Monday, November 08, 2010

interview #1

survived my first interview! it was a great experience, couldn't have asked for a better first interview. i felt like i had gotten all of my questions asked, saw all that i wanted to see, and feel like i can make a well informed decision come rank list time. i'm not going to publicly identify any programs, but i can at least write a pros/cons list for me to remember and so anyone out there can follow along...

what i wore:
  • pre-interview dinner: advertised as "very casual", so i wore nice dark jeans, ann taylor loft knit shirt, and cardigan over. i felt like i was appropriate dressed, even though i was the only girl there wearing jeans. i fit in with the residents.
  • interview day: black skirt suit with hot pink shirt underneath, ha! wore my hair down because i'm plain like that. i actually blow-dried it too...hee hee. and i carried a black leather zip around folio, which was useful because they didn't give out folders for the papers they handed out.
pros:
  • residents seemed VERY HAPPY. talked about how laid-back program was, how everyone got along well with each other and staff. i didn't feel like anyone was lying to me, ha. seems like a close knit group.
  • claims to follow 80 hr workweek rules without having any major issues.
  • research opportunities, unlimited conferences if you have something to present, and they pay for it.
  • good case numbers.
  • tons of outdoor activities close by, beautiful scenery.
  • close to a big city.
  • nice simulation center.
  • clean/nice hospital.
  • buy your loupes 2nd year.
  • textbook fund, meal card, free parking, child care, etc.
  • residents don't have any problems getting fellowships.
  • level 1 trauma center.
cons:
  • city itself is a bit "blah", but it could work.
  • lack of restaurant diversity. (but there's a good korean place 1 hr away!)
  • i was literally the only minority i saw for a good percentage of the time (not in hospital)...H asked me if i noticed people staring at me, and i kinda did, but then i really noticed it after he mentioned it. i know i stand out, but goodness!
  • no separate surgery resident lounge, and the resident lounge they had was a bit underwhelming. (didn't think this one would be a big deal, but if i'm going to be spending more time in the hospital than out, i want a nice lounge dammit! i guess i'm spoiled by home.) call room was typical.
  • doesn't have much penetrating trauma. (i also didn't think this would bother me, but if i don't see it, how can i learn it?
so at the end of the day, i think i could be happy there, and H says that he could be happy there as well. we could "make it work". but it was interesting for me to see what all i took for granted in a program. i definitely found myself actively comparing it to my home institution. what i learned about myself is that i want a program that is a bit more "hard core" as far as pathology and patient population. i would like a nice diverse place to live (and then that would also affect patient population and see more variety of problems). however, i feel like this program could be a good option for me and that i would get a solid education. i am glad i went there to interview and will definitely be putting it on my rank list.

questions i was asked during my 4 interviews:
  • what happened during your first year of medical school?
  • where else have you applied/gotten interviews?
  • have you applied to any prelim programs?
  • where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • what has been the most challenging thing/patient you have had to face thus far?
  • why this institution?
  • if you were a spice, what spice would you be and why? (my FAVORITE! ha!)
  • do you still play piano? (i wrote a single PHRASE in my personal statement about piano and it just goes to prove they really do read that thing...2 people asked me about it.)
hope that helps some of you out there...my next interview isn't until a week and a half from now, but then i have 2 back to back.

i'm now going to start prepping to make an onion prosciutto soup...yum!

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