I've been on pediatric psychiatry for a couple weeks now - it's been fun so far. I only actually have two more days left because I have so many interviews coming up. I got a call from our school's dean of clinical education, who writes most of the students' dean's letters and guides us through our third and fourth years, because he was worried that one of my letters of recommendation was not a good one. He had actually misunderstood, as it was just a very thorough evaluation written in prose and directed at my school, not a letter of recommendation aimed at residency committees. While on the phone, he asked about my interview status, since I had applied to only 11 places (now 12, since I added the new Redding track). He was also the professor who had advised me to take the USMLE when I knew I wasn't ready for it and had I listened to him, would have probably cost me all these interviews that I have secured. I told him I had 8 interviews scheduled (actually I have 9 now, since I called one of the programs to make sure they had my information and they had actually lost the paper version, but had put me on the interview list earlier). He was pleasantly surprised and pleased.
Pediatric psychiatry has been a lot of shadowing, ADHD students, attending group therapy sessions for depression and anxiety, a lot of free lunches, and chatting with my preceptor about this and that. Next week I get to drive to Merced and Redding for my first interviews. Should be exciting. The week after is Fresno, Davis, and Methodist. Intense days ahead. I get a break during Thanksgiving, but then it's Salinas and Sutter, and after that Modesto. Reno is in January, and I'm still waiting on Santa Clara and Contra Costa. Honestly I wouldn't care too much if either of those reject me, since Contra Costa has a bit of a bad reputation for being a "full of themselves, anti-DO" program.
Anyhow, this weekend I will be going over the book "The Successful Match," particularly the interview question list, and formulating answers to the most common or challenging ones I will have. I'll have plenty of time on my drive down on Monday to practice the questions aloud. The interview trail begins!