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How to set up your own elective rotation?

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Does anyone have any advice on how to set up your own elective rotations? Do you have any experience with whether preceptors prefer being contacted by phone, fax, by mail, or by a visit in person? If you are a preceptor, how do you prefer being contacted? I am looking to set up my own rotations, particularly urgent care and wasn't sure where to start.

 

Thanks

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I would talk to the clinical coordinator(s) at your program. They would be the best ones to talk to about that since each program will have certain restrictions as far as setting up your own rotations.

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I would talk to the clinical coordinator(s) at your program. They would be the best ones to talk to about that since each program will have certain restrictions as far as setting up your own rotations.

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Walk in looking your best PA professional self, including white lab coat with school logo, a stethoscope over your neck, name badge.

 

Be very nice to the staff, introduce yourself, explain that you're looking for a "temporary" rotation, all the while being at your most charming, smile, joke around a little. Explain that if they help you land this coveted rotation that you will be so grateful as to bring doughnuts/Starbucks or other tidbits of deliciousness once a week as a token of your appreciation.

 

Also explain, that you only need 20 days (sounds better than a month)

 

They will more than likely bounce you to the office manager. Repeat the same only use different witticisms.

 

 

 

This method works for me because I can pull it off, the Stanford School of Medicine lab coat doesn't hurt either.

 

If that is not your style, find whatever works for you.

 

The point being: be very nice to the staff at all times, including during your rotation, and bring the treats.

 

If you have to, knock on every door. I would recommend against e-mail, letter etc. It's too easy to turn down an anonymous missive.

 

It goes without saying that you hit all the docs you know first, if they can't/won't, ask if they have any connections.

 

Also, almost every office has someone working there or a has relative that wants to go to PA school, so you can be a big help.

 

I've set up most of my rotations so far, Family Practice, Emergency Room, Surgery, In-Patient. I think I just got an OB/GYN today, and just have Peds to go.

 

Good luck, I hope this helps.

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Walk in looking your best PA professional self, including white lab coat with school logo, a stethoscope over your neck, name badge.

 

Be very nice to the staff, introduce yourself, explain that you're looking for a "temporary" rotation, all the while being at your most charming, smile, joke around a little. Explain that if they help you land this coveted rotation that you will be so grateful as to bring doughnuts/Starbucks or other tidbits of deliciousness once a week as a token of your appreciation.

 

Also explain, that you only need 20 days (sounds better than a month)

 

They will more than likely bounce you to the office manager. Repeat the same only use different witticisms.

 

 

 

This method works for me because I can pull it off, the Stanford School of Medicine lab coat doesn't hurt either.

 

If that is not your style, find whatever works for you.

 

The point being: be very nice to the staff at all times, including during your rotation, and bring the treats.

 

If you have to, knock on every door. I would recommend against e-mail, letter etc. It's too easy to turn down an anonymous missive.

 

It goes without saying that you hit all the docs you know first, if they can't/won't, ask if they have any connections.

 

Also, almost every office has someone working there or a has relative that wants to go to PA school, so you can be a big help.

 

I've set up most of my rotations so far, Family Practice, Emergency Room, Surgery, In-Patient. I think I just got an OB/GYN today, and just have Peds to go.

 

Good luck, I hope this helps.

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That was very helpful to me. Thanks! Once you get someone to agree, there is a lot of paperwork involved. The clinical coordinator may want to take over at that point.

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That was very helpful to me. Thanks! Once you get someone to agree, there is a lot of paperwork involved. The clinical coordinator may want to take over at that point.

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That was very helpful to me. Thanks! Once you get someone to agree, there is a lot of paperwork involved. The clinical coordinator may want to take over at that point.

 

Correct, once they say yes, your job is over, the site coordinator takes the ball from there.

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That was very helpful to me. Thanks! Once you get someone to agree, there is a lot of paperwork involved. The clinical coordinator may want to take over at that point.

 

Correct, once they say yes, your job is over, the site coordinator takes the ball from there.

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Thanks for the advice! The problem is, our school has said that if we want elective rotations in a different city/ state, we have to find them on our own, which is understandable. Since Im looking for a rotation in a different city, I can't really go in person :( But thanks for the detailed answer! In your experience, have you mostly dealt with office managers or the docs/PA's themselves?

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I'll share my experience, but I only have two definites and two maybes. One of the definites is Cleveland Clinic. They have a coordinator there that sets up all the rotations. I just asked for an elective and got it. Our school already had an agreement in place, which made it easier. Many of the bigger health care systems have these coordinators in place. They are the same people that find rotations for medical students. One woman actually told me to call her back after she was finished placing the med students. I don't know if I'll bother. Another woman told me they only line up rotations for med students, but individual doctors could agree to take me. One of my maybes is my own pediatrician in that healthcare system. The other definite is because my dad had a contact in upper management and I think they told the doctor to take me. I had to submit all the paperwork to them. My other maybe is a physician, who is a family friend. Office managers have been no help. I wonder if they even bother to give messages to the doctors.

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I'll share my experience, but I only have two definites and two maybes. One of the definites is Cleveland Clinic. They have a coordinator there that sets up all the rotations. I just asked for an elective and got it. Our school already had an agreement in place, which made it easier. Many of the bigger health care systems have these coordinators in place. They are the same people that find rotations for medical students. One woman actually told me to call her back after she was finished placing the med students. I don't know if I'll bother. Another woman told me they only line up rotations for med students, but individual doctors could agree to take me. One of my maybes is my own pediatrician in that healthcare system. The other definite is because my dad had a contact in upper management and I think they told the doctor to take me. I had to submit all the paperwork to them. My other maybe is a physician, who is a family friend. Office managers have been no help. I wonder if they even bother to give messages to the doctors.

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I contacted human resources at one hospital and then the graduate education department at another hospital via email. They both got back to me pretty quick and were anxious to have me do rotations with them! Another option is your state physician assistant organization. In Michigan they have a preceptor/shadowing directory and I was able to look up people there as well.

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I'm open to Michigan rotations, too. I found a web site called M-Search that finds rotations in underserved areas. I speak Spanish and they're going to see if they can match me someplace where I can use it.

 

What is the directory called that you are referring to? Is it online?

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I'll share my experience, but I only have two definites and two maybes. One of the definites is Cleveland Clinic. They have a coordinator there that sets up all the rotations. I just asked for an elective and got it. Our school already had an agreement in place, which made it easier. Many of the bigger health care systems have these coordinators in place. They are the same people that find rotations for medical students. One woman actually told me to call her back after she was finished placing the med students. I don't know if I'll bother. Another woman told me they only line up rotations for med students, but individual doctors could agree to take me. One of my maybes is my own pediatrician in that healthcare system. The other definite is because my dad had a contact in upper management and I think they told the doctor to take me. I had to submit all the paperwork to them. My other maybe is a physician, who is a family friend. Office managers have been no help. I wonder if they even bother to give messages to the doctors.

 

Where do you go to school? And what is your elective rotation at in CC in?

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I'll just say that I go to a PA school....a PA school in PA, that is. Cleveland Clinic had at least a dozen different areas to choose from. I chose neurosurgery.

 

I was able to line up two more rotations. My pediatrician agreed to take me and a surgeon agreed to take me. I've been working at a local hospital part-time, cleaning the OR, so the surgeon knew me.

 

Any suggestions for internal medicine? I really want that for my second rotation, but it seems like there aren't many internists out there.

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I mailed the (potential) preceptors a nicely written letter by priority mail, explaining who I am and why I want to do a rotation with them. I sent 3 letters to 3 MDs in 3 different practices in the city that I want to do a derm rotation in, and one of them responded. Going there in September :)

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