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Not doing any aways a bad idea?

Discussion in 'Ob/Gyn' started by Pinki, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Pinki

    Pinki Sassy Member
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    I'm an off-cycle 4th year matching next year. I've decided to not do any away rotations - I have 2 young children (most recent born last month) and my husband and I have come to believe it would be too difficult to arrange childcare, pumping on call, housing, etc.

    Although I love my home program, did very well on my Sub I and clerkship, we are also looking at various other cities that would be a great lifestyle for us (and closer to grandparents/sitters!).

    I'm looking for success stories of people who matched at or are hoping to match at programs across country WITHOUT doing an away rotation for some inspiration! Thanks!
     
  2. Pfannenstiel

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    I decided to do OB late in my third year. Since I needed to front-load my 4th year schedule with sub-I's to get my LORs, I felt it was too short notice to schedule an away rotation. Also, my school tends to be off-cycle from other schools which makes doing an away rotation that much more complicated to schedule. Nonetheless, I applied all over the country. I honestly don't think it matters. Programs know that you can't do an away rotation everywhere and I didn't get asked about it at all in my interviews. I am very much hoping to match in a different area of the country from where I am now. Good luck.
     
  3. imbricatedu2rus

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    You will be fine. I didnt do any away raotations, I am sure I will be OK. I interviewed all over the country and it hasnt seemed to be an issue.
     
  4. MichiMO

    MichiMO Senior Member
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    Hey Pinki! How are the babies? :)

    You know I didn't do an away for the same reason and I really don't think it hurt me at all, though I will say, if there was a program you REALLY wanted to go to, it might help. I definitly think at programs where they give the residents any say into the selection process, if they liked you an hung out with you, it would make a big difference.
    But, if you are just looking to be in a certain geographical area and are not so hung up on individual programs, I wouldn't worry about it and it is certainly not worth being away from your kids or dragging babies across the country, living out of suitcases.
     
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  5. vegetables

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    I didn't do any away rotations on purpose b/c I didn't feel the need to - I was confident I could learn enough about the programs from interviews, word of mouth, second looks if necesarry etc. I also didn't want to spend any more time moving around the country as my previous year was pretty much all that (I'm in school in New Orleans). And I did not feel I would need one to get a spot at a place - just focus on having a good application with personal statement, good LORs, do well on the interview, and you'll do fine. Programs will certainly understand your situation!
     
  6. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    I didn't do any aways, and hopefully will be successfully matching this week. I'm in a similar boat...2 kids at home and my husband wouldn't be really happy if I was gone for a month. Interview season was tough enough being home for 1-2 days a week for a while.

    My school's ob program basically said if you're in the top 1/2 of your class, you don't really need to do one. If you are in the bottom 1/2 of the class, it can really help you for them to see how hard you work, etc. Had a resident say he thought the one he did ended up hurting him because he spent too much time having fun and didn't work hard enough.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Pinki

    Pinki Sassy Member
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    Congrats to everyone and thanks for your reassurance. Soooo...how do you guys feel now that you've matched? I feel pretty confident about our decision not to do away rotations, however in light of how competetive OB was this year, I'm still harboring a small amount of apprehension, yaknow?
     
  8. MichiMO

    MichiMO Senior Member
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    You might want to try to swing it...that is my thought after yesterday...if there is somewhere you really want to go, it might be worth it.
     
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  9. OP
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    Pinki

    Pinki Sassy Member
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    I'm going to PM you about yesterday.
     
  10. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    I still felt like it was okay for me to not have done an away rotation, but I think it really depends on your personal situation. I was lucky and got my first choice, but there were a few people in my class who ended up having to do prelim surgery next year instead of ob, so I do appreciate that the competitiveness increased this year. I think some of that was evident on the interview trail - I met so many wonderful people. I was scared about how far down my list I would go, but I would have been happy to be at any of my top 6 (although my #1 was far and away the best for my family).
    Good luck - hope the kiddos are great!
     
  11. JulianCrane

    JulianCrane The Power of Intention
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    Congrats to all of you! Any tips for a rising 4th year?
     
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  12. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    I would research programs - it takes more time than you think it would. www.apgo.org is a good resource - it's got a residency directory that most programs have a page where they fill out info such as rotations, sites, surgical numbers, even sometimes avg step scores, etc. It's password protected - if your school is a member, the program coordinator for your dept or the library should have the name/password for you. I also used scutwork.com for other opinions. I checked the ACGME website to make sure they weren't on probation.

    Apply widely. My school didn't seem to catch on that ob was getting more competitive, and it hurt some of my classmates - we were lead to believe it was a given that you would get a spot as a US Senior - obviously not so this year.

    Rank enough programs - while most students will get one of their top 3 choices (84%), there are plenty of people who get their last choice. I didn't feel comfortable ranking less than 10 programs - those who ranked more than 8 where statistically more likely to match (by the 2005 match data) than those who ranked less than 8. I know of a few students who didn't match because they only ranked 2 or 3 programs.

    Take your step 2 early - you'll forget stuff every day during 4th year!

    Think about why you want to do ob/gyn... think long enough that you have another answer to the question than "delivering babies is so cool".

    You may be able to find suits on sale this time of year... not sure. Dress fairly conservatively - don't show cleavage - but it definately doesn't have to be black.

    Talk to your advisor at school about what programs they think you should apply to - add to their list. Be sure if you are applying to your home program that you have an advisor who isn't the program director - that makes it kinda awkward to go over your list prior to submitting it. I've got a couple of friends who felt this caused them to not match at their home program because they didn't have the home program as their #1 and the director knew it. Just play it safe and have someone else to talk to.

    Good luck!
     
  13. bellalou

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    Tiredmom gives fabulous advice.

    I initially thought that not doing an away was not a big deal. After the match, I have changed my mind completely. If you have your heart set on a certain place or two, it would be a good idea to do an away so that you can make sure that you like it and, IF you do well, they are clearly more willing to take a 'known quantity' over a stranger.

    However, I had no idea where I wanted to go, so I did not do any away rotations.

    OB/GYN was extremely competitive this year. It likely will be next year too.

    The other thing I would add is the play the post-interview game carefully. Don't tell your home program your top couple of choices (unless it is them) because they may drop you down on their list thinking that they won't get you. I suspect that happened to some people who did not match this year.

    Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you have other questions.
     
  14. cocoabutter

    cocoabutter Senior Member
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    I did an away at a program that I thought was my first choice. I ended up hating the program and didn't even put it on my rank list. I matched at my first choice with just the interview. One of my classmates who also matched at her first choice didn't do any aways. With all that said, I think its beneficial to do an away to see if you like the program, because you may not even want to go there, but I don't think its necessary to do an away to match at a program. Let me know if you have any specific questions. :)
     
  15. Socks

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    I knew what city I wanted to be in, so I did two months there at two different programs. I loved one and hated one. I ended up matching in this city, but to a program where I hadn't done an elective. I just had a gut feeling that I would love this place on my interview day. So, I would say that it can be valuable, but is absolutely not essential. If anything, I think it helped me know what kinds of things to look for when I was interviewing. I had only seen the way things worked at my home program, and I thought it was worthwhile to have something with which to compare that. Bottom line, don't stress too much about it. It's okay for your life to be a priority!
     

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