An away rotation at the medical school you're considering attending can give you additional experience with a different patient population, a new hospital, or a completely different faculty. It can also help you determine what kind of residency training program is best suited for you. For example, an out-of-state resident would find that an orientation at a hospital in your state offers him or her the perfect opportunity to gain clinical experience.
You may even want to consider an out-of-state rotation as part of your first year's program. Some hospitals will accept residents who have not yet obtained a license to practice medicine in their state. These residents are referred to as "out-of-state residents" (ORR). If you wish to take advantage of this option, you may have to complete additional residency training. However, you can still earn your initial two years of residency by taking an out-of-state residency.
Many hospitals require residents to spend time in an ORR. This gives you the opportunity to gain experience working alongside patients who share similar symptoms and goals as yourself. You can find out from a program director, whether or not the hospital accepts ORR residents in their rotation schedule.
Another benefit of an away rotation is the opportunity to see new doctors and other employees. Many hospitals will provide a short time period after your arrival to visit the department and meet the doctor or other employees. The amount of time you'll be permitted to stay at the hospital will depend on whether or not the hospital is part of a larger facility or if it is a private hospital. Generally, a patient won't be able to stay more than a few days. Be sure to talk with your residency program director regarding the amount of time you should stay at each hospital. It's a good idea to plan for several rotations so that you can see several types of patients.
Whether or not you're a resident or a non-resident, you may want to ask about the level of care you'll receive at the hospital you're considering joining. Many hospitals have departments that specialize in specific areas, such as gynecology, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, cardiology, radiology, or pediatric. Other hospitals are a mix of departments. You might want to consider whether you can be paired with someone who specializes in the area you're interested in.
When deciding between hospitals, be sure to speak to the hospital's program director and the facility manager to find out about the kind of experience you'll gain in your chosen hospital. and how your skills will be used.