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IM Away rotations in West (San Francisco) and East Coast (NYC)

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justskipee

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I am looking to do away rotations at UCSF and one of the top sites in NYC (because I want to go to those areas for residency). I have some questions and can't get any straight answers from my school.

1) I read that UCSF does not place much weight on away elective. Someone at the residency said to not do a Sub-I in medicine since it takes a couple weeks just to figure out the system let a lone do well.

-Should I do an elective in one of the specialties like heme/onc, pulm, GI? or do I need to do a general medicine sub-I (they call it senior medicine)?


2) I am totally new to the IM programs in NYC, and can't figure out where to do my away elective. There are so many it is hard to get a real comparison (e.g. what makes columbia so good?). From an archived post on studentdoctor.net these IM programs were rated the best:
1) columbia
2) mount sinai
3) cornell
4) nyu
5) einstein
6) nymc

Can someone give me highlights of the programs to accurately compare them. I am looking for great training, but nuturing and fun learning environment. Also where would be the best to do an away elective?


Thanks so much SDN community.

Justin

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I would NOT do a sub-I at UCSF. it will be very hard for you to keep up/learn the system. You need to do a sub-I at your home program and get honors or an A or whatever grading system you use. I would recommend a consult rotation as you are considering. good luck!
 
I am looking to do away rotations at UCSF and one of the top sites in NYC (because I want to go to those areas for residency). I have some questions and can't get any straight answers from my school.

1) I read that UCSF does not place much weight on away elective. Someone at the residency said to not do a Sub-I in medicine since it takes a couple weeks just to figure out the system let a lone do well.

-Should I do an elective in one of the specialties like heme/onc, pulm, GI? or do I need to do a general medicine sub-I (they call it senior medicine)?


2) I am totally new to the IM programs in NYC, and can't figure out where to do my away elective. There are so many it is hard to get a real comparison (e.g. what makes columbia so good?). From an archived post on studentdoctor.net these IM programs were rated the best:
1) columbia
2) mount sinai
3) cornell
4) nyu
5) einstein
6) nymc

Can someone give me highlights of the programs to accurately compare them. I am looking for great training, but nuturing and fun learning environment. Also where would be the best to do an away elective?


Thanks so much SDN community.

Justin

UCSF is pretty damn snobbish about things. They won't give a **** if you're interested or spend a month there, being able to "keep up" or not notwithstanding, unless you **** a huge step score, AOA, with honors, give it up. Elitism: it is what it is . . .

As far as the NYC programs go what are you looking for really? I think Cornell and NYU give you the most bang for your buck on a Sub-I, but Columbia is kind of the recognized bigger academic player in the city.

And why you're looking at bigger cities why not LA, Seattle, Chicago, or Boston?
 
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Thanks for the replies!

Indiamacbean - I definitely think I'll do a consult service, then I can just get a feel for the program and the west coast. Seems like they have the ball in their court given their top status for IM.

jdh61 - So columbia, nyu and cornell. I guess I'll just see which electives they have there, seems like only minor things differ between them. I don't have a great reason to choose SF or NYC, just know that those are fun vibrant cities. I'm trying to get the heck out of midwest. I'm still looking at Boston and Seattle. We'll see what happens.

Thanks again!
 
I am looking to do away rotations at UCSF and one of the top sites in NYC (because I want to go to those areas for residency). I have some questions and can't get any straight answers from my school.

1) I read that UCSF does not place much weight on away elective. Someone at the residency said to not do a Sub-I in medicine since it takes a couple weeks just to figure out the system let a lone do well.

-Should I do an elective in one of the specialties like heme/onc, pulm, GI? or do I need to do a general medicine sub-I (they call it senior medicine)?


2) I am totally new to the IM programs in NYC, and can't figure out where to do my away elective. There are so many it is hard to get a real comparison (e.g. what makes columbia so good?). From an archived post on studentdoctor.net these IM programs were rated the best:
1) columbia
2) mount sinai
3) cornell
4) nyu
5) einstein
6) nymc

Can someone give me highlights of the programs to accurately compare them. I am looking for great training, but nuturing and fun learning environment. Also where would be the best to do an away elective?


Thanks so much SDN community.

Justin

NYMC shouldn't be on that list because it is neither in NYC nor a top program. Any of Columbia, Sinai, Cornell, and NYU will give you great training. Not sure for electives, but generally for NY programs Columbia is considered the best to train for cardiology, Sinai for GI, and Cornell for heme/onc. Einstein also provides good clinical training but is in the Bronx which makes it less desirable to many. I would say of the NYC programs, Sinai has the most nurturing environment and most approachable program director.
 
Not to hijack this thread but a quick question for you guys:

From a LOR point of view: would you say its better to do a sub-i or icu elective at a big name program? or should i just try to do a consult elective (as mentioned above) and get a letter from the subspecialty? As far as subspecialities go, are there any electives that carry more weight than others?

I was initially going to do a sub-i at my home program and do an elective MICU at a bigger name program, but now I am a bit confused. I am planning out my 4th electives right now and wanted to get a few letters from good institutions just to make myself a more competitive applicant.

Thanks.
 
I would never recommend doing an away sub-I or ICU month, but that's my opinion. Your best bet is to do a consult service so that you can gain some insight from that hospital about how things run there, make a connection/LOR and someone who may also talk to the program director for you. Doing a sub-I or ICU is more about your efficiency with things and less about your knowledge. Since you won't know how things work in a new hospital, your efficiency will inevitably be low at least for the first couple of weeks, which may make you look bad.
 
I would never recommend doing an away sub-I or ICU month, but that's my opinion. Your best bet is to do a consult service so that you can gain some insight from that hospital about how things run there, make a connection/LOR and someone who may also talk to the program director for you. Doing a sub-I or ICU is more about your efficiency with things and less about your knowledge. Since you won't know how things work in a new hospital, your efficiency will inevitably be low at least for the first couple of weeks, which may make you look bad.

Agree completely. A Sub-I or MICU away rotation, especially at a "top choice program" is a recipe for disaster. Even if you know your shiz backward and forward from a medical standpoint (which, trust me, you don't...neither do I), the first week on service will be spent trying to tell your butt from your elbow with respect to the function of the service you're on and the hospital itself. There's always a chance that you could spend that first week with the chair or PD as your attending, at which point, you'll be completely sunk.

Do a consult rotation, bust your butt and get a good LOR. I don't think it matters much which specialty you do it in, other than if it's something you care about, it will be easier to do well and make yourself look good. If you think you want to do renal, do a renal consult month; want Cards, def do a Cards consult; etc. If you want Hem/Onc, you're actually in a good spot b/c you can spin most rotations in a way that interests you.

I did H/O, Pulm and GI rotations as a med student and was able to both maintain my own interest and make a good impression with what I knew about the onc issues in those organ systems.

Finally, I personally think that away rotations are a double edged sword and I think you'll find the edge closest to the student to be MUCH sharper. It's a lot easier to F up an away than it is to rock it. And since even the students at Program X have no idea what it's really like to be a resident there, the likelihood you'll get a good idea of it in a month is extremely small.
 
Thanks for the great advice. I had no idea that I was going down a road of impending doom haha. I will schedule a couple of consult electives at programs that I like and hope I can get that LOR from them. Thanks once again.
 
Got another quick question.

So UCSF denied all of my VSAS requests. They tell me there aren't any rotations at the main UCSF parnassus campus for the time slot requested in October.

They only have:

-Endocrinology at San Franscisco General Hospital
-GI at San Franscisco General Hospital
-Endocrinology at VA

http://medschool.ucsf.edu/ssis/elecbrochure.asp?dept=MED&course=140.30
http://medschool.ucsf.edu/ssis/elecbrochure.asp?dept=MED&course=140.41
http://medschool.ucsf.edu/ssis/elecbrochure.asp?dept=MED&course=140.45

Would it be better to be at SFGH? Will I still get a feel for the internal medicine residency program being away from parnassus? Would endo or GI be a better option to learn a lot but get a feel for the city?

:confused:
 
I am a resident at UC. we spend roughly a third of our time at each site. with everyone spending a bit more or less based on their own interests. I spent about 50% Moffitt/20% VA/30% sfgh. you will get a great feel for the program at any site. I prefer SFGH to the VA but know many others that feel the opposite. SFGH is a relatively unique experience and if you come and don't like it there, that would be valuable for you to figure out. If you don't like working with poor people who have challenging medical and social issues, this probably isn't the greatest place for you and being at SFGH will help you figure that out.
In general endo will give you more free time than GI. I have not worked on any of those consult services so am not sure how to compare them. A final note is that you should come if you are genuinely interested in checking out the program and city. My sense is that the selection committee really doesn't care if you come for an away and I'm not sure it helps your chances at all with the match.
 
Thanks for the quick response indiamacbean!

It is very helpful to hear from a person at the program. I think I'll give SFGH a try. I decided GI will probably allow me to do more inpatient consulting. Endo at SFGH says something about doing inpatient at the san franscisco research center, so that seems weird (that place is not near either hospital). My main goal is to try out SF and the program, I have little to no experience with the west coast. Again, thanks for your help. Not just gotta finalize my NYC away elective...
 
To give you the final outcome.

I'll be doing 4 weeks at UCSF at San Fransisco General in Gastroenterology starting 10/25. They had very low availability, none at parnassus, but I'm happy.

Just heard back from Cornell-Weill, got my 1st choice in clinical ID starting 9/27 for 4 weeks.

I learned that sometimes it better to just speak to the coordinator, instead of relying on VSAS communications. I only learned of the low availability for UCSF after calling, otherwise they would have just kept denying my applications based on availability.

Anyone have any good housing options for San Fransisco and NYC, 4 weeks.
 
Just an FYI...if you are applying soon, dont post so much information on SDN. From the stuff you have posted, someone at UCSF/Cornell can easily look you up (eventually), especially if you have been invited there for an interview, and they are considering ranking you highly on their ROL. And then when you have so many posts (read as >100), something or the other may eventually come back to haunt you :).

Just my two cents...
 
I am looking to do away rotations at UCSF and one of the top sites in NYC (because I want to go to those areas for residency). I have some questions and can't get any straight answers from my school.

1) I read that UCSF does not place much weight on away elective. Someone at the residency said to not do a Sub-I in medicine since it takes a couple weeks just to figure out the system let a lone do well.

-Should I do an elective in one of the specialties like heme/onc, pulm, GI? or do I need to do a general medicine sub-I (they call it senior medicine)?


2) I am totally new to the IM programs in NYC, and can't figure out where to do my away elective. There are so many it is hard to get a real comparison (e.g. what makes columbia so good?). From an archived post on studentdoctor.net these IM programs were rated the best:
1) columbia
2) mount sinai
3) cornell
4) nyu
5) einstein
6) nymc

Can someone give me highlights of the programs to accurately compare them. I am looking for great training, but nuturing and fun learning environment. Also where would be the best to do an away elective?


Thanks so much SDN community.

Justin

Funny... I was just thinking about this today. For IM DO NOT DO AN AWAY ROTATION ANYWHERE YOU WANT TO MATCH.

Seriously. I am not kidding. I can tell you for sure that it has taken me weeks to understand the new system at my residency and I have looked like an idiot on more than one occasion. If you are trying to look good, get a good letter and improve your chances of matching, learning a new system is not the way to do it.

I would probably have hurt my chances of matching to my current program had I done an away rotation there just because it would have taken me a good portion of the away rotation to learn the system.
 
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