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Having a cold at an interview... bad?

goodies

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I seemed to have caught a cold and have a prelim interview in 2 days. I will be very sneezy and stuffy come interview day. Better to go to the interview or try to re-schedule?! Anything I can take to help my cold go away faster? This is the worst time to get sick ever. :(
 
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Law2Doc

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I seemed to have caught a cold and have a prelim interview in 2 days. I will be very sneezy and stuffy come interview day. Better to go to the interview or try to re-schedule?! Anything I can take to help my cold go away faster? This is the worst time to get sick ever. :(

There is nothing you can take to make a cold go away faster, but there are plenty of OTC decongestants that will allow you to dry up for a few hours. If timed right, you can make it through the important parts of the interview day.
 
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Ludicolo

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Showing up w/ a cold and congestion is fine. It’s not like you are involved in patient care that day. You may want to defer shaking hands with people. Obviously, if you are in rigors and have loss of bodily function you should attempt to reschedule. And, even though we aren’t supposed to give medical advice on these forums, try not to take something that makes you drowsy prior to your interview. I’ve seen this happen. Not pretty.
 
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LadyGrey

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Eh, it happens. I have a cold right now, and plan to be hepped up on Sudafed (the real meth-making kind, not the lame-o new stuff) for the three interviews I unfortunately have this week (Wed, Thu, Fri). I plan to practice good hand hygiene and hope I don't get anyone else sick.

Feel better!
 
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generic

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Vancomycin will clear that cold right up!

But seriously, I'm sure people will understand...after all, a good med student (especially on surgery) will still show up to 5AM rounds with a cold, right? Why not an interview?

But to agree with above: it might be a good idea to carry some hand sanitizer and practice good hand hygiene (shaking hands a lot at an interview), so you're not "that guy/gal who got the program director sick."
 
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LadyGrey

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Kinda on topic... and not worthy of its own topic.

So far I've been doing the leather binder thing and avoiding a purse. But I see many other female interviewees with purses. How wrong is this, or is it not wrong at all? I ask since I'd like to be carrying a few more things than usual this week (tissues, OTC meds, cough drops, alcohol hand gel so I can sterilize myself between blowing my nose and reaching for the PD's hand ;)).
 
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goodies

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i think a purse that looks professional is fine. one of those leather rectangular bags.

about my cold, my throat gets really dry and scratchy and when i cough... it is sometimes uncontrollable..face gets all red, dry cough is non-stop for like a few minutes... unless i pop a cough drop, which is supposedly unprofessional.

water doesnt stop my scratchy cough cuz it doesn't coat my throat well enough. man! :mad:

would it be bad to have a cough drop in my mouth during the interview?! i'm screwed!!! cough suppressant does nothing!
 
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sdnstud

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i think a purse that looks professional is fine. one of those leather rectangular bags.

about my cold, my throat gets really dry and scratchy and when i cough... it is sometimes uncontrollable..face gets all red, dry cough is non-stop for like a few minutes... unless i pop a cough drop, which is supposedly unprofessional.

water doesnt stop my scratchy cough cuz it doesn't coat my throat well enough. man! :mad:

would it be bad to have a cough drop in my mouth during the interview?! i'm screwed!!! cough suppressant does nothing!


I hope your interview went well. I can totally relate cos' the night before my last interview, I had food poisoning and spent the night throwing up in the bathroom.

I don't think a cough drop in your month during the interview looks bad, especially if you tell your interviewer why.
 
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mcl

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What if you were really, really sick with the flu? would that be ok to cancel for?

If you are really sick you owe it to yourself (and to the people who would be exposed to you) to cancel. You can't be impressive in an interview when ill or over-tired. The residents, faculty, and coordinators you'd be interacting with don't want to get sick, nor do the other applicants you would be interviewing with. You could ask about possible alternate dates if it's a program you're very interested in. There are typically a lot of cancellations at this point in the process, so it could work out.
 
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Law2Doc

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You could ask about possible alternate dates if it's a program you're very interested in. There are typically a lot of cancellations at this point in the process, so it could work out.

I wouldn't bank on alternate dates. Sure there are cancellations, but there are also tons of folks soliciting interviews daily, so many of those cancellations book up within an hour of becoming open.
 
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Winged Scapula

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What if you were really, really sick with the flu? would that be ok to cancel for?

It depends.

1) it depends on how sick you really are.

2) it depends on whether or not alternate dates are available and whether or not you can nab one of them.

3) it depends on how interested you are in a program.

4) it *may* depend on how "hard-core" the specialty and the program you are applying to is. Cry and complain about it being unfair but there may be some programs that see cancelling an interview for having the flu as evidence of a resident who would call in sick. And yes, we all know that physicians shouldn't work when they are sick but it is a reality that many residency programs expect you to do so, and many residents will expect their colleagues not to call in sick. Clearly surgical training programs are more prone to this (see out stories about rounding while tethered to an IV pole) than others, but its worth considering.
 
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