Book Excerpts Interview Trail

Chapter 10 - The Interview Trail:
Program Selection, and Pre / Post-Interview Socials

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Chapter 10"For me, program selection was all about geography. I was very specific about where I was applying, basically nothing east of Colorado. Ultimately, I think geography probably is the biggest thing if you have a completely free choice. If you’re specialty is really difficult to get into than you just go wherever you get an invitation. "

"The general rule of thumb is that the more competitive the specialty, the more programs you should apply to. For emergency medicine, (assuming competitive step scores, passing grades in the preclinical years, strong letters of recommendations and honors in sub-internships), if a student interviews at 10 programs, the likelihood of matching is quoted as being above 90%. I applied to 30 programs and was invited to interviews at 15 of these, which seemed about average. "

"I ended up casting a really wide net, and then as I did my first few interviews I found out a lot about what aspects of a program I really liked. I was able to narrow down interviews I accepted after that. This method is certainly more expensive, and in hindsight I really wish I’d given geography more consideration. When I got off the plane in Rochester, MN, I seriously was like what the bleep am I doing here? A great program in a location you hate isn’t going to work out. Make sure you really think about where you do and don’t want to live. "

"Why pretend to be somebody that you’re not? The whole point of the match process is figuring out where you fit. If you pretend to be somebody you’re not and you match there, you’ve got to carry on pretending to be that person. That makes no sense to me at all. I know some people are vociferous, but do not drink at the residency parties. My question is - who are you? You’re trying to hide from everybody. I would flat out not allow someone who did that into my program. "

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