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Pathology - observership vs clinical elective

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by mgimou, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. mgimou

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    When it comes to internal medicine or surgery, I understand that there is a big difference between an observership (no one-on-one interaction with patient, no procedures) and a clinical elective (students take history and do procedures).

    Obviously, clinical elective is a more valuable experience, especially in terms of residency application.

    However, I do not see what the difference could be between observership and clinical elective in Pathology (or, say, Radiology). Do you have any ideas?
     
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  3. Attila51423

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    I'm currently applying for path and I did 3 electives (surg path, cytopath, and BB/hemepath). I can't speak for radiology, but for path, an elective will be better than an observership in almost every way. That will all depend on the institution you're planning to rotate at. I'm lucky in that the path rotations at my hospital are very strong and I was able to get a lot of actual hands on experience. I was grossing simple benign specimens, and getting to preview and sign out cases with the attending on surg path, getting to sign out cyto cases, and the same for heme. That was hugely valuable experience, both to prepare for residency, but also to give me actual things to talk about while interviewing.
    However, with that being said, pathology is very academic and the learning is much more didactic than a lot of the clinically oriented specialties, so an observership in pathology probably benefits a person far more than following a surgical team around or something like that.

    Just my thoughts, let me know if that didn't answer your question.
     
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  4. mgimou

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    Thank you for your reply. It sounds like you did some really cool electives! What kind of experiences do you think I would miss out on if I did an observership (rather than a clinical elective) in Pathology?
     

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