Sub-I advice

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6 years 10 months ago #32518 by BooRadley85
Sub-I advice was created by BooRadley85
I only did one Sub-I and I was definitely a minority on the interview trail this year. However, doing only one did not have a negative impact on my interview offers (attended 15 of 25 offers). I was asked at nearly every interview where I rotated. Never once was I questioned for only doing one sub-I. Honestly, no one cares.

Almost everyone I met on the trail did two sub-I’s, with a solid number of applicants doing three. There is a strong trend for everyone to do more and more, but I don’t think it really helps. That said, doing two or three isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you're doing them for the right reasons:

1. To see if you like the program and would want to go there
- Only choose a program you think you might actually want to attend. Don’t waste your time, money, or energy. Don’t rotate at Harvard because Dr. Famous is there and you think he can get you interviews to other places. You probably won’t work enough with him and he likely doesn’t care.

2. To possibly get an additional interview
- If you’re competitive/semi-competetive, consider doing one at a reach program. If they like you, it’s no longer a reach.
- If you’re not competitive, doing an additional sub-I can help you potentially increase your total number of interviews by one. These may be the only people that actually need to do three.

3. To get a solid letter
- As fourth year med students, we don’t know who the well-connected orthopedic surgeons are. Ask the residents.
- Don’t waste your time at a program where you will not be able to get a letter in time to submit it on ERAS. Rotating in November is worthless. Without a letter, other programs will never know you rotated there and it will not increase your chances of getting more interviews.

4. To show regional diversity
- I’m a Western guy. Born, raised, undergrad, med school. I did my sub-I in the Midwest and got lots of Midwest love during interview season. Some regions (the South especially) still don’t care. Be sure to check out the websites of the programs you’re considering rotating at to see where their residents went to med school/undergrad. If they have never taken someone from your region, you’re likely wasting your time. Also, look at the websites for the caliber of schools the programs tend to pull from. If you attend a state school (like me), and the program only has guys from Ivy League schools, you’re probably not likely to buck the trend.

Last but not least, if you’re an awkward/weird person (ie someone who didn’t honor a single rotation due to consistently receiving poor evaluations), one sub-I will suffice. In fact, one may be too many.

Conclusion:
- Do at least one away at a place you would actually want to go.
- Get a letter or don’t go.
- Don’t kill yourself to do multiple sub-I’s. Very few people need to do 3.
- If you’re awkward, (n)one is enough.

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6 years 10 months ago #32523 by blaqmamba
Replied by blaqmamba on topic Sub-I advice
Great post, thanks for that.

What if you rotate someplace (ie Midwest in your case), but don't get a letter from them? Then other programs won't know where you rotated, so what sort of affect do you think it has in that situation?

Also, being a West-coast guy, did you feel that once you told people where you rotated, that it had some affect on how they felt about you? For example, if you had rotated only on the West coast, that they would feel that you don't even want to come out East?

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6 years 10 months ago #32531 by BooRadley85
Replied by BooRadley85 on topic Sub-I advice
If you don't get a letter, there will be no way for other programs to know you rotated there. There is nowhere on ERAS to mention where you rotate.

And rotating out in the Midwest definitely made it so programs thought I would be willing move to a different region. It was mentioned in almost every Midwest interview I had. There is no reason that a PD would think a guy from CA, AZ, etc. would want to move to Indianapolis without having rotated or lived somewhere near there previously. Admittedly, you will find examples of this not being the case. However, in general, its usually going to be the case.

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6 years 10 months ago #32532 by blaqmamba
Replied by blaqmamba on topic Sub-I advice
What made you choose 1. the Midwest, and 2. That specific program?

I'm in a somewhat similar situation, and I'm trying to pick the two places I would like to rotate. I obviously would love to just rotate at my top two west coast schools in hopes of matching at one of them, but I also don't want to ruin chances at all of the top programs on the east coast/Midwest. Any advice?

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6 years 10 months ago #32534 by Teggie
Replied by Teggie on topic Sub-I advice
I think this is a great post. I would counter the summary point about you must get a letter or it is worthless with the following: if it is one of your likely top choices and falls under the "wanting to check the place out" or "increase my odds of an interview at this one place" you can do a late (i.e. October is probably more sensible than November) rotation to gain an edge. Especially at a program that favors rotators. I did this for one of the programs I expected to (and did) enjoy and have no regrets even though it did not get me letter.

There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.

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6 years 10 months ago #32536 by Diggidy
Replied by Diggidy on topic Sub-I advice
If your intention for an away, at least partially, is to get a letter, is October too late to be rotating? I've been talking to people at one place I'd really like to do an away and there is a chance I won't get a spot until October given that it's a competitive program.

I've read that most people applying have 4-5 Ortho letters and I'm just wondering where they get them from? Multiple faculty at their home institution?

Also, when you start an away rotation, should you let an attending that you will be working with know that you'd like to ultimately get a letter from them?

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