With January over, it’s time for us to announce the winner of our 2020 Photo and Blog Contest. AMO visitors completed 445 rotations in 2020, and our winner, Ijeoma, completed two of them!
Like many other international medical students and graduates, Ijeoma envisions a future that includes practicing medicine in the U.S. And, like many before her, she had trouble finding clinical training opportunities—until she found AMO this is. Ijeoma is on track to complete three clinical experiences with us by the end of this year, and we can’t wait to see where her training—and letters of recommendation—take her.
Continue reading below to learn more about our 2020 Photo and Blog Contest winner, including which experiences she completed and why she would recommend virtual rotations to others.
An Open-Minded Education
My name is Ijeoma, but my friends call me Ij. I’m a final year medical student in Europe hoping to work in the U.S. someday. I have to say that finding U.S. electives was a challenge. I spent a lot of time googling various U.S. hospitals, both university and community-based ones. If you’re an IMG who has been through this process, you know that some of these institutions are off-limits and have requirements that are nearly impossible to meet. On top of this already difficult situation, COVID-19 arrived and completely disorganized what plans I had.
I found out about AMOpportunities on Facebook. It was one of those annoying ads that kept popping up on my feed. Eventually, I checked out the website. If you’re like me, you’re probably be asking yourself how a virtual rotation could be worth the money it costs. I started researching further. I contacted the AMO Advisors listed on the website via WhatsApp and email. They were surprisingly friendly and open to any questions I had. But, as you may suspect, they couldn’t provide exact details of virtual rotations. I went on YouTube and watched as many videos as I could. I also attended a virtual presentation held by some AMO preceptors where they spoke about the benefits of doing these types of rotations. In the end, I had the pleasure of working with one of the doctors from the presentation, Dr. A I have to say that his rotation was the best! I did two virtual rotations in 2020, one in September and the other in October. I enjoyed both.
The first one was with Dr. N in the specialty of endocrinology. Her warm and friendly personality was the reassurance I needed to rotate. Before it began, I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision. I take pride in being an open-minded individual, so I decided to try it anyway. The rotation time difference was a bit of an adjustment for me. The meeting times were between 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. my time. Three other students rotated with me, and some of Dr. N’s students also joined. We met about three times a week via Zoom to discuss cases and practice questions common on the USMLE. When not on call, we worked with patients, recorded histories, and come up with management plans. Dr. N. always gave constructive feedback afterward to make sure I was improving—which I appreciated deeply.
My second rotation was with Dr. A in gastroenterology. Dr. A is a friendly but serious-minded man. He made us all feel welcome and provided feedback when needed. We had clinics with him via Zoom, where we got to speak with patients visiting his clinic. After, we would write up an assessment and plan. We also attended colonoscopy clinics and had days to discuss cases and the best ways to manage them.
Both experiences were the eye-openers I needed to understand the U.S. medical system. I learned to love it even more. I can say that with so many things moving online, it’s a good idea to try at least one virtual rotation. It’s a great learning experience, and I’d do more in the future!
Take Ijeoma’s advice and participate in a virtual clinical experience!