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Lives of Doctor Wives: 4th Year Away Rotations

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

4th Year Away Rotations

Hi ladies! I wanted to pose a question to you all about away rotations during 4th year of medical school. My husband and I have been discussing how we should decide where to apply for an away rotation. He wants to do orthopedics. His opinion is to do one rotation in each region of the country so as to show that you would be willing to move to that area for residency. My opinion is to apply to the specific programs you want to attend for residency the most.
So! What did your husbands do? What are your opinions and wisdom on this? Thanks! :)


Blogger Miss. Pretty said...

My boyfriend is currently a 4th year. I just read him this and he agrees with you. It's best to go to places that you are interested in as opposed to places you would be willing to move. No one really takes in account if you are willing to sacrifice living there..they already think that because you've sacraficed so much just to become a Dr :) hope that helps!

October 27, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Apply to programs that you would like to be at. Doing an away rotation opens a door (we have gotten interview offers from all three of the places we rotated at -and we most likely wouldn't have gotten offers from two of them.) If your husband can talk to his chairman and ask what programs s/he recommends - certain programs are particularly good for getting letters of recommendation. I would recommend applying at 1 program that has an awesome reputation so that if you got a letter from a chairman there it would be highly regarded at other programs (do this away FIRST so that you have the letter when your husband applies) then I would also try to do two programs that you would love to match at (1 reach/stretch and 1 a little more realistic). Ideally the place that has the good reputation is also one you would love to match at.

A friend that is doing ortho is taking another approach she did one a a huge university, one at a community based program and a sub-I at home which is a smaller university program - this way she would have an idea of what she liked best and would be able to talk about the different types of programs on interviews.

And applying to programs is somewhat of a crapshoot because you can only learn so much about a program from their website - try and learn what you can from the ortho-website (I don't know what its called) and take a leap!

October 27, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I agree, most definitely try to rotate at programs you/he want to be at the most. Programs are much more likely to grant an interview if they actually know you and have seen you work- instead of just a paper application. SO many ppl move for residency that I think it's just a given that it's part of the process.

October 28, 2009 at 2:16 AM  
Blogger Mrs T #3 said...

This is helpful! My DH also wants Ortho...my question is how many aways is enough? I have read/heard 1-3. This field is so competitive that I want him to have the best chance at matching somewhere, but also want him around! And going one step further...how many programs to apply to? Someone told him for anything surgical 35-50?!

October 28, 2009 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Some schools only allow two away rotations, my husbands allows three, others allow more. I would try and do AT LEAST two. We are just finishing up our third consecutive month of being a part, and it definitely has not been fun but it was necessary for our future. Other surgical wives have warned me to be prepared to match outside your top five or even the possibility not to match at all. So with that thought we did as many away rotations as possible because we feel it is necessary to increase his chances of matching and possibly increase our odds of matching somewhere in the top half of our list. (We'd rather sacrifice now and know we did everything we could).

As for number of programs to apply to he should talk to his chair or mentor at his program to get advice but most likely you will be applying to anywhere between 35 and 65 programs.

October 28, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs T #3 said...

:( This makes me more stressed...when do we need to start worrying about applying for aways?! I feel like my DH's med school does a terrible job with advising...

October 28, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Try not to worry Mrs. T #3 (easier said than done) but I can totally relate. Are you on IMSN - because you can PM me - but basically DH's school didn't tell him about applying for away rotations until we had ALREADY applied!
You can start LOOKING at programs now but most of them won't have much information on their website (many are out of date). Just start looking at places now (see link to my blog which gives the ERAS link) and come March you can start to inquire about applying as a "visiting student."


October 28, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Here is a more direct link to help you learn about programs:


October 28, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger JLee said...

Thanks for your responses! I've read that most programs start accepting applications for away rotations April 1st. We're also applying to upwards of 60 or 70 programs. Craziness!

October 28, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Husband is an attending in an ortho program in the midwest. Would say 100% to only do away rotations at programs you are interested in attending. The competition is too tight for the committee to say, 'well he/she rotated in this state, maybe they will come to ours.' Either the candidate has the credentials and/or they are known personally.

November 4, 2009 at 4:23 PM  

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