SCDoc

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I am interested in doing a residency somewhere out west - California, Arizona.... Not really sure where yet. I am currently a 3rd yr medical student in South Carolina and am thinking of going into pediatrics. My question is, how difficult is it for a student to get into a program so far away? I will not be able to do an away elective at any of these schools because of scheduling difficulties and financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts? Thanks!
 

Febrifuge

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How are you going to interview at these far-off places? And although it is certainly not required that you rotate somewhere in order to match, it's generally considered helpful. If you are stuck in place geographically, it's harder to match elsewhere. Not impossible, just harder.
 

PassinGas

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Getting interviews will depend on how good of a candidate that you are going into peds.

As far as distance goes, I'm not sure what Febrifuge means when he asks "How are you going to interview at these far-off places?"--just fly around and interview where you want. I just finished up with my interview season and flew everywhere that I wanted and did not limit myself by geography. Just be sure to take out extra loans.

As for away rotations, you can only do what you can do. Think of it this way, you would probably only be able to do 1-2 away rotations anyway if you were able to do any. I'm sure you will be applying to more than just 1-2 programs. So, if you had done away rotations, they probably wouldn't have influenced the other programs that you would look at where you didn't do an away rotation. In short, if you can't do away rotations, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

You will definitely have to answer the question, "Why do you want to come to Arizona [cali, etc.] over and over." Programs will want to know why you would want to leave your "home" to venture out West, so just have good reasons for doing so other than saying, "Well...you're accredited, and I saw you were taking residents."
 

margaritaboy

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Don't sweat it.

My wife and I both went to medical school in the Southeast. We had plenty of interview offers outside our geographic area, and did not do a single away rotation. We ended up matching #1 in Phoenix.

If you want to do a residency far away from your home institution, then you can. Programs will look at your grades, letters of rec, USMLE scores more than anything else, so work hard in medical school and make yourself the most marketable residency applicant you can. :)
 

Febrifuge

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PassinGas said:
As far as distance goes, I'm not sure what Febrifuge means when he asks "How are you going to interview at these far-off places?"--just fly around and interview where you want.
The OP made it sound as if rotations elsewhere in the country were totally out of the question "because of scheduling difficulties and financial reasons." I took that to mean that (in addition to the schedule part) the costs of travel itself would be a hardship.

If I was misunderstanding, that's my bad. But some of us have to be super-cautious with the cash, and to gain the ability to "just fly around and interview" would mean robbing a Gas-N-Sip. :D
 

NinerNiner999

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Ironic, but I went to med school in South Carolina and a friend of mine, near top of the class, ended up going to LA (cedars-sinai) for his Peds residency. He bluntly stated that we would have never matched there unless he rotated in their program. Fourth year is NOT the time to get cheap if you know what you want to do. After USMLE fees, application for residency, interview travel, Second visits, and moving expenses, a month out west will be a drop in the bucket - trust me. Don't skimp, go where you want to go, and make it happen. You will only look back with regret if you don't...