Quick side note, did you know that above titled band were a bunch or anarchists? Unusual to a billboard top 100 hit, granted it was the 90s. Rage against establishment indeed.
I am writing to you from the AICU at Geisinger Medical Center. An awesome hospital which may or may not be the most wired hospital in the nation. I, I, have my own computer & mobile workstation. I guess having a fleet of 3 helicopters outside brings in the money. TUG machines are just rubbing it in (http://www.aethon.com/spotlight/video.php)
First, to business! I must answer your questions.
Match season is underway! Let the forehead pimples rise up! Residency applications are perhaps the most stress inducing part of medical school. Naturally your first couple of tests are up there on the stress meter but a.) deciding on what your career will be b.) deciding which programs will educate you the best c.) wondering if you are even qualified for these programs will all wrack your brain to the "nth" degree.
Applications start by obtaining your ERAS information. ERAS, Electronic Residency Application Service, serves as a middleman between you and every allopathic and osteopathic program director in the USA. You are tasked with inputing your most current CV ( I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU KEEP A CV/RESUME COMPLETELY UPDATED, nothing sucks more than opening your last one titles RCM 3-15-03!). This information is pretty standard but included any awards you have won in undergrad, graduate or medical school, research you have done, and organizations you have been a part of or led. This is where volunteering (for me) and participation in student government (not me) come in handy. I included everything from undergraduate to present.
(I was tempted to put in my perfet attendance from kindergarten, showing that in my young age my love of learning/knowledge was formed, but i think it was mostly for the daily naps and oreos with milk!)
You must also put in a personal statement. This is designed to show why you want a particular field (EM for me), why you are the perfect fit, what you plan to do with your education and goals for blah blah blah.
It is the most uncomfortable essay you will ever write.
You are basically whoring yourself out to professional programs. You will go over every word, every phrase, every possible meaning of every sentence just to delete the document and start again. Most personal statements are tailored to the specialty you are applying, so if you apply to IM/EM you will need a PS directed towards that compared to OB/GYN or Family. You will also need to upload a photo (Not a passport photo) and at least 3 Letter of Rec. You can submit your application with <3 but some residencies will not consider your application complete unless you have three.
The timeline goes as follows:
July 15th - ERAS opens, you can start inputting your info and if you are a gunner, submit too
Sept 1st - Unofficial deadline to submit, you need to submit to get interviews, most programs don;t look until after sepetember 1st anyway, but I know many classmates you submitted on July 15th. I am not one of those people.
Nov 1st - You need to register for the match. There are two (2) matches. The allopathic and osteopathic. Depending on what programs you want you can chose one or both. Caveat - The osteopathic match happens in February, with the allopathic in March. The match is a legally binding contract, herego, you cannot match in the osteopathic match and still be eligible for the allopathic a month later. You can put all your eggs into one basket and go allopathic but remember, you will be competing against foreign medical grads, allopathic students and other osteopathic students for spots.
Decemberish - After you interview at potential locations, you submit a "Rank List" to the match, basically identifying your top choices. Residency programs also submit a list of possible candidates as well. This leads us to..
February/March - THE MATCH. You and your classmates head to the bar and await an e-mail from the match service. All you receive is an email saying you matched, or you didn't. A week will pass before you know the program. Yay Stress! If you don't match you undergo what is called "the scramble." Residency programs don;t fill up on the first day, so the week after the match applicants are frantically calling programs with vacancies, doing phone interviews and ultimately trying to scramble into a program. After that is done, its relax until july 1st, when you become scared shitless because now you have responsibility.
Where am I in all of this?
I have applied to 20 programs going as far west as Chicago, South as Virginia, as North as Boston. I have received 2 oppporunities to interview so far. I am dedicated to EM with a Critical Care or Sports Med fellowship at the end of residency. My first choice is New York Methodist hospital in Brooklyn, NY. I know many graduates from that program and they are all excelllent emergency medicine attendings.
DOtogo: Better clinical rotations between Truro, NYCOM, PCOM?
- I can only speak for NYCOM on this one. I know we have over 20 affiliated hospitals with more programs being added every month. The NYCOMEC (NYCOM Education Consortium) works long and hard to help hospitals accept not only DO programs but NYCOM students. I chose NYCOM over UNECOM for the NYC hospitals and area. Although cost of living was significantly cheaper in Biddeford, ME than Long Island. Go with your gut, the main question is what school will give you the best clinical education for 3rd and 4th year.
(I'm pretty sure that answer said nothing of value, sorry)
Done any rotations in the midwest?
- No, I am an eastern seaboard kind of guy who likes all 4 seasons, lacks natural disasters (earthquake and hurricaine were fun!) and is a hotbed for hockey. Oh, and my gf is from NYC area and would like to stay around the tri-state area.
As I said at the introduction, I am curretnly in Critical care. My next rotation takes me to the city of brotherly love for EM - Toxicology. I will be writing more about 3rd year and more musings about 4th year. Also, fun stories about patients in the ED. Fantastic!