Need Advice from Current Residents

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by BlueJay25, 05.21.14.

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  1. BlueJay25

    BlueJay25 MS4 2+ Year Member

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    Hi all,
    I am currently finishing up my 2nd year of med school from a Caribbean school, getting ready to write Step 1.

    I am interested in a hospital where a friend of mine is currently a resident. I was originally planning to do an observership there before I start my 3rd year and also clinical rotations. I plan on doing at least one elective rotation there in my 4th year as well. I was wondering if I should do the observership now, which would be before my clinical rotation, or if it would be better to do an observership there after I've completed my rotations.

    Any advice or guidance would be appreciated, thanks!
     
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure I see the point of doing an observership; they don't give any insight into your clinical skills and are reserved for foreign grads and pre meds. Do the elective early in your 4th year, apply for residency as planned (assuming you like the program once you see it up close) and forget about an observership. You are more likely to annoy the faculty with an observership than having it help.
     
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  4. BlueJay25

    BlueJay25 MS4 2+ Year Member

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    I did an observership at the beginning of my 2nd year in general surg at a different hospital and made some great connections as well as gained a lot of clinical knowledge. I was thinking solely in terms of increases chances for residency. I thought by spending more time at the hospital it would increase my chances?

    I will definitely do a clerkship there as well, just unsure about how to plan this observership (now wondering if it's even worth pursuing since you mentioned that it may just be a nuisance to the faculty) in the best way possible.

    Thanks for the response!
     
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I have never seen it listed as a factor in residency selection and even if it was, it would be way way way (way) down the list in terms of importance. Like away rotations, observerships are a double edged sword. You run the risk of annoying the faculty or making them witness to some of your quirks and weaknesses. Best to leave that hidden for as long as possible. If you will be applying to the same specialty as your friend, he will serve as your connection (assuming he will vouch for you as a potential resident).

    If you are deadset on doing it, I will let others guide in your planning it because it is against my advice.
     
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  6. Top Gun

    Top Gun 7+ Year Member

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    There's no need for you to do an observership now, nor any point in doing one, since all you'll be doing is shadowing. You'll get more than enough actual clinical experience in your rotations, and will have plenty of time to get LORs from faculty. And they will be faculty that you actually worked with, not just observed.
     
  7. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    You're a medical student. Med students rotate, not shadow. You are no longer a premed.
     
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  8. RangerBob

    RangerBob Not a real ranger... 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with the others that an observership sounds like a waste of time--you won't be able to show your clinical skills (which is probably good since you really won't have any if you go before you've done any rotations). You really want to do visiting rotations when you are at your peak, and doing anything prior to 3rd year means you won't have any clinical knowledge to show off (assuming you even get the chance--since you won't be rounding on patients or presenting them, I would venture to assume that attendings also won't be asking you many questions to test your knowledge). Honestly I think the odds are more in favor of you making a poor impression (due to lack of clinical skills/knowledge) or no impression at all. I'm really not sure how someone makes a good impression during an observership.

    Considering that you plan to do an away rotation at the hospital during 4th year (a very good idea), that gives you one more reason not to do an observership. Plus, you could use the time you were going to use to do an observership to do something more productive, such as more Step 1 study time. If you already scheduled Step 1 and don't need any more study time then take a vacation--you'll be worn out after all the studying and the test itself, and you're about to start the busiest year of medical school.
     
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  9. BlueJay25

    BlueJay25 MS4 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you all for your wonderful advice, I sincerely appreciate everyone taking the time out to reply to me.
    I will take your advice and just wait till I do my elective clerkship there to prove my abilities.
     
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