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leprechaunmedic

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Feb 12, 2007
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Hey ya'll,

I'm highly interested in going into emergency medicine but I have 1 small problem. I waited for my school to take forever to produce my 4th year core rotation schedule before attempting to schedule EM rotations at Willford Hall and Wright Patt. Unfortunately, both of those rotations were filled by the time I attempted to set them up and I'm afraid that I'm going to get forced into a specialty that I'm not interested in. Would it be wise for me to schedule an EM clerkship at an AF site that doesn't have a residency such as Keesler or Andrews? Are any of the other hospitals busy enough to even give me a decent EM experience? Am I allowed to defer to a civilian residency if I feel that I don't have a great chance of getting into a military EM residency. How high are the chances of getting into a specialty that I'm not interested in? Basically, the whole military application process is a little confusing to me and I don't feel that I have been well prepared to start the process properly. I appreciate any help. Thanks.
 

psychbender

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You probably should have scheduled your military rotations first, then taken that to the school, so they could work their scheduling around that, but that's in the past now. If you can't get a rotation at a site with an EM residency prior to the match, then try to get one at any AF site you can. Also, maybe try to do a clerkship in another hospital service at WH or WP, then get some face time with the EM PD. Hopefully, you'll make a good impression with the docs there, get a good letter, and the PD will mention that during their big meeting in November.

Anyone can request a civilian deferral, the question is whether or not the military will grant it to you. From what I understand, the AF generally meets or exceeds recruitment numbers, and tends to give more deferrals than the other branches, so you might be in luck.

As for getting a specialty that you're not interested in: I don't think they'll just randomly put you in FM (for example), but you'll end up going FS if you don't match one of their EM programs, and they don't grant a deferral.
 

wrested

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Feb 7, 2007
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I agree, this post would probably be much more at home in the Military Medicine forum, or even the Emergency Medicine forum. I'm sure you'll find many more knowledgeable folks there regarding this issue.

Anyway, I had a similar problem at my school, but I don't think it took quite this long to get my fourth year dates. I would HIGHLY recommend that you call Jaime Acevedo (WHMC EM clerkship coordinator) immediately (well, ok, tomorrow or ASAP) and plead with him to squeeze you in - anytime before November - at Wilford Hall. Tell him specifically that EM is definitely your career choice. He should understand the importance of getting you a spot. I very much doubt that you would match into EM without having done a rotation at WHMC or Wright-Patt., given the competitiveness of the speciatly in the AF of late and the lack of civilian deferred spots. (See http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pImIpEQOAixG8sZmKWf_DUQ and http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pImIpEQOAixFvoyGt-b-cOA - this past year's IFB and JSGME results, respectively). Unfortunately, many of this year's transitional and PGY-1 only recipients were EM applicants, since the AF is in need of FS/GMOs and (apparently) not so many EP's.

Also, the Wright-Patterson program heavily favors applicants who have prior service under their belts (i.e., FS/GMO time, etc.), as you can see by the dearth of 2LTs in the incoming class - 1/6, whereas the WHMC program is more receptive of 2LTs provided that they have impressive numbers, CV's, clinical / audition rotations, etc. I was not able to schedule a rotation at Wright-Patterson, but wish I could have for the sake of comparison.

I would recommend doing another rotation at WHMC prior to your ED rotation as well, if possible (esp. something like ICU), not only to buff your medical skills, but also to get to know the campus, computer system, staff, residents, etc.
 
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