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Vacation Month

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by slick177, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. slick177

    slick177 Junior Member
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    Next year I will be getting married between MSII and MSIII, I was wondering if there was anyone out there who accomplished this along with Step I. I am entertaining the idea of taking my third year vacation month as my first rotation to allow for more time. Will this put me behind? Am I at a disadvantage due to using the month for vacation and not an elective. Any input is appreciated.
     
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  3. mdphd2b

    mdphd2b Hepato-phile
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    Hi Slick,

    Not sure how it's arranged at your school, but here we get two vacation months that can be scheduled anytime in MS3 or 4 (Our 3rd and 4th years are "combined" clinical years). These are generally used for Interviewing, but many of us will use one for interviewing (like in Jan of MS4), and the other for vacation like the last block of MS4 (May to graduation). Other uses can be for Step2, etc if needed. Whatever the reason, it's up to each person individually when to take them.

    To use a vacation month early in MS3 (for a wedding, etc), we need "special approval", but it has been done. In that case, we wouldn't have the luxury of 2 mos off in MS4. However, there are MANY 4th year electives to choose from that would be useful options for boards study, interviewing, etc. These electives have minimal time commitments at my school: Clinical Radiology, Blood Coag, History of Med, Derm Path...You get the idea! I'm sure your school has similar options, so even if you use up a vacation month, you'd still have some flexibility for scheduling interviewing/moving/vacationing/having fun :laugh:

    Good luck :luck:

    EDIT: Just to clarify, Like I mentioned every school is different. Most of the MS3's in my class actually had to begin 3rd year with 1 or 2 fourth year electives, before even starting clerkships, so in our case the "combined clinical years" means we will have a mix of MS3 and MS4 students on most clerkships and electives, so we're being compared to more advanced students regardless. This is due to Pitt's most recent curriculum change--MS3 and MS4 are one continuous stretch of blocks.

    Slick, if you don't want to use the vacation month, try to take one of those easy "fluff" electives like Clinical Radiology, etc. I'm sure your school has them! A lot of MS3's I know started w/Rad after MS2, since it had VERY minimal time commitment (I think only 3 required sessions in the whole month!). The other cool thing is that you can take the same electives more than once at some schools, so you could even take the same Rad elective again in MS4 to get more time then.

    Your best bet is to talk to current MS3 and MS4's in your own school, to get the inside scoop on the easy courses available.
     
  4. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    I wouldn't recommend it. Taking off month 1 will put you at a disadvantage when you come back and start month 2. You'll be expected to know some very basics (like looking up labs, writing a progress note) and you'll be compared to your classmates you already do. Plus you will really want (and need) that month off later in third/fourth year for your personal sanity, step II, and residency interviews. Lots of people in my class took step I and got married in between second and third years--you can do it if you plan it right. How many weeks does your school give you in between second and third year?
     
  5. slick177

    slick177 Junior Member
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    The way it works at my school is that we get 1 month of vacation or if you desire you can do an elective that will count as one of your fourth year electives. We get roughly 5 weeks between 2nd and 3rd year, but to make thing complicated my I will also have to move during that time period because I have been at a satellite campus for my first 2 years. I realized that I will probably be a little behind when i start my first rotation, but I figure I would try and start with something that I am not interested in doing as a career to insure I get the hang of things before ruining my chances in a field.
     
  6. kilroth

    kilroth Senior Member
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    Depends on if you are the one doing the wedding planning. I got married this summer, four days after step1 and then went to Hawaii for 10 days. It worked well but my wife had to do most of the planning and moving, etc. Start doing your requirements months in advance.
     
  7. StickMe

    StickMe Registered Loser
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    During my second year, I took my midterm on a Wednesday (the week of Thanksgiving) and drove 3 hours away and got married that Saturday. Went back to school the next 3 weeks and then went on my honeymoon over Christmas vacation. It wasn't that difficult to squeeze in. I'm sure you can manage to squeeze it in without having to take a vacation month.
     
  8. slick177

    slick177 Junior Member
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    Luckily my fiancee will be doing most of the planning, I think we have decided just to set a date sometime after third year has started and go from there. This way I can use the time between second and third year to move and take step 1. My last question is that since the wedding is most likely going to be in July should I pref an historically easier rotation like FP or Psych for that time period? Are most clinical directors sympathetic about getting a Friday,Sat, Sunday off? Thanks for the input.
     
  9. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    Just avoid internal medicine, surgery, and ob/gyn. You might have weekend responsibilities on other rotations, but they're the rule not the exception for these rotations and you'll have a harder time asking for time off.
     

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