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Which Specialty to Apply in?

Its always recommended to do electives in the specialty you are interested in. For example if you want to be a Gastroenterologist, its better to do electives in Gastroenterolgy or any other field of medicine; doing an electives in opthalmology or radiology wont be of much significance. Moreover there are many other benefits of doing electives in your specailty of choice, you establish good contacts in ur specialty of choice which may be of use later when you apply for residency, you might impress a program director during ur elective rotation and then things might be a bit easy for you during your interview in that program.

Visit the following links; they might help you in making your decision:

Umar bhai You are doing a

Umar bhai

You are doing a great job.
I am a medical student from India. I m doing 3rd final MBBS( Surgery,Gyneac,Medicine) and m planning to take electives during my internsh.
Plz guide me about which months shall I choose to do electives... My internship starts in march2014..

want to do clerkship in radiology

hii umar..m final mbbs student frm ucms..i want to do clerkship in radiology next year...plz tell to which universities should i apply? with no or very affordable tution fee..its tuff to gt clerkship in radio bt still...i hvnt gave ny step...

Hi ! Im a female medical

Hi !

Im a female medical student from Pakistan who got accepted into Harvard for Clinical Neurosurgery but I am not interested in surgery only internal medicine

I have no idea if I should accept or declne its a grweat uni but if Im not interested in surgery will it be of any help at all in getting residency?

It's clinical neurosurgery and not just neurosugery but still

Please help me decide I have to  decide ASAP.


Hello sir i am interested in

Hello sir
i am interested in doing a residency in IM however the univ im applying to for electives is only offering paeds and surgery im confused between choosing peads heam oncology elective and surgical oncology subinternship as my elective choice,as a peads elective is more similar to internal medicine but surgery is a completely different field,however as u have mentioned a subinternship is a one of a kind opportunity not to be missed, and i would be really grateful if you could tell me which one of these will get me higher credit.

university for clerkship

hello sir,

i m medical student of new final year. plz guide me dat in which universities i must apply for clerkship?in which departments i should apply? how should i apply either by visiting all the sites of all the universities?i will be very thankful to you.


Plz visit various posts on

umar's picture

Plz visit various posts on this website. Finalize a specialty first of all!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


i inquired about doing my electives in my field of interest and the agent was nice enough to say that there are quite a few programs in chicago that i could get in no problem. but when i said my field of interest was anesthesiology she replied this:

Well, there aren’t really realistic chances at Matching in Anesth in general. You cannot go straight into this specialty you need to be able to Match in a transitional program (highly competitive) AS WELL as matching in your PGY2 in Anesth in the SAME match year, otherwise you will be sitting out of residency. So this is something that is extremely difficult for IMG’s. NOT impossible, only improbable. We do offer this type of rotation, but I suggest that you focus on Internal Medicine to start, once you have gotten into residency you can look into changing into Anesth.

if she offers that rotation (in anesth) then y the big commotion of not getting a residency match in anesth. my friend in the states said ppl have stopped getting into anesth due to law suits so my chances are good. where do i pick my rotation now for electives? do i have to get into int. med first? what did she mean by a transitional program which is highly competitive and match my PGY2 in anesth the same yr? i had no idea what she meant there. i tot the entire PG was under one program.

Can you please tell me who

umar's picture

Can you please tell me who was this agent?

Anyhow she was right in saying whatever she said but keep in mind she said it is "improbable" not "impossible".

If you want to apply for Anesthesia residency and many more specialties including radiology, you apply for two residencies; one is the 1 year prelim spot and the other one is a 4 year anesthesia residency spot. Please visit for further details.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

Asalam-o-Alaikum, I got a

Asalam-o-Alaikum, I got a summer research at a top 15 med school in the U.S. and I wanted to ask if it would be worth it because I will have to pay for housing, food, etc so around $2,000. The university isn't very IMG friendly so I doubt this will help me out in matching there or anything. Will a LOR from the mentor count for something good? Say I don't get a publication, then is it worth it?

AOA, sounds a reasonable

umar's picture

AOA, sounds a reasonable opportunity but I won't be able to give u an answer for sure as it depends upon the duration, your financial condition, the department, university, your year of study, your studies etc. Anyhow at least, it would help you find a better elective or research position later sometime...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


hi there.

first of all let me say how thankful i am to u for making this website and lives of medical students all over so much easier.

I'm a 4th year medical student in Indonesia (it's a 6 year medical degree course here). I'm originally from Malaysia. This M.D is my second degree. My first was a BSc. Biotechnology (from Newcastle, Australia). Will the second degree help me in any way to get a MATCH in a place that i want?

About the electives that u did in NIH. that has no fees at all right? means they don't charge anything but u had to pay for yr flight ticket, accommodation there, visa application and postage charges? any other payments that u made? also, how many times did u do your electives? i heard it has to be for one month. so did u go twice or only once? and if i want to specialize in anesthesiology, can i get the appropriate LOR from NIH?

and if u don't mind me asking, how much did the accommodation cost u in US for the time of yr electives. U see this is my second degree so it has become a little hard for me to ask for too much money from my parents. so i kinda have to choose the cheapest program. also i wont be going directly to US after i graduate. I plan to work in Malaysia for a year at least so I'll have my own savings to spend on the 2 trips i have to make for my step 2cs,step3 and interviews. is that an ok plan?

just like u, my chances are my hope. i have very high hopes and i believe in them. i havent done my step 1 exam(will be taking it in november) but ive started studying last sept and im going with my planned schedule. i love anesthesiology and i want to do my residency at a place that will offer me that program. actually i was hoping for either L.A or N.Y. i'm very sure i will score a 99 for my step 1 and 2ck. and the other things like electives and all just seem to be coming in place. it was my luck i guess that i had stumbled upon yr website (also akshay's). so like i say all is falling into place slowly. :) so thank u for this wonderful website.

p/s: if the electives is just for a month can i go on visitor's visa? (applying for visitors visa from malaysia is quite simple, but im not sure about the other types..)

 hi seetal, thanks a lot for

umar's picture

 hi seetal, thanks a lot for your kind words. 

1. It should... depending upon which specialty you plan to apply in.

2. There is no fees in NIH. I did one elective in NIH.

3. Accommodation Cost, varies from place to place, anything from $400 to $1200 depending upon where you stay.

4.  I dont think u can go for electives on visitor visa, every university has its own specific requirements.

Never lose hope!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


i just wanted 2 ask about NIH do dey give LORS coz i havn heard of ny1 goin dere bfore n none o my seniors has so if u cud help i hav a clerkship dere 

I got LORs from NIH

umar's picture

I got LORs from NIH

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

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