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Thursday, February 08, 2018

It’s Not Too Early to Plan MS4 Away Dermatology Electives

Current UTMB MS3s should start considering their MS4 schedules for the upcoming academic year. There are lots of things to consider, such as when to take Step 2 CK and CS (more institutions want to see a passing CK score before their departments are permitted to place an applicant on the NRMP rank list, and a change in institutional policy may come suddenly and without notice to applicants). For dermatology applicants, home and away dermatology rotations are best taken before November, when interviews are usually determined. Just four months (July, August, September, and October) have the most potential for rotating applicants to make the best impression and to hopefully receive an interview for residency, since most ERAS application deadlines are on or before November 1st. Since these months are at a premium, it is predictable that they are the most competitive for away rotations since MS4 demand is often greater than available positions). The earlier the application, the better. Many institutions require medical information that includes immunization records/serologies for potential rotators, or have specific Step 1 cutoff scores. Many US medical schools are using VSAS for away rotations. For more information, please see https://students-residents.aamc.org/attending-medical-school/electives-and-make-courses/applying-away-electives-vsas/  In addition, it is wise to plan to take vacation or take a nonclinical elective during Period 7 when most dermatology interviews are scheduled. UTMB required clinical rotations for MS4s can be taken after rank list submission to NRMP in February.