Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2004
Just wondering if anyone has advice on what to do at away rotations to make them the most valuable experience they can be. Who should you try to get to know, how to get a good letter, and how do you make it so that you're not in the way but are learning tons. SHould I prepare? If yes, then how?


Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2002
New England
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Attending Physician
What Bass said is right on, plus you did say letter. Be aware that some electives are set up as 'tubes and lines' where they are just used to students coming in, place an IV, intubate and get an a line or central line if needed, then leaving. If you want a letter you should spend time with one attending for however long it is that you think is necessary. I did this and chose 2.5 weeks. Stay late, take call, ask questions. Spend the whole case with that doc. Read the night before on the next days cases. Who to select for this is kind of a crapshoot. In general, letters from big names carry more weight on the interview trail, but also realize that this is a small world. You wouldn't believe how many times I would go into an interview and the PD knew my letter writer well because they were together for residency or fellowship or what have you. So regional exposure works too, if you have your heart set on a program that an attending trained at, or even better worked at, get a letter.

In any case getting a good letter will be more important that who it's from. Just make sure that they know you a bit, know why you want to be an anesthesiologist, that you are hard working, competent and teachable. It is also basically a must that when you ask for a letter you give the letter writer your:
ERAS form with the numbers, etc.
Personal statement
Clear instructions on where to send the letter.

Good luck!
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