3rd Year (rotations) Resource Page



Question: Can you set up your own rotations?

  • Yes, but they have to be approved and it has to be done 90 days in advance.

  • Yes! If you have any connections with doctors or want to set up your own rotations it is allowed. Sometimes it is better to do this with certain specialties that RVU has had a hard time finding preceptors for.

  • Yep! You just have to be ready to contact the physician and do the majority of the legwork.

  • Yes, you have to get the doctor-approved with the school though and the paperwork can take a while to go through.


Question: What do you wish you would have known about 3rd year?

  • How different each of the rotations would be as far as demands were concerned (some require more/less hours than others)

  • Honestly, though it has been a crazy schedule and we can’t plan too much ahead, I can’t think of something specific I wish I would have known. In general, I wish I would have known what to expect (but that’s everyday life). Luckily for the 2nd years they’ll have some answers and preparation for 3rd year. Though things change so always be prepared for change.

  • That it is wayyyy better than 1st and 2nd year! Of course each year has its challenges, but for me and my spouse 3rd year has been a breath of fresh air.

  • Sooo many things. It is a great prep year for audition rotations next year. Students love being in the clinics and hospitals, so it is a great change in that regard. Hours vary SO much depending on specialty, and the preceptor. Shelf exams are more intense than we were led to believe, and some people did fail.

  • How much you have to prepare for applying for audition rotations and to save as much as you can for 4th year.


Question: If you have kids, can you work full time while your S.O. is in rotations?

  • Maybe, if you have a babysitter. Students don’t have a consistent enough schedule month to month

  • If you have consistent hours and great child care, I think it’s possible

  • I don’t have kids yet, but I can tell you it would be difficult. Really the only way you can do this is if you pay for childcare or have family in the area (or if you have an amazing job that allows you to take your child/children to work).

  • Yes, if you had full time childcare. But you absolutely cannot count on your Student Dr. to be that person. Each rotation the schedule is different and dictated by the doctor they are rotating with.

  • I would say that you would need to depend on a nanny/daycare/babysitter if you plan on working full-time. Some rotations have a chill schedule with 4-day weeks, where others have LONG days, and they're on call at weird hours of the day/night, PLUS their schedule changes every 4-8 weeks as they switch to different preceptors. There is no consistency, so just expect for them not to be there when it comes to childcare while you work.

  • I work part time from home, and that is hard. You can absolutely work full time, but you’ll need to have childcare. It is next to impossible to rely on your student as the childcare, especially because their schedules change SO often.

  • This depends on the person I think and if you have help with people to watch your kids. If you have someone or somewhere to watch your kids then you can. I would say you can’t rely on your husband though. Their schedules change every 4 weeks and sometimes they aren’t even consistent in those 4 weeks.


Question: I’ve heard there is some type of funding available for rotations where the student would need to live/stay away from home. What is this, who is it from, how does it work?

  • You are able to receive a housing stipend IF the rotation is somewhere rural. AHEC would contact you-which your regional coordinator will inform you about if you qualify. AHEC will pay or you can receive a specific cash amount ($500) to reimburse you after your rotation is over.

  • Some out of region rotations have housing or housing stipend given by AHEC. They will email you letting you know when the due dates are.

  • I don’t know the details, but yes there is one through a program at SUU, however it is only for locations that the program providing the funding deems “rural”. At RVU the Cache region is considered a rural region, however Logan is not considered rural through the program providing the funding. So, just because RVU says you are in a rural region, it doesn’t mean you will qualify for the ($500, i think) for the month that the program provides. If they don’t give you money to find a place, they provide you with one (again, just for the areas the SUU program deems rural).

  • This would be AHEC. They provide housing for students in rural communities . It saved us a lot of money, but there are a few catches. They don’t get to choose where they live. For instance, one time my husband was in a basement apartment with another student, and that was great. Another time, he was staying with a single ER nurse. He had his own room, shared kitchen, and own bathroom...but the bathroom was on the 3rd floor next to her bedroom. It was fine, and she was interesting, but you get the idea. The other option is to set up your own housing, and then at the end of the rotation you get a 500 dollar stipend from them. We thought we would do that more, but it is hard to find housing for a whole month for 500 dollars. You also still have to pay for food and gas. Lots to consider, but we are really grateful for the program.


Question: What are the important dates during 3rd year (i.e. when to register for tests, VSAS open dates, costs of tests)?

  • Total cost $2800 for exams

  • Costs of tests: $1,300 for your PE, $650 for COMLEX 2. Registration for both opens 6 months prior to the test date (if you want to take level 2 in June you need to start looking for dates and make payment in January). VSAS open dates vary a lot. Start looking in December/January depending on the program you’re looking into.

  • Costs of tests are HIGH. Second year you pay like $2600 I believe and it will be closer to 4/5k for 3rd year since the tests are just as expensive and you have to fly to either Pittsburgh or Chicago to take them (2 day tests) and pay for hotel/rental car/Uber, etc.

  • This is the crazy sauce part, because there is SO much to know. I don’t know all the dates, all I know that the tests were SO expensive. They have to fly to either Chicago or Pennsylvania for the in person test, so add room and board to that too. VSAS, in our experience, tends to open more sub-I spots in the the spring. My husband was active in reaching out to programs he was interested in, and a lot of them sent him applications. He had a lot set up by January. Also, it totally depends on specialty. We are hoping for emergency medicine, and there is a while other process I had to learn for just that residency. It is a LOT of research, and it is so dependent upon your personal situation. For official dates, I think the school would have to be more prepared. It felt like they said not to worry about anything, and then all of a sudden all these things needed to be done. At least, that is how it felt.


Question: Is third year better or worse than 1st and 2nd? Why?

  • Better, we are able to spend more time together as a family

  • Better! We don’t have the build up of stress with one or more tests/week. I feel like my SO’s mental health is so much better.

  • It’s a yes and no answer. Depending on the rotation you may get a little extra time with you S.O. Other rotations you may not see them very often because of the rotation or they just have to study lots. Another good thing is there aren’t as many tests.

  • WAY BETTER! They don’t have to study nearly as much, and to me, it just felt like they were at a normal job every day. Most weekends my husband had off and really only had to study for a couple of hours on some of the weekends (as opposed to every waking hour — HELLO Monday exams! I do not miss those!!)

  • "Overall, 3rd year has been better than the 1st and 2nd year for me. My husband isn't as stressed, I see him more often and he doesn't have the weight of all of the tests the first two year of medical school bring (and not to mention studying for Step1!!). I almost felt like I could breathe a little again once 3rd year started.

  • The only downside for us, which is actually a pretty big downside, is moving away from St. George and the support system/friends we had there. We've really missed everyone and not having people constantly around you who know what you're going through has been hard for sure. We try to get together as often as possible, but it's just not the same as it was when we all lived within 10 minutes of each other!"

  • Overall, better, but mostly just different. Some rotations are super chill and you see your student way more often. Some rotations are super intense, so it tends to be stressful for everyone. Some preceptors are awesome, and others are jerks. It is mostly a year of being on your toes because it is hard to know what is coming next. Every 4-8 weeks, it is another “first day” and so it is easier if you can be flexible with expectations and such.

  • Again I think this depends on your husband and how he handles things. Overall for us I think it’s been better. He’s definitely home more on most rotations but it’s been really stressful applying for audition rotations and figuring all that out.


Question: What is the schedule like during 3rd year?

  • A few rotations have been 4 days a week (Typically Thursday’s off)"

  • Hours vary, each rotation is 4-8 weeks with a shelf exam at the end of each rotation. Each Doctor will have different expectations as far as hours are concerned.

  • Different for everyone, but basically a full time job. <