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Dermatol Online J. 2017 Dec 15;23(12). pii: 13030/qt6v44p12g.

A national cross-sectional analysis of dermatology away rotations using the Visiting Student Application Service database.

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Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


The highly competitive nature of the dermatology match requires applicants to undertake a variety of measures in the hopes of securing a residency position. Among the opportunities available to applicants is the chance to participate in away or "audition" rotations during their final year of undergraduate medical education. Away rotations are now performed by a majority of medical students applying into dermatology, but littleresearch has been done to describe the nature of this opportunity for interested applicants. An analysis of all dermatology electives offered in the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) database wasperformed. Results indicate that students have the option to pursue electives in a variety of subjects offered by 100 sponsoring institutions spread across a wide geographic distribution. Although manyopportunities exist, this analysis sheds light on several areas for improving the quality of this experience for interested applicants, including providing more electives in advanced subject matter, permitting more flexibility in scheduling, and promoting wider participation in VSAS.


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