OMFS Externship Questions

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Hey guys!

D1 here and am seriously considering the OMFS route. 2 quick questions on the externship process:

If there is a school/city I know I want to end up in, should I externship there closer to the application cycle? Or does it not matter when I do it. The reason I ask is because I plan on going on an externship during my spring break of my D2 year, and I feel like the residents and faculty may not remember me as well if I were to extern there so early compared to when the application cycle is.

Also, I was looking at a few, and Loyola in Chicago lists that the externship lasts 2 weeks. How strict is this policy at schools that try and enforce this? With all my requirements and studying, I am not sure if I could dedicate 2 weeks at a time (especially since I'm considering doing multiple externships)


Captain Underplants

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5+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2018
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If you really have your eyes set on a specific program or location don't extern there until you're in your D3 year, possibly even D4 ready to apply, no-one will remember you from 3 year ago (half the residents won't even be around).

Best way to find out about duration is to email and ask, I did only a week at Loyola, but others like Vanderbilt are very strict on their two week minimum.
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OMFS Resident
7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2013
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I would also recommend waiting. In addition, I would consider externing at a program you’re really interested in after you do one or two other externships. You learn a lot during externships, and not looking dumb/clueless can go a long way.
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10+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2012
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Extern at places you dont want to go. You get the experience, get to pad your CV. Doesn't even matter you come off as a clueless student. And by the time you actually extern at a place you're serious about, you know enough to not come off as an idiot.
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Mar 10, 2019
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Most people try to save their top choices until the end, however, unless you have a ton of time on your hands, I would suggest externing at places where you are somewhat interested in. I wouldn't completely waste an externship on a place where you have no intention of even applying. Most people can only get off for 2-6 weeks, depending on your school. That's probably around 3-5 externships depending on the duration.