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Advice on Elective Rotation

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Hi everyone!

I am currently a PA-S1 in my second semester, starting clinical rotations in the fall. My program offers 8 core rotations: EM, Family med, Internal med, surgery, Peds, OB/GYN, Geriatric meds, and behavioral health with only one elective. Popular electives include: any surgery subspecialty (cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery, etc.), cardiology, psychiatry, orthopedics... and more.

I was wondering if anyone had advice on picking an elective since there are many of these sub specialties I would love to gain experience in! if you faced a similar scenario, what helped you with making this decision, or does any one have insight on what may be best for post-grad life? 


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  • 2 weeks later...

^ I agree with the above poster. I get to choose 3 electives, and #1 on my list was cardiology. I felt so much more comfortable with cardiology after I left and I highly recommend that as well. 

However, it was all outpatient for me and I could not round with my doc in the mornings at the hospital because that particular hospital was not open to students (bc of Covid). I will say if you know you are interested in doing something more procedure based, I would pick a surgery subspecialty or even something like IR. From my experience in 6 weeks, as a PA, there aren't any "procedures" you do... at least not where I was at. I watched my doc do some procedures in the cath lab, but there didn't seem to be a role for a PA in there. 

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It's all well and good to do an elective in an area you feel weak in. Don't forget that a big part of these rotations is making connections for letters of recommendation, etc. when it comes time to practice. You have time to figure out what practice areas interest you; choosing an elective you see yourself working in will pay more dividends than focusing on PANCE prep.

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I like the ideas above. Another thought is to try a different kind of setting. So, for example, if your rotations are all urban or suburban, try a rural assignment. Of if it's all big practices, choose a solo practice. Or one in a location you might be interested in moving to.

You are at a PA buffet; unless you like one of the ideas in the previous posts, try a "food" you've never eaten before! Doors open in life in the strangest ways.

Good luck!

Edited by UGoLong
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  • 9 months later...

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