What did you "do" for your EM Residency?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by canuck MD, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. canuck MD

    canuck MD Member
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    Just wondering what are some of the things that you did during medical school to help you get into an EM residency (ie. EM research, EM electives etc..)? What would you recommend to others? Thanks.
     
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  2. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo
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    I worked as a medical malpractice defense paralegal throughout medical school... and a lot of our cases were EM (just because our insurance client did mostly EM cases). I don't suggest anyone else does it, ebcause it took a lot of time, but it really made me stand out in my application.

    I also whoop ass at video games, maybe that's how i got in.

    Q, DO
     
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  3. DocWagner

    DocWagner Senior Member
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    Siginificant research (clinically based) is a huge plus. Being involved in EMS is a huge plus. And doing audition rotations are very much looked positively upon.
    Besides board scores, rotation scores, LOR's, and school rank...the above three recommendations are your best bets.
     
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  4. pman95

    pman95 Member
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    During my interviews, there were several items that were consistently brought up...thus...probably helped. First, I was a paramedic for about 10 years prior to medical school. Second, EVERY program spoke of the same LOR written by one of my away rotations. Also, the USMLE step I score.

    I would not recommend anyone going out and getting an EMT/Paramedic cert/license after starting med school. Having it before only helps in indirectly showing commitment to EM. Another important way to show this is to join the EM societies as early as you know you are interested in EM. These include, but are not limited to ---> ACEP, EMRA, SAEM, AAEM, and your state chapter of ACEP.

    LOR's are important...very important. Work hard on all your rotations, but especially if you know you will be getting an LOR from that rotation.

    Do good on your boards. It won't kill you if you don't do spectacular, but why add a hurdle to overcome. A few weeks of hard work before the USMLE or osteopathic boards will be worth it.

    I did research, but only one or two programs brought any of that up, so I don't know how much it helped.

    Finally, this list is in no way complete or gospel. This is what worked for me. You could get 1,000's of different responses. Take what everyone suggests with a grain of salt. What worked for me, may or may not work for you. Collect as many viewpoints as possible, and then decide what will work best for you. Good luck!

    Only 18 hours and 13 minutes until I find out where the next 3 years of my life will be spent!!!!!

    :clap:
     
  5. aliraja

    aliraja Troublemaker
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    All the advice from everyone else has been great so far but I've gotta add one more thing. While interviewers definitely asked about my research, pubs, board scores, etc... the thing that they always came back to was things that I had done in med school to show my dedication to EM as a field. Heading up the EMIG, getting an EMRA grant as a med student, etc...

    This is still a really small community and the more you can show that you've already become a part of it the more comfortable people will be taking you.
     
  6. GCS:3

    GCS:3 Allegheny grad
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    I think the big things I did were helping to start an EMIG, and doing well in my EM rotations. When I wasn't doing EM though, I still worked hard. Supervisors seemed to appreciate that I did well despite not necessarily wanting to work in their field, and EM PD's liked reading the strong letters. I joined ACEP, etc, and was able to discuss what's going on in EM. Beyond that I'm pretty much average...

    Things I DIDN'T do?
    Research - Overrated if you want a community program
    Ace the boards
    AOA
     
  7. roja

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    Unlike everyone else, I did nothing throughout medical school as I was planning to do something completely different. I didn't even *think* about EM until the end of my 3rd year. (last rotation) What I did then was shadow the head of the dept, joined EMRA/ACEP. I did a rotation and got solid letters of rec. I also started a research project. I also did an away rotation.

    Things that helped my case? Decent USMLE scores helped, solid (but not outstanding) class rank. I also worked as a teacher all through medical school, for TPR and as a TA for various subjects (histo, immunology, anatomy, etc).

    I think LOR are one of teh most important things. And coming across as knowing waht you want to do.
     
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  8. Dr. Cowboy

    Dr. Cowboy Member
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    Like Roja, I didn't decide on EM until late. I had worked very hard and gotten great clinical scores (this will be looked at regardless of what field). Fourth year rotations at a program you want to attend are huge in showing your desire for EM as a whole and that program in particular. If you didn't do a rotation at the program you ultimately decide is your favorite, it never hurts to visit for a weekend to get to know the residents and faculty.
    No research for me
    No AOA for me
    No great board scores for me
     
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  9. kungfufishing

    kungfufishing Senior Member
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    I had really good letters, good, not great boards (and it was the COMLEX, not usmle), right in the middle of my class, and some fairly significant research and other extracurricular stuff. Seemed like the academically inclined programs cared about the research and the 3 year community spots were super indifferent, or in at least one case, almost turned off by it. If you think you want an academic career, do a project of some kind. Otherwise, I would say the obvious (good grades, good boards, good letters, dont interview like a moe-ron) things are all important.
     
  10. Halaljello

    Halaljello Hot Oil
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    ok so when you guys say get good letters, how does this work? Is it like when you apply for medical school and get it from any rotation? or are the only letters you submitted were from your EM rotations? I'm writing a case report for one of our faculty surgeons who would probably write a good letter for me if i asked. If any of you guys can share who you got your letters from and from what department/rotation, and how many letters you submitted I would really appreciate it.

    thanks.
     
  11. roja

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    My letters came from:

    2 from EM
    1 from CCU
    1 from psych


    You will definately need 2 from EM and then one or two from other services... The key to doing well on rotations is to work hard and show interest.

    Your dean's letter is important as well which is basically a summary of all your rotations... and again, usually doing well on a rotation means you work ahrd and show interest.
     
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  12. Larry Renal

    Larry Renal Member
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    not to jack the thread....

    regarding letters, for someone who is not sure what field they want, can you just get as many letters as you want, say 2 from EM, 2 from IM etc, and then decide which programs get which letters? Do you need to send all letters to each program?

    Thanks!

    Lar.
     
  13. pman95

    pman95 Member
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    As long as your Dean's office is willing to upload your letter, ERAS (electronic Residency Appliaction Service) will accept an unlimited number of LOR's.

    My Dean's office limited us to 4 LOR's this year.
    2 - EM (1 from my home/advisior & 1 from an away rotation)
    1 - IM (Director of Medical Education/Student Education)
     
  14. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo
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    My LORs:
    One from EM attending at EM residency
    One from EM attending at community level 2 ED
    One from Trauma Surgeon at community level 2 Hospital
    One from pulmonologist at community hospital.

    Q, DO
     
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  15. Dr. Cowboy

    Dr. Cowboy Member
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    My LORs:
    1- Med Student Ed Director at away rotation (known in field and letter widely commented on in interviews)
    1- Program Director at 2nd away rotation
    1- Faculty at 2nd away rotation (ties to area I was applying to)
    1- EM Advisor at home school (no program)
    1- Medicine Med Ed Director at home school
    1- Pediatric Med Ed Director at home school
    1- Family Med Dept. Chair at home school

    sent 3 EM letters and 1 non-EM to each program (rotated letters sent until found out which letters were better than others)
     
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  16. rprice54

    rprice54 Junior Member

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    I interviewed at around 10 locations, 3-5 interviews per location- only one person asked about my research. But then again I wasn't looking for a research heavy program.

    What was talked about at EVERY interview were my letters from my two EM rotations. There's an article out there in the EM lit (I'll find the bibli here in a bit) where program directors were asked what they looked for in an applicant, and number one far and away was the EM LOR.

    FYI- EM uses a standardized LOR, if you don't know already, and it compares you to all the other students who rotated at that given institution. so it helps to do a rotation at a place that sees lots of students (I went to a place where it was required of all their 4th years). That way you can get a good comparison to the rest of the field.

    and show some enthusiasm in the field, whether it's through work, memberships, EMIG... As a third year I went to an annual regional SAEM meeting where they had a dinner for med students with all the program directors that were in town- and we got to sit face to face with them and fire away with the questions.
     
  17. miler

    miler Senior Member
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    Aliraja, or anyone else who knows, what is a EMRA grant? How did you go about getting it?

    Thanks
     
  18. aliraja

    aliraja Troublemaker
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    http://www.emra.org/index.cfm?page=893

    We've had a streak of getting one each year for the past three years... and the recipients are at OHSU, UNC, and Cinci. Hopefully we'll keep the streak alive but it'd be great to get more people involved! They gave out two last year... not sure if that's normal or if they just couldn't make up their minds :)
     
  19. realruby2000

    realruby2000 Senior Member
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    I've read many posts that a lot of students get their LORs from very well known "celebrity" PDs. How do you get access to these people? what if your school doesnt have an EM residency program?


    also how do you get an awesome letter from your dean if you hardly ever see him? I've seen the guy once or twice and thats all. I know some other associate deans a lot better though...but i dont know what that can do for me in regards to an excellent dean's letter
     
  20. PluckyDuk8

    PluckyDuk8 Pluck of all Plucks
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    As long as there's all this talk about LOR's, I have a question. I am going to be volunteering for a public EMS service abroad during this summer after M1 in a place where there are doctors on the ambulances. Since I am an M1 I have no clue how the LOR process works for residency. Can I get a LOR for something that isn't a rotation? Will it be helpful get an LOR for what I am doing? Anybody else do something abroad and have them write you an LOR- what is the process specifically for those abroad? And by the way, I am not doing this for the recommendation, I just want to know what my options are.

    ...feel free to pm me the answer instead of posting.
     
  21. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Duk, I don't think I would get a LOR for your overseas experience. I would talk about this in your personal statement and put it on your CV.

    LOR's should come from people who know you well, who worked with you on a teaching basis (i.e., they were involved with evaluating you as a medical student), etc.

    You're only limited to 3 LOR's at most programs, so make those 3 go a long way!
     
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  22. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    You could get a LOR from this but I wouldn't recommend it. One of the things the LOR is supposed to address are your clinical skills and knowledge base and to be frank, at this point you won't have any.

    C
     
  23. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    Here's what I did:

    Decided definitively on EM late (may of 3rd year) got 2 good LOR's from May EM rotation. Scheduled away rotation at #1 choice of residency for October. Worked hard hard hard on all 3rd and 4th year rotations. Got great letters from Peds, EM (residency based) x2, MICU x2, and EM PD at away rotation x1. Sent the best 4 letters (3 EM, best MICU). Applied Sept. 1. Had attending review my personal statement. Applied to 23 programs, went to 12 interviews. Matched at #1 choice (same as away rotation). I also had several publications and research, I would say this helped everywhere but not a whole lot. The thing that was talked about the most was my LOR's. At one interview at a very good program (IMHO) the former PD said "Do you have any questions?" I said, "Most of them have been answered by the residents, do you have any for me?" to which he replied "No, your LOR's are superb and tell us all we need to know."

    LOR's are key. Plan to get many more than you need. See my comments on LOR's in the FAQ sticky.

    C
     
  24. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    Geek, are there any programs that limit you to 3? I know most require 3, but what I heard was that if you had 4 then send them. All of the programs I applied to required three, got four, and usually brought all 4 up in the interview.

    C
     
  25. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor Practicing Doc and Blogger
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    That's late? I don't think I know anyone who decided earlier than that. I would describe late as May of 4th year.
     
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  26. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    cg, you're right. My mistake. You're minimum is 3 LOR's, but you may submit an additional LOR at many programs.
     
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