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Accepting forensic fellowship offers

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Alemo

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I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a few interviews for forensic fellowships in 2022. At the end of the interview, each program director has said something like “Well, if you want to come here let me know, and if you decide you’d rather be elsewhere, let me know that too.” One said, “I’ll make you an offer if you want me too, but I won’t hold a spot for you.”

I’m confused. The AAPL statement says that applicants should not be asked by programs to accept or reject an offer prior to June 1st, but does this mean that applicants are expected to “choose” a program before this deadline? Will an “official” offer come from the PD’s at some point before June? Or does the applicant typically say “I choose you, will you have me?”

This almost makes me miss the Match...

jk
 

Horners

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I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a few interviews for forensic fellowships in 2022. At the end of the interview, each program director has said something like “Well, if you want to come here let me know, and if you decide you’d rather be elsewhere, let me know that too.” One said, “I’ll make you an offer if you want me too, but I won’t hold a spot for you.”

I’m confused. The AAPL statement says that applicants should not be asked by programs to accept or reject an offer prior to June 1st, but does this mean that applicants are expected to “choose” a program before this deadline? Will an “official” offer come from the PD’s at some point before June? Or does the applicant typically say “I choose you, will you have me?”

This almost makes me miss the Match...

jk

Question from a curious PGY-1,

What do forensic fellowship hours typically look like? Aka, is there ample time to moonlight?

Cost-benefit analysis of a fellowship is certainly a factor that plays into my decision to do it.

Thank you!
 

splik

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The AAPL statements does not hold much water. The spots are filling. This whole approach is new this year. We never had it before and the idea was to avoid a match and try to avoid having applicants under pressure. Unfortunately, it seems to have had the opposite effect as applications were much earlier than they were in previous years. It depends on the program, but programs' first priority is to fill their slots. Unless you are an outstanding applicant (which there are only a couple each year) and they have their own internal candidates as a backup, programs are not going to wait if they have a suitable person to fill the slot. In past years many programs offered you the position there and then. But yes the PD should tell you they want you, and then you would accept. If you are confused, you can pointedly ask if they are offering you the position.

My advice is do not wait until June 1 or you may miss out on the best programs.
 
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Geraltofrivia

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The AAPL statements does not hold much water. The spots are filling. This whole approach is new this year. We never had it before and the idea was to avoid a match and try to avoid having applicants under pressure. Unfortunately, it seems to have had the opposite effect as applications were much earlier than they were in previous years. It depends on the program, but programs' first priority is to fill their slots. Unless you are an outstanding applicant (which there are only a couple each year) and they have their own internal candidates as a backup, programs are not going to wait if they have a suitable person to fill the slot. In past years many programs offered you the position there and then. But yes the PD should tell you they want you, and then you would accept. If you are confused, you can pointedly ask if they are offering you the position.

My advice is do not wait until June 1 or you may miss out on the best programs.

What if you are offered a position but you interview at a place and the program director strongly suggests you will be offered? And the program that offered you a spot is pressuring you to accept but you want a couple days to see?

I actually miss the match. I hate this process and how it’s working out

edit: I guess I’m asking if I should just call the other program and ask if I will be offered a spot.. theoretically speaking of course
 

Alemo

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Thanks splik. I hope to make a decision in the next two weeks as my last interview is May 5. I hope that’s enough time. This is quite nerve wracking.
 

Alemo

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So can we expect offers to be given? Or is it the type of thing like “you made it to the interview, let us know if you choose us and we will (or maybe won’t) give you a spot”?
 

nexus73

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If the place you want to go says they have a position for you, I'd suggest not waiting.
 
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MacDonaldTriad

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In forensics, it is still the wild wild West. This is exactly demonstrative of why the match became our thing. The application dates in fellowships outside of ERAS first start moving earlier and earlier. Then applicants get scared into accepting offers before they have done their fair share of shopping, then a match makes more sense. I know why applicants see the match as something evil, but everyone was young and naïve at some point.
 

RenQun

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Stay in contact with your top choice program(s) especially if they said "I'll make you an offer, but can't hold the spot for you."

You might consider sharing with them when you expect to make your decision, especially if you plan to decide before June 1 (e.g., "Thank you for the offer. I have my last interview scheduled for May 5th and so I plan to make my decision by May 7th.") Worst case scenario they pressure you (against the guideline) to make a decision on their timeline. In this situation, at least you are better informed going into the later interviews. Best case scenario they hold off on other offers until they hear back from you. Of course you can't do this with every program - PDs do talk to each other.

It's really too bad that some programs are pressuring applicants to accept an offer within a few days. A "first come, first served" model is reasonable, but if a program is willing to break the guideline and pressure an acceptance prior to June 1 then you have to wonder what other guidelines they are willing to ignore...
 

Stagg737

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How soon does forensics decide on positions? As in, when would the open positions for this current cycle be released? I didn't apply but am still interested in forensics and am looking at fellowships a bit more after some recent life events.
 

4nzk21

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Programs are definitely filling. I've already heard back from two programs I've interviewed at that they're already full. I was planning on waiting until finishing all my interviews this month to let my top choice know I'm interested but ended up having to pull the trigger early in case that program fills up too.
 
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Alemo

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I pulled the trigger today as well. It was stressful but I was happy with the result. If those are the rules than that’s how I’ll play. I heard that cost is a major barrier to establishing a match. But it also seems as if the applicants are vying for few spots at the top programs, whereas most programs go unfilled.
 
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WaterIsGood

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I find this whole process interesting.

For those that accepted offers, did you notify other programs that you had accepted an offer elsewhere? How does that work since offers weren't supposed to be made until June.
 
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4nzk21

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How does that work since offers weren't supposed to be made until June.

Yeah, that didn't happen. Apparently most of the top programs finished filling their spots either last week or this week.
 

comp1

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Oh wow, well, I guess people might end up appreciating the match more, as capricious as it might be.
 
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4nzk21

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Oh wow, well, I guess people might end up appreciating the match more, as capricious as it might be.

I am 100% in favor of a match now. Seriously, the whole process this year has been so frustrating with contradictory information and straight up lies from some programs. Literally had a program tell me to not rush and wait until the end of the month when I finish interviews to let them know how I feel about them. Then I get an email out of the blue telling me they've filled all their spots.
 
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parapraxis89

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I'm seeing this post late but wholeheartedly agree with what's been said. I also experienced top programs filling in late April, which pressured me into frantically emailing other programs to remind them I'm still interested. Every program has been interpreting the guidelines differently, with most seeming to believe that they can offer a spot but not oblige you to make a decision until June 1st. However, I also interviewed with another program that firmly said they would not even make an offer until June 1, and then you would have 1 day to decide. I actually spoke with Dr. Martinez regarding the rules (he's in charge of the AAPL guidelines regarding this process) and he seemed to believe that a program could not even formally offer you a spot before June 1st but that they could give you an idea of where you rank for them. None of it makes sense!

At first I thought the process would be in the applicant's favor but now I also agree that a Match would be preferable. This has been way more stressful than I anticipated. I think a survey study on how this has gone for everyone this year would be quite interesting...

Anyway, best of luck to everyone. I ended up pulling the trigger early also but am very happy with my choice.
 

chickensoupdr

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How soon after your interview did you receive an offer? If you interviewed early in the cycle, does it mean more waiting time?
 

Alemo

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How soon after your interview did you receive an offer? If you interviewed early in the cycle, does it mean more waiting time?
I’d say a week or so. But I didn’t have my application all ready to go in January when it opened. If you did submit it then, maybe there would be more of a wait.
 
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chickensoupdr

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Does rolling admission mean that programs do "rolling acceptance" too? Or do they wait until the very end to send offers?
 

Alemo

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The programs seem to have waited until they interviewed all the candidates (otherwise what's the point), but they don't wait around for everyone to give an answer before taking "Yes's" from applicants. So they might offer acceptances in late April, but they won't wait until June 1st to hear back from everyone. If three applicants accept offers from a three spot program, they are filled.

I felt like there was significant pressure to accept an offer within days of being offered. Unfortunately, the applicant may have future interviews and might have to cancel them if they accept an offer, or turn down an offer in the hopes that a future interview will lead to an offer. A bird in the hand beats two in the bush....
 

psyguru

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Question from a curious PGY-1,

What do forensic fellowship hours typically look like? Aka, is there ample time to moonlight?

Cost-benefit analysis of a fellowship is certainly a factor that plays into my decision to do it.

Thank you!
There should be ample time to moonlight. A forensic fellowship could lead to increased earnings compared to other fellowships.
 

ridethecliche

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Without a true match process, it's really not like there are any consequences to programs doing whatever they want. If there's no ramification for making early decisions, folks are going to be more likely to just offer a spot and take people early.

Do they make folks sign contracts early as well? Are they binding?
 

Alemo

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I didn’t sign a contract, but rather responded to a letter (e.g “this indicates my acceptance of an offer….”). I’m not sure if it would be considered legally binding.

The biggest problem in my opinion is the disparity in timing. The programs finish interviewing candidates before the candidates finish seeing all the programs.

The programs make decisions with all the information. The candidates cannot and are forced to make a decision prematurely.
 
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