Well, it’s a new year. And the fact that it’s now 2016 means that it’s almost the class of 2017’s turn to gear up for residency applications.
How is my residency application prep going, you ask?
Oh, it’s going great. I totally know what I’m doing.
< Lays fetal >
But seriously, I’m a bit overwhelmed. I still need to:
- Figure out for sure what field I want to go into (the fact that this is #1 on the list is not a good sign)
- Write my Personal Statement for the field I want to go into (again, not 100% sure what I want to do)
- Get at least 3 great Letters of Recommendation
- Take COMLEX Level 2 PE and CE sometime this year
- Set up audition/elective rotations
With regards to #1, I’m about 70% set on the specialty I think I want to go into. The only problem is that I haven’t had my rotation in it yet. The issue this brings up is that I’m kind of blindly figuring out 4th year without really having concrete experience in this specialty. Is it possible that I’ll hate it and I would have applied for all these audition rotations in it for nothing? Yes. Does this scare me? A little bit, but to be honest I’ve pretty much ruled out almost everything else.
With that being said, I’ve been looking through VSAS at potential programs to apply to. I can already tell this is going to be a huge pain:
- Some programs require proof of taking the USMLE if you’re a DO student with a strict score cut-off. DO students who have only taken COMLEX are not considered
- Some programs want DO students to pay 5x more to submit a VSAS application compared to an MD student. We’re talking about $1,000+ just to submit an application.
- Some programs require multiple letters of recommendation as part of the application
- Some programs want you to also submit a copy of your Personal Statement (yeah because we’ve all typed one out already)
- Some programs want a statement of interest specific to their program
- Each program has it’s own health forms that need to be filled out and signed by your PCP. They’re all different.
- Some programs won’t review applications until late spring-early summer, which means we won’t hear back from them until the beginning of M4 year. Waiting to hear back from those programs perhaps weeks before my planned audition rotation is going to be a lot of fun and not at all stressful.
I can tell that this is going to be a fantastic year.