month so my titers are drawn and positive, immunization record is ready and complete, and I have 2 PPDs in 2010. These are some things you might want to have done before the deadlines roll around, you don't want to find out your MMR titer is negative and that you need to get re-immunized at the last min.
 
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Is there something specific a personal statement is supposed to cover? Or is it just "tell me about yourself" or "why do you want to go into ---?"
.
The way I approached it was: First paragraph: Why do I want to go into field x. Anecdote may be appropriate. Second paragraph: why you think you would be good fit for that specialty. Third paragraph: where you see yourself in 10 years ie academic or private, reinterate happiness in field and respect for pts. Be truthful. Also, should not be more than one page. Programs read a lot of these.

First Aid for the match has good examples. My school gave us a talk on what we should put in them. Some people start with something catchy, like a quote, proceed with above formula/ some variation thereof. It would also be a good idea to have your advisor proof read your PS. I was told the main points to get across were 1. True interest in the field. 2. Lack of the crazy (not god's gift to medicine, not creepy, ect). 3. Professional and mature outlook.

As to whether it's needed for VSAS, program dependent. I think I had one that wanted it and luckily had it done. Some programs want more than others. All want CV, transcript, immunization records, ect.

Hope this helps:luck:
 

Aphasic

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The way I approached it was: First paragraph: Why do I want to go into field x. Anecdote may be appropriate. Second paragraph: why you think you would be good fit for that specialty. Third paragraph: where you see yourself in 10 years ie academic or private, reinterate happiness in field and respect for pts. Be truthful. Also, should not be more than one page. Programs read a lot of these.

First Aid for the match has good examples. My school gave us a talk on what we should put in them. Some people start with something catchy, like a quote, proceed with above formula/ some variation thereof. It would also be a good idea to have your advisor proof read your PS. I was told the main points to get across were 1. True interest in the field. 2. Lack of the crazy (not god's gift to medicine, not creepy, ect). 3. Professional and mature outlook.

As to whether it's needed for VSAS, program dependent. I think I had one that wanted it and luckily had it done. Some programs want more than others. All want CV, transcript, immunization records, ect.

Hope this helps:luck:
Thanks! I really hate having to write about myself, so this will give me some key jumping off points so I have a few months to work on this. :idea:
 

jdh71

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VSAS . . . huh, that's a new beast to me
 

uclakid07

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for those of you who completed a CV did you create a cover letter or is that optional?
 

RxnMan

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for those of you who completed a CV did you create a cover letter or is that optional?
Cover letter = salutation, brief statement of interest, quick one-liner why you think you're qualified/special/excited, and valediction.

Resume = brief 1-2 page listing of your most important skills and education + references

CV = full telling of what you've done with your life. Examples found here.