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Financing residency apps

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by sawtella, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. sawtella

    5+ Year Member

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    Just wondering if any of the residents could chime-in on how much they ended up spending for the whole derm residency process, including the # of programs applied to, and more importantly, how you were able to finance it. I know my current loans won't be enough so I've been looking to other avenues like private/residency relocation loans, but these have a super high interest rate and i only want to go to them as a last resort. thanks!
     
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  3. Hoser

    5+ Year Member

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    I can't remember the exact cost, but applying to 100-something programs was around $2400. Tack on around $150 for prelim/ty apps too. As for coming up with cash, the two quarters prior to applying I took out extra unsubsidized stafford loans to cover some applications/interviewing costs. I guess that's a little late for you to do though? Interviewing costs can add up. It seems like I spent an average of $500 per derm interview, some more and some less. There are things you can do to make the trips cheaper like using public transit instead of taxi/rental car. I also saved some money taking red eye flights...though I was cursing myself for doing so at around 4:00am on the plane.
     
  4. asmallchild

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I cannot recall how much I ended up spending but I do remember it was expensive as I did apply to quite a few programs.

    It is also unfortunate that for many of us, our loans do not take into account how expensive the application and interviewing process can be for residency (especially the more competitive fields)

    I think it would be wise to reserve the private/residency relocation loans as backup options as the high interest rates do not make them a great option. In some cases, I have seen the interest rate actually be higher than those of credit cards. (Not that I suggest piling all of this debt onto credit cards either)

    You can check within your school's financial aid department, I know my school did have some scholarships/grants or loans to hand out for those whose original loans just will not cover the added expenses. I've heard of people borrowing from family (probably the cheapest option if you have that luxury) which perhaps is an avenue you could explore. The other key that Hoser mentioned is just trying to be thrifty on the interview trail as there isn't much you can do to avoid the pain of the application fees:


    • Taking public transportation instead of a taxi/rental car
    • Asking other residents for rides, I met many pleasant residents who were able to give me a ride to the airport upon the conclusion of the interview
    • Taking cheaper flights although I would not risk a transfer just to save some money, obviously a personal preference
    • Get a SW frequent flyer account, they were the most popular my year as they offered great rates and the ability to change flights without penalty fees
    • Always carry-on
    • Consider shutting off your data plan. Someone had posted ways to forward interview offer emails from a Gmail account as a text to your cell phone for free. Obviously a personal preference as well.
    • Consider flying into smaller cities to save on flights (flying into Providence for Boston)
    • Save your receipts (esp those in January) as they are tax-deductible
    • Kayak.com is a good place to book early to save on flights
    • Hotwire.com is a good place to book early to save on rental cars (often cheaper than taxis)
    • Priceline is reportedly great for both too
    • Try to stay with friends/family (depending on where you interview) to save on hotel costs
    • In the NE, (Boston to NY to DC), taking buses or trains can be much cheaper than flying
     
  5. werd

    werd Senior Member
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    applied to 31 programs. between apps, travel, and hotels on 13 interviews, the whole thing cost ~$5,500. paying for it is tough... for me, i borrowed a lot of it from my parents and paid them back the next fall after starting residency. residents don't make a lot, but since you have no life it's easy to save... good luck
     
  6. NERDY

    NERDY Member
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    My school offers a program through the alum association to stay with host alums. This would help save on costs.
     
  7. Dral

    Physician PhD 7+ Year Member

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    I applied to 81 derm programs and about 20 or so prelim/tys. I think when it was all said and done, I probably spent about $5000. You can use the citibank residency relocation loans, but they do have a steep interest rate. Just be sure to pay those back first.

    In the end, you do what you have to. You can't not apply to places or forgo interviews because of costs in derm. In the end, you only stand to regret doing so. It sucks, but it's the way of applying for dermatology residency.
     

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