predodoc

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I already have 8 interviews and just got another yesterday. The program is pretty good and Ive heard good things, but since I know they started giving interviews over a month ago makes me think Im really low on their list. I feel anything less than a steller interview would rule me out. Im already tight on my schedule since my school doesnt give us "official" time off to interview. On top of that, 2 of the three dates they gave me I already have interviews for. I would cancel one of the interviews to set this up if I knew they really wanted me but I feel that might not be the case. Any advice?
 

ShrikeMD

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I already have 8 interviews and just got another yesterday. The program is pretty good and Ive heard good things, but since I know they started giving interviews over a month ago makes me think Im really low on their list. I feel anything less than a steller interview would rule me out. Im already tight on my schedule since my school doesnt give us "official" time off to interview. On top of that, 2 of the three dates they gave me I already have interviews for. I would cancel one of the interviews to set this up if I knew they really wanted me but I feel that might not be the case. Any advice?

Don't ignore an interview invitation simply because you feel your chances are limited. Interviews are an excellent opportunity to judge a program, meet some of the residents and faculty, and let them get to know YOU. This is your chance to shine, so take advantage.
 

Ludicolo

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Agree w/ Shrike. Scheduling issues aside, don’t worry about how programs may view you at this point in time. Their list is a fluid thing. Candidates move up and down it all the time, depending on how they interview. Just like you might have an initial idea about how you plan on ranking your programs, it can change - sometimes drastically - after you’re done interviewing everywhere. You were good enough to be granted an invite, you should check it out.
 
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I'm gonna disagree with Ludicolo and StrikeMD....unless they just got a crucial part of your application (step 2 score or good LOR). and unless you consider yourself a great candidate for that program. You probably shouldn't waste your time, money, and don't cancel that other program's interview.

But if time and money isn't an issue, then go for the interview...you'll at least get to meet some of your future colleagues in PMR.
 

Ludicolo

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I'm gonna disagree with Ludicolo and StrikeMD....unless they just got a crucial part of your application (step 2 score or good LOR). and unless you consider yourself a great candidate for that program. You probably shouldn't waste your time, money, and don't cancel that other program's interview.

But if time and money isn't an issue, then go for the interview...you'll at least get to meet some of your future colleagues in PMR.

predodoc - The program saw something in your app special enough to extend an invitation to interview. That is your foot in the door. Something is telling you that this program is more desirable than some of the other programs on your list. You won’t know for sure unless you check it out for yourself. Yes, there are a lot of uncertainties. You may not match there. You may get outshined by other applicants. You won’t know unless you try. If you are interviewing at enough programs (8 is a good number), you’re gonna match somewhere. Unless you completely suck at interviewing, but that’s another issue.

It’s your career. Put in the effort.
 

dc2md

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Ludicolo has a point. But programs like to fill all their interview spots (it's a psychological thing for them). They love getting that magic 10:1 ratio. So if they have 6 spots to fill, and didn't get an interview right away (like this late one you're getting), that means you're at least number 61 already. So unless you are a kick*ss interviewee, u pretty much don't have a shot. They didn't grant you an interview b/c they consider you one of the best candidates, but b/c they want to fill those interview spots. NOW, the only thing that changes this is if they just expanded their numbers in the match....if they're now ranking 7 instead of 6....that changes my advice a bit then.
 

ShrikeMD

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Ludicolo has a point. But programs like to fill all their interview spots (it's a psychological thing for them). They love getting that magic 10:1 ratio. So if they have 6 spots to fill, and didn't get an interview right away (like this late one you're getting), that means you're at least number 61 already. So unless you are a kick*ss interviewee, u pretty much don't have a shot. They didn't grant you an interview b/c they consider you one of the best candidates, but b/c they want to fill those interview spots. NOW, the only thing that changes this is if they just expanded their numbers in the match....if they're now ranking 7 instead of 6....that changes my advice a bit then.

Don't sell the interview short. I am sure there are programs that just "use the numbers" to make their rank orders. That being said, when I was in a position to rank candidates, I placed a lot of importance on my subjective impressions of motivation, interest, and character.

I would bet that there isn't a program in this country that hasn't seen a highly-ranked, AOA med student leave after the first year when the student's preferred slot opened up in derm, opthalmology, or rads. Give me someone who wants to be a good doctor, a good physiatrist, and can communicate that in 10-20 minutes. That, coupled with some stellar rec letters from people I know, and I will rank that person above someone 2SDs above them in board scores without those recs.
 

predodoc

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Thanks for the responses. Since my schedule was very tight and my current rotation attending seemed a little ticked off about taking so many days off, I decided not to schedule another interview date. But what I did do is look into the program more and find out if I wanted to cancel one of my less desirable interviews and replace it with this one. They didnt have much info on FRIEDA or their website so I email the PC. I found out they interview 50 for 3 positions. So now I think they were just trying to fill all their interview slots. Im not canceling another interview for that.
 

Taus

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I actually just got an invite today from the only program I hadn't heard from. It's a place I'm interested in, but I have other interviews scheduled on the only days that they have spots left open. Nothing has changed in my application since I applied on Sept. 1st.

Even if I could have interviewed there, I have to assume that I was called to fill a spot after a cancellation.
 
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axm397

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I actually just got an invite today from the only program I hadn't heard from. It's a place I'm interested in, but I have other interviews scheduled on the only days that they have spots left open. Nothing has changed in my application since I applied on Sept. 1st.

Even if I could have interviewed there, I have to assume that I was called to fill a spot after a cancellation.

I don't think it matters if you were on list B or list A at the beginning - if you do well during the interview - you will move up. Most programs will review applicants after the interviews - and interviewees are all put into one pool - not list A and list B. So yeah it kinda hurts your pride that you were not on their top choice list for interviews but I don't think that is a good reason not to go on the interview. it's also a chance for you to go look at their program as well.
 

Taus

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I don't think it matters if you were on list B or list A at the beginning - if you do well during the interview - you will move up. Most programs will review applicants after the interviews - and interviewees are all put into one pool - not list A and list B. So yeah it kinda hurts your pride that you were not on their top choice list for interviews but I don't think that is a good reason not to go on the interview. it's also a chance for you to go look at their program as well.
Thanks for your advice and perspective on this. Regardless of how I felt about it or why I was invited, I physically can't make either of the interview dates that they have available (I have flights/hotels booked for other interviews). I would have absolutely gone if that wasn't the case.
 

rehab_sports_dr

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Agree with all the previous comments- once you get the interview, nobody pays attention to which list you came from. When I interview candidates, I have no idea when they were invited, and it doesn't factor into my ranking
 

ampaphb

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Want to echo Gary's advice - the people who select those to be interviewed make up a small component of the interview committee - just cause you didn't impress one opr two of the members doesn't mean you wont knowck the socks off the guy or girl you are sitting down with.

This process is far more arbitrary and far less methodical than any applicant realizes - it is a crap shoot when your application is mixed in amongst other equally talented candidates, and when the committee sits down to create their rank order list, you never know.

PLUS, at a top program, they are considering the same applicants other top programs are looking at. So of the top 10 programs in the country, there are probably 100 candidates they are all considering. Do you think you are in the top 100 on the program's list? If so, you have a reasonable shot.
 

fromage france

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I actually just got an invite today from the only program I hadn't heard from. It's a place I'm interested in, but I have other interviews scheduled on the only days that they have spots left open. Nothing has changed in my application since I applied on Sept. 1st.

Even if I could have interviewed there, I have to assume that I was called to fill a spot after a cancellation.

That's odd you heard so late. You're a fairly stellar candidate. You'll just have to decide whether the new invite is worth more than the old. Canceling airfare is expensive. Can you call them to see if they will open other dates to you? Tell them you're interested (if you are). Back when I was applying, I had received interviews from everywhere (including the top dozen or so). My last interview invite was from East Carolina!! which I skipped. I had applied broadly because I had no idea how good, or how bad, I was as an applicant. Apparently, I did something right (though not sure what sometimes). You must ask yourself also, would you want to live in the place where you've been invited to. I know more than one person who has turned down a fairly grand program in a fairly un-grand location (hint - near the home of Spam). Also, don't necessarily assume that being invited late means that you're less desirable. Sometimes different applications are reviewed by different people, who have different standards for judging them. Some initial application reviewers are sieves, others not so much. Sometimes there's a missed connection between application reviewers and their administrative assistant (and some applicants were invited later because of this). Sometimes applicant files are lost in the fray. So, if you don't hear anything call!! But usually being invited late does mean that you're being called to fill a cancellation. An exception would be an applicant who applies late, but has multiple degrees and honors from top schools of the Duke and its peer group variety (which happens rarely, but does happen). As far as being equal after being invited - that's not entirely true, at least not at the shop where I'm at. You'd have to have a stellar interview to break even with someone who's great on paper but has a so-so interview. A great candidate on paper, will always be ahead of less than great candidate on paper if their interview scores are the same. And while interviewers don't know who was invited early and who was invited late, the rank list committee definitely knows where I'm at (I respectfully disagree with rsd who is usually right about everything). I wish I could say more about how the process as I know it works, but I cannot for privacy reasons. And it probably differs from program to program. It is fascinating being on the other side, however. Though, it would have been nice to know what I know now when I was applying. Alas, divulging too much is probably not fair to anyone as I am connected with the application process on the other end and want to be as fair to applicants as humanly possible. Therefore this will be my first and last post and I promise I will not read sdn until match lists are submitted. Good luck Taus! I KNOW you will match somewhere great. You are stellar. Just remember to stay perky on the interview trail! It's hard sometimes. It's also more about deciding where YOU want to go, and not the other way around. ABOVE ALL, go somewhere where the residents are happy and where you could envision yourself flourishing. I de-ranked several well known programs because the residents were unhappy seeming there (and one place with a pd with obvious axis 2 disorders). Support networks and friends can be important. Don't know a soul in Cincinnati, well it might be hard making a lot of new friends for some people (but not for others). Some residents are chummy, others not so much. And watch what you say on this forum, as a lot of non-applicant type people might read it periodically, and you're right, you're not anonymous. Unfortunately HIPAA doesn't cover sdn. I hope this helps.
 

Taus

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Wow..what a post…


That's odd you heard so late. You're a fairly stellar candidate. You'll just have to decide whether the new invite is worth more than the old. Canceling airfare is expensive. Can you call them to see if they will open other dates to you? Tell them you're interested (if you are). Back when I was applying, I had received interviews from everywhere (including the top dozen or so). My last interview invite was from East Carolina!! which I skipped. I had applied broadly because I had no idea how good, or how bad, I was as an applicant. Apparently, I did something right (though not sure what sometimes).

Thank you for the kind words and advice, they are truly much appreciated. The program said they would call me back if they have any more open dates.

You must ask yourself also, would you want to live in the place where you've been invited to. I know more than one person who has turned down a fairly grand program in a fairly un-grand location (hint - near the home of Spam).

Haha, you can add me to that list. I did not apply there, the birthplace of grunge or where everything is bigger.
Also, don't necessarily assume that being invited late means that you're less desirable. Sometimes different applications are reviewed by different people, who have different standards for judging them. Some initial application reviewers are sieves, others not so much. Sometimes there's a missed connection between application reviewers and their administrative assistant (and some applicants were invited later because of this). Sometimes applicant files are lost in the fray. So, if you don't hear anything call!! But usually being invited late does mean that you're being called to fill a cancellation. An exception would be an applicant who applies late, but has multiple degrees and honors from top schools of the Duke and its peer group variety (which happens rarely, but does happen). As far as being equal after being invited - that's not entirely true, at least not at the shop where I'm at. You'd have to have a stellar interview to break even with someone who's great on paper but has a so-so interview. A great candidate on paper, will always be ahead of less than great candidate on paper if their interview scores are the same. And while interviewers don't know who was invited early and who was invited late, the rank list committee definitely knows where I'm at (I respectfully disagree with rsd who is usually right about everything). I wish I could say more about how the process as I know it works, but I cannot for privacy reasons. And it probably differs from program to program. It is fascinating being on the other side, however. Though, it would have been nice to know what I know now when I was applying. Alas, divulging too much is probably not fair to anyone as I am connected with the application process on the other end and want to be as fair to applicants as humanly possible. Therefore this will be my first and last post and I promise I will not read sdn until match lists are submitted.

Thank you for your insight on this. I really do hope you continue to post on here, as your input will certainly be very valuable. Also, remaining anonymous is absolutely possible and respectable.

Good luck Taus! I KNOW you will match somewhere great. You are stellar. Just remember to stay perky on the interview trail! It's hard sometimes. It's also more about deciding where YOU want to go, and not the other way around. ABOVE ALL, go somewhere where the residents are happy and where you could envision yourself flourishing. I de-ranked several well known programs because the residents were unhappy seeming there (and one place with a pd with obvious axis 2 disorders). Support networks and friends can be important. Don't know a soul in Cincinnati, well it might be hard making a lot of new friends for some people (but not for others). Some residents are chummy, others not so much. And watch what you say on this forum, as a lot of non-applicant type people might read it periodically, and you're right, you're not anonymous. Unfortunately HIPAA doesn't cover sdn. I hope this helps.

Once again, thank your for your compliments and advice. I agree with you 100% and am looking forward to the tough process of making my rank list.
 
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