Interviewing is definitely a memorable experience, especially for me, who had previously had only a single medical school interview, consisting of two conversations, prior to applying to residency. Basically, I didn't know how to canoe. And then I went over Niagara Falls.
Starting with meeting my new med school advisor. I met with him in summer of 2016, and he looked at my application and resume and basically said
I responded with I DON'T WANT THOSE OPTIONS, I WANT THE MED-PEDS PROGRAM CLOSE TO MY HOUSE OPTION. AND COME ON...
To which he said
And I replied (or wanted to reply *ahem*)
And he basically said,
And I proceeded to continue with my application. And getting letters of recommendation (which included stalking people in hospitals and emailing other doctors to put pressure on people and...let's leave it at that I got my letters...) and figuring out the wonderful
I submitted my application on the golden day in September.
I spent part of a week slowly melting - the family practice applicants were getting them right and left...clearly I'd made a terrible mistake...or did med-peds just not send out until later? Or...*melt-down proceeded*
Then invitations started arriving. The day the first one came I had stopped to get a drink from Starbucks (ie my supper for the day). I checked my email using their internet and promptly flipped out. I'd spent a week hearing about the invites other people were getting...and hallelujah here was mine and...it was a good day. (Of course, later on I emailed a program I hadn't heard back from in December and was told they were still reviewing applications...I received an invite from them shortly after. Indeed, Med-Peds does march to the beat of its own drum, which is one of the reasons I wanted Med-Peds in the first place.)
Following that first glimmer of hope, throughout Fall 2016 I visited a decent number of programs and had some 40 individual interviews, which were basically 20-45 minutes each of tell me all the worst things about yourself and then tell me why we should let you in to this program.
|I mean, what else do you say to that???|
Okay, some were more chill than that, but one interviewer started off by telling me what his least favorite interview question was when he was interviewing, and then said, "So, instead of asking that, I'd like to start out by asking you if there is any problem with your record, any issues with your scores, any negatives you need to explain to me."
I mean...Nice to meet you, too. Um....
The problem was compounded because, mainly,
A few asked if there was anything not on my application that I wanted to tell them, which I did think was a great question, but then there were a few who asked me things that...well, my application was right there in front of them. And the information was definitely in there. XD
Of course, there were a few moments where I left interviews thinking:
And mornings I headed to the airport at 3am going
(Similar to whatever dear lady answered the phone when I was in Arizona calling my bank going I HAVE TO SCHEDULE AN UBER RIDE RIGHT NOW TO GET TO AN INTERVIEW DINNER AND MY DEBIT CARD KEEPS BEING REJECTED. "We'll get it figured out," she said, "I'm a mom." Bless her, wherever she is right now.)
My favorite part was definitely meeting so many fascinating people in so many different parts of the country, from program directors whose list of degrees took up paragraphs to the driver I had at one place who'd never been to college, but whose description of the state, town, and weather was most insightful and helpful. So many cool people, everywhere.
The residents I met while traveling every time told myself and the other interviewees about the best restaurants in their town...(eating seems to be a very common resident theme - I'm guessing because they don't have time to do anything else?)Basically, they all seemed to have the life-motto of
And they all told us to be very, very careful how we ranked programs, because, after all...
There was the one interview where the PGY-1 resident giving us a tour got us lost in the hospital basement, where we wandered around until we found ourselves outside the psychiatric ward...and we all went
But on the whole, the residents were incredible, even when discussing diseases they had seen that made all the interviewees respond with
And at the end of nearly every interview I returned home saying
|him being whatever place had just interviewed me|
Which meant that I went from going "THERE ARE 72 PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY AND I WILL DIE AT ANY BUT THAT ONE I LOVE" to "Here are 5 programs I would be absolutely thrilled to be a part of, and I think I'd survive and learn all I needed to at any of these others where I've interviewed."
And then I made a rank list...in order of my favorites...and sent it in to the grand computer system...while each place that had interviewed me made a list of their favorite applicants...and sent it in to the grand computer system...and then we both waited, while every day I said
And if you want to know how that worked out...well, to be continued.