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Attending phone calls

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ent

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Can a call from an attending not liked by a former colleague hurt one's application and chance for an interview? Is it appropriate for an attending to call on your behalf before interview offers have been made or is it better for them to call after we have been rejected? I would appreciate any input.
 

neutropeniaboy

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Can a call from an attending not liked by a former colleague hurt one's application and chance for an interview? Is it appropriate for an attending to call on your behalf before interview offers have been made or is it better for them to call after we have been rejected? I would appreciate any input.

Let me give you a little taste of how petty ENT is.

When I applied to a particular program (2001 interview season), my first interview at this top-notch program began with the chairman. The chairman, once recognizing that I came from my particular medical college, began a 10 minute tirade on how he disapproved of my home institution's chair's medical/surgical/administrative/economical practices were unethical. Needless to say, I did not match at that program.

So, yes. If people don't get along, you stand less of a chance of getting into certain programs.

Regarding phone calls in general, phone calls can definitely help you before rankings are done. If you get rejected, it is unlikely that things will change.
 

resxn

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I think the single most important thing that can happen in your behalf is having your chairman call the chairman of the program to which you most want to go on your behalf.

Obviously if the other chair hates your chair, you're screwed like neutropeniaboy said. But in most cases, your chair will know if they can effectively make that call.

The next best call is from your program director to theirs.

The third best call is from one of your attendings to one of theirs.

There is no 4th best call. Sometimes the people in your department are happy to do this, some are not. You have to feel that situation out--it is definitely a BIG favor to ask, but can make your career if it happens.

AND like was said, this needs to be done BEFORE the rankings. It will be completely worthless afterward unless you're scrambling for a known open spot.
 

entprospect

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Hey thanks for the great info. Quick question, when you said it needs before the rankings I know some program rank you after the interview date. Am I wrong? If so when is the perfect time to have someone make c call on your behalf? like januray-feb?
 

Catalyst

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Hey thanks for the great info. Quick question, when you said it needs before the rankings I know some program rank you after the interview date. Am I wrong? If so when is the perfect time to have someone make c call on your behalf? like januray-feb?

I would very much like to know the answer to this too
 

resxn

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Tough question to answer generally. In my residency program, we ranked candidates after their interviews on the same day. These were relatively fluid until the last group of candidates interviewed. On that day, all candidates were ranked and put on our list for the match. It literally took an act of God (i.e. the Chairman) to change that rank list once we decided the overall one on that last day.

Therefore, the best advice I can give you is to have that call made before the last group of candidates interview. If you interview on their last day, I would probably recommend your "doc" call theirs prior to the interview, but this is less than ideal.

Overall it would be best for them to call a day or so after you interview because you'd still be reasonably fresh in the minds of your interviewers. In other programs, they may not rank on the same day as interviews--this works in your favor if you have someone making a call on your behalf. In some programs, only the chairman or their trusted right-hand man can make changes after each rank is put down, so a call may not be as effective unless it's to one of these people. It really all depends.

Also, keep in mind that these calls are not the norm. Someone really has to go to bat for you and really like you to do it because they're putting their rep on the line for you. You'd better be worth it. Also, if you have 15 people applying from your med school class, I guarantee your chairman isn't willing to make calls for all 15--even they're even willing to do it, it'll only be for one probably. Don't ask an attending to do this lightly, all you will do is piss them off unless you have a good relationship with them. For a student, that's not real common.
 

ent

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Thanks for your input. I was actually talking to an attending about programs and he offered to call one of the programs I was really interested in (I didn't ask nor was I trying to lead to that point, but I was very pleased when he offered to do so). Then I got a rejection email from the program a week later. At the time my attending offered to call on my behalf, the program had not sent out invites yet. That is why I asked if a call can hurt you rather than help. I guess we all have our stories. Ultimately I hope that each one of us will match in a program that we truly belong in.
 

resxn

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Thanks for your input. I was actually talking to an attending about programs and he offered to call one of the programs I was really interested in (I didn't ask nor was I trying to lead to that point, but I was very pleased when he offered to do so). Then I got a rejection email from the program a week later. At the time my attending offered to call on my behalf, the program had not sent out invites yet. That is why I asked if a call can hurt you rather than help. I guess we all have our stories. Ultimately I hope that each one of us will match in a program that we truly belong in.

I do think a call like that has a chance at getting you an invite for an interview, but it's tougher than if the call went out before the rejection came, simply because they've filled their slots and then have to make room for you. If you do get an invite then, you know the person who called for you really made a difference.

I think it couldn't hurt, but may not help.
 

TheThroat

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Unless you are really good friends with an attending or an attending asks you if he/she could make a call for you, I would not just go around asking one to call up another program's chair or program director to say that you are "da bomb".

As far as timing goes, I agree with resxn. Calls made after the rank lists are created are incredibly unlikely to change anything.
 
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