General Surgery Interview Offers

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by Celiac Plexus, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm a general surgery resident hopeful. I submitted my ERAS app on Oct. 1, and so far I have received only one interview offer during the last 9 days. What about everyone else applying?

    I have received some e-mails from programs saying that they do not offer interviews until November after they receive all application materials. However other schools are giving out interviews already. Any thoughts?

    Finally, I ask anyone for their feelings on my chances of matching. I go to a ranked med school, my grades are nothing special, my Step I is >215 but <220, and I have excellent recs from well-known surgeons. Do I have ANY shot at a good university program? Or should I be worried about matching at all?

    Any information would be HUGELY appreciated at this time. I'm getting a little antsy.

    Thanks.:eek:
     
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  3. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I think you have #'s on paper to be competative (if not a lock) for many, if not most programs outside the most competative tiers.
     
  4. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member

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    Rio,

    Thanks for the encouragement. Coming from you, I feel a lot better. I've already checked my e-mail 3X today (it's only noon) but the inbox is still empty! But your words of encouragement make me a lot more relaxed. Thanks again.

    As for everyone else, please post if/when you get your interview offers. If you feel like it, post which school so that we can get an idea of what to expect vis a vis the invitation timetable.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  5. ESU_MD

    ESU_MD Old School

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    I applied about 3-4 weeks ago to 25 Gen surgery programs and have gotten 5 interviews so far.

    My background: I am an FMG, white male US citizen with killer step I >240 and "form-letter" style reccs from some well known surgeons. no research, AMSA or any extracurricular fluff on my application.

    So far I got 3 communities, and 2 Univ programs. Hopefully will get more after Nov 1!!

    If I am from a foreign school and have gotten interviews at decent programs already, I don't imagine anyone from a US school will have trouble getting into a decent surgery program these days. Although the top notch programs will always be competitive.
     
  6. surg

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    Just got back from the ACS Clinical Congress. We brought some students along too, so I asked how things were going. Very few had more than a few interview offers in hand. Historically, the more competitive programs will wait for Nov 1st, after the Dean's letters come out, although don't know if that is still true any more. At this point, I would just wait and see what happens. If you got good advice from your mentors and letter writers as to which programs to apply to, you will get more than your share of interviews. That is to say, with those types of stats and letters you should hear from virtually all mid-tier programs and quite a few upper tier programs (i.e. you probably won't go 100%, but at least 60-80%) I'd guess. After that, it's up to you to perform at your interviews. The smart programs will value fit over the numbers (within reason).
     
  7. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member

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    Thanks for the information Surg. I guess that there is nothing to do but relax and wait for the invites. I guess I should cut down on coffe and Red Bull... that might help too... Thanks again.
     
  8. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member

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    Well, it's been T+13 days since I submitted my ERAS and I have received a total of 4 interview invitations:

    -1 solid middle tier university program
    -1 lower middle tier university program
    -1 lower tier university program
    -1 community hospital program

    I still haven't heard a peep from the top tier programs, or the upper middle tier university programs. But, I am encouraged by this response so far. Surg, I think that you were right on the money as far as your take on the app. process.

    New questions:

    As far as scheduling interviews goes... Does it matter from the selection standpoint if I interview early or late? One of the possible dates is early November, and I'm wondering how in the heck anyone will remember me when it comes time to make the rank list.

    Also, does anyone have any good advice on what to look out for during my interview? How do I go about getting the "inside scoop" without stepping on anyone's toes?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  9. surg

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    Scheduling... It's not supposed to make a difference, but I think it does to some extent. You want to put the programs that you really want but are realistic towards the middle of your interviewing season (usually about the 2nd week of January). That gets you when you are coming off Christmas break, but not so late that you are totally burned out. Still you will have rehearsed the standard questions enough (why us? why surgery? tell me about your research, etc.) to not stumble through them. As far as us remembering you, well, if you stand out (positively or negatively), if you don't, well I guess it would be to a slight advantage to go a little later in the sequence to put you closer to the top of mind.

    I would probably put a few of the "slam dunks" and "would only go if no one else wants me" in the early part of the schedule. Gives you a good low key warm-up, where one gaffe won't doom you and maybe you won't even care if it does.

    Finally, how to get the inside scoop. The best way I know is to ask students and residents at that institution and at your own institution (pay more attention to surgical opinions) what they think. Look for programs that the students want to stick around and isn't afraid to give you access to non-lab residents (although that isn't always feasible based on scheduling). Those two are good indicators as to the program friendliness. Most importantly, look for programs where the chief residents knowledge and technique are respected by the students and other residents. That's probably a pretty good proxy for whether you're education is going to be worthwhile.

    These are obviously very general guidelines, but are reasonable starting places.
     
  10. blood&guts

    blood&guts Member

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    Looking for info and advice on UTSW gen/surg programs? as well as UCSD. I am also having troubles scheduling interviews. I have a few offers and they are all early
     
  11. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Please relax. You'll burn your little brain and body out if you start worrying this early in the game.

    First, you don't know how often individual program residency committees meet. Contrary to popular opinion, committees do not meet daily to review applications. A program might only meet once a month, or not at all until after November 1. Thus worrying about whether or not you've gotten X number of interviews is a waste of time because it tells you nothing about your competitiveness. I know many programs (including mine) meet only on certain days and they have heaps of apps to go through - I'm sure you'll get the proper evaluation when they do.

    Secondly, it really is VERY EARLY. Many programs DO wait until after dean's LORs are in.

    The advise about when to interview is pretty much the conventional wisdom. I don't know if it really matters but it probably doesn't hurt to give it a try.

    Your application sounds competitive and general surgery is a buyers market at most programs these days. So try and relax a bit - you've a long way until Match day!
     
  12. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member

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    T+15 days.... ;)

    Thanks for the replies Surg, and Kimberly. I appreciate it.

    I guess I'm a little jumpy about the whole process.

    What do y'all know about the following programs:

    UVA
    Emory
    Univ. of Kentucky
    Univ. of Louisville
    Northwestern

    Any current residents out there with current info? Surg, and Kimberly do you guys know about these programs. I am particularly interested in these programs, and any info. would be helpful.

    Thanks again. I wish there was something I knew that I could tell you and be helpful to you....:D
    Too bad I know nuttin' about nuttin'. :D
     
  13. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    I am at UVA and this place is heaven on earth. The teaching is off the scale and I am getting as much OR time as I can handle. There are plenty of opportunities to get into the OR and all of my attending physicians love to teach. I haven't encountered any attendings who were not totally patient with their junior resident's learning curve as long as you are working hard to improve your skills.

    This is not the program for a laid-back non academic person. There are two years of mandatory research making this a seven-year program. The hospital is very nice and Charlottesville is a very affordable college town with good access to Richmond and Washington, DC. You as a resident will also have to rotate through the VA hospital in Salem, VA which is about 100 miles away. This can be pretty difficult if you have a young family but lots of fun if you are single.

    My hours are still pretty long but the new rules go into effect in July 2003. My program director is totally awesome and is carefully weighing options to keep the teaching levels high here at UVA. Dr. Schirmer really makes this program a super learning enviroment. This year we did not fill but he opted to leave positions unfilled rather than fill them with unqualified people. There is little room to make mistakes here and everyone pulls their weight. I really enjoy the demands and the high expectations of the faculty. The faculty demands much of their residents but they teach and are very interested in our professional development. The nice thing is that many of them are text book authors(Irving Kron, M.D.;Craig Slingluff, M.D.) and world authorities (Bruce Schirmer, M.D. laproscopic surgery) in their specialties. They could be anywhere in the country yet they choose to be here in Charlottesville.

    The faculty is pretty diverse having trained at places like Duke, Harvard, UVA, Minnesota, Lahey Clinic and Pittsburg. This program is pretty complete offering experiences in transplant, burns, plastics, neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, thoracic, cardiovascular and vascular surgery. Most of the trauma here is blunt but we get an occasional penetrating trauma. Our lack of penetrating trauma is perhaps the only weakness of this program. All of the graduating chiefs this year have been accepted into fellowships. This program primarily trains academic surgeons. There is also a pretty good number of folks who have the MD, Ph.D combination in this program. My main reason fro choosing UVA was the great combination of academics,research and OR time.

    The hospital is completely modern and everything is computerized. The nursing care is very good also especially on the Cardiovascular services. There are no poor support services at UVA. There are plenty of services for the residents such as an in-house gym and very generous meal allowance. I usually have so much meal money left over at the end of the month that I end up treating the nurses to lunch. It is very difficult to use up your meal card allowance even if you eat all three meals here.

    Anymore questions about UVA, feel free to e-mail me.

    njbmd:cool:
     
  14. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member

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    T+24 days....

    OK, here is the update:

    2 upper-middle tier university programs
    5 middle tier univ. programs
    2 lower tier univ. programs
    1 "academic" center
    2 community hospitals

    My last invite was e-mailed Wednesday, for a total of 12 offers. I am still waiting to hear from any upper-tier program. I am guessing/hoping that after Nov. 1 when the dean's letter goes out that I will get a few more.

    It's interesting to see that some programs are offerring to pay for my hotel, cab ride, meals, etc. while others are not.

    Well, I'll let ya know how things are going when the first week of Nov. rolls around.

    Peace.
     
  15. UI2003

    UI2003 Senior Member

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    Just out of curiosity - how are you rating your programs (with regards to "tier")? Congratulations by the way ;)
     

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