georgeomally

Member
10+ Year Member
May 18, 2006
67
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Have any of you tried contacting programs that you had not received interview invites to? There are a couple of programs that I am really interested in but have not heard back from (invite nor rejection). Any thoughts?
 
Sep 23, 2010
20
3
Status
Attending Physician
Have any of you tried contacting programs that you had not received interview invites to? There are a couple of programs that I am really interested in but have not heard back from (invite nor rejection). Any thoughts?
This is a really good question. First, if you haven't received a rejection yet, then you are still in the running to get an interview. No guarantees, but there is hope! Almost all programs by now have booked their interview dates, but we regularly have one or two cancellations of interviews within a few weeks of the interview date (this is a typical phenomenon for programs), and you may be one of the ones on your favored program's short list to bring in for that slot.

BTW, let me make it clear that just because you are brought in at the last minute to interview doesn't mean that you are likely to be ranked lower - for most programs, the interview is virtually a restart, and it is the impression you make that day that will have the most influence on where you end up on the rank list.

Ah, but I digress...so, back to your original question. Most programs get literally HUNDREDS of applications, and have very few staff available to handle queries by applicants who haven't been invited yet to interview. Contacting the program in such a situation usually ends up with you getting a pro-forma answer if you get a reply at all. And if you try multiple times, you risk being perceived as pushy by staff, who mention it to PDs, and that will not help your chances (this may not be fair, but it is the reality). Now then, I do think there is one type of contact that is reasonable to make, and that is to enquire of the program coordinator once if the program considers your application complete, or if there is something holding up review of your application (I have people who still don't have a personal statement or their USMLE/COMLEX scores in ERAS - and it is December!:eek:). If the answer is yes, there's something missing, get that to them pronto! If it is no, then thank them for their time and wait to see how the cards play out.

Now then, there is one other thing you might be able to do. If you know someone at the institution, they could make a polite request of the PD to review your application to see if you would be a reasonable candidate for interviewing - which might get the PD's attention and have them do a more in-depth review of your application if it was only cursorily <sp> reviewed before. This works best if you know someone there who a) knows and likes you and b) the PD actually knows and respects the judgment of the person at that institution. Again, don't be pushy about these things, but a polite request to someone who knows you're good resident material to ask the PD to review your application for consideration of interview is socially acceptable. The reason this might work is that we PDs have to set some pretty artificial cut-offs for weeding through those HUNDREDS of applications, and if some reliable intel comes to us about an applicant, that's something we can do and might allow us to find a 'diamond in the rough'. Note, this is not guaranteed to get you anything, but is just one small way to up your chances of being considered in more depth.

I hope this helps you and others.
 

maddog2020

7+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2009
28
0
Status
Attending Physician
Totally agree with programdirector. If you contact a program that is nearby or that you really feel strongly about, you might also tell the coordinator that you are prepared to come at short notice if there is a cancellation. There will inevitably be last-minute cancellations, and the staff will appreciate having someone that can fill an opening in the interview schedule.
 
Sep 23, 2010
20
3
Status
Attending Physician
Totally agree with programdirector. If you contact a program that is nearby or that you really feel strongly about, you might also tell the coordinator that you are prepared to come at short notice if there is a cancellation. There will inevitably be last-minute cancellations, and the staff will appreciate having someone that can fill an opening in the interview schedule.
That's a good point, maddog. Again, be parsimonious in your calls, but letting the coordinator know that you are interested enough to come on short notice may get you to that favored program.