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Pc q&a

Discussion in 'Cardiology' started by ProgCoordinator, 08.15.12.

  1. adlib921

    adlib921

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    Dear Gutonc
    I have a question that I would applriciate if you could help me with. I have around 10 IVs from very competative programs. However, I don't have a single interview from a regular programs. In fact, more rejections come every day. I think the programs that I am interviewing at will all match their top 5 or 6 applicant they rank (that is if they dont already give some spots to their internal candidates). I am sure that other interviewees to these programs are very competative and am sure many of them have more credentials than me. I am therefore getting worried that I may not match at all. What would you advise me to do? Should I send emails to all my fall back programs and reiterate that I am very interested to train there even though it may sound disingenuous? Many thanks.
  2. bluenebula83

    bluenebula83 Member

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    I'm no program coordinator but I'm guessing the answer to that question is no :)
  3. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    So you got a bunch of good interviews and you're upset that the mediocre programs you applied to as backups aren't interviewing you? Huh.

    You have no idea who else the programs are interviewing and how they feel about them compared to you. So stop trying to figure it out and/or game the system. 10 IVs isn't a guarantee that you'll match...but it's a pretty good chance. Here's the thing...programs will interview ~10x the number of people that they have spots. Lots of competitive programs will interview the same batch of competitive applicants. And they can't all match the same people.

    So just relax...go on the interviews you've got and knock them out of the park.
  4. adlib921

    adlib921

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    Thank you very much gutonc. You have an excellent point. Thanks again. Guess I'm just nervous as everyone else.
  5. PrevCard

    PrevCard

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    Do all programs eventually send interview rejection letters? Or do some programs conclude the interview season without closure?
  6. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    No. Most do but there are still quite a few that will not.

    I'm still waiting for Stanford to send me rejection letters for both residency and fellowship apps.
    drno3man likes this.
  7. kjamess

    kjamess

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    For the MSPE, how is it generally used? IM clerkship grade? Overall descriptive rank? Just curious.
  8. hypnotiq

    hypnotiq

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    Not to rock the boat, but is it fairly common practice for cards programs to filter out Carib grads?
  9. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I think it's common for lots of programs of any specialty to filter out Carib grads. My program is not Cards.
  10. adlib921

    adlib921

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    Dear PC
    Is it appropriate to email the program coordinator prior to interview date and ask to be provided the names of the faculty assigned to interview me?
    Thanks
  11. Tedebear

    Tedebear Member

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    Thanks Gutonc and program coordinator.

    So how do you "knock your interview day out of the park"?
  12. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Some don't send anything. Kinda sucks.
  13. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    We'll browse it and pay particular attention to class rank.
  14. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Most will do it on their own, but some may not. If you don't hear anything by 24-48 hour ahead of your interview, then I guess it will be fair to request via email.

    Note to everyone...if you have any special meeting requests, please send that to the PC ASAP. Don't wait until the day before or the day of.
  15. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    It's my understanding that it is a common practice among academic institutions.
  16. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Don't be a jerk to anyone.
    Know your application well and speak about it clearly and confidently.
    Make sure you're clear about what you currently believe you want to accomplish.
    Try to enjoy the day.
  17. hypnotiq

    hypnotiq

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    Thanks. Understandable, I think.
  18. PrevCard

    PrevCard

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    With regards to ranking applicants, do programs already have a preliminary rank of applicants going into the interviews and reshuffle after the interviews based on how the applicants do?

    What happens if you do well in some interviews (like 4 of 5 went well) on interview day, but feel like others didn'g go as well? How does that factor in your ranking?
  19. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Every program is a little different. We have an idea of how interviewing candidates stack-up on paper; either formally or not. In my program we utilize a point system. While every submission has a score, it's more of a guide for the sake of figuring out who to invite.

    I've never heard of a program trying to pull together any sort of serious rank list prior to interviews. Even if you consider the interview invite list as a ranking, almost no one will remain in the exact same position after their interview. There are just too many variables.

    For example, a candidate who may have been in our top ten of interview invitations could end in the last third on our rank order list (or not ranked at all) because s/he turned out to be absolutely appalling in-person and not worth the trouble for three years of training.

    A lot of times a candidate who, on paper, may seem to be in the middle of the pack of those we've invited to interview, will really click with the program during their interview day. That person may end up in the top third of our ROL.

    No two interviewers will evaluate exactly the same. Some are easy...some are tough...most fall somewhere in the middle. We combine all and then figure the average. Plus we consider all narrative feedback and discuss as a committee when we finally get to the ranking meetings. For my program, the final ROL is ultimately decided upon by the PD.

    :luck:
  20. PrevCard

    PrevCard

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    Thank you. That was really insightful.
  21. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    FWIW, my (non-Cards) program functions pretty similarly. We have a pretty good idea when we send out interviews in which quartile (tertile, quintile, whatever-tile) on our list a particular applicant will fall.

    There's a group that will get ranked Top X unless they turn out to be complete d-bags in person, and a group that will get ranked Bottom Y (or not at all) unless they totally blow us away at interview time.

    The rest all kind of get bunched in the middle and interview day is used to stratify them.
  22. LoudBark

    LoudBark

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    How common is it for someone to interview and you not to rank them at all? I would be pissed knowing that I spent lots of money on airfare, hotel, and not to mention my time and having to find someone to cover for me at the hospital to know that program didn't rank me. I would have wished they just didn't waste my time inviting me to the interview.
  23. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Kinda rare, actually. For us anyway. There's usually a really good story about anyone who we choose not to rank. We don't invite people intending not to rank them.
  24. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I would say maybe 5-10% of applicants aren't ranked in my program (keep in mind we're only interviewing 40 or so people so this is only a couple of people). They're the one's who really tank the interview day. Everyone who is invited is somebody we would consider ranking, at least on paper. We wouldn't waste our time or money on somebody who we know we're not going to rank and wouldn't expect you too either.
  25. hooniedee

    hooniedee Junior Member

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    Is it poor etiquette to come to interview with your luggage (one carryon spinner)? I really want to catch a flight out directly afterwards. I know I can always email each program specifically and ask but is it frowned upon in general?
  26. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Not at all. Totally typical. All will probably have an area in mind for holding luggage and coats.
  27. rCubed

    rCubed taiko master

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    I was wondering if ProgCoordinator and gutonc, as well as anyone else, could weigh in on the whole "letting programs know you're interested game."

    I think most of us are interviewing at this time, but when should we aim to let programs know of our interest? My letter writers are offering to make phone calls on my behalf, and I've told them to hold off for now--esp since I don't know how my rank list is going to play out. But I'm done with interviews in two weeks. Should I let programs know of my interest at that time or wait until early November, when I'm assuming most programs will start formulating their rank lists.


    During the last app cycle, I remember one of my friends let only his #1 program know of his interest and had faculty call. Other friends told 2/3 programs of their interests. I understand that I don't want to be in a situation where I let multiple programs know that they're going to be at the very top of my list. But I've had some programs tell me that they probably won't rank those who don't let them know of their interests. If those programs are going to be my #2 or #3, how do I approach them?

    Thanks
  28. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Reach out after all of your interviews are finished. Have your LOR writers call your first choice after interviews.

    It's ok to send an email to your top three, but don't lie. If a program is your #1 it's fine to state that (and/or have your caller say it), but don't lie to anyone. No need to be that precise if you don't want to. You can just state your high interest. You can sprinkle in a specific or two as to why you'd be happy to train with them. It would give your profession of love a little more validity.

    Rank based on your gut. Just rank 'em as you like 'em. You'll drive yourself crazy if you approach ranking as a super calculated game. Too many variables that you (A) don't have any control over and (B) aren't even privy to.
  29. Lachi

    Lachi

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    Dear Prog Coordinator: Thanks much for wonderful advice . I have a question . If my LOR writers dont call the programs is it going to hurt? How much does it help to have LOR writers calling the program? Who's call matters most , the Internal Medicine Cheif or the Cardiologist or a non LOR writer who I know has trained where I interviewed ? I have a feeling that those who wrote LOR'S for me may not be very enthusiastic about calling just becuase of there " shy" nature. I am postive they wrote good letters but I dont think they can make a good call.
    Please advice.
    Thanks a lot !
  30. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    It won't hurt you if your LOR writers don't make calls. Typically the majority of calls come from the candidates' PDs, but we get some from people other than PDs.

    There's no cut and dry way to say whose call matters more. Again, too many variables. A call from a Chief is impressive, but getting a really positive call or email from a former, well-respected resident/fellow also gives us a solid feeling about a candidate. A call/email of support from someone at your institution who is friends with someone at our institution carries weight, too.

    A "shy" caller is welcome to send a supportive email and close it with the invitation for the fellowship PD to call him/her back if they'd like to discuss.
  31. Lachi

    Lachi

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    Thanks a lot Prog Coordinator !
  32. adlib921

    adlib921

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    Dear PC and Gutonc
    I was recently asked by the PD on one of my interviews if I was going to vote for Obama or Romney. I've been asked political questions before by the interviewerd (not the PD) and they have been in a joking fashion that was in line with the context of our conversation. But I was kind of shocked when I was asked such a direct question by the PD. So naturally I paused and started to try to figure out what he wanted to hear. How would you answer this question?
  33. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Ew. To me, that's inappropriate. Even if it's supposed to be a way to ferret out something insightful about you besides your political leanings, it's not cool. There are other ways to do it. I would find a way to be vague while offering some little morsel as to my decision-making skills/process. If s/he goaded me into more -- AND it's the PD -- personally I might bite the bullet and be honest about the current issues that concern me. Should they rank me low for that...well, I wouldn't have been comfortable there anyhow.

    I fully realize that's way easier for me to say since I'm not clawing for a fellowship position. Can't wait to see what Gutonc has to add.
  34. Phoenix0260

    Phoenix0260

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    Ans: still waiting to hear them debate their policies ...
  35. anonperson

    anonperson

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    Dear PC

    I just had 2 quick questions, although for an unrelated fellowship:

    1. When is the best time for an applicant to have their letter writer's make phone calls on their behalf for the most benefit? A short while after we interview or closer to the submission deadline?

    2. I am a bit frustrated with the speed my medical school (US based allopathic) is working on transmitting files to the EFDO. I think it would be easier at this point to just upload myself. I know EFDO allows this but wanted to know if it causes any issues on your end that can impact the applicant?

    Thanks
  36. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    1. Ask for calls to be made after you've finished attending all of your interviews. It *may* be preferrable to wait until you know that the program has finished interviewing, too. However, if they're interviewing right up to November 13th...don't wait for them to finish interviewing. Around November 1st should be good.

    2. No issue on my end if you upload yourself. Get it in there.
  37. bluenebula83

    bluenebula83 Member

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    Dear PC, I'm considering going on a second look at one of the programs that I interviewed. I'm having a family debate about whether or not to rank that program high on my list. How receptive are programs if you want a second look to help you decide between two good programs? Is it seen favorably or is my being there more of a nuisance :)

    Thanks so much.
  38. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    For us, requests for second visits are very, very rare. Personally I'm torn as to whether they're worth it. Sure it will show that you're interested, but it can also read that you're not totally sold and/or higher maintenance than most candidates. Of course, I understand your wanting to be more certain about your choice.

    Is there anything that visiting again will prove to you that a focused phone conversation with the PD couldn't help with? How 'bout a PD phone call and some email correspondence with one of their fellows to answer your questions?

    If you feel strongly that you should visit again, I suggest that you submit the request ASAP. Email the PD and copy the PC on the request.
  39. bluenebula83

    bluenebula83 Member

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    That's a great idea. I think I'll do the email correspondence. It's just a matter of location for one of the programs. I really loved the program but I'm not sure how comfortable my fiance is with the location--just some family stuff. Maybe talking to some fellows is a good idea. I didn't get a chance to explore the area during my interview. I could always go back with family to explore family life outside the facility.
  40. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    I think fellow insight will be very helpful and maybe a weekend excursion as a family fact finding mission. :luck:
    Last edited: 10.08.12
  41. cgcrz8

    cgcrz8

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    Hello, thanks for answering all these questions for everyone. It is really helpful! I had a question for generic fellowship application process:

    I have a fellowship in which I have already secured a position since our fellowships in anesthesiology do not go through a match process. Is there any merit in having my program director contact the program's program director for the fellowship program she is applying to? If so, what should I have my program director say? She is obviously trying to get her first choice there as I will be there as well. Thanks so much.
  42. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Are both programs based within the same institution or just the same city/area? I only ask to get a better idea of sway potential. Nonetheless, it's fine to have your PD to call the other program's PD if only to highlight the situation. Far more importantly, she should have her residency PD call the program's PD to talk, too.
  43. pipis

    pipis

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    hi I have a couple of questions,

    first, I think i'm not a super star but a pretty decent candidate, I applied to several programs ranging from very large academic renowned ones to very low key ones. Surprisingly I was ignored by most of the low key and not that well known programs and got most of my interviews from programs with a great reputation, if programs want the best candidates, i don't understand why this happened? although I'm very happy with my interviews.

    second, i really really want to match to this one program, what's the best way to express my desire, emailing the program director, calling? i don't know what to do, any advice is appreciated?
  44. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Programs want the same thing that you do, to get the "best" in the Match. If you're a superstar (i.e. getting interviews for cards at Duke or Hem/Onc at MDACC or anything at Brigham), the safety programs you applied to aren't going to bother with you because they know you're aiming higher and will likely match there. If you take into account all the administrative stuff, prep time, food and other hosting, "lost productivity", etc, it probably costs ~$1000 to interview each applicant...roughly what it costs you to go to each interview. Why would they interview somebody they know isn't going to go there? I mean...if you got an interview from one of your safety programs next week, after nailing down 10 or so much better interviews, would you go?

    Email is fine. "I loved your program, I will be ranking it number 1." Do it for one program, and one program only.
  45. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    What he said.
  46. scubadive

    scubadive

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    Dear PC,

    I'm basically done interviewing, have 3 programs I'm really interested in- sent the PD's thank you emails and got polite answers back (during the last two weeks or so).
    In your opinion should I send an additional reminder email prior to rank selection and if yes- when do you suggest sending the emails?
  47. ProgCoordinator

    ProgCoordinator

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    Congrats on making it to the other side of the interview trail in one piece! Send the emails before the end of October. State your continued interest. It's fine to tell your 1st choice that they're your #1 if you want to.
  48. nope80

    nope80 Resident

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    Hey guys,

    I'm trying to plan one year in advance since I will be applying next cycle. How many programs do people typically apply to? If one is going to be geographically restricted to a small area with only really competitive programs, does it make sense to travel to that area and try to do research/away electives to get to know faculty ahead of time? How much research do people that are competitive applicants have on their CV by the time they apply?
  49. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But...There's a troponin

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    Anyone know when programs submit their rank order lists?

    When do you all recommend people make calls/you send e-mails?
  50. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Make or submit? We have the same ROL deadline as applicants do. Our list will be made the first week of November and submitted at that time. Every program will of course be different but the end of October is probably a good time to send your love letters.
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