Friday, June 23, 2017

My Elective experience

Hey guys,

I was off blogging for a while for obvious reasons and I apologise for that. But, hey! Let me share the reason behind it :D
I was off to the States for my Clinical Electives at Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, so I'm going to briefly write about Electives in this post.

Overview of US Clinical Experience:

A) HANDS-ON Clinical Experience:
- One to one patient contact, can elicit history, perform physical examinations, write notes, suggest plan of care, have full access to patient records
- Considered better as what can be better than hands-on!
- Can be done only before a Medical Student graduates. ( Therefore, you can't do electives if you're already a Doctor -_-)

1. Sub-Internship equivalent to a 4th year US Medical Student
2. Clinical electives are equivalent to a 3rd year US Medical Student
3. Clerkship (This typically is for US Medical students; not applicable to IMGs)
4. Externships

B) NOT HANDS-ON Clinical Experience:
- You only get to observe (hence, Limited role in patient care)
- Can be done while you're a Medical Student or even after you graduate
- Controversial if it can be considered as USCE?

C) RESEARCH ELECTIVE:
- Usually, longer the elective, the better it is! (Increases yield of getting a fruitful publication out of it.
- No outlined criteria, eligibility varies from place to place.

Now,
I typically like to classify Clinical Electives into: (Although, others may classify them based on different criteria, I believe, classifying this way is logical in terms of expenses majorly)
1. USMLE Step 1 required
2. USMLE Step 1 NOT required
[I shall soon write a separate blog on this, pre requisites for elective application and rough expenses soon, so stay tuned as always :D]

About my elective experience:

I had given my USMLE Step 1 while I was in Third year. So, when I got into Fourth year I applied to Universities that had USMLE Step 1 criteria.
As now a days, getting electives is becoming more and more competitive, along with my friends, I applied to IMG friendly elective places well in advance  (about 10 months prior for a few places). This also meant that we had to wait for a long time to get our acceptances as they don't send out acceptances until 3-1 month prior to your elective start date.

Fortunately, I got accepted at Mayo Clinic, Rochester for Infectious Diseases elective and at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio for Endocrinology elective! Yippie!! (Big thank you to Ikan for guiding me with the application process)

Both, Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic are amazing places to work at! (And if you don't already know, Mayo Clinic has been ranked no.1 and Cleveland Clinic has been ranked no.2 on U.S. News and World Report's Honor Roll :D)

What to do while you're there?

- Be professional, dress professionally, follow code and conduct of your Hospital or Clinic.
- Take histories, perform physical examinations as required, write patient notes, suggest plan of action and so on...
- Volunteer for case presentations/ talks
- If you find an interesting case while you're rotating there, discuss with your residents/ fellows/ attendings if you can submit it to a journal or present it at any conference.
- If you're interested in research, talk to your attending and try to get involved in one.
- Most importantly, As an IMG, it is crucial for us to get A Strong Letter of Recommendation. If you've been working hard, I am sure, most attendings would agree to write you a Strong LoR! Hurray!

Also, once you are done with your elective, in the following week or so, it is good to write your attendings a courtesy/ Thank you email, so that they know you really learnt during your elective!

Stay awesome!
-Rippie


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