Friday, September 21, 2012

Applying for Residency

Well, some of you may see this around the time it is posted, others may not see it until far later - why?  Residency applications.  It is a well-known fact in this world of technology and the internet that potential employers and programs "google" their applicants to see if they have any unsavory activities.  Not that this blog or any of my other interests are unsavory, because honestly they are not, but I don't know that I want any program directors perusing my blog entries and overanalyzing any hints of cynicism or detachment I may portray in them.  As always, this blog is an outlet for my medical experiences, and lets me take a step back from the nitty gritty of everything.  

I shall now continue.

A few days ago, I finished tailoring all my personal statements for the family medicine programs I have decided to apply for.  In total, I have selected 11.  I was originally only choosing 10, but my adviser encouraged me to go higher, so I added on a program in Reno, NV.  We are encouraged to send tailored applications, according to a book I have about "Acing the Match."  Supposedly, programs do not expect it, but when they see a tailored personal statement, they pay much closer attention to you.  Combine that with the fact that my personal statement pretty much screams "Amazing Family Medicine resident," and I have a decent application.  Board scores are about average for those applying, but for super clinical medicine, numbers aren't really the most important thing, and the interview is their number one criteria for ranking applicants.

That said, I sent out all my applications, each with their tailored application, on Monday.  Our Dean's letter is another major criteria they use to determine who they invite for interviews, as most programs only interview 100-250 students for about 8-16 spots, so I wasn't expecting to get much as far as responses for another couple weeks.  Much to my surprise, today I got not one, but TWO interview invites.  Super exciting!  Kind of a "This is happening too fast!" feeling.  Two other programs notified me that the received my application and will be reviewing it over the next couple weeks - one had me list my interview date preferences in case they choose to invite me for an interview after reviewing my completed application, including the Dean's letter.  Dean's letter should go out around the beginning of October, so I should start hearing from a lot more programs then.  Having two interviews already in the works is really exciting, especially when one is a program I thought would be more difficult to get an interview at, and one of the programs is in my top 4 choices.  Things are looking good.

On the other hand, next week I start my sub-internship at Sutter Sacramento, which is my tentative first choice residency program.  I am not sure whether it will still be my first choice after interviewing at a bunch of places, but we shall see.  It is the most compatible and geographically convenient of the programs I have looked at.  If I get interviews at the 10 California programs, I may just withdraw my application to the Nevada program, since they mostly accept MD students from the Caribbean, Nevada students, and DO students, suggesting their program is not of very high caliber.  I also didn't get a very strong impression from their website, short of them offering wilderness medicine.  

The next couple weeks will be exciting to see who is interested in me, and how many choices I will have.  The thing I don't know is whether they have actually read my personal statement or if these interview invitations are based on my COMLEX/USMLE scores.  I have a feeling they must have read my personal statements, because my scores, as I said, were around the average for successful family medicine applicants. I really hope I get an interview at every place I listed, because that would make me feel a lot more comfortable about the match, come March.  Time to drink in celebration!

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