When choosing your rotations, what are some of the most significant points you look for?

Jul 17, 2019
Resident [Any Field]
I made my schedule with the idea in mind that I wanted to do the speciality I was interested in in the middle of the year at an academic center. The first two rotation I was pretty lost. So I think its good to put easier rotations that tend to grade more forgiving then. Typically there is an understanding that whatever you put last is something you don't want to do.

After putting my desire speciality in the middle at an academic center, I put easier rotation up front and harder later in the year. I then tried to get varied experiences though the year. I rotated through community residency sites, through sites with just me and the attending, through the VA, etc. I tired also going to a place in a different area that provided housing for the experience. I think it good to get varied experiences not only in the speciality but also practice and geographical environment.

It also probably good to speak to classmates above you and get there input and experiences at the various sites.

That being said, I totally changed my speciality I applied into which I rotated through last and at a community hospital and everything turned out fine. There certainly smart ways to go about it but I think at the end of the day, third year is a lot about the luck of the draw and more what you chose to make out of it. Truly apply yourself.
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Sep 23, 2018
Attending Physician
If you're interested in a more general specialty that would be considered a basic core rotation, who are the "go-to" attendings for LORs for that field, and at which hospitals do they work? Choose those sites for that rotation. Not a guarantee that you'll get those attendings, but it's a start.

Try to get some core ER and/or Radiology requirement in early before you do Surgery and Internal Medicine, if you can.

Any particular core rotation you are absolutely dreading or that makes you very nervous, whatever the reason may be? Don't put it first.

Some of the podunk smaller hospital sites away from the main university hospital might have more cush hours and a laid back vibe. Many of the classmates looking for shortcuts will keep this info on the DL and will obsessively base their whole schedules around this. But it could come at a heavy cost. You'll have to factor in the commute to those places (possibly less time for shelf studying) especially if you draw the unlucky hand of more anal-retentive residents or attendings that don't let you bounce at 3pm like the others. Your lecture education, chance to see cool rarer cases, and/or access to the best LORs/connections if you do surprisingly love the field could also be very limited. You'll need to weigh these factors as you make your choices.

Lastly, don't be afraid to do one of your highest choice specialties last (especially if it is a common core rotation that doesn't necessitate away rotation(s) to match). This inadvertently happened to me, and things worked out OK.


2+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2016
Medical Student
do i have a chance at being accepted into their residency?

several colleagues from the past applied and rotated at high ranking institutes without looking at the roster of where the residents came from. Ultimately, those programs didn't even extend an interview to them. Treading those waters is pretty tricky
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