So we are about six interviews into this and I have learned a few things about the residency interview process thus far that I thought I’d share with you.
1. It is a total crap shoot. When you send out your applications you tend to have a general idea of where you think you will be offered an interview and where you will not. Well, we have come to the conclusion that it is totally a numbers game and doesn’t really make sense, soooo “May the odds forever be in your favor!”
2. The interview days/dinners resembles NCAA recruiting. Between the fancy dinners, taking the interviewees out for drinks and the programs selling themselves to you, it seems oddly familiar to recruitment to me.
3. Anything goes. If you have done your research or talked to residents (or fellow interviewees) you will hear about the ways programs contact applicants, offering them spots, or telling them to rank them so they will rank you. Apparently this does happen.
4. No one outside of the medical world understands. I don’t mean this to sound like i’m whining. I can just say honestly, that the average person does not understand the process or training that their physicians have undergone to be where they are. It is a long, long process. Also, no matter how many times you explain the process in detail to your family/friends, they still don’t quite get it.
5. It is a half a dozen of one or the other. You will get to the point where you start to realize that you really could go to any number of places and get excellent training. What it really comes down to is, “What do you really want?” There are other factors that come more into play like- do you actually like the residents, location, cost of living, family life, can your significant other work there? Details like that.
It has been an interesting learning experience thus far and in the end things will shake out the way they are supposed to. To the MS4’s doing all your interviews, good luck and to the MS4’s significant others… I know what you are going through and I am right there with you… just breathe!