Lately, I have been traveling from hospital to hospital in search of the perfect residency for me. These are often called, “audition rotations.” Recently, I have received many questions on what exactly audition rotations are and I thought this was the best time to talk about them!
Audition rotation = a 2-4 week rotation in the specialty of your choice at the hospital of your choice during your fourth year of medical school.
Why are these done? These are typically done in the osteopathic world of medicine because residencies like to see how prospective candidates perform in real life. Oftentimes, an audition rotation may help if your board scores are not stellar. These rotations can take place at AOA (osteopathic) or ACGME (allopathic) residencies. These types of rotations are not often done in the allopathic (MD) side of medicine because your board scores and ERAS application take precedence.
How are these scheduled? Audition rotations are oftentimes set up at the beginning of the January, the year before you apply for the Match. In order to set up the rotations that I have in fall of 2017, I inquired about them in January 2017 for the 2018 Match. This usually includes emailing residencies or applying online through the VSAS system.
How important are these rotations? This question is hard to answer because each residency is different. There are some programs that pick mainly from those who have rotated there and there are other residencies who don’t offer audition rotations at all. It is best to contact the program if you are interested.
How many audition rotations is adequate? This is entirely up to you and your stamina. Many people do an average of 3-4, four-week audition rotations but can be upwards of six rotations. This also depends on your school requirements.
Do you get interviews on these rotations? This also entirely depends on the residency. I currently have friends who have received interviews while on these audition rotations but the majority will have to wait until interview season begins shortly. Unfortunately/fortunately that may require you to return to the residency at a later time to interview. But, it will be worth it to get into your desired specialty and residency!
I hope this clarifies why many fourth-year osteopathic students are currently traveling around the country. This experience is equally stressful and fun and I can’t wait to see where I end up!