Another annoying Away rotation question :)

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TexasTecher
Another annoying Away rotation question :)

First of all, congrats to everyone who matched today!  I hope to be in the same boat this time next year.  As I skim through the various programs over at the VSAS website and also individual program websites, I'm just left wondering: is it better to do away rotations at programs you are truly interested in but the faculty may not be as "well known", or shoot for the big programs in order to get letters from "big names"??  I know this probably has been discussed a million times before, but for those who have just matched, what did you do, and would you do it any differently if you had the chance to do it over again (away rotation selection, I mean)?For example, I'm quite interested in staying in or close to Texas, and really would like a "mid-tier" program such as Scott & White or LSU-Shreveport...I'm torn on whether going to both of those, or maybe doing ONE of those and then going somewhere "big" as well....?  Thanks guysJG

Edited by: nicky on 05/11/2015 - 19:50 Reason: Updated by FeedsNodeProcessor
Anonymous (not verified)
similar interests

I was in your same shoes last year. I ended up matching at my #2 ("mid tier"). My #1 was my home program (bigger name) and #2 was where I did an away. I had a decent app overall. To really answer your question, if you are truly interested in a more mid tier place, those places typically seem to be more interested in the "fit" of candidates than strictly scores. Thus, unless your personality would be a huge turnoff, an away at a midtier program you are interested in would be much more beneficial than just another big name letter. As a disclaimer, I didn't go to shreveport or scott and white, but I would assume they are like many other southeast "midtiers"

cls4g3
A letter from a "big name"

A letter from a "big name" can open a lot of doors. Really, you only need one good one. At the same time, don't underestimate the importance of doing an away somewhere you think you would like to go. I matched at a program where I did an away, and I know they wouldn't have even have offered me an interview had I not rotated there. Good luck- it's worth it in the end!

Anonymous (not verified)
agree

I completely agree with the above poster. I did two away rotations at cities I thought I would love to live. Both programs are "mid-tier." I got an excellent letter at my first away rotation and although not a huge name, I got alot of good comments about it during interviews. I think during interviews they just want to see how you do outside of your home program b/c letters from your own program will usually be glowing. I ended up matching at my first away and probably would not have even gotten an interview had I not been there a month. In hindsight I would have just done one away instead of two, b/c by the time the 2nd one rolls around, you're already sending in your applications and it's too late to get a letter submitted for it to matter.

Anonymous (not verified)
agree

Letters from September aways may not be used to offer interviews, but they are used on your interview day and when the programs make their final rank list. They are a good 4th letter.

Balls in the air
"Midtier"

LSU-Shreveport did have 6 or 7 people applying this year and I think they all matched. Not sure where else they rotated, but letters from there must be somewhat helpful (at least regionally)

TexasTecher
Thanks!

Thanks for the replies, all! Definitely encouraging. And yeah, I have wondered if I'd be able to fit in 2 away rotations after I do my first rotation at my home program...still thinkin hard about that one. :)

Another question: for the "non-VSAS" schools, is it ok to contact their student affairs offices pretty early (like, February) just to find out their requirements for admission? Just want to make sure I go through the right "channels".

-JG

Balls in the air
Lsu

Lsu Shreveport is one if the places I looked at doing an away. Unless they've started using vsas this year, electives are set up through the registars office. They won't schedule them until thier own students have completed thier schedules. The deadline for them was the first week of class (June or July), and I didn't hear from them until about 2 weeks after that.

I think it would be a worthwhile rotation if it's somewhere you're interested, i just tell you this to caution you that it might be better to schedule it as a latter rotation.

Anonymous (not verified)
Have you contacted your

Have you contacted your "non-VSAS" schools yet? At what point should we be at in the away rotation process right now?

TexasTecher
I am only wanting to do an

I am only wanting to do an away at one non-VSAS school, and am going to contact them within the week.

I'm kinda clueless as to this process....still have to write my CV!! Ahh! :-)

2-0 Chromic
Away rotations...

First of all, I recommend sitting down with your advisor or Urology Chairman to figure out your competitiveness. If you extremely competitive, then you can do an away rotation at just about any place. Some high tier schools are only interested in scores and not so much personality. Mid tier programs like LSU-S, S&W, and Arkansas, like hard workers with a great personality. A lot of mid tier programs are laid back, and you usually get a lot of autonomy when it comes to operating. This is one reason, I stayed below the Mason Dixon Line.

Second, once you figure which places you would like to live or what programs would be more apt to take you, I would apply to those programs. If you are thinking about UTSW, they don't always offer their rotators an interview. Keep that in mind. They love scores. The guys that matched their had the best of both worlds great scores and personalities.

Third, I hope this has helped. I only did one away rotation. I would have been burnt out if I'd done 2 aways. There is a way to do 3. You could just go for 2 wks at a time to several different programs, instead of the month long rotation.